What is the GRE Exam?

The full form of the GRE is the Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized exam for admission into Masters and Ph.D. programs in sciences, arts, and business in the United States, UK, Canada, and other countries. The GRE is created by the Educational Testing Service or ETS that administers tests not only in the US but also in 180 countries across the globe.

Who or what is ETS?

ETS is a private, non-profit organization governed by a 16 member Board of Trustees. These members select their president and oversee the leadership provided by the ETS officers. The GRE and other tests are developed by a team of question writers, reviewers, editors and statisticians who ensure that the test questions are fair and address the test skills that are being tested.

GRE Exam

The GRE Exam is a 3 hour 45 minutes test and is computer-delivered. While the GRE is also available in a paper-pencil format in some countries, only the computer-delivered version is administered in India. The GRE has 6 sections with one 10 minute break after the third section. Here’s how the GRE is structured:

Measure/Section Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing

  • 1 Analyze an Issue task
  • 1  Analyze an Argument task

  • 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes
Verbal Reasoning (2 sections)

  • 20 questions per section

  • 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning ( 2 sections)

  • 20 questions per section

  • 35 minutes per section
Unscored  vary  vary
Research Varies Varies

GRE Sections:

Analytical Writing: This section deals with two separately timed essay writing tasks. It measures analytical and critical reasoning skills as reflected in the writing styles of the test –taker. Both the tasks do not require pre-knowledge of any specific content, but they do require test takers to have a persuasive and critical style of writing devoid of major spelling and grammatical errors. The AWA score is reported on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments.

The Verbal Reasoning: This section consists of 20 questions per section. The Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence, and Text Completion questions are targeted to measure the word power, critical reasoning, and comprehension skills of the test taker. Test takers need to work not on just vocabulary but they also need strategies to deal with these questions. The score on this section is reported on a scale of 130-170 in 1 point increments.

The Quantitative Reasoning: This section consists of 20 questions per section. Basic mathematical skills and elementary concepts of algebra, arithmetic, and geometry are tested in this section. The Multiple-choice, Numeric Entry and Quantitative Comparison questions require quick thinking and sound application skills that require focused preparation. The score on this section is reported on a scale of 130-170 in 1 point increments.

Unscored and Research sections do not count toward the actual GRE score. The unscored section is not identified, is not optional and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section.

All test takers do not get the Research section that can appear at the end of the test. This section is identified and is optional.

GRE Login:

To register online or access your GRE account login to https://mygre.ets.org

For more information on how ETS develops questions visit the site: https://www.ets.org/s/understanding_testing/flash/how_ets_creates_test_questions.html

Contact our counselors to know more about the GRE and take a free diagnostic test to get started on your GRE preparation.


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What is the GRE exam?

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 use of the GRE exam in India?

Students who plan to do their masters abroad should take the GRE exam because it is demanded by many universities across the world as an admission requirement.

What is the GRE scope?

Students who plan to do their masters abroad should take the GRE because it is demanded by many universities across the world as an admission requirement.

What is the full form of the GRE exam?

Graduate Record Examination

Who can take the GRE?

Students who plan to do their masters abroad should take the GRE because it is demanded by many universities across the world as an admission requirement.

How important is the GRE?

A good GRE score is a must for the admission process. It can also offset a bad GPA and can help in securing fellowships.

How long is the GRE exam?

The GRE is roughly 3 hours and 45 minutes long. The GRE AWA section is for 1 hour; the GRE 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.

How should I prepare 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 books to help you prepare for the test.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the GRE exam:

1. Know the rules of the game – Get thorough with the structure, format, and scoring of the test.
2. Review the essentials (basic concepts) required for the test. For verbal, learn vocabulary and for math, learn the basics of the math topics tested.
3. Learn techniques, strategies and pacing tips to boost your score.
4. Practice questions from standard GRE materials.
5. Take GRE Full-length practice tests at regular intervals and review the test to learn from the mistakes.

For more on GRE prep, see our guide for making a GRE study plan.

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