GRE General Test Overview

GRADUATE RECORD EXAMNIATION (GRE):

What Is It?

The GRE® General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

Verbal Reasoning -  The skills measured include the test taker’s ability to:

  • analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it
  • analyze relationships among component parts of sentences
  • recognize relationships between words and concepts

Quantitative Reasoning -  The skills measured include the test taker’s ability to:

  • understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis
  • reason quantitatively
  • solve problems in a quantitative setting

Analytical Writing – The skills measured include the test taker’s ability to:

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English

Who Takes It and Why?

Prospective graduate applicants take the General Test. GRE test scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate records and other qualifications for graduate study. The scores provide common measures for comparing the qualifications of applicants and aid in evaluating grades and recommendations.

Where Do People Take It?

The General Test is offered year-round at computer-based test centers in the United States, Canada and many other countries. It is offered at paper-based test centers in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. See which format is available in your area.

Who Accepts It?

Any graduate or professional school, any department or division within a school, or any fellowship granting organization may require or recommend that its applicants take the General Test, a Subject Test, or both.

General Test Dates:

Computer-Based General Test:

  • Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month, and no more than five times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

To register to test in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada, register online or call 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-GRE-CALL (1-800-473-2255). To register to test at an international location, register online or contact the appropriate Regional Registration Center.REGISTER EARLY TO GET YOUR PREFERRED TEST DATE.

Paper-Based General Test:

  • Paper-based General Test administrations are offered in areas where computer-based testing is not available.
  • Not all test centers are open on all test dates. Download the Test Center List (PDF) for testing locations.
  • Be sure to check the score report mailing date when selecting a test date.

2009-10 Test Dates


TEST DATES
1
10/24/0902/06/10
United States and Puerto Rico

Registration Receipt Dates at ETS

Supplementary Test Center2 and Monday Administration309/04/0912/18/09
Regular Registration09/18/0901/04/10
Late Registration409/25/0901/08/10
Other Locations, Including U.S. Territories

Registration Receipt Dates at ETS

Supplementary Test Center2 and Monday Administration308/28/0912/11/09
Regular Registration09/11/0912/28/09
Late Registration409/18/0901/04/10

APPROXIMATE SCORE REPORT MAILING DATE
12/04/0903/19/10
  • Dates in this table do not apply for testing in China (including Hong Kong), Korea or Taiwan. Refer to the Split-Test calendar.
  • No supplementary test centers will be established for the February test date.
  • Monday test dates will be October 26, 2009, and February 8, 2010.
  • Late registration is available for online registration only for a fee of $25. Late registration closes one week after the regular registration deadline.

Split-Test Administration of the General Test in China (including Hong Kong), Korea, and Taiwan:

The GRE® General Test is offered in two parts in these regions. The Analytical Writing section is offered on computer; the Verbal and Quantitative sections are offered at a paper-based administration. Test takers are required to take both the computer-based and paper-based parts of the GRE General Test in the same testing year, and must take the computer-based Analytical Writing portion first. Two paper-based administrations will be offered.

2009-10 Test Dates

Individuals taking the Analytical Writing section between July 1, 2009, and September 19, 2009, will be registered for the paper-based administration on October 24, 2009. Those taking the Analytical Writing section between September 20, 2009, and May 8, 2010, will be registered for the paper-based administration on June 12, 2010.

Computer-Based Analytical Writing Test DatesPaper-Based Verbal and Quantitative Test DatesApproximate Score Report Mailing Dates
July 1, 2009, through September 19, 2009October 24, 2009December 4, 2009
September 20, 2009, through May 8, 2010June 12, 2010July 23, 2010

Registration Procedure:

Register for the GRE® Computer-based General Test:

The General Test is offered as a computer-based test in the United States, Canada and many other countries. Paper-based General Test administrations are offered in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. SeeRegister for the Paper-Based General Test.

Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Register early to get your preferred test date, and to receive your test preparation material in time to prepare for the test.

Register to Test in the United States, U.S. Territory or Canada:

There are three ways you can register for the computer-based General Test.

