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What is GRE Score Validity & How it Affects Your Application

Navigating GRE Score Validity, Display Options, Fees, and Essential Information for Success in the GRE General Test.

Have you ever heard of the GRE, along with the GMAT, TOEFL, etc.? What is GRE? What is GRE score validity, and how does it affect you as a student or an aspirant? There are many questions, like who needs to take a GRE exam, what is a good GRE score, what is tested in a GRE exam, how long does a GRE exam take, and so on. Well, it certainly is an important factor to be considered while applying for a school or an institute. 

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination, more commonly known as the GRE exam, is a multiple-choice, computer-based, standardized exam that is often required for admission to graduate programs and graduate business programs (MBA) globally. It is designed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is a very important step in the graduate school or business school application process. Overall, it takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes, so roughly 4 hours.

GRE tests you on three different skills such as:  

  • Verbal reasoning skills
  • Analytical writing skills and
  • Quantitative reasoning skills

But the important question to be addressed in this article is what is GRE score validity and how does it affect your application when you decide to apply for a program. Either a world renowned business school or an institute providing countless opportunities. Let us understand it.

What is GRE Score Validity?

GRE score validity basically means what duration, as in the calendar year, GRE scores are valid for. So the answer is just a one-liner: GRE score validity is 5 years. But there is little more to it than it seems. 

GRE score validity of 5 years does not mean that if you score a good GRE exam score, you are set for a 5-year duration. Even if it is valid for 5 years, certain schools and institutes will ask for a score not older than 2 or 3 years. The standard and prestigious aspects of a school or institute can not be questioned on the basis of required academic or experiential necessities.

So, in order to secure your application, you need to be steady on your steps. In a way, it benefits you. Otherwise, one can take a GRE test and rest easy for five years. Pressure only keeps you on your toes, so if you are not being pushed, especially in your student years, you may not get what you desire.

Insights from the ETS Official Website

As per ETS website itself states (GRE exam designer and administrator):

For tests taken on or after July 1, 2016, scores are reportable for five years following your test date. For example, scores for a test taken on July 3, 2018, are reportable through July 2, 2023.

However, it is a bit different compared to GRE test takers before July 01st, 2016:

For tests taken prior to July 1, 2016, scores are reportable for five years following the testing year in which you tested (July 1 – June 30). For example, scores for a test taken on May 15, 2016, are reportable through June 30, 2021.

So the GRE Scores obtained PRIOR to July 2013 are no longer valid. This simply means there will be no records of your scores if you have taken the exam prior to July 2013. Also, GRE Scores obtained in July 2021 are valid until June 30, 2026.

Maximizing Your Application's Potential

As mentioned earlier, the GRE score validity is 5 years maximum. But how does it affect your application while applying for a program in a school or institute? Well, for starters, you need to pick your best scores. Ever heard of ScoreSelect?

1. Understanding GRE ScoreSelect

GRE ScoreSelect is how you send the GRE scores of your choice (out of the many you have taken) to schools or institutes. Each time you take a GRE test, you have a choice to display which of your GRE scores.

Now, it does not limit you to display your scores on 1 GRE exam or even 2. You are free to choose either to display your latest obtained scores or the one you took before it or even to display all of your GRE scores. Now, why would someone cluster their application with so many GRE scores? Why not just show the best ones you got? It would be an idle choice and a good one, too, as it will make your application look simple and effective.

2. Crafting an Effective Score Presentation

Consider a scenario- you are good with your studies and records, and you meet all the required criteria a school or institute needs for which you have applied. The school/institute already knows it, and it is asking for a bit more to strengthen your application. Even if they are not asking, is it not a good option to display all your GRE or GMAT scores, which you obtained through time and have been consistently good at?

It affects your application in a huge way you cannot even imagine. If you are not sure, ask any studies expert or try to read data online to find out how much consistency holds value in your application. In a way, you are conveying that you sure are a person who will be performing consistently well and always up for an opportunity. The same way you convey your personality by including your curriculum in your application.

