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Preparing for GRE

You may have infallible plans for preparing for the GRE, but all your planning will go for a six if you take this exam at an inopportune time or if you are not aware of how to sign up for the exam. Therefore, the most important points to be kept in mind for signing up are

  • You should be very clear about the time which would be the best for you to take the GRE.
  • There are various modes for sign up. Find out the one that works for you and utilize that method for your registration.

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Method for Signing up for the GRE

A very important aspect of taking the GRE is to be absolutely clear about the method you are going to employ for sign up. Your method for registration is dependent upon various factors. Look for the answers to the following questions:

  • Are you going to take the computer-based or the paper-based GRE?
  • Are you going to take the GRE in the US and US Territories or from some other country?
  • Have you requested for any health-related accommodations or any other concessions?
  • Do you have easy access to the internet?
  • What will be the easiest mode of payment for you for paying the registration fee?

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Your answers to these questions will help you arrive at the method that would be the best for you as far as registration is concerned. You should go to the official website of GRE, for detailed information on the different ways for registration. A brief description of how you can sign up for the test is given in the following paragraphs.

Paper-based GRE sign up:

The following options are available for signing up for the paper-based GRE which is offered at those test centres where the computer-based version of the GRE is not available.

  • Online GRE sign up: You can register for the GRE from the internet by going to the official website and creating your own account. You can then use this account for signing up for GRE and you can pay the registration fee using a credit/debit card or an E-check. You will have to keep in mind that certain students are debarred from online registration; some such test-takers would be the ones who have requested for accommodations due to health-related disabilities or have requested for fees concession etc.
  • By mail: You can carry out your registration by mail also. Go to the official website and download the Registration Form. Simply fill up the form and mail it to the addressee whose name is printed on the form. You will have to make the payment using a certified check or money order.

Computer-based GRE sign up:

If the test centre where you have to take the GRE offers the computer-based vesion, then you can carry out your registration using different methods that are dependent upon the location where you will be taking the GRE.

Taking the computer-based GRE in the United States, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico or Canada:

  • Online: You will have to create a “My GRE” account at the official website and then sign up through that account.
  • By phone: Visit the official website and find out the contact details of the test centre where you have to take the test. You can call up the centre directly or call the Prometric® Candidate Services Call Centre at 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-473-2255 and register. You will be given a confirmation number and the reporting time when you call.
  • By mail: Go to the official website and download the “Authorization Voucher Request Form”. The address of the recipient to whom the completed form is to be mailed is printed on the form. Complete the form and mail it to the intended recipient.

Taking the computer-based GRE outside the United States:

  • Online: You can carry out your registration from the official website of GRE.
  • By phone: Get the contact details of your Regional Registration Centre from the official website or from Call up the Regional Registration Centre that is applicable for your area of residence and register for the test.
  • By mail: Go to the official website and download the “Authorization Voucher Request Form”. Fill up the form and mail it to the address printed on the form.
  • By Fax: You can also carry out your registration by downloading, completing and faxing the International Test Scheduling Form to the Regional Registration Centre that is applicable for your location. This should be done at least 7 days before the test date.

The Correct Time for GRE Sign Up

The correct time to sign up for the GRE cannot be the same for everyone. You will need to ask yourself certain questions and your answers to these questions will help you arrive at the time that would be the best for you to register for the exam. Given below are some such questions with a brief explanation of how they will affect your choice of time for registration.

When do you need your GRE scores?

Your GRE scores will be required to be submitted to the graduate schools to which you have applied for admissions. Find out the last date for submission of the scores and also the date by which you will receive your scores. The date on which your scores will be dispatched is dependent upon the date on which you took the GRE. This information is available on the official website. Get all the relevant information and work backwards to arrive at the date on which you should register for the GRE so that you are able to take the test at the correct time.

What is the level of your preparation for taking the GRE?

Do not rush into signing up for the GRE if you are not sure of your preparedness for taking the test. Study well for the test and analyze the additional amount of time you will need to fine tune your weaknesses with respect to the content being tested by the GRE. Register for the test after leaving aside the time that you will require for being thoroughly prepared for taking the GRE.

What is the format of the GRE that you have to take?

The computer-based GRE is conducted round the year, but the paper-based GRE is conducted only three times in a year. Contact the test centre where you have to take the exam and find out the format of the test being offered. Accordingly, you will have to adjust the dates when you register for the GRE.

Always remember...

You should always keep in mind that the policies for the conduct of GRE in your location might change from time to time and so you should keep yourself abreast with the latest situation. For instance, it is not necessary that all test centres will be available on all test dates. Therefore, you should visit the official website regularly and keep yourself updated about all recent developments as these could affect your plans for registration.

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