When to take the PGRE

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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:47 pm

When to take the PGRE

Postby thomasew » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:50 pm

Hi, I am applying to graduate school this fall. I took the PGRE last april and got a 700 after studying for about a month. I am going to retake it again this fall, but I was wondering what date I should do it. Does taking the test three times appear desperate? If so, then I guess I should just take it in November, as that would give me more time to study. What do you guys think?

EDIT: I should also mention that my honors thesis defense is due the first week of November. That could cut into my study time.

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Re: When to take the PGRE

Postby Knochera » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:49 pm

I can't speak to whether taking it three times looks desperate or not. However, something that I have noticed myself is that a lot of schools have admission deadlines that are prior to when the November test scores are reported. Just to give you an idea of what I mean, the November Scores are reported on Dec. 25th. However, schools like UCSB, Princeton, University of Chicago, and Cornell all have admission deadlines that are Dec 15th. Throw in some extra time for the scores to be sent in the mail (especially considering that's right at holiday season) and you're well past the admission deadlines for many schools.

I myself was planning to take the November test until I realized this. Perhaps somebody could clarify if there is some way schools typically handle scores being reported that late, such as self-reported scores being turned in prior to the deadline and official scores sent after? It seems odd to me that ETS would report scores after many of the admission deadlines without some way to get around it.

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Re: When to take the PGRE

Postby geshi » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:06 pm

It takes 6 weeks after taking the exam for your scores to arrive at the school. Most programs will not care about your GRE scores being late (double check the website of the programs you are looking at). Basically anything that YOU are responsible for showing up needs to be on time or close to on time.

In terms of taking it 3 times: it's only worth it if your score is going to go up each time. However if you're talking about taking the October and November tests, then you can take it 3 times and not worry about reporting all 3 scores. Basically it works like this: the ETS reports ALL scores for a particular test (e.g. reg GRE or PGRE)* when you submit the request. However, they ONLY submit scores that are already graded at the time of score submission request**. So if you take the October exam, you can report your 2 sets of PGREs to schools right when you get the October results back. Then if you get the results back from the November PGRE and find out it was better than your previous scores, you can submit it at that point. Unfortunately, this scheme will cost you more money, but it is a nice safety mechanism.

Schools will not need to know you took it 3 times unless you decide to tell them you took it 3 times.

*What I'm saying is, if you request your PGREs to be sent, they will send JUST your PGREs, but they will send ALL your PGREs. You can however submit requests for PGRE and GRE to be sent together (which is a cheaper way to do it).

**You can request unsent test scores to be graded, but they will not be sent until after it is graded. To do an immediate submission, they will not include any future tests automatically.

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Re: When to take the PGRE

Postby thomasew » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:18 pm

Geshi, that makes sense, but I would assume my 3rd and final score would be my best score. So, I would most likely want to submit that rather than an earlier score. But since this isn't possible...I don't know. I will need to check the deadlines of applications for the places I am interested in applying to, and make sure they are fine with the PGRE scores coming in late.

On the other hand, I put some schools down when I signed up for the PGRE last spring for ETS to send my first score to, so they already have that lousy 700. So, if the deadline passes, they will only have the 700 in front of them and they might just throw me out the group right then and there before my (hopefully) better score comes in late December. Decisions, decisions.

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Re: When to take the PGRE

Postby pqortic » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:28 pm

I don't think any school starts reviewing the applications before January 1st. during December everybody is busy with finals and submitting scores and getting prepared for Christmas except poor applicants and on the other hand, almost all the decisions come out after January 15th. and I know in some other countries PGRE is not held in October at all. so they should accept this fact that delay in PGRE score is not applicant's fault.

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