The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized exam used as part of the admissions process by many graduate schools and business schools worldwide. Understanding the frequency and availability of GRE exam dates is crucial for test takers to schedule and prepare effectively. This article provides an in-depth analysis of how many times the GRE exam is conducted in a year.
Understanding the GRE Exam
The GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. It has three main sections:
- Verbal Reasoning – Measures reading comprehension, text interpretation, and logical reasoning abilities.
- Quantitative Reasoning – Tests basic math, arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis skills.
- Analytical Writing – Assesses critical thinking and analytical writing skills.
The GRE General Test provides a benchmark for comparing applicants from different backgrounds. High GRE scores can improve candidates’ chances of admission into competitive graduate programs.
Many top universities and business schools in the US and abroad require GRE General Test scores as part of the application process. Candidates also take GRE Subject Tests to demonstrate deeper knowledge in a specific field.
Availability of GRE Exams
The GRE General Test is conducted frequently and can be taken almost year-round. The test is offered on a continuous basis with no specific test dates.
Candidates can register for the computer-delivered GRE General Test on a date and at a center location convenient to them. Hundreds of test centers across 160 countries offer the GRE year-round.
However, GRE Subject Tests have a more defined schedule, with exams typically offered three times a year in April, September, and October.
When preparing test timeline strategies, candidates should factor in application deadlines for intended programs, score validity periods, and the limit on retakes.
Registration Process for GRE Exams
Steps to Register
- Visit the official GRE website (www.ets.org/gre) and create an ETS account.
- Provide necessary personal details and information.
- Select preferred exam type – GRE General Test or Subject Test.
- Search and select test center location, date, and timing.
- Make the exam fee payment online.
- Print the admission ticket generated after payment.
Importance of Advance Registration
Test takers are advised to register 4-6 weeks in advance of target exam dates. Starting the registration process early gives more options in terms of exam date, center location, and timing availability.
Last minute registrations can limit choices or make rescheduling difficult in case of contingencies. Advance planning also allows sufficient time for exam preparation.
The exam fee for the GRE General Test is $205 in most countries. There may be additional charges depending on the test center location.
GRE Subject Tests cost $150 each. Most candidates take one Subject Test, but taking two or three has additional fees per test.
Frequency of GRE Exams
Analysis of Availability
The GRE General Test is a year-round computer-based exam with no specific test dates. It is offered almost daily, throughout the year at hundreds of centers globally.
Candidates can choose a convenient date and location based on personal schedule, application timelines, and preparation progress. Weekends and evenings are high demand periods.
In contrast, Subject Tests are only conducted three times annually. The limited testing schedule requires advance preparation and registration.
Absence of Monthly/Yearly Schedules
There is no predefined calendar or schedule outlining the number of times GRE General Test dates are offered in a month or year. Test takers can pick any date suitable to them subject to availability at their chosen test center.
During peak seasons, certain locations may be booked out for several weeks in advance. Planning and comparing test center availability is advisable before finalizing exam dates.
Validity of GRE Scores
Duration of Score Validity
GRE scores are valid for five years from the initial test date. For example, scores of a test taken on 15th August, 2024 would expire on 15th August, 2029.
Over 2000 institutions worldwide accept scores that are valid (less than five years old) on the application deadline date. Candidates can send scores from multiple attempts within this five-year period.
Impact on Retakes
Since GRE scores expire after five years, candidates may need to retake the exam if they do not complete the graduate school application process within this validity period.
Aspiring applicants should factor in programs’ application timeframes, the five-year validity rule, and school deadlines before planning GRE exam attempts.
Preparation Tips and Test-Taking Strategies
Succeeding on the GRE requires thorough preparation using the right strategies:
- Take practice tests – Familiarize yourself with actual test format, sections, and question types. Identify weaknesses to focus study efforts.
- Learn test architecture – Understand the test design, number of questions, allotted time, scoring scheme, and penalty for wrong answers.
- Master concepts tested – GRE focuses primarily on high school level math and college level verbal. Refresh key grammar, algebra and geometry rules.
- Attempt mock tests – Score higher through sufficient practice on sample GRE questions and tests.
- Manage exam day stress – Mental composure and time management are vital. Have a plan to pace yourself on test day.
- Leverage available resources – Use prep materials provided by ETS to improve speed and accuracy.
Proper preparation with a strategic approach enhances performance and GRE success rates.
The GRE General Test is a widely accepted exam that allows flexible scheduling with the option to choose convenient test dates. While GRE Subject Tests have a more defined exam calendar, the General Test can be taken almost year-round based on personal preferences and graduate school application timelines.
Understanding GRE test frequency and scheduling exams keeping score validity rules in mind enables aspirants to take a planned, preparatory approach. This allows candidates to attempt the exam according to their desired schedule.
With the right strategies, thorough preparation using official GRE resources can help applicants achieve high scores for admission into graduate programs of their choice.