Exams Know-how

Best time to take the GRE exam for Fall and Spring 2021

Yocket Editorial Team
Best time to take the GRE exam for Fall and Spring 2021 Image

The Graduate Record Examination or the GRE takes place almost every weekend throughout the year. There are multiple centers in major cities that you can choose from as your exam center.

So, what is the best time to take GRE? There is no best time! The best time to take the GRE is "whenever you’re ready!" It’s a good thing that takes place all year long!

Generally, aspirants who plan to start studying abroad in Fall, take the GRE in March-October of the previous year. This means that if I wish to study abroad in Fall 2021, then I should have taken the GRE by October 2020.

The GRE score is valid for five years so it’s alright if you take the GRE a little early.

When Should I take the GRE?

You should take the GRE based on the type of applicant you are. The best time to take GRE is as follows:

  1. Penultimate Year for Students: Students should take the GRE in their penultimate year of study. This means that if you plan on studying abroad directly after graduating, then you should take the GRE in the second last year of college.

  2. Any Time for Working Professionals: As a working professional, you may not get a lot of time to sit and study for the GRE. You can study during free hours or over the weekends. One piece of advice to you would be to take multiple practice tests. Any time you feel like you’re ready to take the test, you can book the test date. Keep in mind the deadlines though.

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When to give the GRE exam for Spring intake?

For someone looking to apply for the Spring intake, you should give your GRE at least 12 months prior to the starting date of your program. Meaning, if I wish to enroll in Spring 2021, I should have my GRE scores ready by February 2020!

When is the best time to give GRE for Fall 2021?

For Fall 2021, It is suggested you start preparing now and start giving mock tests. The ideal time for taking both exams (GRE & TOEFL) in May/June 2020. Start shortlisting your universities in March/April 2020 and complete your SOPs/LORs by Aug which Yocket Premium can assist you with. This is the ideal timeline that should be followed, and not to miss any deadlines.

The GRE score is valid for 5 years and the TOEFL score is valid for two years from the date of examination. You can give your exams when you feel confident. The dates of the examination are flexible and frequent.

Additionally, explore this video that talks about the right time to take GRE with a timeline to apply for MS in US.

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Why should you take the GRE so much time before applying?

Reasons for taking GRE so much before application to universities :

  1. If you’re not happy with your score, you still have plenty of time to study for and retake the test.

  2. GRE scorecards take about 2 weeks to be generated. On the test day, your Verbal and Quants score is given to you. However, your AWA score is generated in your final scorecard. You have to submit this official scorecard through ETS during your application process.

  3. You need to submit official scores via ETS to universities. ETS takes anywhere between 5 days to 3 weeks to send your official scores to the university. Further, the university may take a week or so to reflect that they have received your score.

  4. A lot of priority deadlines are in November or December. Therefore, it is important to have your scores ready and sent to the university before the deadline. Even if the deadline isn’t until later, you can always be an early applicant!

  5. You also need time to prepare for and give the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE exam. The report generation and submission to universities also take 2 weeks each.

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What is a major problem that I might face while deciding when to give the GRE?

A problem that you may face after deciding when to take the GRE is not getting your preferred test centre or your preferred date. Especially during application time, it becomes quite difficult to get a preferred centre for a preferred date. That is why you should book your test date and centre well in advance.

As your exam date nears, if you feel like you’re not prepared to take the GRE, then you can reschedule your test date, but you will have to pay a fee of $50 or an additional $190 if you reschedule within 3 days of the exam date.

Is it easier if I take the GRE at the end of the month?

This is a common misconception that if you take the test at the end of the month, then the questions are easier or repeated. None of this is true. The GRE exam is a completely adaptive test that generates questions according to your performance. Some questions may get repeated, but that has nothing to do with the time of the month. It’s just luck.

Therefore, you should book your test date only according to whether you are prepared to take the exam, and not silly and untrue “facts”. However, do keep in mind the deadlines for your course.

You can ask questions on GRE preparation and clear doubts by discussions!

To help you with your GRE preparation, we have also launched features such as GRE Flashcards and GRE Prep so that you can ace the GRE. It is completely free and is available on the Yocket mobile app (available for both: Android and iOS). Make sure to check them out!!