How to send GRE and TOEFL scores?

Sending the GRE and TOEFL scores to the Universities during the application process can be tricky. Below are some FAQs and common mistakes made by students during the process:

[1] If the University does not want the test scores do I still send them?
Good and reputed universities will always want them. So, if you have a good score, then please do send it. It will work in your favor.

[2] I had given the university name during the exam time. Do I still need to send the score again?

No. If you gave the right university and right department code, then it is not required. But to be on the safer side, it is highly recommended you contact the department and reconfirm with them that they have received it. If not, then you may have to send the scores again.

[3] Selecting the codes.

While reporting your scores, you have to choose two codes – University code and Department Code. This should be available on the University website – either in the FAQs or application guidelines or admissions page. For example, Georgia Tech CS department mentions it on their website –

For GRE: Institute Code: 5248; Department Code: 0402.

For TOEFL: Institute Code: 5248; Department Code: 78.

[4] What if you do not find the codes on the website?

You can call or email them to get the information. If you still do not get it, you can put “others” in the department code and inform them that you have sent the scores to the “other” department. Note that the institute code is compulsory – you need to know which University to select.

Also, all colleges follow the same convention. For example, Computer Science code will be 78 for reporting TOEFL scores to almost all colleges. So, you can than take a calculated risk and send the scores to department 78 (if applying to CS). Follow this with an email to the admission committee informing that you have sent the scores to department 78.

If not sure, it’s better to call up or email the University. They will help you out getting the right codes.

[5] Do I need to mug up the codes of universities I need to select during my exam?

No. You can use the search feature and select your university and your department.

[6] I sent my score to the university, but the wrong department? OR During the exam, I selected the wrong department by mistake. Do I need to send the scores again?

Universities function in two ways. Some universities have a central database of scores accessible by multiple departments. In this case, the department code doesn’t matter much and all departments will have access to the scores. In some universities, different departments don’t talk to each other. They have their own repository of scores. But they can share it with other department if requested.

So, the only way to go about it is to email and/or call the University and inquire if they will take the scores from other department to whom you had sent it by mistake while giving the exam.

Most universities will do it; but if they don’t, then you will have to resend it.

[7] I am applying to 2 courses within 2 departments of the university. Do I still need to send the scores twice?

The answer will be same as above (Q6). Depends from University to University. Call the different departments and inquire if they will take the score from other. If they do, you don’t need to send again.

[8] Which scores to send? Will the University have access to all my scores? Do they take the best score or average?

If you have reported your score once, and then report the new score, they will have both the scores. They usually look at the latest score, which will also happen to be your best score (usually your scores improve in the 2nd attempt and not decrease). It will make a difference only if your scores have improved substantially. However, some universities might look at the scores in detail to see section wise details etc., but most of them will go with the best score.

With GRE Select, you can choose which score you want to send to the college. Here, only that score will be sent to the university and they will not know of your other scores (unless in your first attempt you had sent the old score).

Hopefully this option will be introduced in GMAT and TOEFL soon.

[9] Are the Universities serious about the recommended GRE and TOEFL cutoffs?
It is also important to distinguish between “recommended scores” and “requirements”.

Here is a question from the student:

I have a 24 in one section. Does this mean that I have to drop CMU from my list as their requirement is min 25 in each section?

These are the responses we got from posing the same question to our students in CMU

Surprisingly I had 24 in my speaking section as well. That should answer the question.

Ya, that’s ok. There are students with speaking scores of 22, or 23, so 24 speaking and overall 107 is good.

There is no such hard and fast rule. They are ok with anything as long as it is a decent score. One of my seniors here got 22 in two of the sections. He is still here, so I guess it shouldn’t be a problem.

As far as I remember, there were a few universities who had written such conditions for GRE on their website even when I was applying. One of the conditions was a minimum percentile of 60% in verbal, and mine was 56%, but I still got through.

You should apply. Chinese students get less than 15 in speaking and they are still here.

Also, speak to the counselors before you apply. They will have a better idea of understanding what your chances are of getting based on historical data and student feedbacks. Just because a University says 300 is a GRE requirement doesn’t mean you will get in. The competition might be stiff and the University might want you to apply (after all, they are the ones making money through your application fees). Consider it analogous to Mumbai University saying you can apply to engineering only if you get more than 50% marks in your 12th. So if you are at 60% you are eligible apply to the best college; but be rest assured that your chances are very slim. Hence, choose your colleges along with your counselors and don’t go only by the website alone.

[10] Importance of TOEFL, AWA?

