When to Take GRE to Attend Fall Semester

In the previous article When to Take GRE , I gave an introduction about the factors that must be considered before deciding to take a GRE test.

After you have made the decision to attend Fall semester, the following will be the typical timeline when taking a GRE Exam and applying for Fall semester.

However, you can take also GRE even 1 year before and also multiple times if you are not satisfied with your GRE Exam score.

GRE Exam Date – Fall Semester

For example, let’s assume you plan to apply for Fall 2010. So, this is how the timeline should look like:

  1. Before August 2009 – Start preparing for GRE
  2. August 2009 – Take GRE and TOEFL exams
  3. September 2009 – Search for U.S. universities, prepare documents
  4. October 2009 – Create some 20+ universities you plan to apply at, prepare application documents
  5. November 2009 – Decide on schools to apply at (5 to 10, maybe more)
  6. December 2009 – Send applications by December, first week
  7. January 2010 – Contact professors
  8. February 2010 – Keep checking on application status
  9. March 2010 – Expect to start hearing about admission decisions
  10. April 2020 – Admission decisions and I-20 will be sent out
  11. May 2010 – Prepare for F-1 student visa, book dates
  12. June 2010 – Visa Interview
  13. July 2010 – Learn to cook
  14. August 2010 – Fly to the US in 1st or 2nd week of August

The above timeline is not a hard and fast rule. But it should give you a general guideline for applying at top-tier schools.

But if you like your applications to be considered for financial aid, it’s always better to apply early.

Some schools typically have 2 separate deadlines. One deadline for financial aid, and another for regular admissions.

This way, the schools will consider applications received before the financial aid deadlines for scholarship.

Some schools, though, have single deadlines. It can vary from November 2009 to May 2010 for Fall 2010 semester.

But for international students, most U.S. universities will have deadlines before March / April. They have to process your application and then send I-20.

Late Applications for Fall Semester

There are many questions answered in this post regarding applications deadlines and when to apply for Fall Semester.

Here are some of the previously answered questions related to submitting college admission applications to Fall Semester:

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  1. I am planning to give my gre and toefl exam in september. would it be possible for me to apply for the spring semester

  2. im planning to apply for fall 2012 in USA universties for PhD . can u plz tell me how to apply and prepare for it? when should i appear for GRE and TOEFL exam? and may i know how to apply for USA universities for fall semester since im a foriegn student.

  3. im planning to apply for fall 2012 in USA universties for PhD. can u plz tell me how to apply and prepare for it? when should i appear for GRE and TOEFL exam? and may i know how to apply for USA universities since im a foriegn student.

  4. im planning to apply for fall 2013 in USA universties for PhD. can u plz tell me how to apply and prepare for it? when should i appear for GRE and TOEFL exam? and may i know how to apply for USA universities since im a foriegn student.

  5. Sir, Your advise is that a prospective Grad School applicant should plan to take the GRE and TOEFL exams in August, but to browse through University websites and shortlist them from September through to November. However. my understanding is that when one takes both GRE and TOEFL exams, one has to indicate at least 4 schools to which the scores should be sent without incurring additional costs. How do you suggest that this obvious paradox be resolved?

    1. Hey Abhay,

      You are right – you have the option of listing at least four schools each to report scores to, right after you have completed your GRE and TOEFL exams. Because the exam fees includes score reporting to four schools of your choosing, it is ofcourse advisable to use this opportunity to report your scores to the schools you wish to apply to. You’d be able to do this only if you have researched about the schools that offer the program that you wish to pursue your advanced degree in. So, ideally, you’d want to do this research to find out the set of schools that you wish to apply to while you are preparing for your GRE and TOEFL. It is a lot of work ofcourse, but it can be fun if you don’t consider this a burden.

      – aman

  6. Can you put up a similar time table for the students who want to apply for the spring semester please?

  7. i hav taken gre on sep 29 but i got nly 980 so i hav decided 2 tak again .since am dng btech final year i dnt hav time i hav sem decided 2 write again on dec28.

    i want 2 go for fall 2011,wl i be .pls help me.

