A lot of applicants prefer to apply for the GRE ahead of graduate school for different reasons. But what you should keep in mind as an applicant is that, the GRE result is not one you can use at just anytime. How long the GRE score is valid is for five years. Therefore, if you take a GRE test on the 1st of July 2020, it will be useful for five years. This means that it will automatically expire on the 30th of June, 2025.
The implication of this is that it will not only become invalid but will be deleted from the ETS record completely. After this happens, an applicant will no longer be able to have access to his/her test scores. It is best to put into consideration the time of taking the test and how long the GRE test score will remain valid for use.
How Often Can the GRE Test Be Retaken?
Whether or not you cancel your previously taken test, you can only retake the test once every 21 days. This is five times a year. Therefore, if you take a test on the 1st of July 2020, you can only retake the test after 21 days. This means that you can retake the test on the 22nd of July, 2020. And so the cycle continues.
The validity of any of the results of the GRE you have taken is for five years only. So no matter which of the results you choose to make use of, its validity will be calculated from the time you took that same test up to five years. If it expires, you may need to retake the test. But it should be noted that every year, you cannot take the test more than a total number of five times.
Why are GRE Scores Valid for Five Years?
Every applicant has a different story. The ETS has put this into consideration, which is why they have made the GRE scores valid for up to five years. Not everyone is ready to apply for a graduate program immediately after taking the test. Some applicants prefer to take some time off school and academic work before applying for graduate school.
The ETS keeps the record of the scores of the GRE applicants on a file for five years. No graduate school will accept a GRE result that is invalid. So it depends on when an applicant takes the test. The five-year request will be activated, starting from the date the test was taken. Once the scores have expired, it will no longer be available on the ETS record, and you can never get it back. The next step is to retake the test if you still haven’t made use of it at the time of its expiration.
If an applicant gets to send the score to a school even though it is very close to expiring, it will still be valid. This is because, once you send the scores to the school, it remains there. It will not disappear because it has already been sent to the school you are applying for. However, schools differ as to how recent GRE scores should be, before applying for admission into their school. For instance, some schools may require you to use with a GRE result not more than two years old.
Why Do GRE Scores Expire?
The main aim of the GRE is to test an applicant’s ability in three areas. The areas of Verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning and Analytical writing. Schools, in turn, make the GRE scores a requirement for admission. This is done based on an applicant’s performance in this test and the school’s criteria for admission. It is to aid in the objective selection of suitable candidates to be awarded an entry into the graduate institution. However, a lot can happen to the level of an applicant’s knowledge over some time. Hence, the invalidation of GRE scores anything beyond five years.
The competence of a fresh college graduate will be different from his competence five years later. For instance, if such an application does nothing with regards to arithmetic, then it is sure that his knowledge of quantitative reasoning will have depreciated. A person may have acquired new skills which would make him score much higher grades than he scored five years ago. So it goes both ways.
Therefore, your score from five years ago will not truly represent your current ability. This goes against the aim of the GRE and admissions into schools generally, because those scores are not genuinely meaning your current knowledge.
Another probable reason why the GRE scores expire is that every couple of years, the ETS tends to revise the GRE syllabus. They may add or remove individual sections to evaluate certain specific skills. So what you were tested on five years ago may be different from what applicants are being tested on now. Besides, nothing is static except change itself. For applicants who wish to further their studies after graduate school, but whose GRE scores have expired, it is scarce for schools to ask for GRE scores when you already have an advanced degree.
How long the GRE score is valid depends on several factors that eventually makes the validity. Such factors could include; the automatic invalidity clause after five years set by the ETS, requirement of the school you are applying to, time of taking the test, and so many other factors.
This is to determine the validity of your GRE test score. The ETS has set this law to adapt to the fast changes in the society. And also the GRE to the changing academic system. As an applicant, you will need to put all these factors into consideration. It will be disheartening to have a fantastic GRE test score that will either end up being useless or will not be accepted by the school you are applying for. I hope you find this very helpful for you.