GRE Accommodations: What to Know for Test Day

As of April 14, 2020, GRE accommodations will be available to students taking the GRE at home.

 
Student writing with one hand and typing on keyboard with other representing ETS' GRE Testing Special Accommodations - Magoosh

The maker of the GRE, Educational Testing Services (ETS), provides a number of GRE testing accommodations for students with learning disabilities or test-taking limitations. These include things such as additional time and Braille tests. However, in order to be eligible for this service, students must apply for GRE accommodations before signing up for their test. This can be done through ETS Disability Services.

By providing these GRE testing accommodations to students, ETS makes the standardized test more accessible. However, just because these ETS GRE accommodations are offered, that doesn’t mean that the approval process is straightforward. Students are required to submit a plethora of supporting documentation, and if the student does obtain approval, surprises may still surface on test day.

Read on for answers to your questions about the GRE and related testing accommodations!


 

Table of Contents


 

What kinds of GRE accommodations can I receive from ETS Disability Services?

Some of the more commonly requested GRE test accommodations from ETS Disabilities include:

  • Screen magnification
  • Selectable background and foreground colors
  • Braille
  • Oral interpreter
  • Sign Language interpreter
  • Large print (test book and/or answer sheet)
  • Recorded audio
  • Human reader
  • Extra time on the GRE test
  • Extra breaks (another helpful form of GRE extended time!)

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How to Request GRE Accommodations

  1. Identify the specific accommodations that you need and will apply for
  2. Collect documentation of your disability (examples here)
  3. Complete paperwork required by filling out the Testing Accommodations Request Form. This can be done by logging into your ETS account. You’ll find specific instructions on how to log in and fill out the form in the ETS Disabilities Bulletin Supplement.
  4. Register! Don’t forget that you have to apply before you register for the test. Once your accommodation is approved, ETS Disability Services will send you info on how to register.
  5. Make sure to allow six weeks for a decision

If you are registering with any testing accommodations, you cannot do this directly on the ETS website. You will need to do this through ETS Disability Services, and applying for a test this way makes the process even more time-sensitive, as only certain testing locations are equipped to handle various accommodations.

For example, some test centers cannot offer their students a “private” room for testing, while others do not have sufficient proctors to monitor a student who needs 100% extra time.

For the most up-to-date information on test accommodations, visit the ETS Disabilities website.

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.


 

The Approval Process

If you plan to apply for GRE accommodations, make sure to apply early! It will take some time to assemble disability documentation (e.g., from your health provider) and for ETS to conduct a documentation review and make a decision. If you need to submit additional documentation, that can take even more time.

You don’t want to do this at the last minute while trying to also finish your graduate program applications!

For one Magoosh student, it took 6 weeks to get approval from ETS Disability Services; ETS typically quotes 4-6 weeks of lag time between receiving documentation and making their decision. Once he received approval for 50% extended time on test day, he scheduled his test through ETS GRE Disability Services. This Magoosh student was forced to schedule 2+ months out, which he didn’t know about and caused him extra frustration.
 
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Additional Information and Forms


 

ETS Disability Services: GRE Contact Information

Online

You can apply for GRE testing accommodations, view approved GRE special accommodations, and view test appointments online in your ETS Account. To do so, log into your ETS Account, click on “GRE Accommodation Status/New Request” under the “Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-Related Needs” section on the main home page and follow the instructions.

Email:

disability.reg@ets.org (for registration)

stassd@ets.org (for general questions)

Phone

1-866-387-8602 (toll free number, usable in the U.S., Canada, and U.S. overseas territories)

1-609-771-7780 (for use outside of the U.S., Canada, and U.S. territories)

Mail:

ETS Disability Services

P.O. Box 6054

Princeton, NJ 08541-6054 USA

Courier Service:

ETS Disability Services

225 Phillips Boulevard

Ewing, NJ 08628-1426 USA

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Can admissions see that my GRE was under accommodation?

In most cases, graduate schools will not see that you took the GRE with accommodations. ETS does not “flag” scores for testers who receive accommodations in most cases. However, they do state that in rare instances, they will flag scores using the term nonstandard administration . This happens “only if the test is significantly altered.” The best way to find out if this applies to your test accommodations is to reach out and discuss it with ETS Disability Services.
 
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Can I use Magoosh to simulate GRE accommodations?

