About the GRE® Test


About the GRE® Test

  • The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), also called the GRE Revised General Test is a standardized test taken by graduate, business school and law school (as of June 2018, 20 law schools accept the GRE) applicants.
  • The test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical skills that are not related to any specific fields of study.
  • It is accepted in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Singapore, and Australia, to name a few countries.
  • About 1268 universities around the world accept the GRE today for their business & management programs as well.
  • It is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • The GRE General Test is available at about 1,000 test centres in more than 160 cities
  • In most regions of the world, the computer-delivered test is available on a continuous basis throughout the year.
  • In addition to the GRE General Test, ETS also offers GRE Subject Tests in six disciplines – Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

Test Format

  • It is a multi-stage adaptive-by-section test where your performance on earlier sections determines the difficulty of subsequent sections.
  • You have an option to skip questions within a section, go back and change answers, and have control to tackle the questions within a section you want to answer first.
  • The overall testing time for the computer-delivered GRE® General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. 
  • The GRE has three test sections. Here is the structure of the computer-delivered test:
Measure Number of Questions Allotted Time Scoring
Analytical Writing One “Analyse an Issue” task and one “Analyse an Argument” task 30 minutes per task 0-6 scale in half-point increments
Verbal Reasoning (two sections) reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence questions 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section 130-170 score scale in 1-point increments
Quantitative Reasoning (two sections) includes quantitative comparisons, multiple choices questions with one answers, multiple-choice questions with one or more than one answers, and numeric entry questions 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section 130-170 score scale in 1-point increments
Unscored1 Varies Varies NA
Research2 Varies Varies NA

1 does not count towards your score. Could be tried out for possible use in future tests

 2 does not count towards your score. Usually included for ETS research purposes  

 Some GRE Facts

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 centres in most locations around the world. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

How many times can you take the GRE?

  • You can take the GRE revised General Test (computer-based and paper-based) once every 21 days, but no more than five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test has taken previously.

What is the duration of the GRE Test?

  • The test is around 3 hours 45 minutes.

How is the GRE designed?

  • GRE is now a multi-stage or adaptive by section 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 Quantitative Reasoning.

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 doesn’t count toward the test score. An identified research section that is not scored may be included in the place of an unscored section, and it is always at the end of the test.

What is the test order?

  • The Analytical Writing Assessment section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and unidentified/unscored 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. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section is scored on a scale from 0 to 6 in half-point increments.

How long are the GRE scores valid?

  • The GRE scores are valid for five years.

GRE is a registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which is not affiliated with The Princeton Review.

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What is the GRE test?

The GRE or the Graduate Record Examination is a graduate admission test administered by the ETS. It tests the critical reasoning, verbal, and mathematical skills of the test taker. 

What is the GRE format?

The GRE Exam pattern consists of three major parts: – GRE Analytical Writing Assessment, GRE Verbal, and GRE Quants. The analytical writing section has two essays- Issue and Argument. The GRE Quants syllabus includes Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Data analysis. The Verbal section consists of Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence, and Text Completion.

Who needs to take the GRE?

Graduate school and Business school students who are interested in pursuing masters, specialized Management courses, MBA, Ph.D. take the GRE. The GRE scores are also used for awarding fellowships. Some of the law courses too accept GRE scores these days.

What is the GRE exam duration?

The GRE is roughly 3 hours and 45 minutes long. The GRE Analytical Writing Assessment section is for 1 hour; the verbal sections are for 30 minutes each and the math sections are 35 minutes each. The GRE experimental section can be for 30 or 35 minutes. Along with the breaks in between, the test is for nearly 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Do I need a GRE for Masters?

Most colleges in the US require GRE scores for both STEM and Humanities courses. You might have to contact the Graduate Admissions office to find out if the college requires or recommends a GRE score.

How to start preparing for the GRE exam?

You have to take a diagnostic (full-length) GRE test to set the baseline. This will help you know where you stand and how far are you from your target score.  Accordingly, choose a course or GRE books to help you prepare for the test.

Can I take the GRE online?

Yes, you can take the GRE from the safety and convenience of your home. Check out this link for more details about the GRE home test https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/equipment/.

What changed in the GRE exam 2021?

From April 2020, the students have the option of taking the GRE test from home. The test format, structure, and content remain the same for 2021.

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