GRE Syllabus 2021

GRE Syllabus 2021


What does the GRE test?

GRE exam syllabus measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that are necessary for success in higher education. The GRE exam syllabus is composed of three sections – Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. ETS, who develops the GRE gives an overview of the syllabus covered in these three sections which helps us to understand the content and skills required for the GRE exam.


GRE Analytical Writing Syllabus:

The GRE Analytical Writing measure test takers ability:

  • In critical thinking and analytical writing skills
  • To articulate and support complex ideas
  • To construct and evaluate arguments
  • To sustain a focused and coherent discussion

There are two tasks in this section:

  • Analyze an Issue
  • Analyze an Argument

The tasks come from a wide range of subjects – from the fine arts and humanities to the social and physical sciences – but no task requires specific content knowledge.


GRE Verbal Syllabus:

The GRE Verbal section or GRE Verbal Reasoning measure test takers ability to:

  • analyze and evaluate written material in the form of sentences, paragraphs, and passages
  • synthesize information obtained from  this material
  • analyze relationships among component parts of sentences, and
  • recognize relationships among words and concepts.


The GRE tests the above ability via the following question types:

Reading Comprehension:

About half of the questions on the test are Reading comprehension which are based on passages and the number of questions based on a given passage can range from one to six. Passages are taken from the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, everyday topics, based on material found in books and periodicals, both academic and non-academic.


Sentence Equivalence:

These questions test the ability to reach a conclusion about how a passage should be completed on the basis of partial information. Sentence Equivalence questions consist of a single sentence with just one blank, and they ask to find two choices that both lead to a complete, coherent sentence and that produce sentences with the same meaning.


Text Completion:

A skilled reader maintains a constant attitude of interpretation and evaluation, reasoning from what they have read so far to create a picture of the whole and revising that picture as they go. Text completion questions test this ability by omitting crucial words from short passages and asking the test taker to use the remaining information in the passage as a basis for selecting words or short phrases to fill the blanks and create a coherent and meaningful one.

Vocabulary is the highly required skill for answering the Sentence Equivalence and Text completion questions.

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Concepts and skills required for the GRE Verbal section:


Test takers are expected to possess an extensive repertoire of words. Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion questions require students to choose the best word/words for the blank/blanks in a given sentence or paragraph. Learning an entire dictionary is definitely not recommended, students need access to a reliable list of frequently tested words on the GRE, and at the same time work on strategies required for these vocabulary-based questions. A command vocabulary is indispensable if a student wants to do well in the GRE Verbal section but not confident about the GRE vocabulary then Manya GRE WordsApp is the ideal and best-suited app for you.

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Reading Ability:

There are no prescribed books that a student can read to prepare for this test. While passages from different genres are given in this section, what matters is how carefully you read the passages and answer the questions based on what you have read. Consistent timed practice using reliable material and taking full-length tests are ways in which you can improve your scores. Just reading and comprehending do not get you points. Thus, the section actually turns out to be a test of your ability to answer the questions rather than just your ability to read and comprehend.


GRE Math Syllabus:

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning measure the GRE assesses High school mathematics and statistics – basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts. It does not include trigonometry, calculus or other higher-level mathematics. The GRE allows the use of a calculator in the Math section, however not all questions require you to use the calculator.

Some of the quant questions are based on real-life scenarios while other questions are based on pure mathematical settings.

Topics that are tested on the GRE Quant section are:

  • Arithmetic-topics include properties and types of integers, such as divisibility, factorization, prime numbers, remainders, and odd and even integers; arithmetic operations, exponents and roots; and concepts such as estimation, percent, ratio, rate, absolute value, the number line, decimal representation and sequences of numbers.
  • Algebra-topics include operations with exponents; factoring and simplifying algebraic expressions; relations, functions, equations and inequalities; solving linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; solving simultaneous equations and inequalities; setting up equations to solve word problems;  and coordinate geometry, including graphs of functions, equations, and inequalities, intercepts, and slopes of lines.
  • Geometry-topics include parallel and perpendicular lines, circles, triangles, quadrilaterals, other polygons, congruent and similar figures, three-dimensional figures, area, and perimeter, volume, the Pythagorean Theorem and angle measurement in degrees.
  • Data analysis-topics include descriptive statistics, such as mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, inter-quartile range, quartiles, and percentiles; interpretation of data in tables and graphs, such as line graphs, bar graphs, circle graphs, box-plots, scatter-plots, and frequency distributions; elementary probability of compound events and independent events; random variables and probability distributions, including normal distributions; and counting methods such as combinations, permutations, and Venn diagram.

Understanding the basic math concepts of the topics mentioned above is the required skills for the GRE Quant section.

Very often on the GRE exam, a question is tricky rather than hard. Therefore, careful reading and a systematic approach with techniques & strategies can get you a great score.

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What is the GRE pattern for general tests?

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.

What are the topics in GRE?

The GRE Verbal section tests the student’s ability to analyze and summarize the passages, sentences, or phrases that appear on the test. This section also requires the student to recognize relationships between concepts and words representing them.

The topics covered in the quants sections include Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Data Analysis.

The GRE Analytical Writing Assessment section comprises of Issue and Argument Essays

How many sections are there for GRE?

There are six sections on the GRE. The first section is the GRE AWA section where the student has to write two essays. The remaining sections include two verbal sections, two math sections and a research or an unscored experimental section. There is no fixed order in which these remaining five sections appear. The experimental section can be a math or a verbal section.

Is vocabulary a part of the GRE syllabus?

Vocabulary is an essential part of the GRE syllabus. The Text Completion and the Sentence Equivalence questions test the vocab skills of the test takers and these questions form fifty percent of the GRE verbal section.

What is the syllabus of GRE Verbal Reasoning?

The GRE Verbal section tests the student’s ability to analyze and summarize the passages, sentences, or phrases that appear on the test. This section also requires the student to recognize relationships between concepts and words representing them. This section comprises Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence questions.

What is the syllabus of GRE Quantitative Reasoning?

The GRE quantitative section tests the student’s ability to create mathematical models to solve real-world and theoretical problems. The topics covered in the quants sections include Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Data Analysis.

What is the syllabus of GRE Analytical Writing?

The AWA section evaluates the student’s ability to build and evaluate arguments. In the Issue essay, the test takers have to give their view on a popular topic. They should give reasons and examples while constructing the point. The argument essay involves evaluating the logical soundness of the argument provided for analysis.

What is the mode of conduct of the GRE?

GRE is majorly a computerized test which can be taken at the center or from home. When computer-based tests cannot be delivered, then paper-based tests are offered. 

How long will it take to cover the GRE General Test syllabus?

Covering the GRE General test may take nearly two to three months of learning and practising. The student should plan to spend two or three hours every day practicing.