Magoosh Expert

GRE Score Cancelled by ETS: Understanding the Reasons and Next Steps

A student looking at a laptop worried about her GRE scores being canceled by ETS

If you’re gearing up for the GRE, you’re probably pouring a ton of energy into nailing this crucial test. But what happens if the folks at Educational Testing Service (ETS), who administer the GRE, end up canceling your score? If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it is crucial to understand the reasons behind the score cancellation and the steps to take afterward. We’re here to help!

Reasons for GRE score cancellation

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There are a few reasons why the ETS might cancel your score.

  • Caught Red-Handed: Cheating or using unauthorized materials during the test can get your score canceled faster than you can say ‘GRE’. ETS maintains strict test security protocols to ensure the integrity of the exam, and any breach can lead to score cancellation.
  • Identification issues: If there are discrepancies or issues with your identification documents at the test center, ETS may cancel your score as a precautionary measure to verify your identity.
  • Didn’t Follow Instructions: Not following the test center’s procedures or instructions can also lead to score cancellation. Always listen carefully to the proctor and follow their guidelines to a T.
  • Bad Behavior: Disruptive behavior or breaking the rules at the test center can result in score cancellation. Remember, everyone’s there to focus on the test, so keep it respectful and orderly.
  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty that is unacceptable in educational settings. Engaging in plagiarism goes against these principles and can lead to severe consequences, including score cancellation.

My score got canceled. Now what?

If your GRE score is canceled, ETS will notify you via email about the cancellation and the reason for it. They’ll also give you the exact next steps to take.

What you can do immediately is brush up on ETS’s policies about score cancellations and test security. This will help you understand exactly what went wrong. Make sure you have any necessary info or documents ready to back up your case if you think there’s been a mistake.

If your score is canceled, you will have the option to retake the GRE at a future date. Take this opportunity to thoroughly prepare and avoid any issues that may have led to the cancellation in the first place. On your retake, ensure that you strictly adhere to the test center’s procedures and guidelines. Be respectful to test center staff and follow all instructions diligently.

Use the score cancellation as a learning opportunity. Reflect on what happened, learn from it, and take steps to avoid similar issues in the future. Remember, honesty, integrity, and following the rules are key to avoiding getting your score canceled by the ETS.

In short, a GRE score cancellation can feel like a major setback, but it’s not the end of the world. Whether your score was canceled due to testing irregularities, ID issues, or other reasons, use this experience to learn and grow. By understanding ETS’s policies, sticking to the rules, and prepping thoroughly for your retake, you’ll be well on your way to a successful GRE experience.


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