GRE Scores After Name Change in the passport

Rahul posted the following comment in the post, Blank Surname in the Passport – GRE and Admission. Here’s what he said:

I am Rahul Ramachandran. As posted by many people in this thread, I also don’t have a surname in my passport. But when registering for GRE and TOEFL, I gave Rahul as my first name and my last name, Ramachndran. I came to know all these only when I started applying at U.S. universities. If I change my name in my passport (with Ramachandran as surname), will they make the changes in the same passport? Or in a new one? If I get a new one, won’t my GRE and TOEFL scores become invalid? I am in a big confusion whether to apply or not. What problems could I face later? Will I have problems while applying for a visa? Can I change my name in my passport after going there?”

GRE and TOEFL Registration

While registering for GRE and TOEFL, I gave Rahul as my first name and last name as Ramachndran.

You made the right decision by using Ramachandran as your last name when registering for GRE and TOEFL.

Many students either use their full first name as the last name or don’t use the last name at all.

Name Change in The Passport

If I change my name in my passport (Ramachandran as surname)? Will they change it in the same passport? Or in a new one? If I get a new one, won’t my GRE and TOEFL scores become invalid?

No, your GRE scores will not become invalid because of changes in your name in your passport.

A passport is used to verify and validate one’s identity before taking an exam, that’s just about it. It will not serve any other purpose later.

So, you can go ahead and change the name in your passport and apply at U.S. universities.

You will not encounter any other issues later. Many students have to retake the GRE because they messed up the test completely. But you made the right decision to use Ramachandran as last name. This had saved you lots of time, money and headaches.

Double check your spelling in the Passport Application. It should match the name on the GRE Score Report.

Series: GRE Registration vs Names

  1. What names to use when Registering for the GRE Test (this article)
  2. How to Register for GRE with Multiple Names
  3. How to Change the Name After GRE Registration (But Before the Test)
  4. How to change the name after taking the GRE Test
  5. Problems without Surname in the Passport, GRE, Transcripts and College Application
  6. How to Change the Name in the Passport in the USA (& why you should change)
  7. No Surname in the Passport. Apply to US Universities?
  8. If Last Name Changes, Would GRE Scores Become invalid? (this article)
  9. How to complete DS-160 without Surname in the Passport
  10. I changed my name in the Passport to avoid problems


  1. Himanshi on December 1, 2019 at 3:14 PM

    I was about to register myself at ETS portal. However, stuck at name section.
    after reading all the comments. Here is my situation in which I need help.
    I don’t have last name in my passport as well as any of the mark-sheets.
    According to the comments above. I should get my Surname added in the passport and using that name only I should register on ETS website. This is resolved, However, while applying to the universities, I have to submit my mark-sheets which will have my old name (Without the surname).
    In that case I will not get call from any of the universities as the name will not match. Am I correct? So what should I do?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 2, 2019 at 2:10 PM

      While submitting the application, you will list that marksheets have just the first name. That’s all you need to do.

  2. ajay on September 25, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    sir, my name in pasword is ajay kumar yadav but in my gre id is ajay yadav ,wheather it ll effect to my gre exam,i have gre exam on sept-30,after 5 days,can u suggest me ,what shall i do

  3. Sarat Sivaprasad on August 3, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    I am writing my Gre on 24th and Toefl on 27th.My doubt is that if i bifurcate my name after writing GRE, will i have any problem.We have to send a scanned copy of our passport while sending our application.So wont it be a new passport no during i20 and does it create any problem?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      You just have to let them know that you GRE will be in different name and you have new passport with new name after you took GRE.

      • Sarat Sivaprasad on August 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        k fine…but wen I apply for colleges,ill be leaving the last name blank….so can I update the name on my application after writing gre?

  4. Shravanti Patil on June 26, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    I just came across your article “Missing surname problems in passport”.
    Unfortunately, all my documents and passport have first name only ie ‘Shravanti’ and empty surname. I have also taken the gre and registered with just first name ie First Name: Shravanti Surname: Shravanti. Now i am confused about what to do. I am going to get all my documents edited, but do i HAVE to re-take the gre? is there an alternative? or retaking the gre is my best bet?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Get your name changed in the passport. You can’t do anything about documents or GRE.

