Each of the major tests that students generally take to get higher education in the United States – i.e. the GRE, IETLS, TOEFL tests – allows you to send you scores to a certain number of universities or colleges free of charge.
GRE – 4 free score reports
names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
current fee per score report thereafter $ 27
TOEFL – 4 free score reports
names of universities to be specified one day before the test
current fee per score report thereafter $ 20
IELTS – 5 free score reports (to universities accepting an IELTS score) + 1 given to the candidate
names of universities to be specified one day before the test
current fee per score report: Online Rs 250, and physical copy Rs 1500
The application season for Fall 2022 is at its peak, and we know that many students have doubts about sending free and additional scores to the universities. Here’s what our experts at the Academy have to say about the most common questions on score reporting for the GRE/IELTS/TOEFL.
What is free score reporting?
At the time of the GRE and TOEFL tests, you can mention the names of four universities and its departments for sending scores as a part of your test fee without any additional charges. It is called free score reporting. Likewise, at the time of the IELTS test, you can mention the names of five universities for free score reporting.
2. How much will it cost to apply to universities other than the four mentioned for free score reporting?
If you apply to universities other than these four, you will have to request additional score reports by paying charges to ETS, Princeton. The additional score report for GRE will cost $27, and for the TOEFL, it will cost you $20 per university.
3. What is the additional score reporting fee for the IELTS?
The additional score report for IELTS will cost you Rs 250 (for online) and Rs 1500 (by courier through IDP website)
4. When should I send my test scores to the universities?
Once you have finalized the universities, send your score reports. They take around 7 to 15 days to reach the universities so you need to send them well before the deadlines.
5. Do I need to send my scores to universities offering GRE waivers?
No, you need not send your scores officially but you can upload the score card with the online applications.
6. Should I send the GRE score report directly to the university or through the ETS?
Some universities ask you to upload a scorecard at the time of the application and once you receive the admits, they ask you to submit the scores through the official ETS website.
7. How to send the score reports of the TOEFL?
For the TOEFL, the majority of the universities require you to submit the scores only through the official ETS website.
8. How long are my GRE scores reportable?
The GRE scores are reportable for five years following the test date. 9.
9. How can I order additional score reports?
Additional score reports can be ordered either online, through your official ETS account, by mail, or by fax.
10. Can I pay for these score reports through a debit card or online transfer?
Yes, you can pay through Credit Card, Debit Card, and PayPal. But we recommend you to pay through Credit Card.
For any additional questions or guidance related to sending your scores, filling out the applications, and financial documentation, you can seek help from our experts by enrolling for our admission counselling services today!
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries or post your questions in the comments section, and we will get back to you!
The first thing you should know: take your GRE about 1 ½ to 2 months before your earliest important deadline. It is going to take approximately that much time for your score reports to reach the universities you have chosen as score recipients (i.e. the universities you chose to send your score reports to). Here’s what the ETS says:
About 15 days to a month after your test, you will be able to view online and print out, for your own records, your score report in the PDF format shown below:
Having seen the format, you probably have some questions: for example, why are the scores for the Verbal and Sections given under two different headings: prior format and current format? And what is the estimated current score under prior format for?
Well, before August 2011, the GRE used to score the Verbal and Quantitative sections on a scale of 200-800 instead of between 130-170 as they now do. According to the ETS, GRE scores are valid for 5 years. This means that GRE scores taken in September 2011 will continue to be valid according to the ETS till September 2016. Until then the ETS has to provide a way of comparing the old and new scores. They do this by providing:
an old score equivalent for tests taken under the Revised General GRE format (taken on or after 01 August 2011)
a new score equivalent for tests taken under the earlier GRE format (i.e. before 01 August 2011)
This is why the scores for the Verbal and Quantitative sections in the PDF shown above are given in two columns: ‘Prior Format’ and ‘Current Format’. This allows universities to easily compare the scores of students who have taken the older versions of test and those who have taken the newer one without too much difficulty. The ‘Estimated Current Score’ column (under ‘prior format’) was specially meant for candidates who had taken the old format of the test and for whom American universities needed an estimated equivalent score in the new format.
Somewhat pointlessly, the ‘estimated current score’ is also given for students who have taken the new version of the test (the Revised General GRE as it is called) – this is pointless since they already have an actual score in the new column. But we guess, since the ETS had the columns, they had to fill them up! Perhaps, reports after August 2016 will be simpler. Practically, however, this comparative data will not make much of a difference to you since most universities do not accept GRE scores that are older than 3 years. So, American universities probably stopped accepting September 2011 reports in September 2014.
