Can You Cancel GRE Tests? Is There a Refund?

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GRE test day is around the corner, but you’re not feeling particularly confident and you find yourself suddenly questioning your choice to apply to grad school. You wonder, “Can I cancel the GRE?” Yes, you can! But the real question is, should you cancel the GRE?

In this guide, we’ll cover all of the basics of canceling a GRE exam, including the rules for getting a refund and how much it costs. We’ll then give you step-by-step instructions on how to cancel a GRE test appointment in addition to a few tips on when it’s better to cancel or reschedule a test.

Feature Image: Matthew DeWaal/Flickr, resized from original

 

Can You Cancel GRE Tests?

In short? Yes, you can cancel GRE exam appointments. But there are two stipulations:

  • You may cancel a GRE exam at any time until four days prior to your test date (10 days for test takers in China). For example, those taking the GRE on a Tuesday must submit their cancellation requests by Friday the week prior.
  • You will receive a GRE refund equivalent to half of the original test fee ($102.50). We’ll cover fees more in the following section, so hold tight.

Now, a little bit about these stipulations. You will not receive a GRE refund if you attempt to cancel within four days of your test date. By that point you must pay the full price of the test ($205), regardless if you actually show up on test day or not. No-shows do not receive any GRE scores (in other words, you won’t get a GRE score report with a bunch of zeros on it).

If you’d rather make changes to your reservation instead of canceling it altogether, you can do so for a fee. ETS (the administrator of the GRE) permits test takers to change their GRE times, dates, and test centers for a fee of $50 per request (meaning, you could change both your test date and test center, or just one of the two in a single transaction for a total of $50).

But does it cost you anything to cancel the GRE?

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How Much Does It Cost to Cancel a GRE Test?

Fortunately, there are no additional fees for canceling a GRE exam. However, you will never receive a full GRE refund, even if you cancel extremely early. The best you can do is a 50 percent refund ($102.50) by canceling the GRE at least four days before your test date. (For the curious: according to ETS, the other half of your test fee goes toward covering expenses for registration processing and holding space at your designated test center.)

This 50 percent refund policy applies to all countries except China. Test takers in China must cancel their GRE appointments at least 10 days in advance in order to receive a 50 percent refund. (This refund is equivalent to a slightly higher amount — $110.35 — as the GRE costs $220.70 to take in China.)

All refunds are given in U.S. dollars and processed using your chosen payment method. So if you paid for the GRE with a credit card, you’d receive a refund on your credit card. ETS does not offer cash refunds.

But is it at all possible to get a full refund when canceling a GRE test? Technically, yes — if you are based in KoreaTest takers in Korea are eligible for a full refund if canceling a GRE exam within seven days of registering for the test (assuming the test date is still more than four days away, per the ETS cancellation policies described above). After this period has passed (and there are still at least four days before the test), test takers will receive the regular 50 percent refunds for canceling their exams.

Unfortunately, Korea is the only country offering 100 percent refunds. In every country except Korea, you cannot receive a full refund when canceling the GRE, no matter how early you submit your request.

But what if you’re sick and can’t take the GRE on test day? In this case, you won’t receive a full refund for the exam but may be eligible for an exam voucher allowing you to take the test a different time at no extra cost. This request should be submitted prior to your test date.

To see if you’re eligible for a voucher, fax GRE Services a doctor’s note and a cover letter containing all of your basic info (i.e., name, date of birth, address, phone number, and registration number). Allow 7-10 business days for processing.

Remember, nobody is guaranteed a voucher, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re sure to get one!

 

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How to Cancel GRE Tests: 2 Options

We’ve covered all of the basics of canceling the GRE. Now, let’s take a look at how to cancel GRE tests. There are two ways you can cancel a GRE exam: online through your ETS (or NEEA) Account, and by contacting ETS directly.

 

#1: Online

By far the easiest way to cancel a GRE test is to log on to your ETS Account:

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On the homepage, click on the upcoming test you wish to cancel (under “Upcoming Tests” on the left side of the page). You’ll be taken to a page listing all of your appointment details, including your appointment number, name, appointment status, test title, test date, and test center. Click “Cancel Appointment” to the right of your appointment information box to cancel the GRE.

