The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a requirement to go to almost every graduate school or graduate program in the United States and is taken by more than 500,000 people every year.
If you're interested in pursuing further education after your undergraduate degree, it's important to know when the GRE exam is held so you can plan accordingly.
Summary of the Key Findings
- You can take GRE General tests in your home 24/7/365.
- You can take the GRE at a test center most days of the year.
- You can only take a GRE Subject test on three dates per year.
Testing at Home
With the advent of COVID-19, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) had created a digital version of the GRE General Test that you can take on your computer from the comfort of your own home.
This At-Home edition of the GRE is suitable for students who don't desire to or cannot take the test in a traditional center for health-related reasons.
Doing the GRE test online is convenient for students for many reasons, such as that it's available 24/7, every day of the week.
You can choose the date and time that completely fits your schedule.
Related: 8 Best GRE Preparation Courses
Testing at a Center
The alternative to testing at home is to take the GRE exam at a testing center.
The GRE is offered at over 1,000 Prometric and associated testing centers located around the world.
1.) Dates for Computer-Based Exam
Prometric offers computer-based GRE General exams at their test centers, and you can take the GRE year-round. You can sign up for preferred test centers and dates on the ETS website .
On the site, you will simply input the two-month window in which you would like to take the exam at a test center. From there, you'll pick which date you'd like.
"The goal of education is to help you to think and lead." ― Israelmore Ayivor, author
The GRE exam is offered on most days of the year, including weekends. However, you should know that weekends tend to be more popular test dates than weekdays.
Thus, you will want to decide on your testing date and register early to avoid having the limited seats at the test center fill up before you can get registered.
2.) Dates for Paper-Based Exam
Paper-based exams are available at test centers for test-takers unable to take a computer-based exam due to disabilities or other reasons that require this accommodation.
The paper-delivered GRE test is offered only three times per year - usually in September, October, and April. You will always find the exact test dates for the paper exam on the ETS website .
These test dates are also the only ones on which the GRE Subject tests are given.
Because of this, you can expect the paper-based GRE slots at the testing centers to fill up quickly.
Therefore, early registration is highly recommended.
When Can You Register for the GRE?
When you can register for the GRE depends on the test locations and dates you want.
For the At-Home exam, you can schedule an appointment for the exam as early as 24 hours after registration.
Of course, you should register early, just to ensure that there will be a test appointment available at your desired time.
For a GRE test taken at a local test center, you may be able to find a seat within 24-48 hours of registration.
However, that varies greatly depending on the time of the year and the day of the week desired.
Thus, you should register as early as possible to ensure you have access to the preferred test day.
Also, unlike the At-Home exam, a GRE exam date at a test center is only associated with specific times.
Thus, even if you get your desired date, your time choices will be more limited than if you test at home.
How Do You Register for the GRE?
To register for any of the exams, you must go to ETS's official website.
From there, you can create an ETS account which will be used for scheduling, viewing scores, and choosing schools that you want to receive your score reports.
Once your account is set up, you can go back to the website at any time and sign in to register for GRE tests.
The actual registration process simply requires the students to choose the date and time of the exam and find test centers where they want to take it.
After that, the next step is to pay for the GRE test to become officially registered.
Remember, if you need any special accommodations, you must have that request approved before scheduling your GRE exam appointment.
GRE Test Dates
Overall, the ETS provides flexibility when it comes to taking the GRE General Test.
Between the At-Home and testing center versions, selecting a test date for the GRE exam is simple.
Recognize that the At-Home version is a COVID mitigation strategy by the ETS, and it may not be a permanent offering.
The GRE Subject Tests are more limited in their availability. You must plan carefully for one of the three times per year that they are offered.