When to Retake GRE?

Raghuram Sukumar GRE 37 Comments

“When can one retake GRE” – asks one HSB fan.

I took my GRE last week on October 6  and scores less than what I expected (990). I was expecting around 1200 in GRE. I want to know when to retake GRE General test? I want to apply for Fall 2011 semester. Please help me, alos provide some good gre study materials.

First I would suggest you read the following articles for GRE Test prep

When to Retake GRE?

Before you plan to repeat GRE exam, you have to understand the rules set by ETS with respect to multiple GRE attempts.

You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month and no more than five times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

  • Calender Month – Refers to whole month (Example – January, March, ..). Since your first GRE attempt was on October 6, you cannot retake GRE in same October month. You are eligible to take GRE from November 1.
  • 12-month period – From October, 2010 to September, 2011 which will considered as 12 month period in your case. You cannot take GRE more than 5 times in that 12 months. I really doubt if someone has to repeat GRE 5 times to get high GRE Score.

Time Between GRE Exams

I usually recommend to prepare for another 3 months to retake GRE exam second time. If your practice test score in PowerPrep doesn’t improve much from your first GRE exam score, consider rescheduling GRE again.

You have scores 990 and after 3 months, if you score from practice test is still around 900 to 1100, then most likely you are going to get similar score to first time. Appear in GRE only if you can consistently get over 1200 in GRE practice test.


  1. I think atleast a months time would be required if u want to increase your score substantially.So around mid november may be the right time.But again its upto you and depends on what kind and how much effort you can put in.

    1. Hi all,

      my GRE score is 1190[390V + 800Q].

      I have 2 yrs work ex in telecom/optical networking company.

      UG score is 74.4% in ECE.

      I want to apply to :





      in telecom/networking.

      what are the chances of me getting an admit??

      do i need to retake GRE??

        1. Dear HSB,

          What is missing in my profile? If i retake the GRE and score 1250+ or 1300+,

          will i have a good chance for the above four universities? Please suggest.

  2. Well, similar was my case. My first attempt – 890. I worked hard for two months & got 1280. Simple formula for improvement –

    1) Do math from Nova & not barron's – Practice a lot of sums from varied sources

    2) Practice as much verbal as possible…by that i mean as much possible

    3) Don't rely on powerprep. Kaplan is better test

    Al d best!

    1. u can download it from ETS gre website….

      remember powerprep is not compatible with windows vista and windows 7 some time it may not run on 64bit xp….

      1. For Vista and Win 7 users. Run powerprep as an administrator and u should be able to use. Just right click on icon>properties>compatibility>check run as administrator. I think you will still face some problem with timer in practice tests although it works for complete tests.

  3. dude take my point prepare for at least 2 months or u will end up with almost the same score i was also in same situation like u few months before….

    if u realy want to improve your score concentrate more on quants practice as much as u can now forget about barrons and other stupid gre materials practice from nova etc., and do a lot of power prep tests….

    use barrons only for verbal part ie., learn all the word lists from barrons practice lot of reading comprehensions.

    and one more important thing use power prep only to improve your speed of solving quant problems do not mug up the questions in power prep. use it only to learn some genral gre trics..

    all the best

  4. Hi

    Recently I gave my GRE exam. I scored 1280 – Q – 710, V – 570, I really got frustrated by seeing Quant score so much less, because I scored round about 750 – 790 in all the practice test in Kaplan test series. I really can't believe that my quant score is so much less…..

  5. i was in a very confused state… i havn't attempted till now .i wanna write gre in feb of 2011. is it a good descision.. plzzzzzz anyone suggest me and help me out. waiting for reply.

    1. if u r planing to give gre in feb 2011,that means you have 3months time.
      think about few points b4 u book the gre date
      1) when are u planing to go for ur masters? i.e if u are applying for fall 2011 u will have to rush up with gre and toefl etc etc. if u r planing for spring 2011 then take gre in feb u will have a lot of time to apply.
      2) An important question that u sud ask ur self is R U READY TO TAKE GRE? ie did u prepare well or u need time, if u need time-how much?
      best way to get answers to the above questions is give as many mock gre tests in power prep software and other testing materials and check the score (u will get almost same scores in real gre test plus or minus 100-200 ie if u get 1300 in power prep or kaplan tests u will end up with any score between 1050-1300).
      3) take gre b4 august 2011 because the pattern is changing.and book the date well before a month or two because dates are not available because this is the peak season for gre test takers..
      All the best…..hope this helps u if not feel free to post a question…….

        1. yup sory corection for sushma spring 2012 i applied for spring 2011 waiting for i20

  6. Hi HSB,

    I am extremely anxious and worried right now. I have written gre three times already. The first two times my scores were 600q+500v, 640q+610v.