Yes! To set up GRE extra time on your practice tests, comparable to what you’d get from ETS Disability Services on test day, go to the Account tab on the upper right and choose Profile:

Simulate GRE accommodations on Magoosh profile - magoosh

Then select the green Edit Account Information button on the bottom left:

Edit Magoosh account to simulate GRE accommodations - magoosh

And then select the time change you want:

Choose GRE extra time for GRE accommodations - magoosh
 
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A Final Word

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to take the GRE due to disabilities or health needs, the ETS has many types of GRE testing accommodations to assist you with the process. However, because the process of applying for these GRE testing accommodations can take a while, it’s best to prepare well in advance of your test date. By starting a few months ahead of time, you can ensure that you’ll get the support you need from ETS GRE accommodations, so you can achieve your best score!

P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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10 Responses to GRE Accommodations: What to Know for Test Day

  1. PD83 December 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm #

    “Even though the Magoosh student was permitted 50% extra time, there were no extra breaks.” He said he didn’t know that he had to apply for those extra breaks as well, which is really his fault. You cannot just assume that those extra breaks are included.

    For me, I intend on applying for the 100% extra time, but I’m wondering if that’s only allowed for certain diagnoses? Or could it apply to any diagnosis as long as the doctor justifies why your condition requires the extra time? I know that a learning disability would get that accommodation approved without question, but what about bipolar I disorder, which I have? What I should do is actually get a dyslexia diagnosis because I find myself re-reading the passages and sentences way too many times to the point where I run out of time and have 5 to 10 questions or so remaining on the verbal reasoning sections. I’ve had this problem before on reading comp tests throughout my education (I’m now 36), but I haven’t done anything about it. Now it seems like the time to finally do something about it and get this diagnosed because it’s so frustrating. And when you’re 36 years old with no career to speak of, it’s imperative that a graduate school accepts me, and the GRE is a make or break test (unfortunately). I will need the extra time to do well since my future will depend on it, and we don’t want me going crazy and doing things that society will regret down the road.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 20, 2019 at 11:25 am #

      Hi there,

      These are all good questions, but I’m afraid we aren’t the best people to answer it. ETS doesn’t specify bipolar disorder as a reason for accommodations, but if you can prove with medical paperwork that you should get them, they may allow it. I can’t say for sure either way, and I don’t want to give you inaccurate information. I recommend that you ask ETS directly, and read the Bulletin for Test Takers with Disabilities for more complete information. Good luck!

  2. Amanda November 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm #

    If you are approved for time and a half are you placed in a room with other test-takers with time and a half or are you placed with “regular” test-takers?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

      Hi Amanda!

      If you have extra time, you might be placed in the same room as “regular” test-takers. That was the experience for our Magoosh student who had extra time (briefly mentioned in the blog post). For the most information, you could contact ETS or your test center and ask them directly. 😀

  3. Steffi November 11, 2018 at 10:18 am #

    This post is from 2016, is this still the case that with extended time (I also have time and a half) I will only have four sections instead of five?
    Thank you!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 11, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

      Hi Steffi!

      To the best of my knowledge, the experimental part is not included for test takers with accommodations, so you should only have four sections. If you want to verify this 100%, I would contact ETS. 🙂

  4. Totoro June 8, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

    I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant at my prospected GRE test day. I need to snack and pee Approximately every 1 hour. Is it possible to get Accomodation (extended/frequent break ) for gre? If anyone faced similar problem, Could you please share?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 8, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

      HI Totoro,

      First of all, congrats on your pregnancy! I haven’t personally worked with anyone requesting accommodations because of a pregnancy, but perhaps another reader can chime in with her experience! I didn’t find much good information with an internet search (which I’m sure you did as well). ETS does allow test-takers to indicate other medical conditions that may require accommodation, so I encourage you to submit that information with a doctor’s note. You can see the full guidelines here: https://www.ets.org/s/disabilities/pdf/bulletin_supplement_test_takers_with_disabilities_health_needs.pdf

  5. Shiks January 6, 2018 at 1:33 pm #

    Hey Kevin,

    I am wondering what steps you took to get your accommodation for the GRE. I am not seeing how to do it, but only what the accommodations offer. How do you I get the paperwork to them, and who do I have to call. If you could send me the tricks of the trade it would be very helpfully

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm #

      Hi Shiks,

      Thanks for reaching out! This page provides you with all of the information you need to request accommodations from ETS. This PDF also provides you with information about what sort of evidence and documentation you need and how to fill out the accommodation request documents. You will have to do it through your ETS or email disability.reg@ets.org before you schedule your test 🙂 Good luck!


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