      • Shravanti Patil on July 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        I have applied for a re-issue of passport by providing name change affidavit and newspaper ads. Is Having a name change affidavit and newspaper ads enough proof of name change for future requirements in the US? Do i need to get my name change published in the gazette as well?
        Will be grateful if you could clarify. Thanks.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on July 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

          U.S. will see only the name in Passport. Ads doesn’t matter as far US visa is concerned.

  5. zil on May 9, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    I have questions about my ETS GRE account.
    In my passport ,
    GIVEN NAME is ZIL XXXXXXXX (last one XXXXXXXX is my father’s name)
    But in my current gre ets account First or Given Name is zil and
    in Middle Initial part i kept it blank and Last name which i had given is yyyyy so is there any problem will arise because of it..??

  6. sravya on August 19, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Dear sir / Madam,
    I have a problem with my last name i filled it up with my fathers name how can i change ?
    Is there any possibility to change the name in my test center
    please reply me asap.
    Thanking you in advance.

  7. Emil Mathew on March 16, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    My name is Emil Mathew. Unlike others, i have an issue with my first name. In my passport the details are given as :
    Given Name : Emil Mathew
    Surname: Mathew
    What should i do while registering for gre ? Is it okay if i give my first name as Emil or should i give the full name Emil Mathew ?? and surname as Mathew?

  8. Indraroop Ghosh Dastidar on November 9, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    My name is Indraroop Ghosh Dastidar.During my GRE and TOEFL I registered as
    First name: Indraroop
    Middle name: Ghosh
    Last name: Dastidar
    As a result in my GRE score card my name is written as “Indraroop G Dastidar”.My last name is “Ghosh Dastidar”.During application to universities I want to write ” Ghosh Dastidar” as my last name.Will I be allowed to do that? or it will cancel my scores?Plz help.I am really facing a tough problem these days!!

    • Akhil M Sreenath on January 12, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Hi Indraroop,
      Even i am facing the similar problem.
      Kindly Reply if you got any reply from the universities.

  9. divya on July 31, 2011 at 4:55 AM

    sir in my passport it was printed wrongly regarding my date of birth,i have already taken my exam once with the same details present in my passport bt now i got to knw that there is a mistake with my date of birth .i want to write the gre in october once again so can i take the exam using the older passport and then after i will make corrections in my passport .is it is said that to get a passport after corrections it takes 3 months so i dnt have so much of time i need to write exam and take admissions fo 2012 jan plz help me out sir

  10. amanpreet singh on June 25, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    plz send me required information

  11. Shanta on April 23, 2011 at 11:10 PM


    I'm Shanta, I have registered for GRE exam in May at Banglore with Shanta XYZ. But my name in Passport is Shanta ABC. I have driving licence with name ShantaXYZ. My surname changed from ABC to XYZ after marriage. In my passport I have my spouse name added with same XYZ surname.

    But now I want to rescedule my exam in another country. I have visa on my passport. It will take lot of time to ask for another passport from this country. Can I still take exam with the name Rekha XYZ here?

  12. brendan on March 21, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    I have given my first name for gre test as brendan but my passport has given name as brendan harry ………will it effect while verifying on test day ……..or will i have change it on my passport ??

  13. Praveen on February 9, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    I have my name as first name : PXXX

    Middle name:Gxxxx

    Last name:PaXXX in passport

    But in gre certificate i have my name as first name : PXXX

    Middle name:

    Last name:PaXXX

    All my certificates are in sync with my passport… Will universities accept my gre certificate…

  14. karan on February 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Hey can you please solve my problem.. I have problem regarding my middle name

    My full name is Karan Dilip Patil but my all marksheet contains name as Karan Dliliprao Patil and my passport has name Karan Dilip Patil… I registered GRE as Karan Diliprao Patil . I am very confused about it. please solve my problem. After I get admitted it can create any problem ??

