Big Changes To The GRE General Test
On September 22, 2023, the GRE® General Test will become a shorter exam; will report scores faster, helping you submit your applications sooner!
The Shorter Test Will:
- Be less than 2 hours long (currently just under 4 hours), making it the shortest test of general skills for admission into graduate and professional programs
- Have 46 fewer Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning questions, helping reduce test-taking fatigue!
- Have only one Analytical Writing essay (versus two in the current version)!
- Measure the same skills and feature the same question types, so if you have already started prepping, you are in GRE at shape!
1. What is Changing?
- The testing time for the GRE® General Test will be reduced by half, from nearly 4 hours to just under 2 hours.
- The test will still measure your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills, but each section will be shorter.
- The unscored section and scheduled break will be eliminated.
- In addition, your official GRE scores will be delivered faster, within 8–10 calendar days (currently 10–15 calendar days).
- The current test has one scheduled break after the second hour when the clock stops.
- The shorter test is under 2 hours and will not have a scheduled break.
- Those taking the current or shorter GRE in a test center can opt to take unscheduled breaks, but the clock won’t stop unless they have been approved for a test accommodation due to disability or health-related need. Unscheduled breaks are not allowed for those testing at home.
2. Why is the Test Changing?
We understand that applying to graduate and professional programs is time-consuming, and while you want to show your potential in a comprehensive way, you also want to get through your application checklist ASAP. Shortening the test will help you stay focused and avoid fatigue. We are also delivering your official GRE scores sooner so you can complete your applications faster.
These changes have been prioritized based on feedback from previous test takers and are the result of expert analysis about how we could introduce a better experience for test takers while retaining the strong validity and reliability schools expect.
We also announced other changes this year, such as moving the GRE Subject Tests from paper to computer delivery this fall and shortening the TOEFL® test starting in July.
3. Does Shortening the Test Mean Having Less Time to Answer Each Question?
No, the number of questions is reduced, but the average time available to answer each question remains the same.
4. Is the Test Still Valid if it is Shorter?
Yes. The GRE test maintains the high quality the test is known for, with valid and reliable scores that help inform graduate and professional program admissions and scholarship decisions.
5. How Long Will the Current GRE Be Available?
Until September 20, 2023. Students who schedule a test appointment on or after September 22, 2023, will take the shorter GRE test.
6. Which Version of the Test Should I Take?
The shorter GRE will replace the current test on September 22, 2023, so your application deadline might be the primary factor to consider. Scores will be delivered to you within 8–10 days of testing, so if your application deadlines are the first week of October or sooner, it is best to take the current test. If your application deadlines are not a factor, it is a personal choice whether to take the current or shorter test.
7. Will the Shorter GRE be Delivered at Both Test Centers and at Home?
8. Will Schools Use the Shorter GRE Any Differently?
No. Graduate and professional programs will continue to use GRE General Test scores as they always have. The test provides three scores that help schools assess candidate readiness for their programs. Schools may also use scores in consideration of a candidate’s overall strength compared to other candidates applying to their programs and for scholarship and fellowship purposes.
9. What Accommodations are Available for the Shorter GRE Test?
The same accommodations as on the current version.
Content And Structure
10. Which Essay Task will Remain in the Analytical Writing Section?
The Analytical Writing section will include the “Analyze an Issue” task. The “Analyze an Argument” task will be removed.
11. Will the Shorter Test Have a 10-minute Break?
No. The shorter test will be less than two hours. If you need a break at the test center, you can still opt to take one, however, the clock will not stop unless you’ve been approved for a test accommodation due to disability or health-related need. Note that optional breaks are not permitted during the at-home test.
12. Is the Shorter Test Still Section-Level Adaptive?
Yes, the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning measures are still section-level adaptive. That benefits you because it enables you to move back and forth within each section, mark questions you would like to come back to and change your answers as many times as you would like. Learn more about section-level adaptation.
13. How Many Questions will be in Each Section?
There will be two Quantitative Reasoning sections on the test with a total of 27 questions, and two Verbal Reasoning sections with a total of 27 questions. We will share how many questions will be in each of the sections by the end of June.
14. When Will Registration for the Shorter GRE Open?
Registration is open now. To register for the shorter GRE test, simply choose a test date on or after September 22, 2023.
15. When Will Testing Appointments for the Shorter GRE Begin?
On September 22, 2023. If you register to take the GRE General Test on September 22, 2023 or later, you are registering for the shorter test. No need to do anything differently.
16. How Much Does the Shorter GRE Test Cost?
GRE fees will remain the same.
17. If I am Registered to Take the GRE After September 22, 2023, Can I Switch to Taking the Current GRE?
Yes, you can reschedule your test appointment through your ETS Account. Because we are changing the test that you signed up for, you can reschedule for free. To do so, go to your ETS Account and follow the link to reschedule to a test date on or before September 20, 2023.
18. If I am Registered to Take the GRE Before September 22, 2023, Can I Switch to Taking the Shorter GRE After September 22, 2023?
Yes, you can reschedule your test appointment through your ETS Account. You will need to pay a rescheduling fee.
19. How Many Times Can I Take the Shorter GRE?
You can take the GRE General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days).
20. Are There Any Changes to the Official Score Report for the Shorter GRE?
21. Will There be Changes to the Way Scoring is Done?
The scoring processes for all three measures will not change. However, your Analytical Writing score will be based on your performance on one essay task instead of on two essay tasks.
22. Will the Score Scales Change?
The score scales for the shorter test will be the same as on the current test. See the score scale chart.
23. Within Each Measure, Will Each Question Count More Toward the Final Score?
Yes, because there are fewer questions and the score scale is not changing, each will count more toward the final score.
24. How Will Schools/Programs Compare Performance Across the Two Different Versions of the Exam?
Because the score scales are not changing, we advise schools to treat the scores as comparable, regardless of whether they are from the current or shorter GRE. So for example, a score of 156 on the Verbal Reasoning section of the shorter test will be the same as a 156 on the current test. The GRE team provides schools with specific guidance and information to consider when comparing scores.
25. Will Schools Get Scores Faster?
Because we are reducing the score delivery time frame for test takers from 10–15 days to 8–10 days, schools may also receive scores faster depending upon which delivery method they have chosen. Electronic scores are delivered to schools twice a week.
26. Will the GRE Diagnostic Service be Available for the Shorter Test?
Yes, you will still have free access to the GRE Diagnostic Service so you can gain insight into your performance on the test questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections approximately two weeks after you take the test.
27. How Long Are GRE Scores Reportable?
GRE scores are reportable for five years following your test date, so you could apply to another graduate program within five years and not have to take another test.
28. When Will Official Prep Be Available?
Because the shorter test has all of the same sections and all of the same question types (except for the removal of the Analytical Writing “Analyze an Argument” task), students can use the existing Official GRE Prep, which can be found at ets.org/gre/prepare.
If you are already preparing for the current GRE test, you don’t need to change your study plan except you do not need to spend time preparing for the “Analyze an Argument” task within the Analytical Writing measure.
29. When Will Official Practice Exams and the Official Guide be Available for the Shorter Test?
Two POWERPREP® practice tests will be available in September. One version, called POWERPREP® Online, will be free and will provide scores on the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning measures. Another version, called POWERPREP PLUS® Online, will cost $39.95 and will provide scores on all three measures.
30. How Will the Test Preparation Differ from the Shorter GRE?
Very little will change. Both tests have the same content and question types. The only difference is that the shorter test will not have the “Analyze an Argument” essay task as part of the Analytical Writing section.