Things to Consider Before Retaking the GRE

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

So your first attempt didn’t quite get you the score you were expecting, and that’s absolutely okay; you are definitely not alone. A large majority of the GRE test takers reappear for the exam since they did not score a 325+ on their first attempt, and there are a few things that one must duly consider before booking the date for your retest.


1. Will it help to take the test again?

First of all, you need to be clear about what is the GRE score range that shall help you get into the school you want to. Remember, the GRE scores are only a part of your application, and not the only thing that admission officers consider while evaluating your application. There still might be a chance that you can get the school you want. However, the case might also be such that your scores aren’t adequate enough at all, and in such situations, retaking the GRE is a smart choice.


2. What went wrong the first time?

To know do better in your second attempt of the GRE, you need to know exactly what went wrong the first time around. Now, there could be number of factors that caused you to not deliver your best, which include but are not limited to:


· Inadequate preparation: Being insufficiently prepared for a section is often a direct result of overconfidence in your hold over a particular subject—it verbal or quantitative—and this lowers your score since you did not revise the basics of the subject.

· Difficulty in application-based questions: There also might be a situation where you know the formulae and the concepts, but you are unsure about how to utilize them in solving a question. This often leads you to answering the questions incorrectly, and hereby lowering your score.

· Anxiety/nervousness: The most common reason behind people getting a lower score than expected on their first attempt is nervousness; they freaked out during the test, and made a lot more mistakes than expected. The only way to overcome this is to re-assess the situation, understand why you lost your cool during the exam, and then ensure that it does not happen again.

· Just bad luck: Maybe it wasn’t your day, that’s all. You were all set to give a good exam and then something happened that caused you to lose focus and altered your frame of mind, and you ended up with a much lower GRE score than expected.


3. When to retake the test?

ETS allows you to register for your second attempt exactly 21 days after the first attempt; however the real question here is, when will you be ready to give it another go to ensure you get the score you want? If you got anything more than a 325 on your first attempt, don’t even bother with retaking the test. If you scored anything below that, retaking the GRE is a good idea but do not rush into retaking the test.


Analyse your previous performance using the GRE Diagnostic Service tool offered by the ETS, and then make a study plan to tackle your weak areas. Register for another test when you are 100% certain of your abilities.


All the best!

Share this post:

More Articles

Specialized Masters Programs

Graduate students and young professionals are eager to take up “specialized” master programs more than the regular masters’ programs like Masters Program in Computer Science,

Masters in Management

MIM or Masters in Management is a premium post-graduate degree meant for individuals who have just graduated or are young professionals.   Why would you