gre registration names

If you have multiple first names or multiple surnames, how to create the account and register for the GRE Test or TOEFL Test?

For example

My name is Arun Jxxx Pxxx Bxxx Rxxx as per my passport and other certificates. For GRE (planning on taking it in november), the system doesn’t allow me to use spaces in the first or last names. Should I enter them without any spaces? I heard there is a provision for changing the name at the exam centre. I am confused.

First Name (Given Name) – Arun Jxxx Pxxx

Surname (or Last Name) – Bxxx Rxxx is my surname. Kindly help.

GRE Registration – Names

ETS have clearly specified what to do if you have multiple names as first and last names in their website.

And in old days (a few years back), if you had space between the name, spaces were not allowed. But, things have changed recently and you can use space between the names. You have no idea how much confusion this has caused to Test Takers in the past.

Old Instructions for GRE Registration

  • The name you use when you register must exactly match the name on the identification (ID) documents (without spaces or accents) that you will present on the day of the test. If it does not, you may be prohibited from taking the test or your test scores may be canceled after you take the test.
  • When you register, you must supply your entire last (family/surname) name. If you have a two-part last name, be sure to supply your complete last name as it appears on the ID documents (without spaces or accents) that you will present on the day of the test.
  • Be sure to provide your entire first (given) name (without spaces or accents). Do not register under a nickname and do not register with only an initial as your first name.
  • If you register by phone, please be sure you are registered under your entire first and last names as they appear on your ID.
  • If your online account has already been created, please confirm that the name on your ID documents still matches the name that appears in your account. If they do not, contact GRE Services.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your ID documents match your admission ticket on the day of the test.

New Instructions – What Name to Use for GRE Registration


first name last name gre registration space

As you can see, while creating your account to Register for the GRE, spaces are allowed in the Name Field. Here’s is a screenshot from the Test Takers account creation page.

ets account name space allowed


Here’s how you would enter your name to register for GRE Test as per new Instructions from ETS.

how to register for gre with spaces in names

If you have additional problems with GRE Registration, please do post them in the questions below.

Series: GRE Registration vs Names

    1. What names to use when Registering for the GRE Test
    2. How to Register for GRE with Multiple Names (this article)
    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?
    9. How to complete DS-160 without Surname in the Passport
    10. I changed my name in the Passport to avoid problems


  1. Nisal Egodawaththa on October 1, 2019 at 1:59 PM

    Plz tell me in gre registration my name is Egodawaththa Arachchilage Don Nishal Madujith. How should I enter first name midle and last name

  2. Shruti on July 6, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    I have registered for gre exam recently and my given name in the passport appears to be “Shruti Chandrashekar Raju” and last name is “Kondur”. While filling the details, my given name was too long and could’nt fit in the given name column. It said ‘given name should be between 1 to 24 letters’ and mine was exceeding it. So i filled it as “Shruti Chandrashekar R” in the given name as complete Raju could’nt fit there. and i filled my last name as it is which is there in the passport, that is”Kondur”. So will it be an issue at the center during gre examination ?

  3. kalyan dhavala on January 18, 2019 at 10:36 AM

    i’ve created ets account
    my name is so big which did’nt fit in the given space
    my first name according to passport is Vxxxx Sxxxx Dxxxxx Sxxxx Kalyan
    in ets account in first name i gave Vxxxxx Sxxxxx Dxxxx Sxxx
    and middle inital is K
    is that ok?

  4. Jina on November 26, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    My given name in passport is JXXX AXX
    and the Surname is KXXXXX
    How should I register for GRE?.Kindly reply.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 1, 2018 at 12:53 PM

      Refer to the solution posted above. Just make sure there is not typo when you enter the name.

  5. LEELA RAMA VENKATA NARASIMHA RAO on August 25, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    in registering for GRE , i cant type my full name .
    4 letters getting miss
    for these problem what should i do ?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 1, 2018 at 12:54 PM

      If your name doesn’t fit, then enter as much as you can with space between the names or consider getting a new passport with a shorter name. I recommend getting a new passport. It will save a world of trouble for you in the US or abroad.

