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Exam Dates

GRE Exam Date

As you start preparing for GRE, you would also start wondering when to take the test. You have a plethora of options available to you, and it may seem like a daunting task to choose the right GRE exam date. With the right guidance, booking from the correct GRE exam dates (and time slot) can be easy.

GRE Exam Date

To help you through the process, we have compiled the ultimate guide for booking GRE test date. Everything you need to know to book a date, time slot and venue that will allow you to give your best shot at GRE is here.

To begin with, here is a simple 10-step process developed by GREedge to book your GRE Exam Date.

When to book GRE Test Dates?

The obvious place to start is by finding out what are the GRE test dates offered to you. This depends on whether you are planning to take the computer-Based GRE or paper-based test.

Computer-based GRE

  • This is the option preferred by most test takers.
  • Available on all days of the year other than Sundays and holidays
  • The onus is on you to pick from the right GRE exam dates, and we will guide you through the process
  • Most cities have only one test center. Larger cities may have more, but also have many more test takers.
  • This limits the options available to you as on many of the GRE exam dates, seats may not be available in test centers of your choice
  • You will have to choose a date based not just on availability, but also on your circumstances. While the strategy to pick the right date will be discussed later, the factors that come into play include:
    • Application deadlines
    • Distance from test centre of your choice
    • Having enough time to retake test, if needed

Paper-based GRE

  • Available twice a year, in November and February
  • If you would like to take this option, pick a date and book immediately.
  • The GRE exam dates and deadlines for application for 2019-2020 are below:
GRE EXAM DATE REGISTRATION DEADLINE LATE REGISTRATION DEADLINE SCORES AVAILABLE ONLINE SCORE REPORTS MAILED
02/02/19 12/21/18 12/28/18 03/02/19 03/15/19
11/09/19 09/27/19 10/04/19 12/09/19 12/20/19
02/01/20 12/20/19 12/27/19 03/02/20 03/13/20

The most popular time to take the test

Unsurprisingly, the most popular time coincides with the application deadlines for most graduate programs - late summer and fall. If you would like to take your GRE test during this time then you should register for GRE as soon as possible. The closer the GRE test date is to the application deadline, the quicker the slots will get filled up. Remember that test centers for GMAT and medical boards are typically same as GRE test centers, and you would be competing with all of them for a seat.

Another point to consider is that the afternoon slots fill up first. If you are not a morning person and would like to take the test in the afternoon, you need to book the GRE exam date a little earlier than otherwise. Remember it is about your convenience - the test itself wouldn’t be drastically different if you take it in the morning rather than the afternoon.

GRE Registration Process

The discussion up to now would have made it clear that you register for GRE exam as soon as possible. The process varies based on whether you would like to take the paper-based test or the computer-based test.

Register for GRE computer-based test

There is no eligibility criteria to take the GRE exam, so you can register for GRE right away if you wish so. For the GRE computer-based test, registration can be done in two ways:

  1. At the ETS website registration portal.
  2. By calling up the test centre of your choice or Prometric Services at least two days before the GRE exam date.

But before you book GRE date, you will have to create an account on the ETS website. For this, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the “ETS Account” link on the right-hand corner of the ETS registration portal.
  2. On the page that opens, locate and click the “Create an Account” button.
  3. Fill in your information on the form that appears and follow the instructions to create your account.

This would not take more than a few minutes.

You will have to verify your account before you can login to the same. After logging in:

  1. Click on the button “My Tests -> Register/Find Test Centers, Dates”.
  2. On the page that appears next, select “GRE General Test”
  3. Pick the city you would like to take the test to see the GRE available dates.

You would now be able to see the available dates and time slots for a two-month period you choose. The dates highlighted in green are the ones on which a slot is available in or near the city you have selected.

We suggest that you book GRE date 3 months in advance. If you are lucky, you may get a slot that works for you even a month before the date - but it is best to not take the chance of waiting that late.

Once you have selected the GRE exam date and venue, you will be redirected to a page titled “Before You Register for a Test”. Accept the terms to move on. You will also get an option to book accommodation - select the option if needed. After this you pay the fees to register. At the time of writing the fee is $205 in India. The easiest way to pay is through credit or debit card. You can also make the payment in a variety of ways including e-check, paper check, and money order, based on your location.

Register for GRE paper-based test

The process of online registration for GRE paper-based test is pretty much the same as for GRE computer-based test - only difference being that the number of available dates are just 2 per year. But the option to book by phone is not available when you register for GRE paper-based test. Instead, you can book through mail as well - though that is cumbersome and best avoided.

Important tip: Keep your passport ready

Keep your passport handy as it is the most widely accepted ID for GRE. Make sure that the name that you enter when you register for GRE matches the name printed on the passport.

The right time to register for GRE

You should register for GRE as soon as you have decided on the date you would like to take the GRE test on. It is never too early. As a rule of thumb, you would be able to get your preferred test center, date and time slot if you register three to four months in advance.

