How long are GRE scores valid? Here’s what you should know about GRE score validity

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The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a standardised test used by most U.S. and Canadian graduate and business schools to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the program. The exam is owned and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test is used to measure one’s ability for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics and vocabulary.

There are two types of GRE tests — the GRE Subject Test and the GRE General Test. The kind of test one needs to write depends on the university or the scholarship. While the GRE Subject Test measures your knowledge and skill in a particular subject, the GRE General Test is for those planning to go to graduate, business or law school. It costs $213 to write the GRE General Test from India. From November 1, 2022, the GRE General Test fee will increase by $15 (USD) worldwide. The GRE General Test can be delivered on paper or computer.  

How the Graduate Record Examination is Scored

Currently score scale for the verbal and quantitative sections is 130-170, scored in one-point increments, and the analytical writing section of the GRE is scored 0-6 in half-point increments. The official GRE General Test scores will be available in your ETS account 10–15 days after your test date. Candidates receive an email from ETS when the scores are available. You may request ETS to send your scores to the schools to which you wish to apply. 

How long are GRE scores valid?

The GRE score validity is for five years, and ETS will keep your score report on file for five years after you take the test. Schools also accept scores that were issued up to five years ago. For example, if you tested on May 3, 2020, your scores can be reported through May 3, 2025.The five-year validity is because many students who take the GRE test apply for overseas schools. But, they might not do it immediately after getting their scores. You won’t be able to see your ETS results after the validity period has passed or use them to apply to universities. Applying for universities abroad is lengthy, and decisions must be well thought out. Considering these circumstances, ETS allows its students to access their scores for five years. Candidates might take the exam multiple times to improve their scores and increase their chances of being accepted into the schools they are interested in attending. ETS allows you to take GRE once every 21 days and up to five times a year.

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How long are GRE scores valid? Here's what you should know about GRE score validity

Why is GRE Score Validity Restricted to 5 Years?

Here’s why ETS restricts GRE score validity for five years:The competency levels of test takers change over five years. Candidates can upskill in five years and achieve better results on the test. ETS assumes that your skills from five years ago are probably not representative of your skills today. Your abilities in quantitative and verbal reasoning and analytical writing may improve over time. Also, ETS revises the test from time to time. Expiring the test scores makes it easier for all test takers to adapt to new formats. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will I get my GRE results?

    You will get your scores within 10-15 days of your testing date. You can access it on the ETS website through your account. 

  • How can I access my GRE score after it has expired?

    It is not possible to access your GRE score after the validity has expired. ETS deletes your score from their database after five years after the test date.

  • What is a good GRE score for MS in the U.S.?

    The GRE cutoff for studying MS in the U.S. depends on the university you are applying for. The cutoff scores for U.S. universities are typically very high.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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