Retaking the GRE: Why, How, and Should I Do It?

Taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) once is enough, but the decision still depends on an applicant’s target score and prospective university requirements. A number of programs require a higher GRE score and some candidates do not achieve this during the first take. If the score is below the average of the courses that one is applying to, there is a big probability that the test will be retaken. Taking the GRE test multiple times is reasonable, if necessary.

Can you retake the GRE?

Yes, you can retake the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Can you take the GRE more than once?

Yes, you can take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) more than once.

How often can you take the GRE?

You can take the GRE up to five times within a 12-month period or 365 days, once every 21 days. This is true even if you canceled your previous test scores [1].

How many times can you take the GRE?

There is no limit to how many times you can take the GRE. You can take the GRE for an unlimited number of times.

How many times should you take the GRE?

The number of times you take the GRE depends on the applicant. Since there is no limit to taking the test, you can take the GRE multiple times until you reach your target score.

Should you retake the GRE five times?

It is not necessary to take the GRE five times. Higher GRE scores may mean better chances at getting into your new school but remember that retaking it will require you additional test preparation. This may occupy your time and give you less time to finish other commitments like studies and work. It can also prolong your desired admission for your post-graduate studies.

How many times can you take the GRE after paying once?

Once. You can only take the GRE once for one payment that costs $205.

How much does it cost to retake the GRE test?

$50 is the fee to retake the GRE test.

When to retake the GRE?

21 days after your previous GRE test date, you can retake the GRE.

What are the pros and cons of taking the GRE multiple times?

The pros and cons of retaking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are presented in the table below:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Retaking the GRE

PROS

CONS

Score better

Test fees

Decide which score to send out

Time limitation on application deadlines

Does not have a major effect on admission application

No use if not well-prepared

 

Might affect application

Retaking the GRE multiple times has its own advantages and disadvantages. One major pro is that applicants can score better, giving them the opportunity to choose which to send out to their prospective universities. On one hand, its main cons are having to pay multiple test fees, and application deadlines may be affected.

What do schools think of GRE retakes?

Universities do not mind if the score sent is retaken or not because schools are not notified whether an applicant is a retaker or not.

Should you retake the GRE?

Not necessarily. You should retake the GRE if you are not satisfied with your score and if you are confident that you will score higher on the next one. Otherwise, you should not retake the GRE.

Will retaking the GRE affect my visa interview?

Retaking the GRE will not affect your visa interview. The visa officer will not be interested in your scores because it is not his/her duty to check your grades. There may be some who are curious and may approach you. So, it is always preferable to provide an honest response. During your interview, show confidence and ensure the consulate official that you have an acceptable explanation why you had to retake your GRE.

Will taking the GRE multiple times affect my chances of admission?

No, taking the GRE multiple times will not affect your chances of admission to graduate schools.

Will universities know how many GRE attempts were taken?

No, the universities will not know how many GRE attempts were taken by an applicant. The GRE ScoreSelect made this possible by allowing applicants to choose which test or tests to share with graduate school. Graduate schools only see scores that were sent to them. Therefore, they will have no idea whether you have taken the GRE before or even what your previous scores were.

However, ETS made an important note regarding this matter. It states that some programs will require applicants who have taken the GRE test more than once to report their GRE test scores from all administrations. As a result, it is beneficial to inquire about the GRE score requirements of the programs to which you are applying.

Will universities look at previous GRE scores?

No, universities cannot access test taker’s previous GRE scores. Graduate schools will only be able to view scores which you chose to report through GRE ScoreSelect. Some applicants, however, may be required to report previous scores depending on the program to be taken.

Does the number of GRE attempts matter?

No, the number of GRE attempts taken does not matter.

Is it okay to retake the GRE?

Yes, it is totally okay to retake the GRE.

Is taking the GRE twice okay?

Yes, taking the GRE twice, thrice, or even more is okay.

Is it bad to retake the GRE?

No, it is not bad to retake the GRE. Some applicants want to achieve their highest goal score by retaking the GRE test.

References:

[1] https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/faq/