What happens if I don't show up for the GREs?
September 3, 2008 11:58 PM   Subscribe

How to solve the GREs-- not the test, but the registration! What happens if I don't show up to the test?

I signed up for the GRE for this Saturday. On Monday, I realized that the test narrowly overlaps with another test, and that I should reschedule the test. I tried to reschedule on Tuesday, three full days before the test --- or so I thought. It turns out that "three full days" means "three full days not including the test date or the cancellation date". In other words: I should have canceled five full days before the test.

Now I have a GRE looming ahead of me in the next two days, I can't cancel it, and I'm pretty sure that I'll be 200% more prepared if I take it, oh, next week (I spent most of my time memorizing vocab, not taking practice tests). Here's my question:

1) Is there anyway to cancel/reschedule?
2) If not, what happens if I don't show up? Will not showing up on Saturday mean that I still can't take a GRE again until October? Or since I didn't take the test at all, would it be possible to sign up for another GRE next next week (in September) or so?

I tried to look online and to call, but I was faced with long, long wait times (ten minutes+ just to navigate the phone menus?) and hazy details. I'm hoping someone who has been in a similar situation/knows the details can shed some light on my questions.

Thanks so much!
posted by suedehead to Education (7 answers total)
Oh, and this is the GRE General test, and I'm in NY state if that matters at all.
posted by suedehead at 11:58 PM on September 3, 2008

I took the new, computer format general GRE last fall, so ignore this comment if you are taking the pen and paper test (if that is even an option anymore). After completing the test, but before I was shown my scores, I was presented with a menu giving me the option to submit or cancel my score. It might be worth taking the test and then making this decision when you reach The Screen of Confidence or Lack Thereof.

Since you mentioned vocabulary memorization; the adaptive nature of the test means that the test words quickly become weird and obscure if you consistently answer correctly. Rote memorization won't get you as far as you might expect, unless you've really hit the dictionary. Work on using context, prefix, suffix, other common word components/arrangements, etc...
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 12:30 AM on September 4, 2008

No experience in this but from the ETS website, it looks like you can reschedule at any point prior to taking the exam; you will just have to pay an extra $50.
posted by mcroft at 3:24 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

For me, the best prep was actually taking the test twice. I had to re-take it because of the length of time from the first time I took it (and then decided to put off grad school) and they had changed the format a little... long story short, I felt I should take it again. I was MUCH more comfortable the second time around as I was simply more familiar with what it felt like to sit in front of the computer and do it (versus practice paper tests).

I would take it and if you feel like you did ok, submit your scores. You can always take it again and be out the money to do so, but if you take it and do well, maybe you can just get it out of the way!
posted by stefnet at 5:46 AM on September 4, 2008

Don't take the test if you don't feel prepared. Don't have bad scores on your record.
posted by k8t at 6:10 AM on September 4, 2008

The first time I took the test I freaked out and decided to not complete the test because I wanted an absolutely perfect score. I freaked out so much that I just cancelled the test then and there rather than waiting till the last screen and then not accepting the scores. In retrospect I really should have done that because it would have given me valuable practice and I was paying for it anyway. I was able to reschedule pretty quickly but this was towards the end of the month so the once a month rule didn't come into it. I think you may only be able to reschedule during the next calendar month though I'm not sure about this. So in sum, don't worry too much, take the test only when you feel completely prepared and if you're willing to spend the money it's really not an issue cancelling the test.
posted by peacheater at 2:04 PM on September 4, 2008

This quote from the ETS website seems to indicate that even if you cancel your scores you can only take the GRE once a month. I'm not sure whether not showing up for the test would count as taking the test or not.
You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month and no more than five times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.
posted by peacheater at 2:08 PM on September 4, 2008

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