  6. Aravind on August 9, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    I have a problem
    In passport-
    My first name is Aravind
    My last name is Vxxxxxxx Pxxxxxx Bxxxxxx
    My name is all my academic documents is Aravind V.P.
    So can I use Vxxxxx (the initial V) as my middle name in gre and Pxxxx Bxxxx as my last name? because the length of my last name is too long to fit in the allotted space for registration.

    • praveen on December 19, 2016 at 2:02 AM

      @Aravind,You cannot use v.p because ets will only look at you passport not other stuffs

  7. Tanmay on June 21, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Hi My name is Txxxx Sxxxx Kxxxx where Sxxxx ins my middle (Father’s) name.

    I have registered for GRE as
    Given name: Txxxx
    Middle Initial: S
    Surname: Kxxxx

    The passport states it as:

    Given name: Txxxx Sxxxx
    Surname: Kxxxx

    Will I have a problem at the center?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 1, 2018 at 12:55 PM

      Why would you do that when they have clear instructions that name should match the ID!

  8. G R Ramdas Pillai on February 15, 2016 at 11:11 AM


    As per passport my GIVEN NAME is GANESA RUKMANI RAMDAS, where GANESA and RUKMANI are my initials; and RAMDAS is my name.
    Please suggest the format to be used for GRE.

    Thanks and Regards,

  9. Santhosh Sivan on February 13, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Hello Raghuram Sukumar,

    My Passport is having the following details.
    First Name: Santhosh Sivan
    Last Name: Kathiresan

    I have two questions to ask.

    1. For my GRE Exam:
    First Name: SanthoshSivan (or) Santhosh-Sivan
    Last Name: Kathiresan
    I would like to know in which way should I type my First Name, whether “SanthoshSivan” or “Santhosh-Sivan” for GRE?

    2. For University Application:
    First Name: Santhosh Sivan
    Last Name: Kathiresan
    My doubt is that whether the University will sync my GRE Score Card named “SanthoshSivan” or “Santhosh-Sivan” which will be sent by ETS to them, with the “Santhosh Sivan” as on Application?

    Thanks in advance.

  10. Neha on January 20, 2016 at 8:55 AM

    My name in official documents other than passport is Neha R Menon. In passport, it is
    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.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 20, 2016 at 9:35 AM

      GRE – Correct.
      University – Match your Passport.

    • Vani on January 31, 2016 at 9:21 AM

      Hi my name in marksheets and other academic certificates is Vani J Sukumar.
      First Name: Vani
      Surname: Jayaram Sukumar
      First Name: Vani
      Surname: JayaramSukumar
      Now for applying for universities, I know that I should apply exactly as in passport. But will this be an issue if they compare with marksheets? Should I enclose any other documents to ensure the authenticity of marksheet and passport belonging to the same person, i.e, me.

      • Raghuram Sukumar on February 1, 2016 at 1:30 PM

        No, you did the right thing with GRE.
        for university application – Use the Surname as per passport with space between two names.

  11. VVSSS SURESH on January 20, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    Need your advise regarding the name issue.
    I am going to use my indian passport as ID document in which SURNAME comes first and then the GIVEN NAME. So the name reads “SURNAME GIVENNAME” in that order. But in website, during registration it is asking the First name and then the last name. Generally First name is the Given name and the surname is the last name. Am I correct?
    I have registered with the same notation and the name on ETS and it was showing in the order “GIVENNAME(First name) SURNAME (last name)”.
    would it be a issue?
    Also, for ETS, Are the “Given name” and “surname” in indian passport same as “First name” and “Last name” respectively?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 20, 2016 at 6:57 AM

      You are correct.

      Given Name is First Name
      Last Name is Surname

  12. Anil H R on September 7, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    Hi could you please tell me whether the name entered by me in GRE is in correct format
    First name: Anil
    last name: Heggodu-Raghavendra

    In my passport the name is Anil Heggodu Raghavendra I am worried that whether ‘-‘ used in the last name is correct or not

    • Raghuram Sukumar on September 7, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      Instructions says no space between names. I don’t know if this will be allowed. In hindsight I think you will be ok.