  15. deepak on February 1, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    Hi, Pls clarify this. My full Name is P.Deepak Rosario. In my Passport, Degree certificates and other documents, it has my above name.

    But while applying for GRE, In the first name selected Deepak, Middle Name : Rosario and Last Name : Pancras which is dad's name. When i went to take the GRE exam the displayed my name as Deepak R Pancras. Is this be a proble when i apply for any universities.

  16. Rahul on November 5, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    I have a problem regarding my toefl registration. My dob is 02/05/1989 but when my dad registered it for me he made a mistake and registered it as 02/04/1989 due to a drop down box mishap. Just before my toefl I had a major accident and distracted by pain I failed to pay too much attention to this detail just before starting the test. Now it has come to my notice when I checked my online account and ets is not permitting me to change this detail. What kind of a problem will this pose? Will the universities reject the score report outright? Will I have to take toefl again? Or can I just get an affidavit from a notary

    Explaining tat it’s a clerical error attached with a copy of my birth cerificqte and other govt Id proofs like voter id, dl, passport, etc. My toefl score was 110 tats y unless der s absolutely no option I do not wanna write it again! Can you pl help me regarding this query of mine

    • ashwinkumar on February 5, 2015 at 11:12 AM

      hello….its been a long time…. i too hav a same problem in GRE. did u find any problems during admission??

  17. CHANDRA SHEKHAR JAMM on September 14, 2010 at 10:56 AM


    surname field is blank in my passport surname is given in "given name" field in my passport . But while booking GRE i entered it write .Which means that there is little mis match but i can still write my GRE( confirmed from prometric office) .But i will change my passport name i.e i will get my surname in surname field after GRE but that "might" change my passport number ….. will there be a problem if my passport number changes.Because i came to know that in prometric center before writing GRE ,you have to give your passport number on a paper to them.

  18. sheik ghouse pasha on September 7, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    hi hsb,my surname in passport is empty.

    my name and father name in certificates and passport are as follows:

    father name:sheik haneef

    my name:sheik ghouse pasha

    am planning to book gre exam this month but after reading this blog i stopped the it necessary to change my passport surname and if so,then what should i write in surname weather sheik or pasha?sheik is my family name

  19. vinodha on August 19, 2010 at 10:02 PM


    I too hve the same problem regarding the change in the last name.. I hve registered for GRE as vinodha sambath whereas in ma passport it is given as vinodha sambathkumar.. i didn hve my passport while registering so i did this mistake.. will this be a problem during admission process??? what is the change am i supposed to do???

  20. K.V.VIDYA SHANKAR on July 14, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Hi…I am K.V.VIDYA SHANKAR..Ive got prob regarding the name mismatch.. Ive taken my GRE and the details were:



    But in the passport the details are as follows:



    Now that ive taken my GRE i know i cant make any changes to it anymore. But do i need to make changes in the passport? Are the details given for GRE and the passport same? Will this mismatch, if so, create touble during admission? What is the change m supposed to make in the passport?

  21. Chandrasekhar on June 23, 2010 at 6:36 AM

    Hi… I am Chandrasekhar Garapati. I dont have a surname in my passport. I gave my first name as Chandrasekhar and last name as Garapati . So i got a blank space in the surname column.But my surname is Garapati.I have to give my GRE and TOEFL examinations. While registering for the test how should i give my name as printed in the passport?? while registering should i leave a blank space in the case of surname???Will there be a problem if i change the name after writing the examination??

    • halil can gen&ccedil on February 10, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      Hello… I just ordered a toefl exam.When i was entering the credit card number and other staff i missed the point that in the right screen my name is:Halil and my surname is Genc.At the first registration for ets/toefl system i wrote my name is Halil middle name Can and surname Genc.In my ID there is no field of middle name and in the ID my name appears in this way:Halil Can. As you can see my middle name is separated.Do you think it is a problem and what should i do? please im waiting for your responses.

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