GRE Exam Dates

How to Select GRE Exam Dates

675,000 students from as many as 230 countries use GRE as a platform to perform to the best of their ability to gain access to top graduate or business programs within U.S. or other English speaking countries. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test which is unbiased in its selection of its potential candidates to higher graduate or business programs. GRE, from August 2011, onwards will be a redesigned version of the old format. This makes the test not only student friendly but also gives a truer picture of a student’s ability.

Nature of the Exam: GRE exam is of two types

  1. Computer based Revised General GRE Test
  2. Paper based Revised General GRE Test

There is also a subject based test which is optional. The dates for both these tests are allotted at different times of the year. You can select the appropriate date  according to your requirements.

When you decide to answer the test, you should be sure whether you want to answer the paper based test or the computer based test. You can answer paper based test in your location only if there is no computer based test available. The revised test design and question types for paper based test are modified appropriately in a linear test form. Besides, you should remember that once you have decided you cannot exchange the testing fees and registrations between the paper based test and the computer based test.

How to Select GRE Exam Date:

Computer based Revised GRE Exam Dates: The computer based test is held throughout the year. You should check out the admission deadline of your prospective schools from their website before deciding on the appropriate exam date. Your scores will be reported within 10-15 days after the selected the exam date. The score reporting dates given below should help you decide on your date for computer based revised test.

Computer based GRE revised General Exam dates Approximate Score reporting dates
August 1st- September 8th, 2011 November 8th,2011
September 9th –October 2nd, 2011 November 10th, 2011
October 3rd – October 15th,2011 November 17th, 2011
October 16th-November 18th,2011 December 1st, 2011
November 19th-November 28th,2011 December 8th, 2011
November 29th,2011 or later 10-15 days after the test date

One advantage the computer based test has over the paper based test is that you can immediately view your scores online. This gives you an idea on how you performed on the test and whether you need to cancel your scores and select a fresh exam date.

Selection of GRE exam date between August– November: If you are selecting your exam date between August1, 2011 and November 30, 2011 then your unofficial verbal reasoning and Quantitative reasoning scores on the new score scale will not be available for viewing at the test center. Instead of that you will be able to view your performance on the previous score scale of 200- 800.

Selection of GRE exam date, December, 2011 or later: If you are selecting your exam date on December or any time later then you will be able to view your unofficial verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning scores at the test center on the new score scale of 130- 170 in one point increments. However, you will not be able to view your analytical writing scores at the time you test because of the essay scoring process.

You will not be provided with any printed copies of your unofficial score report.

You cannot attempt the computer based test more than five times in a year i.e. You can retake a test only once in every sixty days. This is applicable even if you have cancelled the scores on a previously taken test.

Paper based Revised GRE Test: The exam  for the revised paper based test will begin from October, 2011. The paper based test occurs three times in a year and unlike the computer based test you can attempt the paper based test any number of times. Your score reports will be mailed approximately six weeks after the chosen exam date.

Paper based revised GRE Exam dates Approximate score reporting dates
October 22nd, 2011, December 2nd,2011
November 19th,2011 December 30th,2011
February 11th,2012 March 23rd,2012

You can also find out about your scores by phone for a fee of US $12

As soon as you decide on your GRE date, register as early as possible. Appointments are on first come first served basis, so the earlier you register the higher your chances of getting the test center and the date that you have selected. Late registration will not only lessen your chances of getting the desired date and test center but you will also end up paying a late fee of U.S.$23 along with your regular fee. You should keep checking the online registration system for the latest update on the various test centers as not all the test centers are open on all the dates.

Testing from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and Korea: If you are testing from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and Korea, you can take the entire test on the computer (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing sections) in one session, on the same day, instead of the current split test administration. The  revised test will be administered at least one or two times per month. You will also pay the test fees according to the international fee structure.

How to Select the Right GRE Exam Date: Considering the fact that you have decided to answer the test to pursue your higher studies, you must be clear on your prospective schools, you want to take admission into. The above dates indicate the approximate date when your scores will be reported. These scores have to reach your prospective schools before the admission deadline, so your selection of date is critical to your admission process. It is important that you zero in on at least four schools, as you will be asked to assign four score recipients when you register or on the day of your test. If you want to pursue graduate program then you need to find out if you need to answer the subject based test.

Importance of GRE Scores: Answering GRE is only one of the parameters considered for admission process, besides this, your GPA (Grade Point Average), letters of recommendation, your work experience etc all are important when applying for admission. While some schools may consider test scores as an important criterion for their selection procedures, others may not consider it that important and since different schools give importance to different parameters for admission process, apply to as many schools as possible. However, for top business schools such as Stanford, MIT, your scores do matter.

GRE Score Validity: Officially GRE scores are valid for five years but universities would not like to consider scores which are older than two years so it is better to plan your exam  at least a year before you plan to go for any higher studies. After all it’s never too early to plan for your future.