  13. Siddhardha on July 2, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Hi there,

    I have a question. I have already created my ETS account and entered all the details.
    Here I entered my first name as Sxxxx-Vxxxxxx-Siddhardha instead of what you mentioned i.e
    SxxxxVxxxxxxSiddhardha. Would this be alright?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 11, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      Follow what ETS is asking you to do.

  14. Manoj on July 2, 2015 at 4:22 AM

    Hi ,
    My surname in Passport is : MXXX KXXX SXXX
    My surname in other document is either M K or MXXX KXXX
    I am planning to change the name in passport to match the name in all other documents.
    I have already taken the gre test.
    will it cause any problem during coll admission or visa interview?
    Kindly help .


  15. Kailash on June 27, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    My name on my passport is Kailash Nathan Srinivasan,where Srinivasan is my last do i apply for gre now ?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 27, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      First Name –


      *Surname – *


  16. Shravan on June 25, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    Suppose my name is XXXX YYY ZZZZ as first middle last names respectively, and the middle name is usually entered as Y except for, in the passport, how do u suggest I have to enter exactly, in the ETS registration page. Please help me out on this.

  17. srinivas saketh on June 23, 2015 at 2:46 AM


    my name in passport is “srinivas saketh,khambhammettu”

    ets account i have registered as

    first name:srinivassaketh

    last name:khambhammettu

    i have registered with first name without any spaces as i didnt want take risk of any missing words in my name
    will this become an issue ?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on June 23, 2015 at 6:50 AM

      No. that’s how you are supposed to register. No issues for you.

  18. Mihir on January 22, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    My last Name is
    Txxxxxx AKA Pxxxx

    It is not a two part last name but they are two different surnames.
    As you can see, I can’t merge them by removing whitespace as they are different.
    How should I register for GRE?
    (My other IDs contain only Txxxxxx as a last name)

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM

      Other Id’s doesn’t matter.

      Register for GRE like this : TxxxxxxAKAPxxxx
      If there’s not enough space, then enter as much as you can. Got it?

  19. Sridhaar on August 12, 2014 at 5:35 AM

    for the above case the last name should have been modified to
    first name:ArunJxxxPxxx
    lastname: ArunJxxxPxxxBxxxRxxx
    According to ETS. Read reg_bulletin

  20. Raghuram Sukumar on July 7, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    What’s given in the instruction is different from what you have done. But, I don’t see any issues.

    • Jack Bauer on July 24, 2014 at 5:13 AM

      I tried to enter the “given name” in registration but there is shortage of one letter.I am not able to fit last letter.

      In my passport , My “given name” is there and surname is there , No middle name.

      Given Name is passport is : KXXX SXXXX SXXXX CXXXX
      Surname : SXXXX

      Can I put “CXXXX” as middle initial (i.e “C”) in registration ? or Do I need to type my entire first name ?

      • Raghuram Sukumar on July 24, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Here’s my advise : Get a new passport with shorter (or just single) First Name.

        • williams on February 16, 2015 at 10:33 AM

          you are asking to get new passport..?
          this is like ordering a new car if there is a problem in the width of your gate.

          just drop a mail to ets.
          they’ll definitely help.

          • Raghuram Sukumar on February 16, 2015 at 12:50 PM

            I have seen over 2000 scenarios with long or missing names, passport and living in USA and problems with GRE registration. My solution is practical to avoid long term problems. Try calling ETS, I know exactly what they will say “Refer to GRE Registration details on the website”.

            Guess what happens next, student will ask, “I don’t have space to enter my full name (longO) first name in GRE”.

            Guess that happens next – University can’t match the name in GRE to the name from the application form.

            Next – Application status will say “GRE Scores Not Received”

            If you want example, just read the problems with over 2000 scenarios posted here.

            You should have measured the gate and car wiht before buying the car. Now, you got the car, what do you next? Replace the car or replace the gate or park outside the gate.

