When Is The Best Time To Take The GRE: How To Calculate The Right Test Date


If you’re planning to go to graduate school or take an MBA, one of the primary tasks that you have to do is to take the GRE or the Graduate Record Examination. And if you want to be successful in this endeavor, you should be very prepared. Equip yourself with ample information about the ins and outs of the GRE, and you should do well. What about the right date for taking the GRE? A common dilemma among forthcoming graduate school students is asking “when is the best time to take the GRE?”.

You could say that there are sufficient GRE test dates every year. This definitely is a big plus when it comes to your options. However, you have to consider that it’s not a good idea to just randomly pick any GRE test date without planning. With a bunch of prerogatives, it can be a challenge to know the real answer to the question “When is the best time to take the GRE?”.

Related Topic: GRE Practice Tests

Know The Ins And Outs Of The GRE

gre test prep

Before you get started in choosing the best GRE test date, be in-the-know. Be aware that the GRE is, for the most part, taken on a computer. Otherwise, if there are no computer-based test centers near your location, then you’ll be required to take such test on paper.

The good news is, you can generally take the GRE on most days of the year because it is a computer-based test. The time duration for taking the test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. If you include the amount of time for the breaks and the filling out of paperwork upon arriving at the test center, the total time that you need to allocate for this academic feat is 4 hours and 30 minutes. Most testing centers offer the GRE twice a day- once in the morning, and another in the afternoon.

Since the validity of your GRE score lasts for 5 years, you can opt to take this admission test a few years before you plan to study in graduate school.

Related Topic: GRE Test: Introduction, Subjects, Requirements, Test Dates, GRE Scores & Benefits

Be Aware Of Your Graduate School Application Deadlines

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Do your research. Taking the GRE at the right time means you have to be informed about when your target schools require to receive your scores. Know the exact deadlines of the schools you are applying to. Then again, it is way better to figure out the earliest deadline of your chosen schools and adjust your GRE test date based on it. Literally, take note of it by writing it gigantically on a piece of paper, encircled and pinned on your wall where you can always see it.

What if you’re not yet sure of which schools are your option? In this case, you can set a deadline for November 15. This date falls as an early deadline for a majority of graduate schools and MBA programs.

Related Topic: GRE Test Scores, Good, Average and Rang of GRE Score

Do The Maths – The Formula For Determining Your GRE Test Date

gre exam syllabus

From the date of your graduate school application deadline, move backward to determine the best GRE test date for yourself. Technically, you’ll need to prepare for 2 to 3 months in order to obtain decent GRE scores. You thus have to get ready with your test prep 2 to 3 months to take the GRE and catch up with your deadlines.

What about retakes? The rule for GRE retakes is to wait for 21 days to get on with the test again. Most students consider two retakes as enough, so for each retake, you have to add 1 month of preparation. You’ll want to have a liberal amount of leeway to understand your mistakes and be more capable to take the GRE test the next time around.

Make sure that you take the GRE at least three weeks prior to the deadlines of your target schools. You ought to guarantee that you get hold of your scores at the right time.

All things included, you, therefore have you tackle your first GRE take 3 to 4 months earlier than your school deadlines and commence with your test prep 2 to 3 months preceding it.

These are the simple but real answers about when is the best time to take the GRE. Arm yourself with all the necessary information by doing your research and stick to an effective and efficient test prep based on the facts that you have learned.