GRE Exam Eligibility Criteria

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The GRE is conducted through a network of over 1,000 test centers, dispersed across more than 160 countries. It is one of the world’s preeminent standardized tests for those seeking admission into overseas graduate programs. Whether your academic interests lie in business, law, or science, obtaining a decent GRE score is imperative.

Before commencing your GRE preparation, a comprehensive understanding of GRE eligibility criteria is paramount. This encompasses educational qualifications, age criteria, and obligatory documentation

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Who is eligible for the GRE exam?

In general, anyone interested in pursuing graduate education, such as a master’s or doctoral program, can take the GRE. There are no specific age limits, and candidates from various educational backgrounds are welcome. However, it’s essential to check with the universities or programs you’re interested in, as they may have their own requirements or preferences regarding GRE scores and eligibility.

What is GRE exam eligibility?

Here’s a list of the nine GRE eligibility criteria for 2024:

  • Identification requirement
  • Test center specifications
  • Age restrictions
  • Qualification prerequisites
  • Limits on gap years after completing the undergraduate degree
  • The ‘GRE at home’ version
  • Eligibility considerations for physically handicapped individuals
  • Maximum allowed GRE attempts
  • Nationality requirements

Identification requirement

Only original Indian passports with your full name, photograph, and signature are deemed acceptable as the primary form of identification. It is essential to underscore that there are no exceptions to this policy. Consequently, it is of the utmost importance for candidates to ensure the validity of their Indian passports during the GRE registration process and to have them readily available at the GRE Test Center for the purpose of Identification Verification. No other documentation shall be considered as part of the GRE eligibility criteria.

Test center specifications

GRE test takers needing assistance during the test (accommodation) should take the first step by approaching the authorities to apply for placement at an accommodation-friendly test center. Once their application is submitted, eligible candidates will receive a response from ETS within weeks, so they can proceed with booking their GRE test.

Age restrictions

ETS, the institution responsible for administering the GRE examination, has refrained from establishing any official age criteria or prerequisites for prospective test-takers. The absence of an upper age limit permits a diverse range of candidates to pursue the GRE. The GRE examination is primarily tailored for individuals who have already completed or are nearing the completion of their undergraduate or graduate studies.

It is an evaluative tool for admission into esteemed master’s, MBA, and doctoral programs, catering exclusively to the graduate-level academic community. Therefore, it is not geared towards high school graduates. The examination’s difficulty level is calibrated to meet the standards expected of graduate students, rendering it an optimal choice for applicants at the graduate level. Remarkably, a substantial proportion of GRE applicants belong to the demographic of individuals aged above 30 years.

Qualification prerequisites

ETS has refrained from issuing an official statement regarding the qualifications necessary for appearing in the GRE Exam. Nevertheless, regardless of their field of study, candidates should possess a graduate degree from a recognized university. It is noteworthy to emphasize that no official GRE exam requirements exist for this examination. Given that the examination is designed to gauge the preparedness of graduate students for postgraduate programs, it is reasonable to surmise that a full-time, recognized graduate degree is the most fitting academic qualification.

Limits on gap years after completing the undergraduate degree

Many candidates take a year or two off to prepare for competitive exams or get ready for international ventures. Consequently, having gap years won’t impact your eligibility to sit for the GRE exam.

The ‘GRE at home’ version

In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, ETS (Educational Testing Service) rolled out the GRE at Home option, allowing candidates to comfortably take the GRE exam from the safety and comfort of their homes.

However, for a seamless GRE at-home experience, keep these guidelines in mind

  • Opt for a laptop or computer for the test; smartphones aren’t the best choice.
  • No note-taking on a separate sheet is permitted.
  • Avoid using headphones or earbuds during the test.
  • Position yourself so the proctor has a clear view of you.
  • All internal or external communication should be done through a speaker.
  • Ensure your testing space is quiet and free from external noise or distractions.
  • Set up a proper desk and chair for the test.
  • Confirm that the laptop or computer’s webcam provides a complete view of you and your surroundings.
  • Erase any extra notes and show the same to the proctor.
  • Dress appropriately for the test; it sets the right tone.

Eligibility considerations for physically handicapped individuals

ETS Disability Services. These accommodations may involve extra test time, breaks, and exam assistance. Additionally, students in this category should provide documents demonstrating their eligibility for the GRE exam. Some of the required documents include:

  • A description of the disability.
  • Educational, developmental, and medical history.
  • A list of any necessary test equipment.
  • Details about how the disability affects the student’s exam-taking capabilities.

Maximum allowed GRE attempts

As specified on the ETS website, candidates are limited to attempting the GRE exam five times within a rolling year, with a mandatory cooling-off period of at least 21 days between attempts. These 21 days offer an opportunity to enhance preparation and address any shortcomings in the GRE preparation strategy.

Nationality requirements

Candidates of all nationalities are welcome to take the GRE exam. There are no nationality-based or GRE eligibility for Indian students restrictions for GRE test takers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The GRE exam is for which country?

The GRE exam is not specific to any one country. It is a globally recognized test taken by students and professionals worldwide for admission to various graduate programs.

Can I write a GRE without a passport?

You can take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) without a passport. The GRE test-taker identification requirements typically involve a valid government-issued photo ID, including a driver’s license, national ID card, or other official identification documents. While a passport is one acceptable form of ID, it is not the only option, and you should check the specific ID requirements provided by the test administrator or the testing center where you plan to take the exam.

What is the minimum age requirement for taking the GRE?

There is no specific age limit or minimum age to take the GRE exam. However, individuals under 18 must obtain written consent from their parents or legal guardians to register and sit for the test

What are the rules for re-taking the GRE exam?

The GRE exam allows for multiple attempts with certain guidelines. You can take the GRE as often as you wish, but ETS (Educational Testing Service) has set specific rules for re-attempts. You must wait at least 21 days before retaking the GRE from the date of your previous test within a year. Additionally, you can take the GRE a maximum of five times within a year. ETS mandates a 21-day gap between any two consecutive attempts. In the case of the paper-based GRE, you can retake it as often as offered.

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