3. Selectively Revealing Scores

Now, it is not necessary to display all of your scores, even if they are all good. It really comes down to the school/institute you are applying for. For example, if you are aiming for an institute like Ivy League, you do not need to show yourself. The point to be noted here is that the school/institute will only discover the GRE scores that you have sent.

What this means is that even from your records, no one can find your other GRE test scores unless you allow them. So you are safe to present your only one best-obtained score if you have performed poorly in a GRE exam at some point.

4. Evaluating Score Impact

There is no need to mention the importance of certain test scores in an application, such as the GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and so many more. Out of these, the GRE and GMAT are the most famous (not likely) and are accepted globally. GRE scores have passed the point of being just an academic measure requirement to being a necessary step in order to get into a prestigious education body.

More than 1,300 Universities and business schools accept GRE scores, which have become almost required documents to ensure future studies. The GRE's ability to measure your quantitative, verbal, and analytical skills is beyond explanation, so having a store GRE score definitely impacts your application.

Managing GRE Examination Expenses

You will encounter this line countless times if you are searching for the GRE exam fee: The general test fee is $205 in all countries except China and India. This basically means that the general test registration fee is approximately $213, INR 15,850 (given dollar value inflexion).

Compared to the GRE general test fee, the GRE subject fee does not vary in terms of location. The current fee for the GRE Subject Test is $150 worldwide, which adds up to approximately INR 11,160 (given dollar value inflexion).

Mastering the GRE General Test

As per your location your fee varies for the GRE General Test. The idle fee is $205 for all other locations except for 2 exceptions:

Location Fee
China $231.30
India $213.00
All other areas of the world $205.00

Aspirants also get a chance to alter some aspects. You need to pay an extra amount if you want to change your appointment date or your test centre.

Special Handling Request Fee
Rescheduling fee – China $53.90

Rescheduling fee – All other areas of the world
Changing your test centre


It must be noted that the GRE testing year commences from 1st July. GRE at home and GRE at test centres are not the same btw. For students taking the GRE at home, it can be taken at the convenience of the student, whereas the GRE at test centres does not offer so. The fees for both the GRE at home and the GRE at the test centre are the same. 48% of all GRE test takers have earned undergraduate degrees in quantitatively demanding fields. The AACSB, ACBSP, AMBA and EFMD do not require business schools to use any particular standardized admissions test for accreditation.

What is a good GRE Score?

A score of 300+ is considered average and fine but it is not enough to beat competition. With 90% around a score of 330 is considered an excellent GRE overall score.

How is the GRE scored?

The GRE is scored on a scale of 130-170, in 1-point increments. It goes for both Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6 in 0.5-point increment.

How many times can I take the GRE?

You can take the test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). 5 times for computer based tests and 3 times for paper based tests.

Who accepts the GRE General Test?

More than 1300 institutes around the world accept the GRE General Test. See the complete list of institutions using GRE scores and their official ETS code number.

Who accepts the GRE Subject Test?

GRE Subject Test scores are accepted by thousands of graduate schools, including individual departments or divisions within these schools.

Know Your Author
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Rohit Rajaram
Study Abroad Expert
Rohit is a results-driven individual with a strong background in Education Mentorship, Program Management and Business Development. Holding a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Business School in Paris, Rohit combines academic excellence with extensive industry experience. Throughout his career, Rohit has consistently delivered exceptional results, driving sales, increasing turnover, and achieving targets. Known for his strategic acumen, Rohit formulates and executes successful business strategies, enhancing operational quality, customer satisfaction and key bottonline drivers. As the Co-Founder of MiM-Essay, a leading Early Career Degrees application consulting company, Rohit has successfully mentored over 10,000+ students, enabling them to secure admissions in top-ranked schools worldwide with significant scholarships. Under his leadership, the company has maintained high-quality service and exceptional client satisfaction rates. With expertise in analytics, product development and business excellence, Rohit has successfully driven the success of various initiatives. Committed to constant innovation, he is expanding the company's offerings by introducing digital and technology-powered products for comprehensive education solutions.
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