Continuing from the point no. 9, some universities will give you an admit if your TOEFL score is less than 100 or AWA less than 4.0. But they will give you a conditional admit requesting you to take an English course or an EPA course after landing there. The cost of these courses is quite high and you can give the TOEFL or GRE again 10 times in this cost. Hence, please don’t take these exams and scores criteria lightly. To maximize your scores, you can join GRE coaching or online TOEFL classes to increase the chances of getting accepted by the top universities.

[11] Procedure to send the scores.

This is quite simple. Login into your account on Choose the scores you want to send, select the university and department code and pay by the international credit card. The process takes up to max 2 weeks. So please make sure you apply well in advance before the deadlines. For GMAT scores, follow the same process, but on

[12] Should the scores reach before the deadlines?

Ideally, yes; they should reach well in advance. This is because you want to come across as a well-planned student. But many students are late, which goes against them. In the worst case, the request should have initiated 1 to 2 days before the deadline, and the materials should reach them within 1 week of the deadline. They will give a bit of leeway in case the post from ETS takes time. We had a student whose TOEFL scores took 41 days to reach the University. Though it is an exception, we want to highlight it to show that it is better to plan in advance for unforeseen circumstances.

[13] Importance of subject GRE exams?

Five to ten years ago, they were mandatory for many universities. However, over a period of time, extremely few people are giving these exams and it is not mandatory any more in almost all the Universities.

[14] How do I send TOEFL scores to the universities?

Sign in to your TOEFL Account and click on the following link: Click on “order score reports”, then “test services”, then “send additional score reports to institutions”, then Nov 2, 2013 (the test date) and finally search by institution code.

[15] I checked on the university’s site that minimum TOEFL requirement is 100, but I have 96. So can I still apply?

It will be difficult to get in in that case. Call them up and ask if you can apply and are eligible. It will be a problem if they say “required” on their website.

[16] Do I need a hard copy of my GRE and TOEFL score at the time of visa?

Yes, go online and print it out – it’s fine.

[17] I submitted both GRE and TOEFL scores more than 2 months back, yet it shows not received in my checklist. All the other items in my checklist have been ticked. Any other way to tackle this problem?

Check with ETS if they have sent the scores and whether it was sent to the right school. If everything is okay with ETS, then there is a problem with the school. Mail them the pdfs of the GRE and TOEFL scores. Ensure the name in your form matches the name in the ETS score report and send them the registration number as well. Follow up with them on this. They won’t review your application till the time this is not sorted.

[18] The application is asking for GRE section-wise Percentile. I don’t recall them. What shall I do?

You’ll find the percentile in your login page in GRE ETS.

[19] Clemson requires me to upload my GRE score card but as per ETS, applicants who gave GRE after September 1 are not going to receive their score card copies via mail. Please assist me at your earliest.

Take a screenshot from and upload that.

[20] I have sent my GRE codes to the institutions but without a Department code. So do I need to send my scores again to the institutions?

If the university had asked to send the scores to the institution only then its fine. If it was required to send the scores to the department, then send a mail to the university with the screenshot of the sent scores asking them if they can take the scores from their main database. If they don’t, then you may have to send the scores again. Most of them do not have a department code.

[21] I am applying to the interdisciplinary program of Electrical and Computer Science Department. So what I should put in TOEFL department code as it is mandatory. The website doesn’t indicate which department to give – EE or CS.

Say “Department Not Listed” if the university wants the scores to be sent to the institution code only. They will give the department code along with the institution code if they want the scores to be sent to a specific department.

[22] In test information in GRE, what should we write as best cumulative score and percentile? I have not received percentile for the full score.

Leave it blank if it’s not given in your scorecard.

[23] For Northeastern university GRE score, I accidentally sent my score to some other Northeastern University. On their official website it states: All scores can be sent directly from ETS using the following INSTITUTIONAL CODE 3679 and I sent my GRE scores to Northeastern State University with institution code 6845. Do I have to resend my scores and pay again?

Yes you sent it to some other university. You will have to resend it.

[24] I have 3 in my AWA section and it says in bold 3.5 is required for admission. Is it worth applying?

It says “required” and not “recommended.” Hence, the chances are they will not accept the application.

[25] In the free universities, I have sent my GRE score to State University of New York-College at Buffalo, DI Code: 2533 Instead of State University of New York-University at Buffalo, DI Code: 2925. Should I mail the department about this or should I send the score once again?

You sent it to a different college altogether. You will have to send the scores again to the right university. If it was same college and different department, it would have been okay. But, here it is a different college only.

[26] They have asked to attach the GRE score sheet, but in the same the name of other universities I am applying to is also been shown.

It doesn’t matter if other university names are also being shown. It does not impact your applications. You can crop the image to hide the name if you want.

