When is the right time to take GRE?

Students are required to take the GRE test for the Master’s and Doctorate programs in the USA. There are several known factors, such as preparation, practice, and one’s analytical skills, that contribute to acquiring a good test score. However, there is an ignored yet equally important factor that most students tend to play down: when to take the GRE? How long does it take to prep for the GRE? What is the good GRE score range?

GRE is held around the year except for the holidays, so you have a lot of dates to choose from. But once you realize how important this choice is, the business gets tricky. 

Following is a list of factors that will help you decide to take the GRE test.

GRE Target Score:

The first thing that you need to do is to set a target score for yourself. Setting a target is easy once you have finalized the courses and universities that you want to go to. All you need to do is check the average GRE score for your desired course/program/scholarship in your desired university and then set your target a little higher than that. For instance, if the average GRE score required for a course in the university of your choice is 305, your target must be anything above 305 and ideally lies somewhere between 310 and 315.

GRE Current Score (Mock/Diagnostic):

Once you know your target score, you need to figure out what your current proficiency level is.

The current proficiency level refers to your test score in case you walk into the test center today and are totally unprepared. Taking a full-length GRE diagnostic or mock practice test can give you an accurate estimate of this score.

Now, calculate the gap between the current score and your target score. For instance, if you scored 300 points today, and your target is 315, then the gap you need to fill is 15 points. As per the experience with thousands of students, you need 2 months to cover this gap if you study smartly by using the right resources.

Gap Timelines – Contact a GRE Mentor:

Now that you know what score gap you need to fill, you will be able to tell how much time you will require in doing so. As simple as it may seem, many students find it hard to calculate this time, so expert mentorship is highly recommended. At Scholar Den, you can have your profile evaluated for FREE by our GRE experts. After evaluating your profile, they will suggest a time period required for you to reach your target so that you can start right away.

To contact a GRE mentor, visit and contact the helpdesk or simply email

Time Required: 1 week – 6 months (Depending on your prep gap)

Preparation Schedule:

After contacting a mentor, you will have an idea of the time needed for proper preparation. This, however, varies for every individual. Most people misinterpret the time calculation and end up with a messed-up schedule. When we say two months of preparation, we must also mention the number of hours devoted to studying each day of those two months. Two months with a 30 min/day study time and two months with a 2hrs/day study time cannot be equated.

Normally, a student taking a test in 2-3 months is expected to study at least 2 hours per workday and 6-7 hours on weekends. But if you have a different daily schedule and cannot manage to spare this much time, you need to shift your test date accordingly.

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Full-Length Mocks:

The selection of the test date also depends on your full-length mocks. To find out how well you are keeping up through the journey, you must take at least 10 mock tests at different instances along your preparation time frame. And when your mock score gets close to or higher than your set target, consider yourself ready to take the exam.

Time Required: 1 month

How long does it take to get GRE scores?

A common question asked is, how long does it take to get GRE scores

You can send the GRE score (unofficial) on the same test day. Also, you can send your scores to 4 universities of choice for free, but those reports will be unofficial. For the official scores, you need to wait for 10-15 days more days. Therefore, you need to keep those timelines in mind, too. 

To stay at the safe end, it is advisable that you keep a margin of 15-20 days between your official test date and admission/scholarship deadlines.

Time Required: 15 days

English Proficiency Tests:

International students have to take an English Language test such as TOEFL or IELTS. If you are an international student, then you will have to submit these reports alongside the application. In that case, you must know the time you will need to prepare for those tests and wait for the official result. The test preparation of such language proficiency tests can take 1 – 6 weeks (depending upon the individual). 

However, your English proficiency test official report will be available after 15 working days. You must keep this time frame in mind while selecting your GRE test date.

Time Required: 15 days

Application Essays:

You have to submit essays (Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement) for admissions and scholarships. On average, it takes about 15 days to write and refine one essay. You must calculate the number of essays you need to write beforehand for all the universities you need to apply to.  Therefore, you need to spare time for those essays too. Keep these timelines margin between your test date and application deadlines.

Two Essays are the requirement for the Fulbright Scholarship. You need to spare at least one month for essays. So, if the Fulbright scholarship deadline is 28 May, then ideally, you need to take the test by 01  February.

Time Required: 15 days per essay

Finally, when do you think it is the right time to register?

In some countries, GRE slots will be booked very quickly. However, in others, you do have the flexibility to book a slot closer to the test dates. 

For the real GRE test registration, there are two approaches:

You can get yourself registered right after contacting the mentor and make your test preparation schedule accordingly.


You can wait until your mock scores have gotten close to or higher than your target score. Register when the answer is a clear YES.

As the test dates are booked very fast, globally. Therefore, if you want to have a date of your choice, register at least a few months in advance. 

Application Deadlines:

It would be best if you keep in mind the application deadlines for your desired universities and scholarship programs. This will help you keep track of the important dates and select your test date accordingly.

Before you register for the GRE, keep all these timelines in mind.

That is all you need to know to help you decide on the GRE test, such that you are well-prepared, confident, and able to send your GRE score before the deadline, as well as to consider many things, including how long it takes to get GRE scores.

When you are ready to register for the GRE test, click here to learn all about the registration process.

We have covered many questions topics in this article, such as how long it takes to get GRE scores? By registering for the GRE, you are now one step closer to the real GRE test.

Read on: Best GRE course for 2024


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