One of the most stressful parts of taking an important test is waiting for the results. So how long does it take to get GRE scores? You’ll get unofficial scores immediately after completing the test, though you’ll have to wait a bit longer for your official score report.
This guide will explain exactly how long it takes to receive your GRE scores, how long it takes for your score reports to be sent to schools you’re applying to, and how this information affects you. You’ll know when you’ll need to take the test for your scores to be sent in time for school deadlines and how soon you’ll be able to retake the GRE, if you choose to do so.
How Long Does It Take to Get GRE Scores?
As a reminder, you’ll receive three GRE scores, one for each main section of the exam: Analytical Writing (the two essays you wrote at the beginning of the exam), Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.
Unofficial GRE Scores
Immediately after you finish the test, you’ll see your unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on the computer screen. Each of these scores will be a number between 130 and 170.
Why are they unofficial? Like the ACT and SAT, GRE scores are based in part on how well other students do on the test (this is to ensure you aren’t put at a disadvantage if the version of the GRE you take is harder than a version someone took, say, three months ago). Official scores have been double-checked against other test taker’s scores.
However, the people who design the GRE do a good job of accounting for this beforehand, so it’s rare for unofficial scores to be different from official scores, and, if there is a difference, it will usually only be a few points. This means you can feel confident that the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores you see right after you take the test will be the same as your official scores.
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There is no unofficial score for Analytical Writing since it has to be graded by an actual person, not just a computer.
Official GRE Scores
You will receive your official scores for Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning 10-15 days after you take the GRE. When your scores are ready, you’ll be sent an email stating that they can be viewed on your My GRE account. Your official score report will include your final and official scores for each of the three test sections. This will be the first time you see your score for the Analytical Writing section.
Your score report will also include your percentile for each score so you can see how well you did compared to other test takers, as well as your scores from any previous GREs you’ve taken and the list of schools you’ve chosen to send your scores to.
In addition to your score report, you’ll also have access to the free GRE Diagnostic Service. The Diagnostic Service gives a description of the types of questions you answered correctly and incorrectly, as well as the difficulty of each question and the time you spent on each question. This information can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses on the GRE, which is especially useful if you choose to retake the exam.
The GRE Diagnostic Service is available beginning four days after your official scores become available, and you can access it up to six months after your exam date.
When Will Your Score Reports Be Sent?
Immediately after you receive your unofficial scores at the test center, you can choose to send your GRE scores to up to four schools for free. You don’t have to send any scores at this time, but if you choose to send your scores at a later date, you’ll have to pay $27 per score report. You can send these score reports via your My GRE account.
As a reminder, if you’ve taken the GRE multiple times, you have a lot of latitude in which scores you choose to send to schools. You can send only the scores from your most recent GRE (the one you just completed), your scores from every GRE you’ve taken, or only scores from a previous GRE.
How soon will schools get your GRE scores? If you choose to send the free score reports at the test center, schools will receive your official score report the same time you do, 10-15 days after you take the GRE. If you choose not to send scores at the test center, you’ll have to wait until you receive your official scores until you can send any reports. GRE scores are valid for five years.
If you choose to send score reports at a later time, after you’ve received your official scores, schools will receive the report about five business days after you place the order.
What If You Take the Paper-Based GRE or a GRE Subject Test?
If you take the GRE on paper or a GRE Subject Test, it will take longer for you to receive your scores. It will take up to five weeks for you and the schools you requested reports be sent to to receive your official test scores (there are no unofficial scores for paper-based GREs).
Like the computer-based GRE, you’ll receive an email telling you to check your My GRE account once the scores are available, and, if you choose to send your score reports after viewing your scores, they’ll arrive about five business days after you place your order.
It’s also important to know that paper-based GREs and the GRE Subject Tests are only offered three times a year (in September, October, and April). This means you have much less flexibility in regards to when you can take these tests compared to the computer-based GRE, and you’ll have to plan ahead to make sure your scores will be received by school deadlines.
How Does the GRE Score Report Timeline Affect You?
Knowing how long it takes to get GRE scores is helpful for a number of reasons. First, knowing when schools will get your score reports will help you know when you should take the GRE in order to meet application deadlines.
If a particular school needs to receive GRE scores by December 1st, you know that you have to take the GRE at least 15 days before that in order for your scores to be received in time. Additionally, when you know how soon you’ll get your GRE scores, you can use that information to plan for if/when you’d like to retake the test.
Be aware that you can only take the GRE once every 21 days, and no more than five times within any 12-month period.
Final Review: How Long Does It Take to Get GRE Scores?
You will get your unofficial scores for Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning immediately after you finish the exam, and these will likely be the same as your official scores.
Your official scores for each of the three sections will be available 10-15 days after you take the GRE, and the schools you sent score reports to will also receive your scores at this time. If you took the paper-based GRE or a GRE Subject Test, it will take up to five weeks for you and the schools you indicated to receive your official scores.
This information is important to know because it helps you plan when you need to take the exam to meet school application deadlines as well as letting you know when you’ll receive your scores so you can plan for the possibility of a retake.
Learn more about what the GRE covers so that you’ll be fully prepared come test day.
What’s the scoring process for the GRE? Check out our guide for in-depth analysis of how the GRE is scored.
Thinking about taking a GRE Subject Test? Learn everything you need to know about Subjects Tests as well as how to decide whether or not you should take one.