Everyone should look for better opportunities in various phases of life. Higher education is one of them. Many students prepare for GRE to get into a reputed college and finish their studies. One has to satisfy the eligibility criteria for applying to a college but there is no age or qualification criteria before taking GRE. Thus, one can take GRE at any point of time in life.
However, the biggest question is when to take the GRE exam and plan the course of career.
Following are the various stages when GRE can be opted for:
- Informed decision: A lot of times students decide to give GRE exam under peer pressure when they see everyone around them preparing for it. This should not be the case. It is better to take an informed decision rather than joining the rat race. Study properly in your college/school and devote time to think what you want to do next in life.
- During first year of college: Format of GRE and SAT is somewhat similar. Thus, if you have recently prepared for SAT, it makes sense to apply the same vocabulary skills and basic math for GRE too. However, GRE score is valid for only five years. In case you are enrolled for a four years course, you will have to join the graduate college within one year of leaving college. Else, you will have to take GRE again.
- After first year of college: If you did not take the test during the first year of college, you still have multiple options. You can take the exam when few years are left for the college to get over. This way you can concentrate on current college courses, decide what you want to do next in career and get enough time to prepare. In such a scenario, it is recommended to take the test in the junior year of your college.
- After working on a job: In this case, it is a safe decision to give the test during the senior year of college. Taking out time for preparation is easier in the senior year as compared to taking out time while working for a job. Also, you will have 5 years’ time to decide whether you want to continue with your current job or want to go for higher studies.
Everyone has different skills and different aspirations for career. Thus, the best time to take GRE is when you are ready to take it. Evaluate the factors that can play a major role when you plan to take the test. For people in college, ideal time is between the spring semester of junior year and fall semester of senior year.
Main point of consideration should be to free up maximum time for preparation. Also, keep some buffer time to accommodate the possibility of a retake in case the results aren’t as expected. Taking GRE also depends on admission procedures of colleges to be applied, the specific programs of colleges and the term planned to be enrolled into.
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