GRE is the full form for Graduate Record Examination owned by Educational Testing Services (ETS). It is a standardized test which is a requirement for admissions into many graduate schools in The United States, Canada, Germany for admissions into Master Degree Programs. There are two types of GRE Tests viz. GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. Students who wish to do their masters in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Psychology can opt for the GRE Subject test whereas for all other master degree programs, students can opt for the GRE General Test. Anyone who wishes to do their masters can sit for the GRE General test and there is no specific age limit or time frame to sit for the test. An aspirant can take the test as many times as he/she wants but only 5 attempts are allowed in a year.
The GRE General Test is a computer adaptive test which means that it offers questions according to a student’s ability and progress. There are two modules in the test and the first module will offer a mixed bag of easy, medium and hard questions. According to the performance of the test taker in the first module , the computer will offer questions in the second module.
The Exam Pattern:
The Verbal Reasoning Section: This section tests the abilities of students to analyze and draw conclusions from given text or dialogue; understand the structure of the text; segregate major and minor points; complete the incomplete data; identify the author’s contention or point of view; understand the different meanings of words, sentences and the entire text by identifying the different levels of meanings of the text.
It consists of three sections:
Reading Comprehension: It includes critical reasoning and reading comprehension questions. A total of 10 questions come from this section. There can be a range of 1-5 passages with as many 6 questions per passage. Topics of passages can vary from social sciences, literature, natural sciences etc.
Sentence Equivalence: In these types of questions, the students will have one blank and six answer choices. The students have to choose two correct answer choices that will make two complete sentences with similar or equivalent meaning. There will be a total of 4 questions of this type per section.
Text Competition: Each question of this type will have one to three blanks. Each blank will have one correct answer choice. A total of 6 questions will be from this question type and it will test the vocabulary of the students.
The Quantitative Reasoning Section: The GRE Quantitative Reasoning measure assesses the ability of a student to understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information, apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis and solve problems using the mathematical models.
It consists of four sections:
Quantitative Comparison: These appear in the beginning of each module and around 7-8 questions are from this question type.
MCQ with one right answer: These questions will have multiple answer choices and the students will have to choose one correct answer.
MCQ with at least one right answer: These questions will have more than one correct answer and students need to choose as many answer choices as thought to be correct.
Numeric entry: These questions require student produced responses ie. The questions are not accompanied by any answer choice. The students need to calculate and put in their own answer choice.
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): This section will always be the first section on the GRE. Here, the students will be given two tasks which are to be completed between 1 hour. The two tasks include writing two essays.
Firstly, for the Analysis of an Issue, the students will be provided with a prompt and they have to write an essay either supporting or opposing the prompt. The task has to be completed in between 30 minutes.
Secondly, for the Analysis of an Argument, the students will be provided with an argument based on which they have to write an essay.
The GRE Word processor has the basic facilities like copy, cut, paste, undo but it is limited to 10 commands only. Apart from that, it has the backspace, delete and tab button only. Italics, spell-check, grammar correction may not be available.
Is calculator allowed in GRE?
The students will get access to an in-built on-screen calculator which will perform the basic functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. For more clarification, one can check out the Electronic Testing Service website (www.ets.org) for a brief overview of the functions and commands available on this tool.
Sometimes having a calculator available can make it tempting to use it for every problem, but this can actually be counterproductive. A majority of the Quantitative Reasoning questions that a student faces aren’t going to actually require the calculator. Keep it in reserve for problems that look time consuming; one should try to solve the rest on their own.
DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS OF CALCULATOR:
The in-built calculator has the basic operative functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The usage of the calculator on different questions are shown with examples below:
Thus, the GRE General Test is a standardized test which students aspiring to enroll for a Master’s degree in the US, Canada appears for. It tests the ability of the applicants by analyzing their reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills.
What skills are tested in the Verbal Part of the GRE General Test?
The Verbal Reasoning portion tests the reading skills of the test takers by analyzing their ability to analyze and draw conclusions from given text or dialogue and the knowledge of vocabulary by checking the ability to understand the different meanings of words, sentences and the entire text by identifying the different levels of meanings of the text.
What skills are tested in the Quantitative Portion of the GRE General Test?
The GRE Quantitative Reasoning measure assesses the ability of a student to interpret and analyze quantitative information, apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis and solve problems using the mathematical models.
What is the total score of the exam?
130-170 for both the Verbal Reasoning Sections.
130-170 for both the Quantitative Reasoning Sections.
0-6 for the Analytical Writing Assessment
What is the order of the sections for GRE?
The GRE General exam always starts with the Analytical Writing Assessment, followed by either Verbal reasoning or Quantitative reasoning, and one additional un/scored section whose order can vary.
What does section adaptive mean?
The first section of Quant or Verbal will be of medium difficulty. Depending on the performance in the first section, the second section can either be easy or medium or hard. Harder the 2nd section higher the score will be. The same applies for verbal sections.
How many times can one take the GRE General Test?
A test taker can take the test as many times as he/she wants but only 5 attempts are allowed in a year(rolling 365 day period) and can retake the test after every 21 days.
Can we use a calculator for the Quantitative Portion of the GRE General Test?
Yes, a built-in calculator with the basic functions is already available for the Quantitative Sections and one can use the same as and when needed.
Can we bring our own calculator?
Unfortunately, one cannot bring his/her own calculator for the GRE test. However, one can use the on-screen calculator available during the quantitative sections. Thus, the only calculator allowed is the on-screen calculator.
Should I use the calculator for the quant sections available for the GRE General Test?
Depending on the requirement of the question, one should use the calculator. The interface of the calculator is very basic and it has the basic operations. Hence, one should use it only when it is extremely necessary.
When should one use the calculator on the GRE General Test?
Although the use of a calculator looks tempting, it can sometimes slow down your progress. GRE calculator has very basic operational capabilities and may be time consuming to use as one can only give inputs using the mouse. Hence, it is better to use a calculator as scarcely as possible.
What questions require the use of a calculator?
GRE questions are designed to avoid requiring hectic calculations. But sometimes, one can use the calculator to do certain calculations that can help save time.
Can we use the keyboard to enter numbers using the GRE calculator?
Yes. One keyboard and one mouse can be used in GRE exam. So, one can enter the numbers in calculator using the keyboard.
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