Explore our resources to learn how to reach your career goals with a graduate business degree.

GMAT Test Center Rules

Rules that Govern Your GMAT Exam Experience

Your GMAT Handbook is your single source for all the policies, procedures and rules that apply to your GMAT exam experience.

Test administration begins at check-in (when you walk through the test center doors), ends at checkout, and includes breaks. Test administrators are required to report any violation of testing policies or procedures and any other irregularity.

Looking for rules specific to test centers in your location?
Check Your Location-Specific Regulations >

These videos offer GMAT exam administration tips and advice to ensure your a smooth test-taking experience.

Summary of GMATExam Administration Rules

  • When you check in at the test center, the test administrator will ask you to present valid, original identification. The administrator will also ask you to confirm that you agree to the GMAT Examination Testing Rules & Agreement with a digital signature.
  • The test administrator will take a digital photograph and palm vein pattern (except where collection is prohibited by law). Audio and video are recorded in the testing room at all centers during the exam. If you refuse to participate in any part of the check-in process you will not be permitted to test, and you will forfeit your test fee. Note: This is in addition to the requirement that you must present acceptable and valid identification.
  • Before you start the GMAT exam at a test center workstation, you will also be asked to agree to comply with the GMAT Non-Disclosure Agreement and General Terms of Use statement. Electronic confirmation of your agreement is required. If you do not agree to comply, you will not be permitted to take the test and you will forfeit your entire test fee.
  • Personal items, including watches, wallets, purses, bags, hats, large jewelry and hair clips, and coats are not permitted in the testing room; limited storage space is available. No devices or testing aids may be used or accessed during the test session or during breaks. Prohibited items and conduct include, but are not limited to: ear plugs, pens, pencils, calculators, lip balm, watch calculators, books, pamphlets, notes, including writing on articles of clothing or on one’s body, blank sheets of paper, rulers, stereos or radios, digital music players, telephones or cellular (mobile) phones, stopwatches, watches (including digital, analogue, and those with flashing lights or alarm sounds), and any other electronic or photographic devices or potential aids of any kind.
  • Weapons, including but not limited to, firearms, knives, or any object that could be used as a weapon, are prohibited from the test center, including the testing room and waiting areas. These items are not allowed on the premises and may not be stored in the provided lockers. This policy also pertains to off-duty law enforcement officers and persons with conceal-and-carry permits. Only emergency personnel responding to an incident in a test center are excluded from this policy.
  • Access to telephones, cellular (mobile) phones, other communication devices, watches, books, notes, or study guides will not be permitted at the test center at any time, including during the test session or during breaks. Violation of this policy could lead to confiscation of the prohibited devices or materials by the test administrator or invalidation of your scores.
  • The test administrator will provide you with the equivalent of five erasable noteboards. If you fill up your noteboards during the test, please raise your hand to have ; the administrator will collect the noteboards you have and give you replacements. You may not remove the noteboards from the testing room, and you must return them to the administrator after the test.
  • Testing must begin promptly once you are seated at the computer. The length of your appointment is approximately 3 and half hours.
  • Two optional breaks are scheduled during the test administration. If you exceed the time allowed for these breaks, the excess time will automatically be deducted from the next section of the test.
  • You will not be allowed to eat or drink in the testing room–you may store food and drink in a locker and use them during breaks.
  • Testing premises are subject to audio/video recording and other monitoring.
  • You may not communicate with anyone about the content of the GMAT exam while the test session is in progress, during any breaks, or after administration of the test. Removing or attempting to remove test content from the test center is strictly prohibited. Under no circumstances may any part of the test content viewed during a test administration be removed, reproduced, and/or disclosed in any form by any means (for example, verbally, in writing, or electronically) to any person or entity at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, discussing or disclosing such test content via email; in any Internet “chat room,” message board, or other forum; or otherwise. This disclosure prohibition applies before, during, and after any administration of the GMAT exam.
  • You will not be permitted to leave the testing room without the text administrator’s permission. You will be required to provide a digital palm vein pattern scan any time you enter the testing room to match the identity verified at registration (except where prohibited by law).
  • During a break, you are not allowed to leave the test center building. You are only allowed to remain in the designated locations during your break–the locker area, the test center lobby, and the nearest bathroom.
  • You may not leave your workstation while timed sections of the test are being administered. If there is an emergency and you must leave your seat during the test session, raise your hand and notify the test administrator. The time clock for the test section you are working on will not stop during your absence. Repeated or lengthy departures from your workstation will be documented, reported by the administrator, and investigated by Pearson VUE.
  • Raise your hand to notify the test administrator if you believe you have a problem with your computer, need new noteboards or a noteboard pen, or need the administrator for any other reason.
  • Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated. The test administrator has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior.
  • The test administrator is authorized to dismiss you from a test session for various reasons, including, without limitation: providing false information, attempting to take the test for someone else, failing to provide acceptable identification, possessing unauthorized personal items or testing aids, disrupting the testing environment, refusing to comply with an administrator’s reasonable requests, giving or receiving unauthorized help, attempting to tamper with the operation of the computer, refusing to follow directions, or failing to adhere to any other procedures, policies, or rules. The test administrator is also authorized to confiscate any and all unauthorized items found in a test taker’s possession in violation of these terms and conditions. GMAC and Pearson VUE reserve the right to determine whether such items will be returned.
  • Note: GMAC and Pearson VUE reserve the right to take all action that they deem appropriate if an individual fails to comply with the test terms and conditions or the test administrator’s directions. This includes, but is not limited to, barring an individual from future testing, canceling or withholding the individual’s scores, and/or reporting any rule violation, fraud, or other irregularities to schools or other appropriate third parties. If your scores are canceled or withheld, they will not be reported and your entire test fee will be forfeited.

Common Policy Violations

The following are examples of common policy violations. All policy violations may result in a minimum 31-day wait to retest, canceled scores, notification to schools, forfeiture of test fees and up to a three-year ban on testing.   

Policy Violation

How to Avoid a Policy Violation

Consequences of a Policy Violation

  • Accessing or using:
  • Cell phones
  • Electronic devices
  • Computers
  • Communication devices
  • Music players

You must store all types of electronic, communicative, or computer devices. You may not access or use them at any time (including breaks) after you check into the testing center.

  • Score revoked
  • Ban from testing for up to three years
  • Notification to schools

Accessing study guides

You must store all notes, study materials or any other written material in your locker until you have completed your exam. You many not refer to these materials after check-in, including during your breaks.

  • Score revoked
  • Ban from testing for one year
  • Notification to schools

Storing items improperly

You must store all items in your locker. Refrain from storing items in any other area, including bathrooms, the hall, emergency exits, etc.

  • Score revoked
  • Possible one year ban from testing
  • Notification to schools

Any other unauthorized item

You may bring ONLY your identification, locker key, a light sweater, and prescription eyeglasses with you into the test room. Personal items including food, drink, and candy are not allowed in the testing room unless expressly pre-authorized for a disability.

  • Score revoked
  • Notification to schools

Refer to your GMAT Handbook for a list of more serious policy violations and their consequences.

The GMAT exam helps you stand out during the admissions process. Take the one business school exam that elevates you from the rest of the pack.

If test centers are closed in your area due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider taking the GMAT Online Exam, an interim, proctored exam that you can take in the comfort of your home.