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GRE Test Dates

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GRE Test Dates [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2017, 14:15
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GRE Test Dates 2018

We get a lot of questions from new members about GRE Test Dates.
In most locations, GRE is administered on the computer at authorized ETS test centers. Unlike SAT or ACT, Computer-based GRE test does not have set dates - you can book your appointment and take the test at any of the available times. Usually test centers will be open 6 days a week.

However, some locations offer paper-based test if you prefer this option. Paper test is available only 3 times a year:
  • Oct 7, 2017
  • Nov 4, 2017
  • Feb 3, 2018
You can find the full listing of countries that have the paper-based test here. Most applicants prefer the computer format, however, and by far, most take the computer-based GRE.

When to Book?

Not having a specific date is a good and a bad thing at the same time. Some procrastinate and take the test at the last possible moment. My advice is to book about a month or 3 weeks in advance. You should have a pretty good idea where you are in terms of your scores and should know your plans/logistics. Keep in mind that test centers may get booked out in advance of the fall/spring deadlines and that the same test center may offer other tests. If you are taking your test and have inflexible schedule, book early, or check weekly to monitor availability.

If the test center of your choice is booked out, you can always look at other cities/locations within reasonable distance. You can also check availabity in the morning, afternoon and evening - people cancel and availability opens up, esp up until 4 days before the target date.

When Should I take the GRE?

Ideally you would take the Test a few months before the application deadlines. This will give you the time to collect and submit the application for your programs as well as an option to retake the test should you have to do that. Keep in mind that you can only retake every 21 days. Little known fact is that many programs accept applications with GRE scores taken up until the day before the deadline - this varies by University/Program.

Can I reschedule GRE?

You have up until 4 days before the test to reschedule your computer test for a flat fee of $50.
More about rescheduling from the ETS Official Page

Is there Ideal Time to Take the GRE?

I took my test in the morning because I perform best in the morning. However, if you are a few hours away from the test center or you are a night owl, you can usually get an afternoon appointment. Try to watch your performance and spot when you do your best work - is it early or in te Noon time slot or perhaps closer to 3 or 4 pm?

How Long Should You Prep For?

This is probably the biggest mistake people make - miscalculating how long they should prep for. It is not under-preparing actually but extending prep time over a long period of time such as 6, 9, or 12 months. This is the biggest reason for getting a low GRE score. Test-takers stretch out their prep into months and several things happens: 1) They lose the momentum 2) We forget what we learn within a few weeks and if we refresh then within a few months, so to remember something you have learned 6 or 9 months ago, you have to refresh it every month or so - by 9 month mark, you are spending 75% on refreshing and 25% on learning 3) People procrastinate and put things off. My recommendation - set your goal and build a study plan that spans 3 months. You can take up to 4 if you need to. Try to study during the best time (for me it was from 6 to 8 AM so that I could be at work at 9 - 2 hours of active study time is all it took, but it was highly productive high quality time). The during the day while you are commuting or eating lunch, you can do vacab flashcards or review formulas. (Review this post for Vocab Resources: gre-vocabulary-resources-28.html)

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Last edited by bb on 29 Oct 2017, 05:58, edited 2 times in total.
GRE Test Dates   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2017, 14:15
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