The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is a standardized test used by graduate programs in the United States to measure an applicant's potential for successful graduate study.
But before you take the test, you first need to register for it.
Registering for the GRE is not complex, but it does require planning and preparation.
If a test-taker does not complete their registration correctly or on time, they could miss out on a chance to take the exam.
Summary of the Key Findings
- Two ways to register for the GRE include online and by phone.
- Planning ahead and registering early is recommended.
- You can cancel or reschedule the exam. However, there are fees associated with these actions.
How to Register for the GRE
The administrator of the GRE, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), provides a couple of options for registering for the exam.
The most common method for registration is via the internet. The ETS provides a webpage that allows prospective test-takers to register online.
1.) The first step is to create an ETS account with a username and password.  To start out, sign in to your ETS account, select "register", and then "GRE General Test".
2.) The next step is to choose a testing location - either at home or at a testing center.
- If you pick the at-home GRE test option, you will select a test appointment, your time zone, and available time, and then click "register". You can generally get a time slot starting 24 hours after you register for home testing.
- If you choose the second option, you will enter a preferred testing center near your location. Make sure to register at least two days before the exam. Select the test time for the location and click "register".
3.) The next steps include reviewing testing policies, your personal contact information, and making corrections if needed. From there, you will pay for the exam.
4.) Once the payment is accepted, you will be sent an email with the testing details (including the launch link if you choose the at-home plan).
You can also go back to this same site to review your test dates, access test prep resources, view your scores, and order score reports.
If you don’t have internet access, you can choose phone registration. Register at least two days before your desired test date.
This registration method is not available for test-takers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea.
In the U.S., you can register either by calling the testing center directly or by calling Prometric Services at 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-473-2255.
Outside the U.S., you need to find the phone number for the appropriate region on the ETS website. 
- Once you call the number, you will provide the information needed to register and pay for the examination.
- You will get a confirmation number, reporting time, and test center address after you've registered.
For most areas of the world, the GRE fee is $205.00. China and India have slightly higher fees.
There are no additional fees for an at-home test versus on-site testing.
However, there are additional costs if you need to reschedule the exam or change your test center.
This fee is $50.00 everywhere except in China, where the rescheduling fee is $53.90.
Any specific local taxes, such as value-added tax, are not included in the price.
Instead, the student is responsible for paying these taxes directly to the proper authority.
Related: 8 Best GRE Preparation Courses
If you need to cancel your GRE test appointment, you can do so via one of the above registration methods (ETS account or phone).
However, if you cancel less than four days before the exam date, you won’t receive a refund.
If you cancel more than four days before the exam, you will receive a refund amounting to one-half of the original testing fee.
Similar to cancellation, you can reschedule your GRE appointment by going to the ETS account registration page, logging in, and going to your test list.
From there, you can select a new appointment date as long as it is at least four days away from the original exam date.
There are a couple of additional rules for rescheduling. First, they will charge you $50.00 (except in China, where the fee is $53.90).
Second, you cannot reschedule for more than one year from the date of your original appointment.
Registering for the GRE: Final Thoughts
All in all, registering for the GRE is not a difficult process. With a little planning and preparation, you should be able to get your test date scheduled in no time.
Although the system is generous to last-minute registrants, I still recommend that you register for your test at least two weeks before the date of your exam.
This way, you are most likely to get the preferred testing location, test date, and test time.