  8. i want financial aid and i want to apply for fall session can i give gre in feburary or in jasnuary end. pls help me.

  9. dear sir,

    I have completed my B.Tech in computer science and would like to apply for the FALL 2011, to apply for the MS degree in US. what do you suggest when should i give my GRE exam..i have already taken a date in mid it feasible for me to give the exam on this date or should i get it reschedule in order to meet the deadlines..i am an average student..what do you suggest…plz mail on my id..



  10. sir,

    i gave my test.but im not satisfied with the want to take it once november 10th my semester exams will be i want to take it on november 29th or like will there be any problem while applying late?

  11. hello,

    im planning to apply for fall 2012 in USA universties for my masters degree i,e MS in neurology. can u plz tell me how to apply and prepare for it? when should i appear for GRE? and may i know how to apply for USA universities since im a foriegn student.

  12. Respected sir,

    i have completed my masters in organic chemistry and is planning to do ph.D from US based universities, but i am unaware of the deadlines of universities can u please tell me when do most of the universities have their deadlines.

  13. Sir, i am a final year electrical engineering student. I plan to write my gre by dec 15 2010 for fall 2011 admissions. Can i get financial aid within this time? What is the deadline for submitting the applications for aid? What are the best universities to apply for MS in electrical engineering?

  14. sir, i am doing my final year engineering in ece. i plan to write my gre by dec 2010 for fall 2011 admissions. Is this time enough for me to get financial aid when i apply for universities? i heard we must finish submitting the applications for aid. please help. what are the best universities for masters in electronics?

  15. I agree with what Brijesh has said Sir, pls can u equally provide a draft on when to take the exams as you did for Fall Semester 2010 for Spring 2011..we would really be grateful

  16. Spring Semester 2011

    Can you please provide us draft plan for Spring Semester 2011 the way you provided above for Fall Semester? This is really useful.

  17. Most of us have the same query, if you give the similar time line for spring. it ll be great.

    I would to apply too in spring incase i don get through the fall, my score is 1110 and have applied to san jose state university for MS in computer science.

    On the other hand the chair of computer engineering responded favorably, but as i saw the course description its mo0re of electronics.

    How different is software engineering and computer science?

    I have responded, sent the application packet neatly, toefl-100.

  18. hiiiii i am taking gre test on feb 16th. Is it possible to apply for fall 2010?

    Is it possible to get financial aid? plzzzzzzzzzz suggest me

  19. hello sir,i took my gre last month but got a low planning to take the test again at the end of jan.can i take test in jan and still apply for fall semester.please reply for my query.


  20. Hai…i m planning 2 write gre n toefl in december 2009 2nd week…so can i get admission fr gud US universities if i get gud score in both..?plz help me

  21. hello sir,

    my gre score is 920,(+3 years of experience in very good org.)

    some of my friends are saying it is very low score so i want to write GRE again, is it right? is this true that they will make average of both score?

    please suggest me and clear my confusion.


  22. hi can u tell me which are the US univ have spring admissions for MS in pharmacy..when is the deadline to post the application for spring more over when should i take my gre if i want to apply for spring..

  23. Sir

    I am rahul tripathi and have completed my engineering in electrical and electronics in july 2009 and just after that got enrolled in a good gre coaching institute.Now i wish to take my gre exam in mid of october please help me with the following ques:-

    1)getting a call from any of the applied universities means that i've got full scholarship

    2)I have played cricket for 5 years and won represented state with many laurels so will it help in any way?

    3)in any case how can i get a full waiver

    please help me out

  24. Would writing the GRE exam in jan 2010 be too early if i want to apply for fall semester 2011?Would I still be able to use the score reporting feature at the end of the exam?or can that feature only be used by those who want to apply for admission in 2010?

  25. hii can u plz suggest me wen i shud appear in GRE exam to get admission in spring 2010. Also tell wich are d univ in US having spring intake for MS in pharmacy(pharmaceutics/pharmacology etc.)with nominal fees.

  26. hi i like ur blog and i'd like to be friend or well i might need to ask some question about financial aid for intl student

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