So today I finally sat for the GRE and guess what!
The centre I chose was completely shitty.
Let me explain why.
As god forsaken unknown reasons AAA stopped taking tests from last year, I had no other choice but to select from two additional examination centres. I live in downtown Dhaka, the closest one for me was US Software Limited at 69/B Panthapath. So for convenience, I chose US Software Limited.
I did confirm over phone the location of the centre. It’s next to the Suvastu Tower and upstairs of the centre there is a Branch of Saifur’s, a well known coaching centre.
I reached the place around 9:15 am, my reporting time was 9:30 am. The centre was on 2nd Floor. I went inside and found nobody near the reception which was quite odd for a place where an exam would happen. I looked around in hope to find someone, but none came within the next five minutes. Then, another test taker arrived and we started chatting. Around 9:30 am, someone claiming to be the authoritative figure came out and gave us a form to sign. He also instructed us to leave our belongings in the reception.
Now, during my conversation over phone with the person in-charge of the centre, he described of a locker facility which was not present at the centre. There were 4 test takers for the 10 am time slot. After signing the form, our identifications were verified and without further instructions, we were told to sit in front of the computer that showed individual photo and identification details. We were given 5 blue coloured pages to use if needed.
Within 2 minutes of starting, electricity went out and the UPS started making noise. It took couple of minutes for the back up generator to start. The power went out in total 4 times during the test. Each time, there were no light and immense noise.
The room was not sound proof at all and the people responsible to conduct the test was talking outside. After 12:30 pm, two of the candidates faced technical problems and they started making noises. There was only one person sitting outside the room, who was a clerk as others went to join the Friday prayer. The clerk called in the chief technical officer who dealt with the problem. But due to chaos the two other candidates lost concentration and valuable time. After the problem being sorted out, chief technical officer started talking with the clerk inside the room which made the environment more noisy.
I do not know how the venues are selected but this certainly does not qualify for a venue. Other facilities were really poor, including ventilation, sanitary and equipment. The monitor was CRT, mouse was getting stuck but the keyboard was new.
Overall, I would recommend avoiding such venues in future, specially if you are person who likes to give an exam in a quiet place.