GRE Test Dates
GRE test dates that suit your schedule
How to choose a GRE test date that suits your schedule?
Choosing test dates of GRE is very easy. The test is usually offered throughout the year, and all you need to do to secure your place is to know a test center nearby and register for the test before all seats are filled up for a particular day. Yet, depending on where you live in, what time of the year you intend to take the test and which format of the test you are taking, you may need to consider a few things.
Two things to remember before you choose a GRE test date:
First, you need to know when you shall need the scores of the test. You might be aware that the GRE test has been revised recently, and the new test will begin from August 2011. Initially, the scores of the revised version of the test will not be out within 10-15 days of the test. In fact, you shall not get your scores before mid-November. Therefore, to know when you need your scores is the most significant step in choosing your test date. If you think you might need your scores before, you must take the test before 1st August. GRE website provides detailed information on when to expect your test scores depending on when you intend to take the test. Score reporting will resume to normal on and after November 29, 2011. If you want to take the test after that time, you shall get your scores within 10-15 days of the test.
Second, you must decide which version of the test you intend to appear for, and whether or not that is offered in your locality. If you are taking the computer-based test, it is much easier for you to choose a date for the test, because the computer-based test is administered all year-round in US, Canada and most other countries all over the world. On the other hand, if you are taking the test from a region where the computer-based test is not available, you must take the paper-based test. In that case you need to know on which dates the test center you choose will remain open. This is because not all test centers will be open on all the test dates ETS offers. Hence, first you need to know on which dates ETS offers the test, and then you need to check whether or not the test center you choose will remain open on that day.
Some useful information:
There are a few other things you need to know about the test dates. Seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. That is why if you think you must take the test on a certain date, you better register beforehand. If you take the test only in the paper-based format, you can take it as often as the authorities administer the test. Otherwise you cannot take the test more than once in 60 days. Also, you cannot take it more than five times a year. You can settle a test date by registering for the test either online, or via phone call or by sending mail to ETS. If you choose to register through mail, you can download the request form from the website of the test. If you are from outside the US, you have an additional choice of registering through fax, along with the other options. If you register online for the paper-based test, you have the option for late registration with additional fees. This is available for one week after the regular registration period ends. Outside US, the computer-based general test may not be offered everyday on all centers, so you need to check which dates are offered by the center you choose. If you intend to take the GRE Subject Test, you can register for it either online or by mail. In this case you should be careful enough to register early enough so the free practice materials that ETS sends reach you before the test date. You can take the Subject Test as many times as it is offered in your region.
What if you need to change the GRE test Date?
Finally, if you intend to cancel or reschedule your test date, you need to do that at least three full days (10 days in Mainland China) before the test, of course, excluding the test date; otherwise your test fee will be forfeited. You need to remember that test fees for August or September test dates are not refundable; if your test date is before or after that, you will be refunded half your test fee.
Have time to study
Once you make up your mind on taking the GRE test, along with gathering information about the test dates, you need to be careful about your test preparation. The point here is that you need a fair amount of time to study before you can sit for the test. Now that you know that you have quite a few options for fixing a date for the test, it is important that you be aware of the time you might need to be well prepared for the test. As mentioned above, it is possible to reschedule your test, but it is never a good thing even to be in need of that. Generally, it is assumed that one should prepare for at least 3-4 months before the exam date, but as you might understand, it depends on the individual students. Obviously, it is up to you to decide how long you may need to study before taking the test, but considering the amount of practice students usually need, you should be a bit sparing in fixing your schedule. The time you have for preparation before the test can also be determined by the time when you need your scores, so keep that, too, in mind.
Finally, choose a test date that suits your schedule
Now that you have enough information about what you need to know before deciding on a test date, choose a date that suits your schedule. Always remember to check the GRE website for updates in their schedule. The dates and centers lists that the website provides are updated on a monthly basis, so double check before you finally register.