Test takers in all countries except China can cancel their GRE exams through their ETS Accounts. Those based in China must cancel the GRE through their NEEA accounts.

 

#2: Contact ETS Directly

Another method for canceling a GRE test is to contact ETS directly. In all cases, be sure you have your test registration number on hand. How you get in touch with ETS depends on where you’re taking the GRE.

  • United States (including Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) and Canada: Call Prometric Services at 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-473-2255.
  • Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan: Contact GRE Services using the “General Inquiries” section. Those taking the test in Korea should refer to the section titled “Contact Information for Test Takers in Korea.”
  • Mainland China: There are no additional methods for canceling a GRE test in China. The only way to do so is online through your NEEA account.

 

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How to Cancel a Paper-Delivered GRE or GRE Subject Test

The policies for canceling a paper-delivered GRE or GRE subject test are the same as those for canceling a computer-delivered GRE. You must cancel your exam at least four days prior to your test date in order to receive a 50 percent refund. (For the GRE subject test, a 50 percent refund is equivalent to $75.)

To cancel a paper-delivered GRE or GRE subject test through your ETS Account, follow the steps above. You can also call GRE Services (toll-free for those in the United States, U.S. territories, and Canada) at 1-609-771-7670 or 1-866-473-4373, or email GRE Services using the GRE contact form.

When canceling a test, be prepared to provide your name, address, date of birth, test date, and registration number.

 

Should You Cancel Your GRE Test?

Whether or not you should cancel a GRE exam depends on several factors. Below, we take a look at a few common scenarios and give you advice on whether it’s better to cancel the GRE or opt for a reschedule.

 

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Consider Canceling Your GRE Test If …

  • You’ve changed your mind about grad school. Whether you managed to snag a fantastic job or simply decided grad school isn’t for you, don’t bother taking the GRE if you’re not going to apply to grad school. (On the other hand, if you’re considering applying to grad school sometime in the next few years, you might want to take the GRE anyway, as scores are valid for five years.)
  • You got accepted into a program you’re 100 percent going to attend. If you’ve already received an acceptance letter to a grad program you’re downright enthusiastic about and ready to attend, go ahead and cancel the GRE. After all, there’s no point in taking the GRE if you’ve already secured admission to your dream program. That said, if there are any other programs you’re extremely interested in that require GRE scores, give yourself more options by taking the test.

 

Consider Rescheduling Your GRE Test If …

  • You need more time to study. Having trouble concentrating on your GRE prep books? No time for official practice tests? Then consider pushing back your GRE date. You might be tempted to cancel your test altogether, but, really, all you need is a little extra time to study. So choose a different date, pay the $50 rescheduling fee, and use your additional time wisely.
  • Something has come up on test day. If something important, such as a wedding, is scheduled for the exact date you planned to take the GRE, opt for a reschedule. In this case, rescheduling the GRE makes the most sense because you’ll know which exact date(s) you need to avoid.

 

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Review: What You Need to Know to Cancel GRE Tests

All test takers can cancel the GRE, provided they do so at least four days prior to their test dates (10 days prior for test takers in China). If you cancel the GRE within this time frame, you will automatically receive a 50 percent refund. No refund will be given to those who attempt to cancel their GRE tests fewer than four days before the test.

On that note, there is also no way to receive a full refund for canceling a GRE test — unless you are based in Korea. Test takers in Korea must cancel their GRE exams within seven days of registering in order to receive a full refund.

To cancel a GRE (including the paper-delivered GRE and GRE subject tests), go online to your ETS Account, select the test you’d like to cancel, and click “Cancel Appointment.” You can also cancel a GRE appointment by contacting ETS directly, usually through GRE Services. How you contact ETS depends on the country you’re testing in.

Generally, you should only cancel a GRE if you’ve elected not to attend grad school or have already secured an acceptance into a grad program, either without GRE scores or using old GRE scores.

 

What’s Next?

Looking for GRE help? Get started with our step-by-step GRE registration guide and learn how to find the best GRE test center for you!

Are you a GRE newbie? Get all of the basic info you need to know about how the GRE is formatted and what the GRE tests you on.

For GRE tips and resources, check out our top 34 GRE strategies, and test yourself using our complete collection of GRE practice tests.


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Author: Hannah Muniz

Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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