Take the GRE


Why is taking the GRE required?

Taking the GRE is the first step towards achieving your aim of getting admission to a graduate program of your choice. Reputed graduate schools are swamped with applications from candidates who wish to secure admission to the programs of study being offered by them. Apart from your qualifications and other factors like letters of recommendation, the GRE scores earned by you play a pivotal role in deciding whether you are fit for grant of admission or not. The scores earned by you help the admission committees in bringing all the applicants on the same platform irrespective of their educational, social and economical backgrounds. Therefore, you need to take this test and attain good scores if you wish to be picked up the admission committees as a suitable candidate for admission to the graduate program you wish to join.

What is the best method for getting good GRE scores?

As the saying goes, ‘No gain without pain’; you cannot expect to get good GRE scores without putting in effort. Therefore, it is evident that the best way to take the test and succeed in getting good scores involves detailed planning, lots of hard work and thorough studies. However, you need to keep in mind that despite putting in hard work and studying for months, you may not be able to achieve your aim of doing well in the test due to various reasons.

One major reason why you may not be able to get admission to a desired graduate program is low test scores which would be the result of inadequate studies. Apart from being rejected from colleges on the basis of low scores, you need to remember that you are likely to miss your chance of completing your graduate studies from a college of your choice due to any of the following additional mishaps:

  • Your test scores could not reach the intended recipient within the stipulated time frame.
  • You did not have enough time to prepare for the test

As is evident both the above mentioned reasons stem from the probability that you took the test at the wrong time. Therefore, you need to carefully work out the timeframe when it would be best for you to take the test.

When is the best time to take the GRE?

The best time to take the GRE may not necessarily be the same for everyone. This implies that you should not be foolhardy enough to take the test at a particular time just because your friends are also taking it in the same time frame. Your requirements and those of your friends may be entirely different and this calls for a detailed study of your requirements before you can zero on to the date when you should ideally take the test. Given below are some factors that will determine your requirements and the dates which will be the best for you to take the test.

1.The place where you have to take the GRE:

GRE is offered in computer-based format in most of the test centres across the US and in other countries. The computer-based format of the test is offered throughout the year. The paper-based format of the test is conducted at certain test centres where the computer-based format is not available. The paper-based format is conducted up to three times in a year. You will need to check the official website of the test, and identify the test centre where you will have to take the test. If the test centre does not offer the computer-based format of the test, then you can take this test only on three dates in a year. Two of these dates are in the latter half of the year and one of the dates falls in the first half of the year.

What you need to do:

  • You may have to take the test earlier or later than you were planning to if the test centre where you have to take the test does not offer the computer-based test. Check the official website, www.ets.org for details regarding the test centres.
  • Your preparation plan for taking this test is incomplete without identification of the test centre where you will have to take the test. Moreover, it is imperative that you be aware of the format of the test being offered at the test centre where you plan to take the test.

2.The dates by which you require the GRE scores:

The most crucial deciding factor in choosing the best GRE dates is the identification of the dates by which your scores should be in hand. You should contact the colleges where you are applying for admissions and find out the last dates by which your scores should reach them. This information will also be available on their websites.

What you need to do:

  • Visit the official website and find out the likely dates when your score report will be dispatched. This will help you calculate the dates which would be ideal for you for taking the test keeping in mind the last dates for submission of the test scores.
  • Do not forget that most graduate schools and educational institutions that accept GRE scores will have different deadlines for submission of the scores for the process of selection of suitable candidates for admissions. You should spend time in researching and finding out the best time to take the test such that your score report reaches all the recipients well in time.

3.Your knowledge and skill levels in respect of GRE review:

Each person would require a different time frame for adequately preparing for the test depending upon his familiarity with the skills and knowledge being evaluated by the test. Generally, it takes about two to three months of detailed study to be well prepared for taking the test and getting good scores.

What you need to do:

  • Visit the official website and go through the details of the content and the skills that are being tested by the GRE. Carry out a self-assessment by taking a practice test and solving sample questions. Your performance in the practice tests will give you an idea of the amount of time you will need to prepare well for the test.
  • Consider joining prep classes if you feel that you will not be able to prepare well for the test by studying on your own.


You need to keep all the factors in mind for arriving at the best time when you should take the GRE. One single factor cannot decide when you should take this test. For instance, if you feel you need a lot of time to study for the test, this does not mean that you can register for the test whenever you feel you are prepared well enough to get good scores. The date on which you will have to take the test will also depend on other factors like the dates by which your scores are required by the intended recipients, else you will have to wait for another year to get admission to your desired graduate program.

Therefore, it is in your interest that you ignore what your peers may be doing and concentrate on your personal requirements and identify the time slot that will be the best for you to take the test!