This might seems like a silly question, but I don't understand why grad schools ask for GRE score on the application form. In almost all instances, they also require official score to be sent to them before they even start reading application anyway. So is there a reason why they ask for self-reporting of those score?

Also, is there any harm in not putting the score into the application? As in let's say the GRE being taken too late, and the score is not known at the time of application.

(talking about both revised general and subject score)

Thank you.


2 Answers 2


It's to make the application form easier to review. That way, all the fields on the application form can be printed in one handy package, which could then be sent to a program chair for easy review.

No one in the admissions office wants to have to gather and collate transcripts, GRE reports, and other application information into one printout (or file) just to be able to send the package somewhere for review. Moreover, when reviewing, no one wants to shuffle through a bunch of papers just to find the information they are looking for. This way, GRE scores are always right there on the left-hand side, in Box 10.

In a word, it's for the sake of convenience. It's much easier on everyone at the university if you simply type your GRE scores into an application form where you are already typing so much other pertinent information.

As for why you have to submit the official results, too, that's simply to verify the scores you self-reported.

  • This answers has pretty much everything I wanted to say on the matter. Well=stated.
    – aeismail
    Dec 19, 2013 at 12:22
  • Ah this certainly make more sense. Thanks for the answer. I just wished they would only ask for the score report after they admit you though, since $25 per report is a pain.
    – Gina
    Dec 19, 2013 at 18:53

In most cases, the GRE scores go the the university admissions department, not to the department in which you are enrolling for graduate study. The graduate adviser will read your application and determine whether or not to accept you (your GRE score is one of the metrics that he/she will use). If you are accepted by the department, then the University orders all the official paperwork for verification. If you have the scores, i would put them on the application.

  • Can you elaborate a bit more on this point? Because I know that they usually order official school transcript after they admit you. But in this case, they ask for official score report to be sent in before they even look at application form.
    – Gina
    Dec 18, 2013 at 20:16
  • I can't speak to your exact circumstance, but in my experience it works as outlined above. In short, this is just a hoop they make you jump through; one of many in your grad-school career. If you don't have the scores yet, just note that and if you are close enough, go meet the department chair and speak to him/her. That will have a more powerful effect on your admissions than anything else. Dec 18, 2013 at 20:58
  • You said "If you are accepted by the department, then the University orders all the official paperwork for verification" which seems to imply that the univ only ask for the official report after they decide to admit you. But it is not the case, as pretty much any school in top 30 would ask for it before they even look at your app. Which is why I don't understand your answer. Can you clarify on that part? Or by "this is just a hoop they make you jump through" are you saying they just make things difficult out of spite?
    – Gina
    Dec 19, 2013 at 3:34

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