You decided to Register for the GRE Test. Before you know, you are about to create your account at the ETS site to Register for the GRE. The instructions ask you to use the exact names from the passport. Then you look at the first and last name and you are not sure how to proceed.
Here are four different problems frequently encountered by GRE Test takers while registering for the GRE Test.
- Multiple First names (ABC DEF XYZ)
- Multiple Last names (AXX BYY CZZ)
- Long Names (number of characters)
- No Surname in the Passport
- No Surname in the passport
So, how do you register for the GRE test when your name falls into one of the above categories?
Warning: ETS would cancel your GRE Test score or the GRE test center may not allow you to sit for the test if the names used to register and the name on your PAssport (or ID) doesn’t match.
Series: GRE Registration vs Names
- What names to use when Registering for the GRE Test (this article)
- How to Register for GRE with Multiple Names
- How to Change the Name After GRE Registration (But Before the Test)
- How to change the name after taking the GRE Test
- Problems without Surname in the Passport, GRE, Transcripts and College Application
- How to Change the Name in the Passport in the USA (& why you should change)
- No Surname in the Passport. Apply to US Universities?
- If Last Name Changes, Would GRE Scores Become invalid?
- How to complete DS-160 without Surname in the Passport
- I changed my name in the Passport to avoid problems
- How to complete the Passport Application in India
Multiple First and Last Names
ETS mentioned the following on their website:
Let’s look at some examples
- First Name (or Given Name)
- Be sure to provide your entire first (given) name (excluding accents).
- Do not register under a nickname and do not register with only initials as your first name.
- Last (family/surname) name.
- You must enter your entire last (family/surname) name.
- If you have a two-part or multiple last names, enter your complete last name as it appears on the ID documents (without accents) that you will present on the day of the test.
Here is an example of how to use multiple First and Last Name.
- First name: Neha
- Last name: Raghavan Menon
So while applying for GRE, I should give it as
- First Name: Neha
- Last name: Raghavan-Menon
Is this correct? Is it okay to us ‘-‘ to separate the two last names? While applying to universities, can I apply as Neha R Menon, as all other certificates have this name printed?
Answer: As per the recent changes from ETS, you are not required to use “-” to separate the multiple names from your passport. You would enter your Last Name as Raghavan Menon.
Lengthy Names vs GRE Registration
My name is LEELA RAMA VENKATA NARASIMHA RAO. While registering for the GRE, I can’t enter my full name. There isn’t sufficient space for four letters. How do I register for the GRE Test?
I think your name is not as long as compared to some examples I have witnessed. Here’s what I would recommend:
- Enter the Same with Spaces as much as you can fit
- Get a New Passport with a shorter name. (Recommended)
Comment Regarding the Option 1:
Even I had the same issue. I wrote a mail to ETS and they replied to enter as many characters as possible without spaces. You will be allowed to add the rest at the test center on the day of test. When you arrive at the test center, inform them that your name did not fit in the and they would help you. I did the same. So be confident book your slot. And if you invent any other new to enter your name, then you will not be allowed to take the test.
When I tell folks to get a new passport with a shorter name, I typically get the following response.
“I’m running short on time and I wil miss the deadline for Fall Semester.”
Considering the host of problems one would run into with a long name, the hassle of the missed deadline is worth a try. Your life in the US would be really difficult and I have written about in detail.
- Problems due to Blank Surname in the Passport
- How to Change the name in the passport and the documents in the USA
No Surname vs GRE Registration
Registering for GRE without a Surname in the passport should be avoided at any cost.
I don’t care if you have a deadline or going to miss a semester. Get a new passport with a Surname.
I have seen 1000+ reports of people suffering in the US without Surname in the passport and Visa stamp.
It’s expensive and year-long process to get a new passport after you have landed in the USA. So, take my advise and get a new passport. I’m not going to give any other suggestions or workaround for this option.
GRE Registration Tips
- Register for GRE if and only if you have the passport with you
- Don’t register for GRE or any test if your Passport is still under processing
- You should have the passport with you during the registration process (or a copy of it)
- (Again) If your Surname in the passport in Blank, don’t register for the GRE Test.