How and When to Reschedule Your GRE Exam

gre exam reschedule

Sometimes, life doesn’t go quite as planned. Maybe you had scheduled your GRE exam for what you thought was the perfect day, and then you realize you have an event that will keep you up really late the night before. If you want to be well-rested for your GRE exam, you’re going to need to reschedule it. That’s why we’re here to answer your questions about the GRE exam rescheduling process.

There are many reasons why people have to do a GRE exam reschedule. It happens to everyone! No one can perfectly foresee the future, and know for certain which day will work for taking a multi-hour exam.

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So, if you’re at the point where you need to reschedule your exam, what should you do? First, don’t worry. The process for rescheduling your GRE exam is very easy.

How to Reschedule GRE Exam

  • Go to ETS and log into your online account. Once you’re there, you can reschedule your exam so long as it’s within 4 days of the test date (or 10 days if you live in Mainland China).
  • Pay the rescheduling fee of $50 ($53.90 in Mainland China). Note that rescheduling is not a free service, even if you’re within the four-day window.
  • To reschedule and change the location of your exam, you’ll be charged another $50.

Last-Minute GRE Exam Reschedule

What if you wake up on the day of your exam, and you’re sick? Unfortunately, rescheduling isn’t as straight forward as it might initially seem. You’re no longer outside the four-day window, so if you just don’t show up to your exam, you won’t get a refund — yes, even if you’re sick. If you try to register for another showing of the test, you’ll have to pay the full registration fee all over again. That’s expensive! You’ll essentially be paying for the exam twice — to take it once.

Ideally, you would avoid this situation. But everyone ends up in a situation where they need to do a GRE exam reschedule that they didn’t foresee. So, how do you do this?

Technically, by not showing up to the exam, you’re forfeiting your fee. It won’t be refunded.

However, if you truly were sick, you can call ETS and see what they say. Some reports suggest that ETS would be willing to give you a voucher to retake your exam later. But they are only willing to offer this to students who send in a letter from a doctor certifying that they were indeed sick. In addition, ETS may take some time to investigate the matter. In short, it won’t be easy!

If you just have the sniffles, it probably makes sense to go to your exam anyway. The process of getting a voucher is too arduous to justify staying home with a box of tissues. But if your illness is more severe, it’s probably worthwhile to stay at home.

When To Reschedule

Assuming you’re rescheduling due to a conflict, and not due to last-minute illness, when should you do your GRE exam reschedule? Here are some thoughts on how to pick a day where you’re unlikely to face another conflict:

  • If you work or are in school, you probably have some sort of weekly routine, where certain days of the week or month are busier than others. Be sure to avoid those days.
  • Think about the kind of things that regularly “pop up” in your life. Are there days where you have to stay late at work unexpectedly, or some kind of chore at home keeps you occupied? Try to expect the unexpected — as best you can — when choosing a new date.
  • Do some weather forecasting. Weather can make travel hard, and that’s especially true if you need to travel a long distance to your test center. You probably don’t want to schedule during a time of year when blizzards or flooding are likely.
  • Remember that rescheduling means more studying. If you reschedule the exam really far from your original date, you’re going to want to continue studying during that time. Don’t just stop studying — you’ll forget the material you learned! Make sure you consider how much you need to study, and how convenient studying will be to you, before rescheduling.
  • Always keep the usual GRE scheduling topics in mind — due dates, the need for a retake, etc.
  • Don’t Sweat It!

    Rescheduling isn’t a big deal. Sure, it will cost you a $50 fee. But think about that fee in the grander scheme of your graduate school education. Ultimately, graduate school is going to cost you many thousands of dollars. An extra $50 for a reschedule is probably worth it if it means you’ll score better, and have a better chance of getting admitted to the program of your choosing.

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

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    12 Responses to How and When to Reschedule Your GRE Exam

    1. Sama Rahman January 31, 2020 at 8:11 pm #

      My test day is on Feb 26th. I am planning to take the exam on the same day, but change the location (to be exact country). I am a bit unclear. Is it just 50? Or rescheduling + changing location fee totaling 100?
      Thanks for your help 🙂

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 3, 2020 at 10:15 am #

        Hello, Sama! According to the ETS website, the fee to change a test center is $50. But it’s a little unclear you will also have to pay the $50 reschedule fee since technically you will be booking a new appointment. We recommend contacting ETS directly so that you can be sure. Good luck on your exam! 🙂

    2. Abhishek Sharma October 6, 2018 at 12:22 am #

      Hi , I want to know if I planned to give GRE exam in October 2018 and want to postpone to March 2019 is it possible?

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 13, 2018 at 8:54 am #

        Are you asking whether ETS will let you reschedule that far in advance? To my knowledge, there should be no issue with this. You can handle these logistics with ETS directly. 🙂

    3. Auntor Saha May 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

      Unfortunately I mistake the four days reschedule process.I had a strong tendency to reschedule the test date of Thursday exam.But the day is Monday at now.In this circumstances, how can I reschedule process?any humble request by ETS.

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 24, 2018 at 4:08 pm #

        Hi Auntor,

        Sorry for the late reply here; it looks like today is your test day! Unfortunately, we are not ETS and cannot help with rescheduling your test. I hpoe that you were able to reach out to them!

        • Aditi January 22, 2021 at 8:36 pm #

          I am trying to reschedule my exam but it is showing error and I am unable to complete the process. I am trying to use different cards and even PayPal is not working! What should I do?

          • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
            Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 11, 2021 at 7:16 am #

            Hi Aditi, you should reach out to ETS directly through the contact information on their site. They can provide the most accurate and helpful information for technical issues.

    4. Tina January 30, 2018 at 8:30 am #

      If I plan to give the GRE in March and book the date, but somehow I feel I am not adequately prepared for the test and want to reschedule it to say July/August(due to semester end exams in the month of May), will it be possible to do so? How far can the date of rescheduling be from the original date?

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 31, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

        Hi Tina,

        Rescheduling for July or August should be very possible. 🙂 Actually you can– in theory– reschedule your exam for up to a year or maybe even longer after the original date. In reality, however, some individual test centers simply don’t post availability at 6+ months from the present. Just 4 or 5 months out from your original date should be OK at any test center, though.

    5. Dhiraj April 24, 2017 at 5:16 am #

      I recently graduated in economics in Bangladesh. My honors cgpa 3.17,masters 3.00,gre 312 and planning toefl.However, if I apply for masters in usa,should I apply as a bachelor or as a graduate since my masters result is poor.please share your view

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 25, 2017 at 4:09 am #

        Hi Dhiraj,

        Thanks for asking! We are not admissions/guidance counselors, nor are we visa advocates, so it is hard to give you a good answer here. It would probably be harder to convince USCIS that you need another bachelors rather than trying for a second masters, but this depends a lot on your finances, career goals, chosen school, etc. You should do more research and also find an admissions counselor or some kind of professional who can help you map your way. Good luck! 🙂

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