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Date for GRE Exam

How the GRE Exam Date Matter To You

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The early bird gets the worm! After having understood what GRE is all about, where GRE can take you in your career, the test sections for GRE that are administered and how to achieve a good score you have arrived at the crucial point of deciding your exam date. The general test is divided into three broad components, analytical writing, quantitative and verbal reasoning sections. All the three sections are administered on the same day. The duration of the test is around 4 hours. The tests are available in two versions one version is the computer based test which is available in most of the test centers around the world. The other version is the paper based test which is available in locations (countries) where computer facilities are not available. Paper based tests are available only for certain times in a calendar year. While registering you have to check for the version of the test available for your location and proceed to selecting the exam date.

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Why You Should Plan your GRE Exam Date?

The first step is to book your exam date for GRE. You need to know how well you are prepared and which semester you wish to apply in the grad school. The test is available around the year. Most application deadlines for fall are usually mid-December to mid-January. It is important for you to plan a date to take the test so that the scores are available with you during this time. Registering early and planning to schedule an exam date for scores availability during fall semester will also help you to concentrate on the test preparation. It is important to note that most of the grad schools will close receiving applicants by mid-February. The grad schools have their own policies regarding how they treat their scores like, some schools require a high score, but other schools consider an average score. As a test taker you have to achieve a high score to earn admission in your favorite grad school. Also, remember the scores are valid for a period of 5 years, if you have achieved a high score you can use it at a later stage for admission.

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Process to be followed in selecting the GRE Exam Date

The tests are conducted by Educational Testing services (ETS) all through the year so the exam date is available all through the year. You can select a date to suit your convenience; the following points provide you with hints on registration information and exam date process online:

  • Find out the test format available in your location. For this you can check with the official website (
  • Register for the test after checking the exam schedule. The GRE Information and Registration bulletin can be downloaded for free from the link, This document gives you complete details about the test and Test Scheduling forms.
  • Registration can be done online or by phone or fax or mail. For registering online, you have to create an account with website and complete your profile. Pay the required fees and schedule your exam date.
  • The exam centers and available dates in your location can be selected and scheduled online. The exam date scheduling involves a few steps to complete.
    1. Check for your preferred test center in your location
    2. Choose the exam date of your choice at your selected center
    3. Make the payment using your credit card or other methods accepted by ETS
    4. Get your confirmation voucher number
    5. Contact the test center to confirm your appointment for the test
  • If you are taking the paper based test,
    1. Check if the paper based test is available in your location
    2. Follow the processes for registration online
    3. Schedule your exam date after obtaining the available dates in your location from the link,

How to Plan your Date for the GRE test

Generally the best date to take the test is to take it at least couple of months prior to the last date for application submission in the schools you have short-listed. In case you wish to retake the test for improving your scores you still have some time left to improve your score. Whether you take the computer-based test or the paper based test you cannot take the test more than 5 times in a calendar year. Note this policy applies even if you have cancelled your test taken previously.

Set your GRE Exam Date in Advance

Many graduate schools receive applicants as long as the applicant will take the test before their application submission deadline. Hence it becomes important to plan the exam date in advance. For example, if the application deadline for a grad school is set for midnight of October 31, you need to have your test score ready for your application to be considered. Normally the GRE scores will be available to you after around 4 weeks from the test date. You can choose the option of providing instructions to ETS to send your score directly to the grad school of your choice. ETS offers score delivery free of cost to up to 4 schools of your choice. This detail can be filled at the time of registration for the exam. The important point to note here is that a good score is required by you to match the score set by the grad school of your choice for your application to be considered. The complete policy details related to GRE exams, dates, registration, fees, test cancellation, test rescheduling, etc can be found from the official ETS website (


Your test timing depends on many factors that are discussed earlier. To quickly summarize, plan your time required for preparation, register for the test and schedule an exam date, confirm with your test center, get your test score at least one month in advance to submit application in your favorite grad school. Most of the grad schools start their session by fall each year. Hence there will be a heavy rush for obtaining the exam dates during the months starting August till October. If you want to take the new session in fall, as a test taker you have to choose your GRE date carefully considering all the factors and the time required to fulfill the milestones required for each factor. 

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