The Graduate Records Examination is an admission test for graduate and professional schools. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree, specialised masters in business, M.B.A or a doctoral degree, or you’re just exploring your options of a higher degree. Taking the GRE is an excellent move towards showing admission panels or fellowship panels your best.
The GRE general test can either be taken as a computer-based test or as a paper-based test in places where the computer-based test is not available. The test allows the examinee to moves back and forth between questions within each section, mark questions within a section for later review and the examined person performance on an earlier area determines the difficulty of subsequent sections.
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) own and administer the GRE. ETS does not release scores that are older than five years, although it can vary depending on graduate program policies on the acceptance of scores older than five years.
The vital question most aspirants ask and are confused about is; “When can I take the GRE?”– The computer-based GRE is administered year-round at Prometric test centres; It is available in more than 1,000 test centres in more than 160 countries worldwide. Also on some specific dates, there are additional test centres outside the Prometric centres. In most areas of the world, the test can be taken continuously throughout the year. In mainland China, Taiwan China, Hong kong China and in Korea, the test is available up to three times per month.
The GRE Test is taken Once every 21 days, and this can be up to five times within one year (365 days/ 12 months). Even if you had cancelled your scores on a test taken previously you’re eligible to take this test still once every 21 days, up to five times. So you can take the GRE test when you feel prepared.
For aspirants asking ‘When can I take the GRE?’ And preparing for the exams. To make the best decision towards when to take the GRE test, there are some things you have to take into consideration and keep in mind during the process;
When to Take the GRE Based on Test Dates Available
Though the GRE test is available all year round, the exact dates available are going to depend on what type of GRE test you’re going to take, between the; Computer-based GRE and Paper-based GRE. The computer-based test is available once every 21 days up to five times in any rolling 12 month period. Also, the computer-based test result is reported after approximately 10- 15 days. As of April 7, 2020, the ETS made the GRE available at home in places where the computer-delivered GRE is general, except in mainland China and Iran. The computer-based test availability is only limited by the number of seats available on a given day.
The paper-based tests are available twice a year in November and February, and the paper-based test result takes about six weeks to mail out. The 2019-2020 examination was held on November 9, 2019, and February 1, 2020.
Since the GRE is available all year round, there is no rush to sign up for the test date months in advance. You can take the test when your academic calendar is less busy if you’re still a student Or when you’re well prepared.
When to Take the GRE Based on Graduate School Application Deadlines
While considering when to take GRE, the Application Deadlines of graduate schools is an essential factor to note. Most programs application deadlines are in December and January. Therefore, you should aim to complete your application by the beginning of December or January, depending on which month the deadline falls. If the Application Deadline is in December, it is better to write the exams in August, September or October. That way if you want or need to retake the test, you’ll have enough time to prepare some more and take it. It is not a good idea to take the test in November because you have up to 21 days to wait before you can take the test a second time if you want to.
If you’re not planning on applying soon, then take your time to prepare efficiently ahead of the exams. There is no rush if you don’t have a graduate school deadline to meet up with.
When to Take the GRE Based on Occupation
Not every aspirant for the GRE test is presently a student. Some are professionals, parents, CEO’s and generally, people who have had some time outside the school system and have decided to return to graduate school.
If you’re one of them and you’re asking ‘When can I take the GRE’ then it’s essential to know that after some time out of school, you have to take out an amount of time dedicated to prepare for the test. Even though everyone is different, it is necessary to take the test when you’re less busy.
Since the test can be taken all year round it’s all up to you to decide the time of the year you’re less busy and schedule your test for that period. Consider what you do, consider your state of mind and consider how much work you’ve put into preparing for the exam. Give yourself ample time to prepare and plan for the possibility to retake another one if you need to.
If you’ve decided when to take the GRE then you can you’ll need to create an account on the ETS website whether it’s the computer-based test or physical-based test. There are GRE prep courses which can help you prepare better for the test of the exam. The GRE prep courses can be online/self-paced, Online/instructor-led, in-person or a combination. And there are free GRE practice tests available online that guide you on areas to study, gives you a baseline score that keeps you aware of your progress and helps you work harder on areas of weaknesses.