About the GRE Test

About the GRE Test

GRE is a standardized test for admissions into graduate school in the US. It is mandatory for most students aspiring for a Masters Degree (except Business, Law and Medicine) and PhD courses in several universities in the US. The GRE revised General Test is accepted at thousands of graduate and business schools as well as departments and divisions within these schools.
Each year, about 675,000 prospective graduate and business school applicants from 230 countries/regions take the test. Applicants come from varying educational and cultural backgrounds and the GRE revised General Test provides a common measure for comparing candidates' qualifications.

The GRE revised General Test is available at about 700 test centers in more than 160 countries. In most regions of the world, the computer-based test is available on a continuous basis throughout the year.

In August 2011, the GRE revised General Test replaced the GRE® General Test to align the test to demands of current graduate and business schools. GRE today is increasingly accepted by several business schools too.

A thorough GRE test preparation is thus a must for applicants desiring to study at an internationally recognized school abroad.

There are two types of GRE tests – GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test.

The General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.


Why should I take the GRE?
GRE scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement your undergraduate records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for graduate-level study.

When is it offered?
The GRE revised General Test is given year-round at computer-based test centers in most locations around the world. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can take the GRE revised General Test (computer-based and paper-based) only once every 60 days, and no more than five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

How long is it?
The test is around 3 hours 45 minutes.

What is the structure of the test?

Section Task/number of questions Duration
Analytical Writing Section
(2 essays – Issue based and Argument based)
2 essays 30 minutes each
Verbal Reasoning (2 sections) 20 per section 30 minutes each
Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections) 20 per section 35 minutes each
Unscored varies varies
Research varies varies

Analytical Writing Section – analysis of a issue task and analysis of an argument task

Verbal Reasoning – includes reading passages, text completions and sentence equivalence

Quantitative Reasoning – includes quantitative comparison, multiple choices questions with one answer, multiple choice questions with more than one answer, and numeric entry questions.

Some new features include:
  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • A "mark and review" feature to tag questions, so you can skip and return later
  • The ability to change/edit answers within a section
  • An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section
  • New answer formats, including tasks such as numeric entry and highlighting a sentence in a passage to answer a question.

How is the GRE designed?
GRE is now a multi-stage or adaptive by section test. This means that how you perform on the first verbal reasoning section will determine the difficulty level of the second verbal reasoning section. The same goes for math.

What are unscored and research sections?
An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.
An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it is always at the end of the test.

 What is the test order?
The Analytical Writing section will always be first, while the other five sections may appear in any order.

How is the GRE scored?
The verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE are scored between 130 and 170 in one point increments; whereas the AWA section is scored on a scale from 0 to 6 in half point increments.

How long is my test score valid?
The GRE scores are valid for 5 years.