When to Take and Retake the GRE: A Guide for Indian Students Planning to Study Abroad
As a student looking to study abroad, one of the crucial requirements for admission into most graduate programs is to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). The GRE is a standardized test that measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. Many universities in the United States, Canada, and other countries use it as an evaluation criterion. But when is the right time to take the GRE test, and when should you retake it? In this blog, we will delve into the key factors to consider to help you make an informed decision.
When to Take the GRE Exam ?
If you plan to take the GRE Test, you should know that you can take it up to five times in a rolling 12-month period with a minimum 21-day gap between each attempt. Here are a few factors to consider to help you make an informed decision:
- Determine your application deadlines: The first step in deciding when to take the GRE is to identify the application deadlines for the graduate programs you are interested in. You’ll need to give yourself enough time to take the test, receive your scores, and submit your applications before the deadlines. Some programs have rolling admissions, while others have fixed deadlines. Make sure you know the deadlines for each program you are considering.
- Consider your timeline:Think about when you want to start your graduate program. Do you want to begin in the fall, spring, or summer? Depending on your answer, you may need to take the GRE at a specific time. Most students take the GRE in the summer or fall before applying to graduate school.
- Give yourself enough time for GRE prep:The amount of time you need to prepare for the GRE will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are comfortable with the material and confident in your abilities, you may only need a few weeks to prepare. However, if you need to refresh your knowledge or build new skills, you may need several months of preparation.
- Consider your schedule:Make sure you choose a date and time for the test that fits into your schedule. You’ll need to set aside several hours to take the test, and you may want to take it on a day when you don’t have other commitments.
5. Be aware of test dates: Check the GRE website to see when test dates are available in your area. You may need to register several weeks in advance to secure a spot.
When to retake the GRE Exam ?
- Understand your scores: Before you decide whether to retake the GRE, make sure you understand how the scores are calculated. The GRE consists of three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The verbal and quantitative reasoning sections are each scored on a scale of 130 to 170, in one-point increments. The analytical writing section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in half-point increments.
- Know the average scores:Research the average GRE scores for the programs you are interested in. This information is often available on the program’s website or through the admissions office. If your scores are below the average for the program, you may want to consider retaking the test.
- Consider the schools you’re applying to:If you are applying to several different schools, make sure you know the score requirements for each program. Some programs may have minimum score requirements, while others may have recommended scores. If you don’t meet the requirements or recommendations for a particular program, you may want to retake the test.
- Determine your improvement goals:Before you retake the GRE, set a goal for the score you want to achieve. Make sure your goal is realistic and achievable based on your previous performance and the amount of time you have to prepare. You may want to seek the advice of a tutor or admissions counselor to help you set your goal.
- Give yourself enough time to prepare: If you decide to retake the GRE, make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare for the test. Rushing into a retake without sufficient preparation can be counterproductive, as you may end up with a similar or lower score than before.
- Determine your weaknesses:After you receive your initial GRE score, identify your weaknesses. This will help you focus your preparation efforts and target the areas where you need the most improvement. You may want to take practice tests or work with a tutor to help you identify your weaknesses.
- Consider the cost:Retaking the GRE can be expensive, so you’ll want to weigh the cost of retaking the test against the potential benefits. Make sure you understand the fees associated with the test and the cost of any additional preparation materials or tutoring.
- Give yourself enough time between tests:You’ll need to wait at least 21 days between test administrations, so make sure you plan accordingly. You’ll also need to give yourself enough time to prepare for the retake.
- Don’t retake the test too many times:While it may be tempting to keep retaking the GRE until you achieve your desired score, it’s important to be mindful of the number of times you take the test. Some graduate programs may view multiple attempts negatively, so make sure you are only retaking the test if you believe you can improve your score significantly.
- Consider other factors:Remember that your GRE score is just one factor that graduate schools consider when making admissions decisions. Other factors, such as your GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statement, are also important. If your GRE score is not as high as you would like, focus on improving your other application materials as well.
Deciding when to take and retake the GRE can be a crucial step in the application process for students planning to study abroad. By understanding the application deadlines, average scores for the programs, and improvement goals, you can determine the right time to take the exam and achieve your desired scores. It’s also important to remember that your GRE score is just one factor that graduate schools consider, and other aspects of your application are equally important.
If you’re still feeling unsure about when to take the GRE exam or considering retaking it, don’t worry! Collegepond’s experts can guide you through the entire process and provide GRE coaching to ensure you’re fully prepared. With our help, you won’t have to worry about when to retake the GRE. Connect with our experts today!