Web

  • Online Registration (credit/debit card only – American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA)

Phone

  • Use American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, VISA, or a voucher number.
  • Call the test center directly or the Prometric® Candidate Services Call Center Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Eastern Time (New York), (excluding U.S. holidays), at 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-GRE-CALL (1-800-473-2255).
  • A confirmation number, reporting time, and the test center address will be given to you when you call.

Mail

  • Download and complete the Authorization Voucher Request Form (PDF) found in the Bulletin.
  • Mail the appropriate payment and voucher request form to the address printed on the voucher, allowing up to 4 weeks for processing and mail delivery.
  • When you receive your voucher, call to schedule an appointment.
  • An appointment to test must be made prior to the expiration date on the voucher.
  • If you lose your voucher, contact the GRE® Program. Only one replacement will be issued.

Requests for nonstandard testing accommodations must be made through ETS®.

Rescheduling or Canceling a Test Appointment in the United States, U.S. Territory, or Canada:

  • Contact either the local center where you are scheduled to test or call 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-GRE-CALL (1-800-473-2255) no later than 3 full days before your appointment (not including the day of your test or the day of your request).
  • The General Test rescheduling fee is $50.

Standby Testing

Available at permanent test centers on a first-come, first-served, space available basis in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada only.

Register to Test in International Locations:

The computer-based General Test is not given every day at all test centers. Contact the appropriate Regional Registration Center (RRC) to verify test dates.

There are four ways you can register for the computer-based General Test.

Web

  • Online Registration (credit/debit card only — American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA). Not available in Nigeria.

Phone

  • Use American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, VISA or a voucher number.
  • Call the appropriate RRC at least two business days before your preferred test date.
  • A confirmation number, reporting time, and the test center address will be given to you when you call.

Fax

  • Use American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, VISA or a voucher number.
  • Fax the International Test Scheduling Form (PDF) to the appropriate RRC.
  • The form must be received at least 7 days before your first-choice test date.
  • A confirmation number, reporting time and the test center address will be faxed or mailed to you.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation of your appointment, call the appropriate RRC at least 3 business days before your first-choice test date. If you missed your appointment and did not call the RRC, your test fee will not be refunded. If you provide an e-mail address, you may receive a confirmation by e-mail.

Mail

  • Mail the International Test Scheduling Form (PDF) to the appropriate RRC with appropriate payment.
  • ETS® now accepts payments via the Western Union® Quick PaySM service for computer-based testing administrations. Only original receipts will be accepted by Prometric.
  • The form must be received at least three weeks before your first-choice test date.
  • A confirmation number, reporting time, and the test center address will be faxed or mailed to you.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation, call the appropriate RRC at least 3 business days before your first-choice test date. If you miss your appointment and did not call the RRC, your test fee will not be refunded. If you provide an e-mail address, you may receive a confirmation by e-mail.

Credit/debit cards are not accepted for Nigerian registration fees. This includes anyone who is requesting a Nigerian test center or who has a Nigerian mailing address. Only admission tickets indicating a Nigerian test center will be accepted for testing in Nigeria.

The following preferred forms of payment are acceptable in Nigeria and elsewhere: international money order, authorization voucher from ETS®, international bank draft, and UNESCO coupons.

Requests for nonstandard testing accommodations must be made through ETS.

Rescheduling or Canceling a Test Appointment Outside of the U.S. :

  • Contact the appropriate registration center no later than 3 full days before your appointment (not including the day of your test or the day of your request).
  • The General Test rescheduling fee is $50.
  • You cannot reschedule between sites served by different Regional Registration Centers (RRCs).

Register for the Paper-based GRE General Test:

Paper-based GRE General Test administrations are offered in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. You can register for a paper-based administration online or by mail.

Online Registration — Credit/debit card only (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA). Note: Not available to examinees testing in Nigeria.

Online registration is not available for the following services:

Mail registration – credit/debit card/money order/certified check (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA)

Download and complete the registration form (PDF) found in the GRE® Bulletin and mail the completed form with payment to the address printed on the form. The form must be received at ETS by the registration deadline. Allow 4 weeks for processing. Registration forms cannot be faxed.