For students who have given the GRE more than once, the worry has always been that the universities will see their low scores along with their high ones. To deal with this problem the ETS launched the ScoreSelectTMfeature some years ago. ScoreSelect allows you to decide which GRE scores will go to universities and colleges which means that you can omit poor scores from your graduate school applications. If you are retaking the GRE therefore, or have GRE scores that you are not keen to show the universities, it seems that ScoreSelect will allow you to breathe a little more easily. But you should be aware that this apparent boon does have its limitations.
Firstly, you won’t be able to mix and match your best maths and verbal performances from separate tests to create a super report. ScoreSelect only allows you to send score reports as a whole. Secondly, if you want the full flexibility that ScoreSelect offers then, it comes at a price.
As the ETS explains, after test day, you can send Additional Score Reports and select the ScoreSelect.
Most Recent option — using which, you can send your GRE scores from your most recent test
All option — using which, you can send your GRE scores from all tests in the last 5 years.
Any option — using which, you can send your GRE scores from one OR many tests in the last 5 years.
As you can see, it is the third option that gives you full scope to exclude the ‘bad’ scores you don’t want the universities to get. But, at this point, i.e. after test day, you will have to shell out $27/- per report. On test day, on the other hand, when you can choose 4 universities to send your score report to AT NO ADDITIONAL COST, this magical option is not available. All you have is the ScoreSelectMost Recent and All options. In short, if you want to get the full benefit of the ETS’s ScoreSelect option, you will have to pay for it at the rate of $27 per score report. As someone once said, there’s no such thing as a free lunch!
The third problem is that universities are all aware that you may be making use of this facility – and so, some may ask you to send score reports of all the GRE tests you have taken in the last 5 years anyway! If that’s the case with a university that you have selected, then you are stuck, and ScoreSelect is not going to help you.
So, the option exists. But it’s expensive, and it may not always be possible to use it. But, if the university you are applying to is willing to let you show them just the best side of yourself then, if you need it ScoreSelect is always there. Proceed thoughtfully!
Most of you know that preparing for the GRE test involves things like hours of practice and learning lots of words and formulae by heart. For the TOEFL, as you are aware, you have to brush up on your grammar. But you most probably never thought that preparing for these tests would involve thinking through which universities or colleges you would like to apply to. But it does, and here’s why: saving the 180 dollars referred to in the title is as simple as selecting the 4 names of universities from a drop-down list. Here’s how it works.
At the end of the GRE test, the ETS allows you to choose 4 universities to which they will send your GRE test score to WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGE. This is the ‘free score reporting’ feature, so called since the payment for reporting the score to those four institutes is included in the GRE registration fee. The TOEFL has a similar feature. The difference here is that the selection of the university or college you would like to send your free scores to needs to be done BEFORE the exam – any time after you have booked the TOEFL exam date up to 24 hours before your TOEFL test date.
Most students don’t make use of these useful money saving features since they generally don’t decide which universities they want to apply to before their GRE or TOEFL exams. The reasoning is that the choice of university depends on the GRE test score hence, university selection can be done only after the test. So, students normally request what the ETS calls Additional Score Reports (ASRs) only after they have selected universities to apply to (according to their GRE score). At that point they end up paying a fee of 27 dollars for each additional GRE ASR they request and 19 per TOEFL report. But, if you have already made use of the free score reporting feature, you make a saving of $27 + $19 = $46/- per university and $184 for all 4 universities!
But how do you select which universities you want to apply to before you have even got your GRE score? Well, you should have some idea of what universities you want to apply to beforehand – after all, on the basis of your GRE test scores you will only be making a selection of 4 for ‘free score reporting’ from that list; and though you may not have your GRE test scores in hand before the actual test, your mock tests will give you some idea of what scores you can expect. To make that list, talk to seniors or get on to some good discussion forums. This is something that you have to do in any case.
If, on this basis, you can make you make up your mind about what universities you would like to apply to before the GRE and TOEFL exams, you’ll be able to keep that $184 /- in your pocket! That works out to over 11,000 rupees, and you could buy a pretty decent smartphone with that amount or… plan a trip to Goa!
Also check out the link at the end of this sentence for what to do about sending scores to ‘unlisted institutions’