Roshan Sunthar

Updated on 30-03-2023


Retaking the GRE

Retaking the GRE

Students who aim for university admission abroad take the GRE test, conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). GRE retaking is allowed by ETS for students who are not satisfied with their performance or by candidates who do not meet the required scores. Students who think of retaking the GRE test can appear for the test 5 times within 365 days (continuous rolling 12-month period) with 21 days gap between the attempt. To know more about GRE retaking, its fees, registration process, number of attempts, tips & strategies, etc., read this blog and get yourself updated.

Table of Contents

  1. Retaking the GRE
  2. Are there any restrictions in retaking the GRE exam?
  3. Fees and Registration for GRE Retakes
  4. Difference between rescheduling and retaking GRE test
  5. Can multiple GRE test attempts improve my score?
  6. Is GRE retakes a disadvantage for university admissions?
  7. How to prepare for the test before going for GRE retake?
  8. Retaking GRE exam - limits
  9. GRE Score Validity
  10. Why retaking the GRE exam alone is not a good strategy?
  11. Ideal time required to retake the exam
  12. Where to apply for the GRE retake exam?
  13. Can I retake the exam for any one section of GRE?
  14. Even if I got a good score, shall I retake the exam for the second time?
  15. Resitting the test after a long break
  16. Checklist: Before retaking the GRE exam
  17. Summary

Are there any restrictions in retaking the GRE exam?

As per the ETS official policy, there are no restrictions on retaking the GRE exam. If you are not satisfied with the score, you can retake the GRE test once every 21 days and not more than five times a year (continuous rolling 12 months period). Once you retake the GRE five times in a year, you are restricted from retaking it in the same year.

Fees and Registration for GRE Retakes 

The fees for GRE retake is $50 (3,800 INR). This fee is paid in addition to the GRE Exam fee. For every GRE retake, a $50 is levied from the test-taker. Once you pay the fee, you will receive an email notification indicating the successful completion of the registration process. The registration can be done on the official ETS website. 

Difference between rescheduling and retaking GRE test 

difference between rescheduling and retaking gre test

The main difference between rescheduling and retaking the GRE test is that rescheduling means you can postpone the exam date without giving any attempt. Whereas retaking means you can appear for the test once again after giving your first attempt. You can reschedule the GRE no later than four (4) days. However, to retake the GRE, there is no such restriction. Moreover, the rescheduling fee is cheaper than the fee for retaking.

Can multiple GRE test attempts improve my score? 

Yes, giving multiple attempts for the GRE test will improve your scores. Since ETS doesn’t compromise on GRE’s difficulty level, it allows students to retake the GRE up to 5 times within a year to achieve their targeted score. It eventually builds a strong foundation and sharpens your skills to the next level.

Is GRE retakes a disadvantage for university admissions? 

No, retaking the GRE is not a disadvantage for university admissions in any country. In fact, many students get university admissions after retaking the GRE test. When you retake the GRE test, it does not affect your application to your dream college or university. After you retake the test, you need to decide which GRE score is best for you and submit it to the university. 

How to prepare for the test before going for GRE retake? 

You must have good preparation for the test before going for the GRE retake.  It is easy by following the steps below.

how to prepare for the test before going for gre retake? 

  • Analyse your previous question paper, and find out what went wrong.
  • Talk to a GRE expert and get their feedback on the question paper.
  • Identify your mistakes -  

A. Whether it is a particular section - verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, or analytical writing.

B. Whether it is a lack of preparation.

C. Whether it is poor time management.

D. Whether it is a lack of motivation, etc.

  • Based on your observations, start practising.
  • Get your sample questions evaluated by an experienced tutor.
  • Now try to rectify your mistakes. 
  • Never stop practising unless you ace the practise tests.
  • Once you’re ready technically, you are good to give a retake of the GRE.

Retaking GRE exam - limits

ETS has set certain limits for retaking the GRE exam. After your first attempt, you can retake the GRE General test only after 21 days (3 weeks), and up to five (5) times a year (365 days).

ETS introduced a new feature - The ScoreSelect option, which allows you to decide which test scores to send to the educational institution. After retaking the GRE and the results are published, you have the option to choose either the new score or the old one to send to the educational institution.

GRE Score Validity 

The GRE score validity is 5 years from the date of your test. For instance, if your scores for the GRE test are released on 1 April 2023, they will be eligible up to 31 March 2028. If you submit your scores to any institution after 31 March 2028, it becomes invalid.

Why retaking the GRE exam alone is not a good strategy? 

Students appearing multiple times for GRE couldn’t achieve their desired score. To overcome this, first, they must know retaking the GRE exam alone is not a good strategy. After the first attempt, students practise new sample questions and discover new strategies yet end up in vain.

To be successful, they need the right guidance from experienced mentors. They guide students in the right direction with easy tricks and nuances. So, do self-study at your pace and follow a mentor’s advice to get through the GRE on time.

Ideal time required to retake the exam 

To retake the GRE, the ideal time required is three to four weeks. Once you receive your GRE test score, you need to analyse each question and find out what went wrong. Since you’re eligible to retake the exam after 21 days, you can take feedback from GRE tutors and set the preparation strategy accordingly. 