    I wrote my gre today again after a year and despite averaging 1300+ constantly in practice tests ended up with 1210(660q+550v) which left me distraught. I am planning to apply for MS in Industrial engineering for summer term 2011 to the following univs:









    Will i stand a chance with this score. Please help me out as i'm utterly clueless. I'm hearing conflicting statements from different people, ranging from extremely positive to absolutely negative on my chances. Please help me out.

    1. ur gre is good enough to almost all the univ u mentioned but take care of ur G.P.A i.e ur bachelors percentage and other thing is ur toefl try to get atleast 85-90….

      1. @ashish…well my toefl score is 110 but my gpa s only 6.7 outta 10…tats wat s worrying me wen i put everythin in perspective…ive dropped virginia tech, arkansas nd arizona, have decided to go for Louisiana tech, tamu- kingsville for industrial

        nd am also thinkin of applying to university of houston clearlake and texas tech for systems engineering.. have got a straightforward and positive reply to my emails frm lamar, arlington, louisiana tech, ambiguous from lsu…nd no reply frm UH.

        Should i keep mailing…or should i leave it on fate nd just apply!!!

  7. Hello, i took GRE yesterday my score is 1150 (Q – 710, V – 440). Are there any chances of getting a decent university in u.s for M.S in computer Science. I have done B.E in computer Science with CGPA 8.1 / 10

    12th – 72 %, 10th – 73%.

    Or as i am planning to take the test again after 3 months. will it be the right decision?

    1. dont worry u will get admission in good universities. if u are confident enough that u will score more in gre then retake it, more score in the sense above 1300-1400. but as ur cgpa and 10th 12th are decent, 1150 in gre is enough as far as i know…. retaking gre depends on u but if i was at ur position i will not giv gre again….its waste of time and money.again u will have to do toefl etc dont waste money in gre as i did few months bak i wrought gre 3 times now iam regretting for wasting 30000 INR approx….
      i would like to giv u a suggestion shortlist some universities which matches ur current profile see if u r satisfied with those universities, if u r satisfied well and good if u r not then think about retaking GRE. as i also underwent with same confusing situation and there was no one to help me except HSB i did a sort of reserch in these maters and as my gre is also same as urs i will try to shortlist some universities good universities in fact for u.so list goes like dis
      1)illinois institute of technology.(very very gud one foe cs)
      2)texas tech university(again very good university for cs and in fall 2010 one of my friend got admission in dis univ same cs program his gre was 1150 and same profile as urs he even got some scholarship now he is also workin on campus earning 750$/month more than enough for living in texas)
      3)university of texas arlington(u will get in easyly)
      etc…etc there are many universities like dis so why do u want to waste money in gre with the same 9000 rupees u can apply for all the three universities which i mentiond above and u will for sure get admission in atleast two…
      all the best take a good decesion think abt it….

      1. @ Ashish reddy

        Thanks a lot for your reply..

        but i would like to know are the universities suggested by you have a good ranking.. coz i am looking for some good ranking universities.. and what are the chances of job after completion of ms there??

  8. Hi HSB, i took GRE few days back and scored 1330(Q-760, V-570) and i am yet to give TOEFL. well i did my B.Tech(Civil) from iit roorkee, but my CG is just 5.9. Well can u enlighten me on how much this low CG of mine going to affect me in both univ selection and Visa interview. I am opting for MS in Transportation engg.

    1. Good score, dont worry about 5.9 GPA. Highlight your strong areas in your application. Good luck.

  9. Is there any university Whr One can do MS-PhD combined..!! in biomedical science or Neurobiology.

  10. hi

    m tryin to get gre dates from last 2months but all the dates are filled

    I was taking it to improve my profile. I have already went for the visa in july but got rejcted, so thought of improving profile but ni gre dates available.

    can anybody please help in improving my profile.

    I am really scared of even the imagination of getting rejected second time.

    i realy appreciate your help.

  11. hello sir

    i am in final year of btech in electronics and communication and want to go for masers in embedded or telecommunicaion. sir i want to take admission in fall 2011 and my xamz of btech will finish till june2011. i dont have enough time to prepare for gre or toefl. mu cgp is 7.8 and in 12th and 10th my percentage was 81% and 83% respectively. currently i am doing my internship in ecole centrale d electronique, paris . and they have already offered me admission in embedded systems for fall 2011. but i want to go for some other universities too. please suggest me something.

