Students planning to take admission in an American university must have their GRE/GMAT/TOEFL scores in hand at least 9 months in advance. This means that:
- if you are applying for the fall semester, which starts in September, your score must be ready in January of that same year at the latest.
- If you are applying for the spring semester, which starts in January, you should have your score in hand by March or April of the previous year.
Ideally, however, you should take your GRE/GMAT tests 1½-2 years before hand. That is,
- engineering, pharmacy and medical students should take the GRE when they are in their third year
- students pursuing an MA or MSc should take the GRE while they are doing Part 1 of their course.
This is possible since GRE scores are valid for 5 years. Keep in mind, however, that the TOEFL score is valid only for 2 years and therefore should be given only 9 months in advance as stated above.