GRE Scores: How Long Are They Valid and Why Does It Expire?

GRE is part of the admission requirements of most graduate schools, business schools, joint degree programs, and doctoral programs. GRE preparation is tedious. Prospective students take much time preparing to get their score goals. After taking the GRE, most examinees do not desire to take it again. Unfortunately, GRE Score Reports only have limited years of validity. The scores do not last forever. The same with other standardized exams like LSAT and GMAT, ETS published a specified period of time for the validity of GRE scores. In this article, find the reasons why GRE scores expire and helpful tips to use the validity period wisely. (1)

How long Is the GRE score valid?

The GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

What if I took the GRE test before July 2012?

The GRE test scores taken before July 2012 are expired. For all intents and purposes, they’re gone from the ETS records. You won’t be able to find or access your test results on your ETS account. The ETS servers had to make room for new test scores and taker information, so deleting old scores is a must.

What if I took the GRE test July 2012 to June 30, 2016?

The GRE scores expired last year. All GRE score reports from July 2012 to June 30, 2016, are valid for five years. It is now time for the GRE test year to commence on July 1. It means that if you have taken the GRE test on May 10, 2015, your results are good until June 30, 2020 only.

What if I took the GRE test from July 1, 2016 to present?

July 2016 test-takers official test score report expires this year 2021. Test scores are only valid for five years. As an illustration, a GRE test taken on January 1st, 2018, will be valid until the end of the year 2023.

Why are the GRE scores valid for so long?

Not all test takers apply to graduate schools immediately the same year or year after they took the GRE test which is why ETS (Educational Testing Service) keeps the scores for 5 years. It keeps the test score report for future reference and future admission process.

How long does it take to get your GRE Score?

10-15 days after your test date is when you will receive your official score report. It will be available in the score recipient’s ETS Account. It’s also possible to see your GRE verbal score and quantitative scores immediately after completing your exam on the day of the test. You won’t be able to see your analytical writing score at the time because the essay scoring process requires a person to correct it. You will receive an email from ETS once your official test-taker score report has been released. if you wish to get additional score reports, send a request to ETS. (1)

Read more: GRE Scores

What happens when your GRE scores expire?

Your GRE scores will be erased from ETS records if they are more than five years old. You will not be able to access them or send score reports to graduate schools. If you send your GRE scores to graduate schools before they expire, GRE scores sent to graduate schools before they expire are still valid. (2)

What if your GRE scores are nearly expiring and you send the scores to a school before they will be invalid?

GRE scores will still be acceptable if you send them days, months, or weeks before the expiration date. For as long as a graduate school has access to your test results, they will have them for good. However, it is advisable to inquire at your desired school about how long GRE scores can be accepted. Some schools require official test results that are no more than two or three years old. Before submitting your test scores to a graduate school, make sure to check with the admissions office. In order to get into a college, you’ll need to include many different things in your application.

Do schools prefer newer GRE scores?

It varies from the school’s policy and score requirements. Keep in mind that every school has different admissions committee and program requirements. Some schools accept GRE scores that are 5 years old. Unfortunately, some schools or programs have a certain number of years required. Successful applicants of some schools send 2 to 3 year old average score. For example, Harvard Law School allows any score report within the ETS validity period for their admissions process. However, Stanford requires 3-4 years old scores for prospective applicants.

Before submitting your scores, be sure to check the policies of the schools to which you intend to apply. It is vital to be certain that the scores you send are accepted by your desired school. GRE scores taken within six months or a year of the application deadline won’t get you “bonus points,” just like older test scores won’t get you penalized. As long as the GRE score is valid for the school’s evaluator, your score will be accepted.

Why do GRE scores expire?

The GRE scores expire due to the following reasons:

  • Change in Skills. As per ETS, the test taker’s abilities might change over five years. Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning can all improve over the course of a few years.
  • Competency Changes. After five years of not using GRE knowledge, examinees may have completely forgotten what they learned during GRE preparation. If they wish for another higher education or Phd program, the test must be retaken. Submitting the same GRE from the previous application is not allowed. The level of competency 5 years ago is not equal to the competency in the current school year.
  • GRE Test Alteration. ETS frequently makes changes to the GRE exam, which is why test scores expire. Allowing ETS to revise the entire exam by allowing standardized test scores to expire makes it easier for them. It is possible that they will change the questions or the content. By allowing test scores to expire, universities can make changes to the test to keep up with the increasing demand for graduate programs.
  • Increase In Number Of Aspiring Test-Takers. If scores are allowed to expire, it gives them a small boost in their GRE test sales. There is a business in standardized testing. The GRE is a test that most people only have to take once. This test may need to be taken a second time if students change career paths or return to graduate school.

The complete list above explains why the GRE Score Reports should expire. (3)

How to plan around the GRE score validity rules?

Follow these tips to make sure that your official scores are valid when you submit them to your chosen school:

  1. If you plan to pursue multiple degrees at different institutions, evaluate the right date of taking the GRE. In this way, you will be a competitive applicant. Obtain more confidence that your GRE General Test score is still valid when you start applying to other schools.
  2. If a test taker is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree and has decided to pursue a graduate degree, but is still unsure of when you will be able to do so. Consider the score validity and make sure it is still acceptable after you finished your undergraduate degree.
  3. If an examinee wants to gain valuable experience first before applying to graduate school, do not take the GRE test yet. Taking the same year or a year before your GRE exam is the best option for you.
  4. If you wish to study for a doctorate or master’s degree after your graduation, assess the school’s requirements of the application process and take the exam the same year of your GRE test date.

The dates of taking the GRE depend on many factors. The techniques above are beneficial in taking the GRE at the right moment and submitting your valid scores on time. Remember that there are still a lot more factors that might delay your exam schedule like what happened last 2020 during the (COVID-19) pandemic.

What if you need to retake the GRE due to expired scores?

Retake the GRE again if the scores expired. Despite the fact that you may have to go back into the test-prep mode, you will be able to recall some of the GRE test information fast. Build an effective and detailed test preparation timeline and strategy. Make sure that you have enough prep time before retaking the test. You may use your old study materials before. However, consider utilizing new study resources so that there’s a greater chance of getting a higher GRE score.

Read more: GRE Retake

Is my GRE score still valid If I canceled my score?

No, canceled GRE score cannot be viewed or sent anymore to any graduate, business, or law school. When a student cancels an exam’s scores, the validity of that exam’s scores is gone. If the test taker will reinstate the exam score within the required 60 days, the canceled score will be acceptable. (4)

References:

  1. https://www.bestmastersdegrees.com/best-masters-degrees-faq/how-long-is-the-gre-score-valid
  2. https://www.prepscholar.com/gre/blog/how-long-are-gre-scores-good-for/
  3. https://mygreexampreparation.com/how-long-are-gre-scores-valid/
  4. https://gre.blog.targettestprep.com/how-long-are-gre-scores-valid/