The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is an entrance test required by most graduate programs to help evaluate a prospective applicant's eligibility. Additionally, undergraduate grades and other criteria are also quite important in the process. Depending on the requirements of the school of your choice, GRE scores can be vital to your acceptance. Fortunately, you may take the GRE multiple times to attempt hitting your target score -- and best of all, you don't have to submit every single score.
Selecting and Sending Scores
After completing the GRE general test, you are able to view your unofficial scores right away at the test center. With the ScoreSelect option, you can also decide which test scores to send. Or, you can wait until after test day to send Additional Score Reports, but there is a fee for this option. If you choose to send your scores on test day, from the test center, you can select to send either your most recent score or all your scores from the previous five years. Alternatively, if you send your scores after test day, you can send a report of your most recent score, all scores, or a hand-picked selection of only the scores you want to send.
Retaking the Test
While it may be nerve-racking to walk out of the computer-based GRE test already knowing your score, you are able to retake the test if needed. The Education Testing Service (ETS) allows students to take the test every 21 days or up to five times over a 12-month span. Since you have the option to select which scores you send out, it doesn't hurt to take the test as many times as allowed until you reach your goal.
Submitting Multiple Reports
With the ScoreSelect option, schools only know about the tests you have taken based upon the scores you send in. If something goes wrong on test day, schools never have to know about it. In some cases, you may want to send multiple reports in. For example, if your score increases by a lot, you may want to show schools how much you improved your initial score. Some schools have a particular preference about multiple reports, so make sure to check individual admissions page for specifics.
How Much Will This all Cost?
While ETS allows test takers to take the test up to five times over 12 months, taking the GRE over and over again is costly. At the time of publication, the fee for taking the GRE is $185. While this fee is high, test registration comes with free review material. On test day, you are able to send your score to four schools for free -- after that, Additional Score Reports cost $25 per recipient. If you wait until after test day to send out your scores you will have to pay, although if you want to select which scores to send, this may be your best option.
Since earning her B.S. in journalism and M.S. in publishing, Allie Benjamin continues to write and edit educational content for various platforms. She also has spent time as a resume writer/editor. Based in D.C., Benjamin currently educates high-school students in grammar and writing skills.