Once you have made up your mind to take the GRE test and are ready for registration, what matters most is how much the test costs you. Fortunately, it is not the most expensive test around; rather, the cost of the test is comparatively less than other similar competitive exams. Moreover, with the introduction of the new revised version of the test, ETS has offered a 50% cut down on the cost if you take the test within the first two months, i.e. if you register within September 2011. Though some people smell a rat about this 50% reduction in cost, it is certainly good news for students taking the test during this time. We can only assume that the reduction is due to any possible inconvenience that students taking the new version of the test for the first time might face.
The cost of the GRE revised Genral Test differs depending on the region from where you take the test. If you take the test from US, US Territories or Puerto Rico, the cost of the test is $80 during August and September. After September 30, it will cost you $160. If you are taking the test from any other location, it will cost you $95 during August and September, and double the amount after September 30. The cost of the test is $140, if you are from US, US Territories or Puerto Rico. If you are from any other location, the Subject test cost is $160.
Apart from the registration fees, there are a few other test costs that you may need to know. These fees are the same for both the General Test and the Subject Test. If you are taking the paper-based test, and registering online, you have the option to register even after the regular registration period ends (for one week, though). This will cost you an additional $25 as Late Registration Fee. If you miss the deadline even for late registration, you have another option still. You can try to take the test as a standby, i.e. if someone cancels the test, you can take his/her place. This option is available only for the paper-based test, and in case of the Subject Test, you have to find a standby option for the same subject you are applying for. The cost of standby test is $50 (excluding the regular registration cost) which you have to pay at the test center. You can call ETS one week before the test date to know if there is any standby test available. A word of caution though: do not rely on the standby test in any way; in spite of the fact that many students have availed this option, it is never possible to say you shall have the same fate.
If you find you are not ready to take the test on the fixed date, or find it impossible for you to take the test on that date for some reasons, you can reschedule your test date. You also have the option of changing the test center you have registered for. In both cases, it will cost you $50. You need to reschedule your test date no later than three full days before the test date (excluding the test date). For test takers from Mainland China, it is 10 full days before the test date.
However, your cost does not end with the test. Once the test is over, you may still need to pay for the different scoring services available. When you register for the test, you can specify up to four institutions where you want your scores to be sent, all for free. But if you want additional score reports (ASR) to be sent to some other institutions, you need to pay $23 for each of the recipients. Your score report is available within approximately 10-15 days of taking the test, and is sent to you via mail. You can also view your scores online by creating a My GRE account. But if you choose to get your scores by phone, you need to pay an additional $12. You have to pay $50 if you want to avail the question-and-answer review service for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. Score review charge for the Analytical Writing section is $55. The fee for the hand-scoring service for the paper-based test multiple-choice questions is $30. The cost for score reinstatement is also $30. The first four reports for ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI) Evaluation are free of cost, after that you need to pay an additional $20 per report. The cost of ETS My Credential Vault Service subscription is $19 for one year. It is probably needless to say that the 50% discount is not available for these services.
ETS also offers a few Fee Reduction Certificates. These work on a first-come, first-served basis, and are available for college seniors and unenrolled college graduates who meet certain eligibility requirements. It enables you to register for the test for half the cost of the actual test. You can avail this service only once, and you can use it for one General Test and/or one Subject Test. You have to pay the full test fees for any additional test you may take. Remember, this Fee Reduction Certificate does not work with the 50% discount offer.
Finally, if you want to cancel your registration, you can ask for a refund of your test fees. In this case, you need to cancel your registration three full days before the test date (excluding the test date). Test takers from Mainland China need to cancel the test 10 full days before the test. You will get a refund of half the amount of your registration fees. However, you need to keep it in mind that this is not applicable for test fees for the computer-based revised general test administered in August or September 2011.
This is all you may need to know about the cost of GRE. Now that you know how much it may cost you to register for the test, and to avail the different services offered by ETS, remember that all the payments should be in US dollars (or in one of these currencies: British pound, Canadian dollar, euro, Japanese yen). Also, cash payments or refunds are not available. However, you have quite a few options for payment, including payments by credit/debit card, check, e-check, via PayPal, etc.