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Haven’t booked your GRE appointment yet?

Well, getting a GRE appointment certainly isn’t rocket science, but if you are a first time test taker, it might seem like a tediously long process. Nothing to worry about, though. You can avoid all the hassle if you know what you are doing.

Booking a GRE slot is simple and easy, and there are quite a few things you need to keep in mind before you do register, so you can get the job done faster.

A lot of students get bemused when they see the huge list of form fields and a whole bunch of screens before they can even see if the test slots are available. There is also no tutorial both on the official ETS website or anywhere else on the internet to help you. Hence, this post is supposed to be a one stop resource where you will find everything you should know in order to book a GRE slot.

We’ve created a comprehensive checklist for the same, so you have everything in place before you register for the GRE. It is a simple step-by-step process that any beginner can easily follow.

Although, it is important that you get into the details right from the beginning so you could avoid mistakes while registering. But, for those of you who don’t have the time, here’s a quick glimpse of what needs to be done before you get yourself a GRE appointment.

But first things first. The GRE test costs you $195 irrespective of which country you are giving it in. And only Credit cards are accepted worldwide, and PayPal is accepted in a few countries. So, make sure you have your credit card ready.

GRE Appointment Checklist

To make it all seem like a piece of cake, let’s create a checklist so you know what exactly to do next.

Before You Register:

1. Read ETS policies and procedures

Before you begin your online registration, make sure you read all the policies regarding registration, scheduling, rescheduling, and cancellation on the ETS website. If you have health related needs that need to be taken care of, or if you think you will require additional breaks during the exam, you need to follow the accommodation request procedures provided by ETS.

2. Figure out the test taking format

The GRE is currently offered in two formats, computer based and paper based, depending on your test center location. Find out here which formats are allowed in your country, and decide which format you are going to write the exam in, if you have the choice.

3. Read and understand the ID requirements

Only passports are accepted as valid official IDs in most countries, but this may vary. Find out what ID documents are accepted in your country and verify if you have them ready. Remember that the ID is the most important aspect on the test day, and you must produce a valid and acceptable ID when you report to a test center. If you don’t have your passport or ID proof ready with you, make sure you do get it in time before the test date. Or keep in mind the issuance time of the ID proofs, when booking your slot.

4. Understand various important rules

Here are a few rules you need to follow when creating an account:

  1. The name you use during account registration must be the SAME name used when you register for the GRE appointment. Meaning, the name must exactly match, with the details on your identification documents (your passport, for example). If the names don’t match, you may not be allowed to sit for the test. So, be extra cautious while registering your name.
  2. Register with your official/real name and include all First, Middle, and Last names. Watch out for spelling mistakes. Again, these names must be exactly as they appear on your ID.
  3. If you don’t have a last name, you need to enter your first name again as your last name.

How to Register:

5. Get yourself registered

Now, go to the ETS website and create a ‘My GRE Account’ for yourself. It’s a one-time requirement, and with this account you can set your test appointment, view scores after your exam, reschedule or cancel your appointment, send out score reports to universities, register for the free GRE Search Service, etc. However, if you already have an account for the TOEFL exam, you can use the same username and password to create a My GRE Account.

6. Decide your test date

Next, you need to decide when you want to take the GRE, depending on how many days you would need to prepare for the test, and when you need to report your scores to your target universities. Also, another important factor to consider, is the test time. Decide if you want to sit for the exam in the morning, during the afternoon, or in the evening. The test dates may vary based on timings as well.

7. Select your test provider

You will now be asked to choose a test provider, and there will be a few options to choose from. Usually, the most favored test provider is Prometric, since it is not only the official worldwide test provider for ETS, but also since it follows ETS’ rules and regulations strictly. However, some test takers decide to choose one of the other test providers.

8. Select your test city

Now, you will be asked to choose the country and then the city where you would like to appear for the test. You will be provided with the test centers that are the closest to the city you have chosen. Remember that only big cities and metros have Prometric centers, and test takers from smaller cities should either choose other providers, or should opt to take the test at a nearby city with a Prometric center. Some big cities have multiple Prometric test centers, in which case, you can choose the nearest center.

