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What is GRE Score Validity &

How it Affects Your Application

Ever heard or heard of GRE along with 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 goes on and so on. Well it certainly is an important factor to be considered while applying for a school or an institute.


Graduate Record Examination more commonly known as 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. Designed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is a very important step in the graduate school or business school application process. Overall it is a duration of 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.

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, otherwise this article is just a waste of time isn’t it?

GRE score validity being 5 years does not mean that if you score a good GRE exam score, you are set for a 5 years of duration. Even if it is valid for 5 years, there are certain schools and institutes which will ask for a score not older than 2 or 3 years. The standard and prestigious aspect 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 5 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.

Information From 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. Which 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.


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?

GRE ScoreSelect

In simpler words, GRE ScoreSelect is how you send the GRE scores of your choice (out of how many you have taken) to schools or institutes. For each time you take a GRE test you have a choice to select which of your GRE scores to be displayed.

Now, it does not limit you to to display your scores of 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 taken 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.


Displaying Your Scores


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 for. The school/institute already knows it and it is asking for a bit more just to strengthen your application or even if they are not asking, is it not a good option to display your all GRE or GMAT scores which you obtained through time and it has been consistently good?

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 good and always up for an opportunity. The same way you convey your personality by including your curriculars in your application. 

Only Show What’s Necessary

Now it is not necessary to display all of your scores even if they all are good. It really comes down to the school/institute you are applying for. For example if you are aimim g for an institute like ivy league you do not need to evershow yourself. The point to be noted here is: the school/institute will only discover your GRE scores which you have sent. What it means is even from your records no one can find your other GRE test obtained scores unless you allow it. So you are safe to present your only one best obtained score if somewhere around time you have performed not well in a GRE exam.


In-terms of Score Affect


No need to mention the importance of certain test scores in an application. Such as GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOFEL, PTE and so many more. Out of these GRE and GMAT are the most famous (not probably) and 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.

There are more than 1300 Universities and business schools that accept GRE scores. So these scores have become an almost required document in order to ensure your future studies. The ability of GRE that measures your quantitative, verbal and analytical skills is beyond explanation. So having a store GRE score definitely impacts your application.

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GRE Exam Fee

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

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

All this data is applicable starting July 01, 2021.

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. In case you want to change your appointment date or if you want to change your test centre you need to pay an extra amount.

Special Handling Request


Rescheduling fee – China


Rescheduling fee – All other areas of the world


Changing your test centre


As mentioned before $150 is the standard fee for GRE Subject fee globally which does not vary as per location. However there are other fees related to GRE Subject Test which are:

GRE Exam services


Late registration fee (online registration only)


Standby testing


Rescheduling fee


Changing your test centre


Changing your Subject Test


Additional Score Report (ASR) requests — per recipient


Score Review


Score reinstatement fee


Things To Know

  • 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 GRE at home can be taken at the convenience of the student whereas GRE at  test centres does not offer so.
  • The fee for both GRE at home and GRE at the test centre are 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.

Impact of COVID-19 on GRE Exam

Because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that follows, ETS and local test centres decided to cancel upcoming GRE exam dates. This does not mean the GRE test would not be conducted. As per ETS is allowing certain students to take the GRE general test online.

Many students prefer to give tests online as well. It is a more comfortable, convenient and time saving process. And since COVID-19 has caused several issues and waves. It is the best possible choice for anyone. As of April 7, 2021, the at-home GRE is available to be taken online (except for Mainland China and Iran).

For more detailed analysis refer to GRE General Test At Home Testing.

(Did you know? The GRE General Test is taken by about 675,000 people from 230 countries each year.)


What is a good GRE Score?

Ans. 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?

Ans.  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?

Ans. 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?

Ans. 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?

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

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