Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does admission to universities depend only on GRE scores?

Ans. It is one of the various criteria that the admission council looks at. However, a good GRE score does improve chances of admission and financial aid.

Q2. Does one have to be a graduate for taking the GRE?

Ans. Not necessarily. However, to do a master's course, one has to be a graduate in any stream.

Meaning that you can take the exam while you are still an undergraduate, but when you are applying for the colleges make sure you have a graduate degree.

Q3. What is the cost/registration fee for GRE?

Ans. The registration fee for taking GRE is USD 190. After administering the test and before getting the final scores, the test takers are asked to submit the names of 4 universities that they would like to send their scores to. This facility is part of the USD 190 fee that is charged for the test.

Q4. How do I register for the GRE?

Ans. You can register online or by phone or by mail. The detailed information about registering for the GRE can be found at

Q5. How many times in a year is GRE exam held?

Ans. GRE is offered on all working days in India (ie, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). The schedule can be obtained from Prometric in person, through phone, e-mail or online.

Q6. How many times can I take GRE?

Ans. GRE can be taken unlimited number of times with a gap of a minimum of 31 calendar days between 2 tests. (It is highly advisable not to appear for GRE too many times as it may affect the applicant’s candidature). However, one can give the test only 5 times in a calendar year.

Q7. What is the validity of the GRE exam?

Ans. Your GRE score will be valid for 5 years after from the date the test was taken.

Q8. What is the scoring pattern?

Ans. Scoring is between 400 (Minimum) and 1600 (Maximum) with 10-point increment. Three scores are reported on the General Test:

- Verbal Reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments
 - Quantitative Reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments
 - Analytical Writing score reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments

Q9. How soon do I get my score?

Ans. You will see your score for the maths and verbal section the moment you finish the exam but official scores (with scores for AWA) will take atleast 21 days to reach you.

Q10. What happens if I postpone/prepone my exam date?

Ans. Rescheduling more than 3 calendar days prior to the original test date (not counting the day of the test) will cost you an additional USD 50. Rescheduling within 3 days of the original test date will cost you and additional USD 190.

Q11. What happens if I cancel my exam date?

Ans. If you cancel more than 3 calendar days prior to the original test date (not counting the day of the test), you will get a refund of USD 85. If you cancel within 3 days of the test date (not counting the day of the test), you will not get any refund. So, it is better to reschedule than to cancel.

Q12. What happens if I want to cancel the GRE test score?

Ans. After taking the exam you are given the choice of canceling your score without seeing it. If you choose to do so the score is lost forever but it gets reported on all subsequent score charts that you had canceled an exam.

Q13. How do I pass on my score to the colleges where I want to apply to?

Ans. The universities only accept official scores sent directly by ETS. Scores to four colleges can be sent free of cost while taking the exam. Subsequently, for each score report sent to a college, you would have to pay USD 23.

Q14. What is percentile?

Ans. If you secure 85 percentile it would mean 85 % of the students taking the exam in the past five years are below you and 15% are equal to or above you.

Q15. Can I apply to universities if I do not have the AWA score?

Ans. Yes, you can apply to the universities based on your provisional scorecard that you receive on the day of the test. But only if the university waives the requirement and as long as you are able to send the official score once it is out.

Q16. Do universities consider photocopies of the GRE scorecard? Do I have to send scores through ETS?

Ans. No, photocopies are not accepted. You have to send your scores only through ETS.

Q17. If I take GRE more than once, which score will be considered by the universities?

Ans. Almost all the universities take the best score.

Q18. If the application deadline of University X is July 15, by when should I take the GRE?

Ans. Technically, you can take it as late as July 15. However, it is best to take the GRE at least 15 days before the deadline so that you have enough time to prepare the other parts of the application.

Q19. Do I need to have the GRE score at the time of applying to universities?

Ans. Yes, you need to have the GRE score with you at the time of applying.

Q20. I took the GRE in May 2005. Can I apply for Fall 2010 with this score?

Ans. No, the GRE score has to be valid till the start of the semester, ie., August 2010.

Q21. Is GRE mandatory for applying to MS and PhD programs outside India?

Ans. No, not all the MS and PhD programs outside India require you to take GRE. These scores are required only by US universities and a few universities in Canada and UK.

Q22. How important is the GRE score in helping secure scholarships for graduate studies?

Ans. The GRE score, your past academic record and your application materials play a vital part towards securing scholarships.

