Your registration for the Graduate Records Examination includes your agreed compliance with the terms by which your scores can be canceled. Educational Testing Services, the test’s administrator, allows you to cancel your scores, but it also reserves the right to do so if certain problems arise, such as testing or identification irregularities, exam misconduct or generally invalid scores.
You can choose to cancel your GRE scores immediately after having completed the exam. Canceling your scores will prevent them from being sent to any institutions you identified as recipients. While your canceled score will not appear on your future score reports, you will not be refunded for your exam. You must make this decision to cancel prior to learning how you performed on the test, and once you do so you will not receive your canceled exam results for review, so you should consider canceling your scores only if you are certain your performance was poor due, for example, to a sudden illness or an unusually stressful event prior to the exam.
ETS can cancel your GRE scores if any irregularities or unusual occurrences take place at the test site or during the test’s administration. These irregularities, which can range from defective exam equipment, such as a computer failing, to natural disasters, are typically outside of the test taker’s control and can impact one or many test takers. In these situations, it is up to ETS’s discretion to reschedule your exam as soon as possible at no additional charge.
Your GRE scores can also be canceled if ETS detects inconsistencies or conflicting information in your identification. These discrepancies can include your identification’s full name not matching that printed on your exam admission ticket, a signature not matching the name on your identification or the inability to provide a valid form of identification with your photograph. These irregularities can lead to your dismissal from the testing location prior to beginning the exam if detected immediately; inconsistencies discovered after the fact can lead to your exam’s score cancellation.
Plagiarism and Misconduct
You also run the risk of having your exam scores canceled if you are discovered to be cheating or copying during the exam or conducting any other activity that violates testing center regulations. These violations can include the use of a cell phone or other electronic equipment, bringing food or beverages into the exam room or leaving the test center without the administrator’s permission.
ETS also can deem scores invalid and subsequently cancel them if any noticeable irregularities appear in your exam responses. When these peculiarities, which can include indecipherable handwriting for paper tests or unusual answer patterns or performance between different test sections, occur, ETS will flag your scores and contact you for additional explanation. ETS will consider any information you can provide and, if still not conclusive, can send your case to arbitration. If you cannot provide evidence explaining these patterns, ETS can allow you to voluntarily cancel your scores or offer a free retest appointment.
- The Princeton Review: GRE FAQs
- Educational Testing Services: 2013-2014 GRE Revised General Test Bulletin
- Educational Testing Services: GRE Revised General Test: Score-Related Test Policies
- Educational Testing Services: GRE Revised General Test: Identification Requirements
- Educational Testing Services: GRE General Test: On Test Day
Teresa J. Siskin has been a researcher, writer and editor since 2009. She holds a doctorate in art history.