GRE Test Schedule

GRE test schedule and how it matters to you

Well, now that you have decided to study abroad, you must be aware of the different tests you need to answer, to qualify for your chosen program and GRE is one of them. Yes you read it right GRE Graduate Record Examination the one conducted by Education Testing Service. You will require these scores for graduate programs in quantitatively demanding fields such as Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering. With a backing of 60 years of research, GRE general test is a proven tool for assessing ability and predicting performance.

“OK, so when is this GRE scheduled?” Well, computer based tests are conducted on a continuous basis around the world and in those areas, where the computer based test is unavailable; the paper based test will be administered three times in a year.

“GRE schedule is on different dates so how do I know which right date to select? “ If you are studying outside your home country then you should be aware that different schools have different admission deadlines. Although scores are valid for five years it is better to consider giving your scores for admission procedures as early as possible. Besides if you attempt the test more than once, then the higher scores will be considered for admission procedures. If you have decided on your prospective schools then you should try to find as to when they need your scores, then accordingly you can decide on your test date. The schedule for the revised format of the GRE test will begin from the 1st August 2011 for the computer based test, while the first revised general paper based test will be on October 22nd 2011. Whether you are deciding to give a revised paper based test or the computer based revised test the following table will give you a fair idea on when you should take the test.

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

“Are you clear on the schedule of GRE?” Then try to register as early as possible. Though the computer based General Test is available the whole year round your appointments will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis. When you register, besides the payment of the fees, you also have to fill in a form with your particulars. All this takes about three days, if at all you are late for registering then you have to pay an additional amount as a fine. For more details on the registration procedure log on to the official website of ETS

Scores for either of these tests can be viewed online or you can wait to receive an official score report by ETS via your mail or if not anything just pick up your phone and ask.

You can retake the revised test, either computer based or paper based, only once every 60 days. You will not be allowed to take the test for more than five times in a year. This is applicable even if you have cancelled your scores on a previously taken test but if you take the paper based revised General test then you can take it as often as you like.

Now after reading all this are you still unsure if answering the GRE is worth the matter? Especially when you know that some schools couldn’t care less about the GRE scores, it’s your work experience, reference letters and your graduate school performance that counts and you should make it to the school of your choice even with bad test scores.

Well, it might not matter to you but it definitely matters to those who have to sieve through thousands of applications to find the right candidates for their graduate or business schools. There are some schools which might not consider the GRE scores and there are still some who might overlook the verbal section of the score. Some schools might prefer your GRE percentiles for better comparison of your ability. But more and more graduate and business schools are recognizing the importance of the test as a platform to find the best among the rest. Apparently, research has shown a positive correlation between poor test scores and poor performance at graduate schools. They however could not find much of a correlation between good test scores and success at graduate school. Seriously ,if you intend to apply to the top tier schools like MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Stanford, Harvard, then let me tell you that most top tier schools have a cutoff for their first round of selection, where they will consider your application only if it is above their cutoff. If your score is slightly below the cutoff then maybe they will give your application a brief glance to see if they missed out anything good, if it is way below the cutoff then consider retaking the test that is if you want nothing but the best schools to enroll into. If you are not the finicky kind then it is better to apply to a lot of schools as you never know who values what the most.

On a personal note GRE should matter as it gives you a fair idea on where you stand with the rest of the crowd around the world and since competition is only getting tougher, your scores should help you glide through your college of choice, not scrounge through. Remember there are 675,000 people taking the test from 230 countries and the number as well as the competition keeps on increasing each year.

What about the students appearing for the revised test in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea? The good news is that you no longer have to take the current split test administration; instead, you will be able to take the entire test on computer in one session, on the same day. Well does that sound like a big relief? The GRE  schedule for the revised format in these regions will begin from August 6th, 2011. There will be 1-2 test dates scheduled for each month, beginning on August 2011. For more information on the test schedule and test centers in your location log on to the ETS website. For those answering outside these regions check in the Official website on what kind of format i.e. paper based or computer based test is available in your location. Plan well ahead on what and how to go about your registration so that you are tension -free to study for the same.