9. Check availability of test dates

Now, after you choose the test center, you will be shown an online registration system with updated GRE test center information. Remember that not all test centers are open on all dates, and also the fact that the test date you have decided may or may not be available. If you find that the dates you want are already filled, check after a few days. Sometimes, other test takers postpone/cancel their appointments, and slots get reopened.

10. Complete your registration

Confirm your registration. Complete the payment process and make sure to take a printed form of the receipt. In case you cannot print, save the file as a PDF and keep it handy. This completes your GRE Appointment.

11. Have a backup plan

If for some reason you cannot register online, you need to follow an alternative test appointment process either through phone, fax, or mail, depending upon where you live.

Other things to consider before booking a GRE slot

Find out how long you should prepare

Before booking an appointment for the GRE, you’ll need to figure out how long you would like to prepare for. And for this, you will have to take into account how good you are with Math and Verbal, how long it has been since you finished college, how much time you can devote for studying every day, what your weaker and stronger areas are, and what exactly to study without wasting much time. So, in short, you’ll need a study plan that you can follow every day.

Check if you have access to a Credit/Debit Card

Credit and Debit cards are accepted for payment in almost all countries. The GRE costs you $195. So, make sure you have relevant cards ready with you and check if you have sufficient account balance. If you don’t have a card or sufficient balance, you can ask your friends to help you with their cards.

Have a Valid ID Proof

You would need a valid ID proof to be allowed to sit for the test. Though the ID isn’t required when you are registering, it is important to make sure that the name used to create the My GRE Account MUST match with the name on the ID. So, it is better if you have your ID ready with you during registration.

What else do you get when you register for the GRE?

Along with an appointment for the GRE test, ETS also provides you with a couple of important, but not-so-well known features, which help you in reporting scores to universities, and in finding suitable graduate programs and universities. Both these features come along with the fee that you pay for your GRE appointment, so no extra fee is levied.

1. GRE Score Reports

As mentioned earlier, you can request that your test scores be sent to up to four graduate programs, business programs or fellowship sponsors. You will have to use the ScoreSelect option for each of your four free score reports, and you can decide to send your scores, either from your Most Recent test or from all the tests that you have taken till date during the last five years. If you are taking the computer-based test, you will designate your score recipients on test day. If you are taking the paper-based test, you will designate your score recipients when registering for the test. If you wish to send additional score reports after the test day, you may do so for an additional fee per report.

Along with your test score reports, you may also wish to send up to four FREE ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI) Evaluation Reports to graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors. For more information, visit the ETS PPI website.

2. Free GRE Search

The Free GRE Search is an initiative by ETS to help potential schools find you and your profile, for free. This means, in addition to the schools or institutions that you apply for, you may also receive information regarding admissions, recruitment, scholarships, and fellowships etc, from other universities that find you interesting, or fit to their standards.

You may avail the Free GRE Search option by adding your profile details to the GRE Search Service database. It’s quite an easy process and you can sign up for Free GRE Search when you create your My GRE Account. You will be asked if you would like to be included in the GRE Search Service when you register for a GRE test. Alternatively, you may also sign up anytime by selecting the link for the Search Service registration after you log in with your My GRE Account. Participating schools and fellowship sponsors may search for candidates using GRE scores and GPA.

For example, a school may want candidates who scored above 4.5 on the analytical writing section, and if your score falls in the range, your name appears in their search, and you may be contacted by the admissions team. Of course, the GRE does not sell away your information to third party institutions or companies, so you don’t have to worry about spam calls in the middle of the night.

Now It’s Your Turn

So, that’s how you can get registered to take the GRE. It is a simple, hassle free process, if you know what you’re doing.

If you are new to the GRE, you should find out more about the test format and details regarding the exam, and also know what a good GRE score is. If you think you still have some questions in mind ask away in the comments section, and we’ll be glad to answer them.

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