Magoosh Expert

When Do GRE Scores Expire? Understanding Score Validity Periods

A student with her arm raised with the text "When do GRE scores expire?" above

As you embark on your GRE journey, one important aspect to consider is the validity period of your test scores. Understanding when GRE scores expire is crucial for effective planning and timely application submission. Let’s dive into the score validity periods of the GRE, including some exciting updates that you need to know!

Understanding score validity periods

GRE scores are valid for a specified period of time, known as the score validity period. This period indicates how long your GRE scores will be accepted by institutions for admission purposes. Most institutions want recent test scores to evaluate your skills accurately.

Improve your GRE score with Magoosh.

As of the existing policy, GRE scores are reportable for five years following your test date. This means that you have a five-year window from the date you took the GRE during which your scores can be submitted to universities and programs as part of your application.

Why the five-year score validity period matters

The ETS has a good reason for setting a five-year score validity period. Here’s why it’s important:

  1. Relevance of recent performance: Grad programs want to see your current skills and knowledge. The five-year validity period ensures that your GRE scores reflect your recent academic achievements.
  2. Changes in content and format: The GRE evolves with the times. By setting a five-year validity period, ETS keeps your scores based on the most up-to-date content and test formats.
  3. Equity and fairness: Everyone deserves a fair shot, right? A consistent score validity period makes sure everyone is on a level playing field.
  4. Adaptation to grad programs: Grad programs switch things up all the time. With a five-year validity period, your GRE scores fit right into the timeline of program changes. No need to stress!
  5. Alignment with other standardized tests: Other tests like the GMAT and LSAT also have a five-year score validity period. This consistency helps streamline the application process for candidates who may be applying to multiple graduate programs or considering different academic paths.

Planning for score validity

Take the time to thoroughly research the application timelines for your desired graduate programs. It is crucial to ensure that your test scores remain valid throughout the entire application period. When selecting your test dates, make wise choices by considering how they align with your application timeline and the score validity requirements of your target programs. By doing so, you will optimize your chances of success and make the most of your GRE scores.

Upcoming changes to the GRE

On September 22, 2023, an important update will be implemented in the GRE General Test. The test duration will be significantly shortened, from just under four hours to just under two hours. This change aims to provide a more streamlined and efficient testing experience for candidates. On top of that, ETS is making it even faster for candidates to get their GRE scores!

It’s important to note that while the GRE test format and reporting timeline are evolving, the score validity period does not appear to be changing. This means that even with the upcoming changes, your GRE scores will likely maintain their five-year validity period.

Knowing how long your GRE scores are valid is crucial for your grad school journey. While exciting changes are coming to the GRE test format and score reporting, the score validity period isn’t expected to budge from five years. With strategic planning, lots of prep, and staying up-to-date with GRE policies and updates, you’ll rock those applications with competitive scores.


More from Magoosh