Q23. What is the GRE subject test?

Ans. The GRE subject tests are specialized tests, to be taken only if your university asks for it. Check with them. Students interested in applying for Phd in programs like Molecular Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are encouraged to take the Subject GRE. Each Subject GRE is score out of 990. A score of 800 + is considered to be a good score. In India, Subject GRE is offered only once a year, in November. The registration fee for taking GRE is USD 190.

Q24. Can I take the GRE Subject test after the university deadline?

Ans. Yes, you can take subject GRE after the university deadline. But you have to book the test date at the time of submission of the application.

Q25. It is December 2006.I want to go US in fall 2007 so up to when should I give GRE.

Ans. Dear Vivek, You already late for fall 2007 session. But you can apply as late as February 2007.So you can give GRE anytime before February 2007.

Q26. What is meant by rolling admissions?

Ans. Some colleges don't have a deadline. Students can apply all year round.

Q27. How can one find out about the availability of on-campus and off-campus housing?

Ans. Students can correspond with the University. The Admission Clerk also help students with any queries they may have.

Q28. How much scholarship can one get?

Ans. One can get up to 100% scholarship. GRE students find it easiest to avail of scholarships as compared to GMAT and SAT Students. Government Banks also offer easy study loans for up to 60 lakhs.

Q29. How does one apply to Universities - online or offline?

Ans. One can apply both online and through regular correspondence. Online is preferred.

Q30. What budget should one have in order to take admission to Universities?

Ans. Most college cost anything between $ 10000 and $ 35000 per year. This includes Tuition, Boarding and Lodging. If one gets a scholarship, then the fees gets reduced by that amount.

Q31. Can one work along with one's studies?

Ans. Undergraduate students can easily get jobs of up to 20 hours a week on campus. This helps them to meet their personal expenses. Many Graduate Students, because of their busy schedules, do not get time to work- however, they often get TA / RA (Teaching/ Research  Assistantships). These pay quite well and are best obtained when students reach their Universities.

Q32. What factors are considered while giving admission?

Ans. A.     GMAT/GRE/SAT/SAT II Results

B.     High School and College results - transcripts (these have to be Xeroxed and attested by the school and college authorities and sealed and signed across the flap.

C.     2-3 recommendations (from teachers if one has just finished one's studies or from one's employer if one has been working for more than 1 year.)  (These have to be in original for each college and again sealed and signed across the flap. Sometimes the colleges send their own format else one can get it written like a letter on the College / University letterhead.

D.     Essays or SOPs - Most Colleges require students to write 2 - 3 essays. These essays are very crucial for the student's candidature. Students are advised to adhere to the specified word limit. If no word limit is mentioned, students would do well to not write more than 500 words per essay. Some typical essay topics why do you want to study this course, give us your strength and weaknesses, describe an ethical dilemma that you encountered, cite an instance where your leadership / team skills came to the fore etc.

E.     Extra curricular activities- send attested, Xeroxed certificates.

F.     Work experience - particularly helpful for GMAT.

G.     16 years schooling - not mandatory, but desirable

Q33. How many Universities are there in the US?

Ans. There are over 3500 university in the US. The top 150 are good.

Q34. How one can know about University rankings?

Ans. Sites like (paid),, and are particularly helpful.

Q35. How can one know about good Universities?

Ans. Through books and websites.

Q36. How one can contact the universities abroad?

Ans. Through their official websites or by sending an email

Q37. Which is better - paper-based or online applications?

Ans. Nowadays Universities prefer online applications. One can apply through various websites such as or The application form, essays and fees (through credit card) can be sent online while recommendations and transcripts have to be sent by mail.

Q38. What is GPA ?

Ans. GPA means Grade Point Average. It is given on a scale of 0-4 where 4 is the highest. It is equivalent to the Indian percentage system (0-100%). It is difficult for us to convert so ideally when one sends the information to the college, one needs to attach one's score, as also the highest in one's class, lowest in one's class and average in one's class. Using this the Admissions Committee deduce one's GPA.

Q39. What all is considered work experience?

Ans. Generally, work done simultaneously along with one's studies is not considered as work experience. Only full-time work experience is considered. However if one has done some summer jobs for a well known company or one was working while doing one's graduation by correspondence, then the Admissions Committee may consider it as work experience. In such cases, candidates may send relevant certificates to the Colleges.