  21. Owais on April 10, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Hi HSB

    My name in the passport is as follows:
    Given name OXXXX AXXXX WXXXX
    Surname: SXXXXXXX
    How should I enter my name when registering for GRE at the ETS website:
    Example 1:
    First or Given Name: OXXXX AXXXX WXXXX
    Middle Initial:
    Last or Family Name: SXXXXXXX
    Example 2:
    First or Given Name: OXXXX
    Middle Initial: A
    Last or Family Name: SXXXXXXX

    P.S: OXXX is my ‘first name’ and AXXXX WXXXX is my ‘middle name’, both of them are combined together as ‘given name’ in my passport.
    I have to register for GRE tomorrow.
    Please reply.

  22. Paul G Mathew on March 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Hi Raghuram , all my official documents is with name Paul G Mathew , but I have registered the GRE Exam with the name specified in the Passport which is the expanded one. While doing higher studies, will that affect me ,because I want to follow the same name written in all my official documents.

  23. Ejas on March 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    While registering try adding hyphen between your names.
    I too have multiple first and last names. For TOEFL it wasn’t a problem but for GRE I clubbed them together and registered and took the test. The result: different names in both TOEFL and GRE scorecards. Meanwhile I followed up the issue with the GRE officials and they responded in the following manner :

    “Please be advised, you will need to contact your perspective institutions for information about your score report.

    Our database does not allow spaces within a single name. If you have two first names or two last names, a hyphen may be inserted between the names.”
    While applying I contacted the institutions concerned individually and submitted proofs of the same via scanned copies. The replied back saying my scores were successfully added to my application.

    Hope this helps. All the best. Cheers!

  24. Karan K on March 11, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    I have a big problem! All my official records state my name as Karan K. With the last name not expanded! How do I go about it?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on March 11, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      Official records are fine. Passport is that counts.

  25. Shahid Qureshi on February 27, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    My name as on passport is Shahid Gulam Nabi where Gulam Nabi is my Father’s name and Surname is Qureshi.
    While registering,i gave my first name as Shahid and last name as Qureshi but i did not give my middle name initial as G and kept it empty.Is that a problem?

  26. avik kumar nayak on July 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    my name is AVIK KUMAR NAYAK. according to my passport Given name: AVIK KUMAR & Surname: NAYAK
    I’ve registered for GRE in in following way:
    Fisrt or Given Name: AVIK
    Middle name initial: K
    Surname: NAYAK
    Is it okay?? Or will there be any problem…….if there is any prob how to deactivate myGRE account and to create a new one?? Plz rply………

  27. laxmikanth on June 22, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    hi i have regisered 4r gre exam … i have gave unexpectedly my middle name .. but i dont have my middle name .. is there any roblem wit that

  28. Devajeet on June 15, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    Hi HSB,
    My name is Devajeet Singh Rajawat. I have registered for the GRE on 25th of July as DevajeetSingh Rajawat. According to my passport my given name is Devajeet and my surname is Singh Rajawat. Will this cause me any problem? If so, is there any way to rectify the mistake.
    Please help

    • Gunjan kumar verma on July 1, 2015 at 5:24 AM

      Hello, my name in passport is
      First : Gunjan kumar
      Last : verma
      I’ve registered for GRE
      First : Gunjan
      Middle : K
      Last : Verma

      Will there be a problem ? Please reply

  29. ju on June 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    this is the reply i received from the ets,
    “Thank you for contacting the GRE® Program.
    Regarding your inquiry:

    Our database does not allow spaces within a single name. If you have two first names or two last names, a hyphen may be inserted between the names.

    If we can be of assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

  30. pavan on March 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM


    My first name is “pavan naga teja” and last name is “vemana” . I have registered my name in gre portal as pavannagateja vemana. Is it ok? or should it be PavanNagaTeja Vemana .If it is so, how to change or re-create the account? Please help ….

  31. Vinoth on September 18, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Hi HSB,
    I like to reschedule my GRE exam from Oct 12th to Nov 16th . How can I do this. I request your guide lines for this..

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