Where to apply for the GRE retake exam? 

where to apply for the gre retake exam? 

  • To apply for the GRE retake exam, follow the instructions below:
  • Login to your ETS Account
  • Verify your email address and location
  • Apply for the Retake option available
  • Select the nearest test centre
  • Pay the fee of $50
  • Your GRE retake exam will be booked

Can I retake the exam for any one section of GRE? 

There are three sections involved in GRE - quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing. ETS does not provide a retake option for any one section of the GRE. Retaking the GRE means attempting the GRE General test again as you did for the first time. For example: if you’re not satisfied with your quants score and want to improve your score in quants alone, you need to answer all three sections once again.

Even if I got a good score, shall I retake the exam for the second time? 

You could retake the GRE for the second time even if you obtained a good score. There is no restriction applied. Some students appear for the GRE test again even after getting their targeted marks to score the highest. If you’re not sure which score is good or bad, refer to the below tables that give detail about a good and a bad score section-wise.

GRE Percentile GRE Verbal Score GRE Quant Score Score Interpretation
99 160-170 170 Excellent
90 162 166 very good
75 157 160 good
50 150-151 153 Average
25 144-145 147 Below Average
10 139-140 141 Poor
1 132 and below 134 and below very poor


GRE Percentile GRE AW Score Score Interpretation
99 6.0 Excellent
98 5.5
92 5.0 very good
82 4.5 good
59 4.0 Average
41 3.5
17 3.0 Below Average
7 2.5 Poor
2 2.0 very poor

Resitting the test after a long break 

Many students across the globe retake the GRE General test after a long break. They crack the GRE successfully only through the right guidance. It is evident that with the resource materials, guidance and strategy, anyone can tackle the GRE after taking a long break. All they need to do is start their preparation slowly and consistently, and they will see the results. 

Checklist: Before retaking the GRE exam 

To avoid last-minute tension, make a checklist for you. Obviously, students with a checklist tend to come to the exam calmly because they have everything in hand and left nothing.
What to bring:

  • A valid Photo ID
  • Confirmation email or authorisation letter
  • A bottle of water
  • A mask

What not to bring:

Personal items like

  1. Calculator
  2. Scratch paper, pen, pencil (you will be provided with writing materials)
  3. Phones, tablets, watches, any other technology products
  4. Jewellery other than wedding and engagement ornaments

Please note that clothing and accessories like hair bands, neckties, hats, scarves, jackets, sweatshirts and other personal items will be inspected before entering the exam hall.


Retaking the GRE General test is common among GRE aspirants. It helps them perform better. If you want to retake the GRE to improve your score, but don’t know how to proceed, this article will help you to know everything about retaking the GRE test. For specific doubts, you can refer to the FAQs.   


Can I retake the GRE exam for Quantitative Reasoning alone? 

No. You cannot retake the quantitative reasoning section alone in GRE. Some students secure more in verbal and analytical writing and lose marks in quantitative reasoning as they lack mathematical skills. To compensate for that, they need to retake the GRE and appear in all three sections.  

Can I retake the GRE exam for Verbal Reasoning alone? 

It is not possible to reappear for the verbal reasoning section alone in GRE. To score better in verbal reasoning, you must take all three sections.  

Can I retake the GRE exam for Analytical Writing alone? 

ETS does not allow you to take analytical writing alone while retaking the GRE. Even though analytical writing has a different GRE percentile and score interpretation, you must answer all three sections to improve your analytical writing score.

What happens if you fail the GRE? 

There is no pass or fail in GRE. The GRE scores are interpreted as Below Average, Average, Good, Excellent, etc. If you scored average or below that, you can always go for a retake and increase your score in the subsequent test.

Can I take the GRE twice? 

Yes. You can take the GRE twice and more. ETS allows you to retake the GRE up to five times in a year.

Is GRE 300 a good score? 

300 in GRE is an average score. Generally, a score ranging from 305 to 320 is considered as a good score.

Can I retake the GRE for free? 

No. You need to pay $50 to retake the GRE. 

What’s the average GRE score? 

The average GRE score is close to 150 - 152.

Is retaking the GRE bad? 

Retaking the GRE is actually good, not bad. It improves your chances of getting admission to your dream university. It also helps you improve your basic math skills and vocabulary.

If I cancel my previous GRE scores, am I still eligible for retaking the GRE?

Yes. Even if you cancel your previous GRE scores, you are still eligible for retaking the GRE.


About Author Roshan Sunthar

Roshan Sunthar is a study abroad expert as well as a renowned writer and author in international education. His academic excellence and 5+ years of work experience give him in-depth knowledge of international standardised exams and test preparation in IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, PTE, SAT, etc. The study materials he prepares incorporate exam-like questions. He’s also an expert in writing Statement of Purposes (SOPs) and Letter of Recommendations (LORs) for college admissions. He usually spends his leisure time watching English classics and documentaries, travelling, etc.

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Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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