[27] I am applying to Mechanical (department code is 1502) in Penn State (institution code is 2660) but while selecting my free score recipients, I had selected Penn State (code: 2660) and didn’t mention the department i.e. selected on other fields-not listed (code 5199). Is it okay? I have done the same thing for TOEFL, where I selected Penn State but didn’t mention the department as I was not sure.

It’s alright. Send a mail to them informing that the scores are not sent to the department, but to the institution only and hence kindly take the scores from there. In most of the cases it should be fine.

[28] What is TWE (essay rating) in the TOEFL score?

It is a part of TOEFL PBT.

[29] What do I fill for TOEFL Summary?
Leave it blank.

[30] I just received my TOEFL scores and have scored a 107/120. Please find the breakup below

Reading 24/30

Speaking 30/30

Listening 28/30

Writing 25/30

I read on CMU’s site that the minimum they require is 25 in each section will I have to retake the TOEFL for one mark in one section?

We have students with 22/25 who went to CMU. They are strict about the overall cut-off and not so strict with individual cut-offs. So don’t worry, you are fine. But this is very university specific and may not apply to other universities.

[31] I have applied for UB but I have not sent my score through ETS yet. In the application they asked me to upload the unofficial score card scan so I did only that. Should I report through ETS as well?

Yes, you have to send them the official scores via ETS. Sending screenshots is only for fast processing of your application.

[32] What should I enter in the space for ‘Analytical Ability’ in the GRE self-report section? Should I leave it blank?

Yes, Analytical Ability was before October 2002. Leave that blank and fill the Analytical Writing section.

[33] What is PPI? My university wants it.

It’s an ETS tool which helps programs make better admissions decisions by providing standardized, applicant-specific information on core personal attributes that graduate deans and faculty have identified as important for success in graduate study.

[34] How can I confirm whether my score has reached the universities mentioned in the GRE examination?

You have to send them a mail asking that.

[35] While sending my TOEFL and GRE scores for colleges where department code isn’t mentioned, is it okay to select “Any Department not listed”?


[36] The application instructions say that “An official score report sent from ETS is required of all students.” Does that mean a hardcopy needs to be couriered to the school?

No, take a screenshot of the scores from the ETS Website and upload that in your application.

[37] Buffalo has asked the analytical score of GRE but which is only applicable if GRE is taken prior to October 2002. What should I do?

Technical Error from their end. Leave it blank.

[38] Can I apply for universities without taking the GRE/TOEFL tests?
Yes, you can apply to some universities without taking the tests. But universities will take decision on your admission only after receiving test scores.

[39] I have heard GRE/TOEFL scores play the main role rather than regular academic percentage. Is it true?

Most of the universities will consider GRE/TOEFL score rather than academics. Admission committees consider standardized exams to make comparisons among applicants from different countries and different universities. Therefore, if you have a low academic percentage, it is essential having good test scores – be it through self-study or through online TOEFL coaching. Some of the universities like the University of Cincinnati will consider the strong academic percentage of a student rather than these GRE/TOEFL scores.

[40] I have given GRE twice, so when I take a screenshot of the scorecard both my scores are being seen. What shall I do?

It is alright, they will take the best scores. Also ensure that ETS sends the higher score to the universities.

[41] The Ohio State University mentions that we need 155 in verbal as minimum and I have 153. Does that mean I will not be considered or what?

This is very university specific – for example, CMU says that in TOEFL you need 25 in every section and students with less than that also get in. If your overall score is fine, they are not that strict usually. They become strict if there are way too many applicants in the pool and they don’t have time to read all SOPs and LORs; then they follow it diligently. I would still say email/call the college and inquire if it is a hard limit or there are chances. It should be ok to apply if you’re close to the cutoff.

[42] I have sent scores to four universities during my TOEFL exam to the industrial engineering department in September. Now I have created my application and submitted for those university. So am I required to send TOEFL scores again to those four universities?

No – not required. Send a mail to the universities informing them that the scores were sent in September, so kindly confirm the receipt of the same.

[43] I received the TAMU ID to access their portal. Now I am little bit worried, as I saw that my GRE score of 307 is displayed in their portal which was my first attempt score and was sent to TAMU at that time. Now, after my second attempt, I got a 316 score, which I had sent just a few days back. It’s pending on the GRE site. So my doubt is whether I should mail them about the new score or it will automatically reflected in their portal?

Email them about the new score (attach a copy in email). Tell them you retook the exam and hence kindly update the new scores on the portal.

For more information on GRE classes or TOEFL online course visit Collegepond. Our experienced trainers will help you crack the test with ease through regular mock tests and online TOEFL coaching.

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