Remember the GRE exam dates are allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, so the earlier you book greater is the chance that you would get the slot you like, at the venue of your choice.

If you are looking to take the test during the most popular times - like on a Saturday afternoon in August - you would need to book GRE date at least six months in advance.

You are allowed to register for GRE up to a year in advance.

That said, if you are aiming to take the test as soon as possible, you would be able to find a slot within the next month. Only you may not find it in the city of your choice and may have to travel a bit for it.

Now, let us look at how to select the best date to take the test on.

When is the best time to take the GRE?

The possibilities are endless for anyone who wants to take the computer-based GRE test. It can be overwhelming to zero down on a date, so here are a few tips to help you narrow down the choices available to you.

Application deadlines

  1. Once you have decided which programs you would like to apply to, find out what the application deadlines for the same are.
  2. You should book a test slot at least two weeks before the application deadline
  3. If your preparation is getting completed earlier, the best time to take the GRE test is six weeks before the application deadline
  4. The reason for this is to allow you to retake the GRE exam, if needed.
    1. You have to wait for 21 days before you can retake the exam
    2. The scores are delivered to institutes in 10 to 15 days from the GRE exam date

The mantra to keep in mind is: maximize the time available to prepare for the exam but leave yourself enough elbow room to take a re-test, if required.

Other Factors

There are a few other factors that you should keep in mind when selecting the GRE test dates:

  1. How would the fate fit with your other commitments? Are you in a good mental state to perform well on the exam? - if you are under stress because of reasons unrelated to the exam, you may want to consider a later date.
  2. If you retake the test, will the scores be available in time for your application deadlines?
  3. How happy are you with your preparation for the GRE test?

How long should you prepare for GRE?

It depends on your goals and program requirements. That said, it is not difficult to schedule a preparation program based on your schedule

Take a diagnostic test

Take a diagnostic test and see where you stand with respect to your target score for the GRE General Test.

Work backwards

Now, decide on the date you would like to take the exam on and use a calendar to find out how many hours of preparation time is available to you. Basically, take away all the time you would have to give to your school work, commute and any daily activity. Then cut out any dates that you have already committed to something else - attending a friend’s wedding, may be? The remaining hours is the study time you have potentially available.

Be realistic

Now, decide how much of these available hours you would be able to commit to prepare for the GRE test. Be realistic about this and don’t overburden yourself.

Commit to a schedule

Now, build a study schedule that fits your personal schedule. Make sure you stick to the schedule you make as it will determine how well you can score on your test day!

But when exactly to register for GRE exam?

This depends on how early you have started planning for the exam. If you have less than five months for the exam - we would suggest you register as soon as possible. This is because the number of GRE available dates will shrink quickly. But if you are preparing many months before the exam, you should book the date once you start scoring within 5 points of your target score in the mock GRE exams.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the process for GRE registration?

You can register and book a GRE exam date online here. You can call and book a date at 1-443-751-4820, 1-800-GRE-CALL (1-800-473-2255). You will need a credit card or a voucher number for this. To find out how to register through fax or post, visit www.ets.org

2. When do I get my GRE admission ticket?

The admission ticket will be posted to you within three weeks of registration for the GRE. You can also print out your ticket.

3. What documents do I need for GRE registration?

A credit card is sufficient to book a GRE exam date. You will be asked to show your passport on the day of the test as an identification proof.

4. What happens at the test center?

After processing documents and submitting personal items, you can enter the testing room. Calculators are not allowed at the test center. You will be provided a scratch paper for rough work. At any time during the test, if you have a problem with your computer or you need an administrator, raise your hand.

5. How do I cancel or postpone my GRE exam date?

If you cancel your GRE date 3 days before the test, half the fee will be refunded to you. You have to pay US $50 to postpone your test. To cancel or postpone your test visit: Here

6. What is the syllabus of GRE?

GRE has 3 different sections:

  • The Verbal Section
  • The Quantitative section
  • Analytical writing assessment section

To know the entire syllabus of GRE: Click Here

7. How is the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE different from the TOEFL test of written English?

The TOEFL test of written English is focused on evaluating grammar, spelling, vocabulary and syntax. The Analytical Writing Section of the GRE is designed to test higher level of analytical thinking and writing skills.

8. What word processor is provided for Analytical Writing Section?

A basic word processor with features like text writing, editing and cut and paste is provided for analytical writing section. You cannot copy text. However, you can work around this by cutting and pasting the text in both places. There is no spell check feature.

9. When are GRE scores reported?

You can see your unofficial Verbal and Quant score at the test center, right after the test. The Analytical writing section score and the official score is sent to you after 10 to 15 days.

10. What is PowerPrep?

PowerPrep is a GRE practice software provided by ETS. It contains two GRE practice tests. You can also find GRE practice tests and lessons after signing up at GREedge.

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