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When should I take the GRE?


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What schools I apply to will be affected by how well I do on the GRE, but I want to take the GRE as late as possible so I have more time to study. To meet Jan 1st deadlines, what's the latest I can take the GRE? Also, will it delay my scores if I wait until after I get my V/Q scores to submit them? Are the scores sent instantly electronically, or by mail? Do all philosophy applications have a GRE score entry section in case the official gre scores come in late?

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ETS says that scores will be sent (electronically) to the 4 schools you designate at registration 10-15 days after you take the test. I'm pretty sure if you wait to get the scores back (that same 10-15 day wait time) before sending, sending score reports is pretty much immediate. It might take additional time on the side of the grad program, though, for scores to be processed and matched to your application--this will depend on each individual program. Some are definitely almost immediate, but some say that there's a possible 3-5 day processing on everything.

So, Dec. 17th is 15 days out, add on a cushion of 5 days for any processing....and you'll probably want to take it at least by Dec. 10th. (I would, personally, take it a week earlier, but admittedly I tend to overly worry about some of these things.)

And, I'm not in philosophy, but I think since most apps go through the overall graduate schools, rather than individual programs, my experience will apply: I haven't seen any that don't have space to input your unofficial V/Q scores. 

Good luck! (I recommend the free Magoosh vocab app for cramming for verbal--pretty quick & fairly thorough.)

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