As internationals, in most of the countries, Passport is your government issued photo identification and it is in most cases it is required proof of photo identification in many countries for giving standardized tests like GRE or TOEFL. I will share the importance of applying for passport before registering for GRE or TOEFL and explain the reasons.
What are the common issues with Passport and GRE or TOEFL Exam ?
List of common issues:
- The last name in Passport does not match with Last name in GRE exam
- Sur name or Last name is Blank in passport, but the name is different in GRE
- First name or last name spelling mismatch in Passport
How can you avoid these issues? Why Should you apply for Passport before GRE ?
Most of these issues occur for the simple reason that you did not had your passport with you and you did not provide same details at the time when you registered for GRE or TOEFL exam. The easy way to avoid these issues is to apply for passport beforehand and have the passport with you when you register for the GRE or TOEFL. There have been instances where someone might have filled something in their passport application, but might have got something different. Common issues like Typos, last name issues, etc. If you just register for GRE and TOEFL thinking that that’s what you filled in for your passport application, you may end up with issues if the passport does not come with the name you wanted…you might end up into bigger issues at the Test center where they may deny you to take the test if there is any mismatch.
Key things to consider when filling up the passport application and GRE Application ?
There are different boxes with different descriptions in these applications. Here is a quick clarification:
- Last Name, Surname or Family name à all these mean same. In US, they call Last name, but in some countries it is called Surname or family name. In some countries like India, students are used to just use initials for the last name. For instance, S. Kishore or Kishore S . Here, ‘S’ is your last name abbreviation and you must expand it in Last name or surname field. Some people have their fathers name as last name. Make sure you fill in right thing in Last Name field, it is very important thing in US. All your history is primarily tied to your last name and very important. If you have blank in passport, you may have issues in US without having last name.
- First Name or Given Name à There is no confusion here. It is your first name and everyone should be fine. Sometimes they say Given name too. Make sure you fill in your First name without any spelling mistakes.
- Middle Initial or Middle Name à It is very tricky here. Some people do not have middle name, and some do have it…. If you are married, your middle name would be possibly your maiden name. In any case, make sure you fill in your middle initial or middle name in the required box or filed. If there is no box, just do not fill it. Middle name is not very important. Your Last and first name are very important. Sometimes, people just add middle name to the first name. So, it is up to you.
Overall, make sure your name on the Passport is same as that in your certificates. So, once you have your Passport, then you can register for GRE or TOFEL using the same details to avoid any future issues.
When to apply for passport?
Ideal time to apply for passport is at least 6 months before you plan to register for GRE or TOEFL. Overall, it is one year before you actually take the exam. Plan to keep 6 months time line for getting passport and you should ideally register for test 6 months before the actual exam date. If anything goes wrong with your passport, you still will be in good shape for changes. To make it more clear, if you plan to apply for Fall 2012, then you must take actual GRE test by June 2011. So, you must apply for passport by June 2010. It may sound way too much planning ahead; but, it is good to plan more than plan less…
Image Credit : http://agenziaperindiani.com/Images/India-passport.jpg