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How long before applying to Graduate School should I take the GRE?

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5 answers

Kelsey’s Answer

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Hi Emily! Thanks for your question. I took the GRE a few months before I applied to graduate school. However, your GRE scores are good for 5 years, so you could take them pretty far in advance before you start the application process. I would just make sure you are fully prepared to take the exam! Hope this helps and good luck with everything!
Thanks Kelsey! Emily C. Translate
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Karina’s Answer

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Hi Emily! I would suggest taking the GRE at least 6 months prior to applying to graduate school/s. Why?
1) You would also want to take the ToEFL/IELTS after the GRE and would need time to prepare for it.
2) Depending upon your score in the GRE and how satisfied you are with it, you might decide to retake the GRE test itself.
3) You will need time to shortlist universities and courses that you want to apply to.
Besides, other activities such as working on getting letters of recommendation, writing your SoP would require your time and efforts as well.
I do also believe that taking the GRE (after studying for it,of course) should be one of the first things you should after having decided that you want to apply to grad school.
Hope this helps!!!
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Inoka’s Answer

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Hello Emily - Thank you for your question. I am glad that you plan your graduate study in advance. I would recommend you to first find out the graduate application due dates of your interested program/s and the schools. It is better to take the GRE exam at least 2-3 months before the application due dates. Because If you are not satisfied with your score or your program requires higher score than your earned score, you have enough time to retake the exam. However, be plan to prepare well and plan to earn highest score as much as you can in your first effort. It will save your time and money. However, in case, if you have to retake, then you have enough time to prepare more before the due dates if you take the exam 2-3 months before the due dates. You do not want to worry about missing the due dates.
Good Luck for your future studies!
Thank you! Emily C. Translate
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Kevin’s Answer

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Hi Emily - I took the GRE my senior year of college, but I didn't apply to grad school until the following year. I had a light courseload my senior year and was glad to get it out of the way, which allowed me to take a year off between school to live a little. Good luck!
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William’s Answer

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Hi Emily. The other two answers are solid as far as how early you can take the test. But I'll try to answer in the other direction as well: how late you could take it. ETS says that your scores will be ready within 10-15 days after you take the GRE. If you've selected the electronic method for delivering those scores to your institutions, they will be sent within that time frame as well. So, if you were being conservative, you could take the test about 4 weeks before your grad school applications were due, and still be fine.
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