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5 year GRE


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You should ask the schools you are applying to, and not rely on the replies of internet strangers. What if what we say is right for some school we know but for not the ones you're applying to? Or if someone posts something here that is just wrong? That could have catastrophic results that can be avoided by simply directly asking the schools.

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ETS only keeps your test scores for 5 years. Each July, they purge all test scores older than 5 years. Here's the text from the relevant page:

Reportable History

  • GRE test scores are part of your reportable history for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30). As of July 1, 2015, GRE scores earned July 1, 2010, to the present will be available in your reportable GRE score history.
  • Scores from individuals who tested between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, were purged from the GRE database in mid-July 2015.
  • Scores from individuals who tested between July 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011, will be purged from the GRE database in mid-July 2016.

Source: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/send/. Note that this means scores do not expire in exactly 5 years, but instead, only at fixed times; i.e. A test score from July 2, 2009 was still valid until mid-July 2015 (6 years!)

Since you asked for a data point/anecdote, here's mine: There was one school (sorry I cannot recall the name at this time) that clarified their 5 year policy further by saying that they require your score to be no more than 5 years old on the date of the application deadline, or whenever they receive your score, whatever is later. They had this policy because they allow people to reapply after an unsuccessful attempt without resubmitting things like score reports and transcripts, but this means they have to have a clear policy on expiry dates.

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Officially, the GRE year runs from July to June or something, which effectively makes it a 6 year rule. Schools say 5 years. Whether they would honor 5+ year old scores that ETS still honors is a question I wouldn't want to test out. At this point, the 800 scale is old enough that it's worth taking the new test anyway IMO.

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