Register for the FREE GRE® Search Service:

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from graduate schools that are searching for students like you. The GRE Search Service matches prospective graduate students with participating graduate schools and fellowship sponsors. If you match the recruitment profile of a participating institution/organization, you may be sent information about graduate programs, admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, fellowships, and other graduate education opportunities.

You will be given the option to be included in the Search Service when you register for a GRE test. Anyone considering graduate study, whether or not they are registered for a GRE test, may also register for the GRE Search Service. To register for the GRE Search Service only, use the online GRE registration form.

When you register for a GRE test, or if you participate in the Search Service, you will be asked to provide background information about yourself. This information is collected for analysis samples, score interpretation data, group statistics and research studies. If you register to participate in the Search Service, your background information, contact information and the broad score bands in which your test scores fall will be added to the GRE Search Service database so that participating graduate schools and fellowship sponsors can locate you.

Participating graduate schools and fellowship sponsors are now able to search the database on broad GRE score bands in combination with undergraduate grade point average (UGPA). The score bands for the Verbal measure, Quantitative measure, and the Subject Tests are 90 points or greater (e.g., 600 to 690) and the score bands for the Analytical Writing measure are a half point or greater (e.g., 4.5 to 5.0). Information on broad score bands or individual GRE test scores will not be part of the output provided to Search Service users.

Information provided to participating schools about you may include any of the following:

  • personal information: address, gender, ethnic background, citizenship status, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • educational background: current educational status, undergraduate institution name, UGPA, undergraduate major, and date of graduation
  • educational objective: field in which you plan to do your graduate work, preference of full-time or part-time graduate study, degree objective, preferred geographic region for graduate study, and intended date of enrollment in graduate school.

Information collected by Educational Testing Service (ETS®) for use in the GRE Search Service will be transferred to Hobsons®, a leading provider of educational solutions. Hobsons is responsible for administering and marketing the GRE Search Service as directed by ETS. By participating in the GRE Search Service, you authorize the transfer of your personal information to Hobsons for the purposes described above. Hobsons is prohibited from using your personal information for any other purposes.

Test takers who choose to participate in the Search Service and would like to unsubscribe at a later date may do so at any time by contacting GRE Services atgre-info@ets.org, or 1-609-771-7670.

Important Things to Remember When Registering for the GRE General Test:

  • Take the test as soon as possible so your scores will be received in time to be considered with your application.
  • Check the GRE online registration system for the most up-to-date test center information.
  • Not all test centers are open on all dates.
  • Test centers fill up quickly so early registration is recommended to get your preferred test locations and date selection.
  • When registering, be sure that the spelling of your name exactly matches the name printed on the identification documents(s) you will present at the test center. If this information does not match, you will not be permitted to test and your test fee will be forfeited. There are no exceptions. See Identification Requirements.
  • You are not allowed to transfer your registration to someone else.
  • As part of your test fee, you may request that scores be sent to as many as four graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors. You will be asked to designate your score recipients either when registering for the test or at the test center on test day.
  • Late registration is available if you register online. Late registration closes one week after the regular registration date. The fee is $25.
  • You will be given the option to register for the GRE Search Service on the day of your computer-based GRE General Test or when you register for the paper-based General Test. The GRE Search Service matches prospective graduate students with participating graduate schools and fellowship sponsors. For more information, visit www.ets.org/gre/stusearch.
  • Beginning in July 2009, you will have access to a new service, the ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI). The ETS PPI provides an evaluation of six personal attributes that graduate and professional schools have indicated are critical for academic success. Individuals who register for the GRE General Test will be able to request that ETS PPI Evaluation Reports be sent to as many as four graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors. For more information, visit www.ets.org/ppi.

Repeating the General Test:

  • It may be to your advantage to take the GRE® General Test more than once if you think that the scores you obtained do not reflect your true abilities. If your scores seem unusually low in comparison with other indicators of your preparedness for graduate studies, you may want to consider taking the test again. Those considering repeating a test should be aware that large score increases are unusual, and for some test takers scores will go down. Keep in mind that score reports will include test results obtained within the past five-year period.
  • You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month and no more than 5 times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

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