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GRE test day 
25th-Sep-2011 05:55 pm
I'm having a hell of a time determining what to bring/what not to bring to my GRE test tomorrow. I'm testing at Penn Plaza in Manhattan. I know that cell phones are not allowed into the test center at all. I know that no jackets/hats/etc. are allowed in the testing ROOM. The ETS site says this:
"Personal items other than identification documents are not allowed in the testing room. You will be required to follow the procedures set by the test center for storage of your personal belongings. You may also be asked to empty your pockets. Storage space is limited, so plan accordingly. You will not have access to your personal items during the test. Personal items such as hats, scarves, jackets and outerwear that are taken into the test room are subject to inspection by the test administrator."

Has anyone tested at Penn Plaza? Is there a locker room or something (for like, the umbrella I'll probably have with me)? Can I bring a purse? Do I bring my own (non-mechanical) pencil for doing math work?

Also, my reminder email said this:
"Please be advised, that it is prohibited to bring food or beverages into the testing center and in some cases into the building where your test center is located. Please be advised that due to these restrictions, you will need to make other meal accommodations for your test day."

So I'm not allowed to eat at all for 5 hours? Help!

(cross posted to newyorkers)

ETA: Thanks for all your comments! The testing center was very confusing. For example, I had no idea I was being prepped to start the test and the dude got really mad at me when I told him I still needed to use the bathroom. Also "Please turn off your cell phone and put it in your locker. Did you put your phone in your locker?" "Um, I didn't bring one because I was told over and over that they aren't allowed here." I actually didn't take my break because I had no idea what I was supposed to do to let them know and where I would go for the 10 minutes. Etc. But, at least I didn't get kicked out or anything!
25th-Sep-2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
As I recall, they had enough lockers that you could fit your purse and umbrella in. No, you don't bring your own pencils.

I don't remember food not being allowed on breaks, but I didn't bring any and they may have changed their policy since then.
25th-Sep-2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
Anything you bring will be stored in a locker for you (I did not test at Penn Plaza, but that is standard). The point is that this locker will likely fit a purse, but may not fit a backpack. They won't let you use your own pencils; they'll give you some if you need them.

Make sure you eat something before the test; plan to grab something energy-dense at a coffee shop or suchlike nearby. They will let you use the washroom before the test and during the break, but you may have to empty your pockets to them afterwards.
25th-Sep-2011 11:18 pm (UTC)

I don't remember eating at all during the test. If you are worried about it or know you will need to eat something, maybe bring some cash and plan to buy peanut butter crackers or something from a nearby vending machine on a break. You could go to the place ahead of time to walk around and see what will be available. Or just call and ask them.

25th-Sep-2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know anything about your site in particular, but I would take care in selecting what you wear--when I took the GRE I wore something I considered to be a hoodie (normal, part of my outfit, etc.) but the people at the center thought it a jacket, so I was not allowed to wear it in. So, be selective in what you wear, especially if you get cold easily!
29th-Sep-2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
And on the flip of that (for future reference of anyone else looking through this post), I purposefully chose a velour outfit that had a jacket as part of it, and the GRE people there considered that to be part of my outfit so I was able to keep it on. Good thing too, because it was cold in there!
25th-Sep-2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
I ate before the test and brought a granola bar to eat during the break. I was able to last the whole time and eat after the test was over. You should be fine!
26th-Sep-2011 01:57 am (UTC)
They were pretty mean to me at this testing site when I took off a cardigan sweater even though usually exam books tell you to dress in layers.
26th-Sep-2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
it was FREEZING in my test place... wear long sleeves and pants!
27th-Sep-2011 03:58 am (UTC)
I did not test at your specific center, but I remember I just left my purse and personal items locked up in the trunk of my car and it worked really well. All I brought with me was my ID. I was nervous about the whole "don't bring personal items" thing too, but I found that my mind was focused on the test and it didn't bother me at all. Those four hours went surprisingly fast! I think my test center offered space behind the counter to keep personal items too. You can't bring your own pencil, but they do provide pencils and a notebook. A sweater is a good idea too, since the center can get a bit chilly.

I took care of the food problem by simply testing in the afternoon and eating a really filling lunch beforehand. If you bring a snack I think you can keep it in a locker or behind the counter so that you can have it during your break.
10th-Oct-2011 03:22 am (UTC)
late to this but oh well

i tested in manhattan as well and the security was crazy! like getting into the White House lol hope you did well!
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