Once upon a time applicants to graduate school took the GRE with pencil and paper on only several specific dates each year, waited a month for the results, and were required to have all GRE scores reported to graduate schools in case they had taken it more than once. That’s what my generation of graduate school applicants faced (and we walked to school, uphill, in snow – both ways!). Today’s GRE test takers have a much different experience, a better one. Make no mistake, the GRE still is challenging and one of the most stressful parts of applying to graduate school, but now unofficial test scores are available immediately (and official scores are available shortly after), the GRE is administered by computer, year round, at many locations, you may take the test once every 21 days (down from once each month) and you make take it up to 5 times in any 12 month period. The best change in the Graduate Record Exam is that now you may select which testing date’s scores are reported to each graduate school. The option is referred to as ScoreSelect and it lets you decide which set of GRE scores to send to the programs of your choice. You have two options for sending scores; one costs more.

Improve your GRE scores

First you can choose: 1) not to send your scores; 2) to send only your scores from the most recent, current test;  or 3)  you can opt to send your scores from all GRE administrations in the 5 last  years when viewing your scores at the GRE test center, immediately after taking the test. On the test day you may send up to four free score reports but will be charged a fee of $27 for the fifth and each additional report. he second option, more expensive but in my view preferable option, is to wait until after test day. You may send your most recent set of scores, all scores for the last 5 years, or – and this is where it gets interesting – you may send your scores from one or more test administrations over the last 5 years. That means that you can choose your best scores regardless of whether they are your most recent scores.  Although most test takers find the choice is worth the extra money, sending your scores after the test date costs $27 for each report (none are free). GRE ScoreSelect is available for all versions of the Graduate Record Exam, both GRE General Test as well as GRE Subject Tests. However, remember that all scores from any one administration are sent verbal and analytical writing. A second major improvement to the Graduate Record Exam is an analytical tool designed to help you learn about your performance on each exam.  The service is free after taking the GRE General Test, and remains available for six months after your test date available immediately. The service provides basic information about each item on both the Verbal and Quantitative sections while you won’t obtain any of the test content, such as specific test questions.