As part of PhD applications, I shared a copy of my unofficial GRE test scores from a test I took approximately 5 years ago (using a PDF from the ETS that shows the date I took the test.) Now several months later I have received PhD offers but my GRE test scores have expired. That is, my GRE scores have expired between the open applications window and when the admissions offers rolled out. The ETS will not send out expired scores.

How big of a deal is this if any? Should I bring this up before "accepting" my offer? Should I retake the test?

  • 6
    You received an acceptance with only unofficial scores? Mar 1, 2022 at 20:02
  • 1
    Yes, that's right
    – John-Henry
    Mar 1, 2022 at 20:10
  • 8
    Did they ask you to send official scores conditional on acceptance? Mar 1, 2022 at 20:20
  • I think getting official transcripts costs like 10-USD per request. To reduce the burden on applicants, as they might be applying to many programs, some places allow unofficial transcripts, with the condition that the applicant provide an official copy to verify upon admission, should they accept (such that the applicant only has to pay the 10-USD, or whatever it'd be, once).
    – Nat
    Mar 2, 2022 at 10:59
  • 1
    You may want to check the admissions-guidelines to see if an official copy is required, then ask them about your situation if so. Unfortunately, some applicants have lied before, so programs can't just automatically trust.
    – Nat
    Mar 2, 2022 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

You have your offers, so presumably the relevant universities were able to scrutinise the applications prior to the GRE scores becoming unavailable (or they just didn't care about the scores). This is not a big deal, and there is no need to go looking for faults in their admission process now that you have got your offers. Just consider the offers you have received, accept the one you want, and then decline the ones you don't after you have confirmed your place in your preferred program. (Make sure you do all this by email so that you have the offer and acceptance in writing.)


I suspect that if you got an "acceptance", rather than a "conditional acceptance" then it will be honored. It seems unreasonable and inefficient to reopen a case based on such a situation. Easier to let it go, even if it is noticed. It would seem to be a case of "buyers remorse".

If, as I suspect, this is in the US, then the risk of honoring it is also small since the impact on the decision of the GRE was small. Decisions are made on a broad view of the candidate, not just how they do on standardized tests.

But that is only the "reasonability test" for a rarely occurring situation. You can ask, specifically, of course, though it might be worth following up on your admission as if there is no problem. "What is the next step I need to take to complete my admission."

  • Would any university outside the US care about GRE scores in the first place?
    – brendan
    Mar 2, 2022 at 13:56
  • @brendan, fewer, certainly. I'm not sure if it would be 'none". And it seems to be disappearing even here.
    – Buffy
    Mar 2, 2022 at 14:19
  • @brendan I was looking at RWTH Aachen and they do require one (at least for non-German educated people) Mar 2, 2022 at 20:06
  • @AyamGorengPedes OK, there's at least some then!
    – brendan
    Mar 4, 2022 at 6:48

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