So you’ve just arrived in Japan, and already it’s time to start deciding what you’re going to do when this year’s contract is over. Awesome.
For those of us who have American graduate schools in our future, there’s a good chance your school may require you to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination, in case anyone asks).
If you’re lucky enough to have to take the GRE for grad school next year, but haven’t started planning yet, consider this your wake-up call.
Japan has 4 sites for taking the GRE (two of which are in Tokyo. Naturally.) For those of us in Ishikawa, we can choose to travel to Tokyo, Kanagawa (which is right next to Tokyo), or Osaka. Osaka is the closest and most convenient to get to, for those of us on the forgotten peninsula. (Just be glad you’re not traveling from Sapporo or Hiroshima, right?)
You can check out Prometric to see testing center availability. (Just a note, as of today, Sept 16th, nearly half of the available slots from now until the end of October have been filled).
Luckily for those who lean towards procrastination, all GRE tests in Japan are computer-based, meaning that you can see your test results immediately (except for your essay results), and your graduate schools will recieve your results in about 2 weeks. Paper tests can take over a month to get there.
What’s the moral of the story? If you’re applying to a grad school that has a Dec. 1st deadline (not uncommon if you want a scholarship), then you should probably plan to grab an October (or November) GRE seat that still exists.
Oh yeah. The GRE general test fee is US $180. A bus from the Kanazawa station to Osaka will run about $40 each way (slight discounts available if you buy round-trip tickets and pay in advance). It takes 4-5 hours by bus.
Good luck studying!