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I am starting today to study for the GRE, aiming at a PHD in Economics or Public policy in a Top 20 US school. I have a busy schedule: work 40hrs a week and have two kids. I have never taken the exam. I will try to study for 2 hrs a day (I don´t think I can release much more time) following the Magoosh materials and Magoosh 2 month preparation schedule. Application deadlines for Economics seem to be on Dec 1st and require final official GRE results by that date. I am now wondering if I should schedule the exam in: a) Oct 10th in time for a retake in Nov if necessary or Nov 7th (I just found out there is no availability at later dates in Oct where I live (Brasilia, Brazil)) Pros and cons: Option a) gives me less time to study (8 weeks) but the chance to retake Option gives me more time to study (12 weeks) but not time to retake what would you advise me? A more administrative question: If I were to decide, on Oct 10th, to retake the exam, would there be still available examination slots for Nov 7-10 (in time for Oficial results to be included in the Dec 1st application) at major US cities (Boston, Washington-DC, LA)? Or even at those larger evaluation centers there will not be available seats?