Graduate Schools Waiving the GRE in 2020

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Graduate schools across the country are waiving the GRE and loosening their GRE requirements to best accommodate the needs of their applicants during this crisis—and for very good reason. After all, some countries are unable to offer the new GRE at home option. Even if GRE students have access to the online test, taking the GRE at home may be a less-than-ideal situation for some test-takers.

In this post, we’ll go over which graduate programs are waiving the GRE requirement altogether, which programs have changed their GRE policy, and what this means for you.

Graduate Schools Waiving the GRE in 2020 Due to COVID-19

Graduate schools are making changes to their GRE requirements in a variety of ways. Some schools are going the whole nine yards, waiving the GRE at all or most of their graduate programs for every student applying this year. Other schools have somewhat stricter or less expansive requirements. Some schools are even allowing applicants to submit their ACT or SAT scores instead.

Read on for different examples of how schools and programs are responding to this crisis.

Graduate Schools that are Waiving the GRE for All Programs and All Students

Specific Graduate Programs Waiving the GRE

Particular programs that are waiving the GRE requirement, even if their school is not waiving the requirement across all programs, include:

Several business schools have also made test requirement exceptions for at least round 3 applications. Click here for a comprehensive list of these schools as well as other business programs that have changed their standardized testing policy in light of this crisis.

Graduate Programs Waiving the GRE in 2020 Under Certain Conditions

Some schools and programs only waive the GRE for students who are simply unable to take the test or meet other requirements for a waiver. The following programs will consider GRE waivers from students but may not automatically grant the waiver:

What if my school is not listed above?

The above lists are clearly not exhaustive, so we highly recommend that you check the websites of specific programs that you’re interested in. If the information about GRE waivers is not readily available, it’s probably safe to say that the program hasn’t made any changes to their policy (yet). Still, it might be worth shooting an email to admissions just to be absolutely certain.

In general, it’s a good idea to stay abreast of any updates released by the schools you’re considering. Many programs, particularly the ones with deadlines at the end of 2020, might still be waiting to see how the crisis develops before changing their standardized testing policies. The uncertainty of the current situation means that things can change at any moment, so it’s best to be prepared by keeping tabs on your programs of choice.

If your school is not yet waiving the GRE (or may not be waiving the GRE at all), we definitely do not advise changing your target programs just to avoid taking the GRE! If your deadlines are months away, you might benefit from waiting to see if there are any updates to your schools’ standardized testing policies down the line. And if you can’t afford to wait, taking the GRE at home is not the worst thing that could happen.

If you really don’t want to take the GRE in this climate, make sure to check out schools that don’t require the GRE and see if they meet your academic and professional aspirations.

What if I already took the GRE?

If you already took the GRE and you’re applying to schools that have waived the requirement, you probably can still submit it as a part of your application. These programs will likely consider your GRE scores in their holistic look of your application, but you won’t have a leg up over other students who take advantage of the GRE waiver. Whatever the case may be, definitely check to see if your program addresses this on their website.

What other tests are waived?

In addition to the GRE, many programs that accept the GMAT are also waiving that test (but note that some schools may be waiving one test but not the other). For international students, many schools are allowing the Duolingo English Test to replace TOEFL and IELTS. Because of the weight MCAT and LSAT have on med school and law school applications, respectively, you’d be hard-pressed to find programs that waive these particular tests.

Graduate Schools Waiving the GRE in 2020: What You Need to Know

Graduate schools loosening their GRE requirements or waiving them all together—even if it is temporary and only in the context of this crisis—is a huge solid for prospective students.

If you haven’t checked the websites of your programs of choice yet, make sure to do so ASAP to see if you qualify for GRE waivers. And if your programs have made changes to their policy, make sure you know exactly what these changes are, as these policies are nuanced and can differ from program to program and school to school.

Best of luck as you continue on your application journey! We know this graduate school application season couldn’t be more of a nightmare. We hope you’re able to take full advantage of opportunities available to make it as least stressful as possible.

P.S. Ready to improve your GRE score? Get started today.

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