  12. hii myGRE-1190(Q-740,v450) acads-54.28% mumbai university BE(EXTC)planning for next fall MS in CS are these univs right for me

    University of Florida @ Gainesville

    University of Texas @ Dallas

    Clemson University

    San Francisco State University

    State University of New York at Albany

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    George Masson University

    University of Central Missouri

    University of Houston Clearlake

    univ.of [email protected] rock

  13. i gave the gre test today,i.e., 25th. and did very badly.I got 990 which i dint expect at all. in practice tests i was getting above 1300.When should i consider giving again since i want to apply for fall 2011.

  14. hi

    i took gre on 13th of oct n scored very low. i want to apply for fall 2011. so, is it ok to take gre by 1st week of dec???

  15. Hi HSB,

    I took GRE on oct and scored 990. Iam planning for a retake,

    I want to know the best time to retake if i'm looking for Jan 2012 admission or is there any possibility for Sept 2011 admission.


    Bharath S

  16. Hello,

    I have taken my GRE in the month of October and landed up with a score of 1050 (Q-690 , V-350 ).

    My Acads : B-Tech EEE 8.2/10 CGPA ; XII – 94.5 ; X-89.1

    Having 3 Yrs of Work Exp in Software MNC

    TOEFL – Yet to take

    Can any body suggest if I have to retake the exam to get an admission into a CS Masters Program ( in a gud univ ) ?

    If I can apply with the above profile , please suggest some good universities where there is a chance of getting an admission

  17. dear sir,
    i m doing B.pharmacy in mumbai, i m planing to go for ms in usa, i appeared for gre in aug-10, and score is 900 (600maths+300v.a.), i recently appeared for toefl and score is 103, my academic is normaly 1st class(64% to 67% for 6 semisters).
    my quary is that , can i get admission in ms – pharmacy (may be verious subjects) in usa and after that if i will get admission , can i get visa for usa?
    please guide me for my above sitution.

    (this mail is sent by shlesh's father on behalf of shlesh (student) please send him your opinion.
    thanks, ->>>from:ajay kadakia

  18. Hello,

    I have taken my GRE in the month of October and landed up with a score of 1050 (Q-690 , V-350 ).

    My Acads : B-Tech EEE 8.2/10 CGPA ; XII – 94.5 ; X-89.1

    Having 3 Yrs of Work Exp in Software MNC

    TOEFL – Yet to take

    Planning to apply for some univ's from the below list . Please suggest upon the same – scope of univ can be mentioned ( moderate , safe , risky ) and quality ( best/average/low profile )

    University Of Texas, Dallas –

    Polytechnic Institute of NYU –

    IIT Chicago –

    Northeastern University –

    Mississippi state university –

    University Of Kentucky , Lexington –

    University Of Central Florida, Orlando –

    Texas Technological Univ, Lubbock –

    University Of Oklahoma, Norman –

    If possible , please suggest some good univs from your end

  19. Hi HSB,

    i took GRE few days back and scored 1220(Q-800, V-420) and I have TOEFL score of (R-29,L-27, S-23, W-25). well i did my B.Tech(EE) from iit roorkee CGPA of 7.086/10. I don't know weather it satisfied 3.0 GPA criteria or not. I've completed around 15 projects in related fields with 4 international publications(2 accepted, 2 communicated). Scored an A+ in BTech Project on 'Vision guided robotics' and now working on development of Fully Autonomous Car in association with few more students.

    I've decided to apply for MS in intelligent systems/Robotics and Vision in

    Uni. of Minnesota

    UT Austin

    U of Maryland

    U Penn.

    U. Washington


    mcgill canada

    What are my chances to get accepted in these universities with funding

  20. hi sir
    my gre score is 155 Quant and 138Verbal in academics 7.0GPA,10th-85%,12th-91% .. am soo disaapointed with my score i should go
    to fall 2013.pls suggest me whether i hav to retake gre with in a week because application deadlines are reaching or should i apply with my present score..pls suggest some universities that i can get with my present score..pls pls pls help me..thanks in advance

    1. Hi Karthick!
      although i may not be (sure as hell am not) as experienced as Mr.Raghu , but i have scouted for various univs online and got a fairly probable idea for the average required scores in GRE. As i see you have good GPA i may suggest you to take GRE again.Aim for atleast 150 in verbal and arnd 160 in quant and -Voila- you can easily get admits from decent universities.As of now ( m in mumbai) nearly 3 dates are available at end of dec.So you got 1 month in your hand, do well..
      And best of luck!

      Amey Patil
      Fellow GRE-taker.

  21. Hi everyone.
    I have taken my GRE exam on june 29th. I’m not satisfied with the score. So im thinking to retake my GRE. What is the time gap to retake my exam. As in this web site,, I have seen for 1 month (i.e, October 6–November 1st). But GRE official web site has mentioned 60days after the previous exam.

    Anticipating for ur response….

    Thank You in advance…

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