What to expect on the GRE?

gre eligibility

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 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.

Here’s a snapshot of the GRE General Test:

Section Number of Questions Section length
Analytical Writing (One section with two separately timed tasks) One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task 30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Either an Unscored Section or a Research Section Varies


If you get an Unscored (we call it Experimental) section most likely it will be a Verbal Reasoning or a Quantitative Reasoning Section. You wouldn’t know which of the three sections of Verbal or Quant the Experimental Section is. If you get a Research Section it will be an identified one and will always appear at the end of the test.


The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning portions are adaptive by section. The difficulty level of the second operational section will be based on the performance of the first section. Within each section, all questions contribute equally to the final score irrespective of the difficulty level of the question. On the basis of the questions you get right in the two sections a final score is arrived at that ranges from 130 to 170.


The Analytical Writing Section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6.


What to expect on the different sections


Analytical Writing Section — The Analyse an Issue Task evaluates your ability to articulate and support complex ideas using relevant reasons and examples. The Analyse an Argument Task evaluates your ability to examine claims and supporting evidence.


Verbal Reasoning Section — This section measures your ability to analyze and draw conclusions from the discourse. It evaluates your ability to reason from incomplete data, understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal and figurative. It also measures your ability to appreciate the author’s intent. It also measures whether you are able to summarise text, distinguish between major and minor points, understand the meanings of words in context, sentences, and, at times, the entire text. It also measures your ability to understand relationships among words and among concepts.


Quantitative Reasoning Section — This section measures your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information — your ability to solve problems using mathematical models, and ability to apply the basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.


The Score Select facility on the GRE


On the test day, after viewing your scores at the test center, you can choose not to send your scores this time. You may also select either of the options below for each of your four FREE score reports:


Most Recent — Send your scores from your current test administration.

All — Send your scores from all General Tests administered in the last five years.


After the test day, you can send additional score reports for a fee and select from these options for each report you’d like to send:


Most Recent — Send your scores from your most recent test administration.

All — Send your scores from all tests administered in the last five years.

Any — Send your scores from one OR as many test administrations as you like from the last five years. 


Knowledge is power. Once you are aware of all these specifics and have done enough prep, you are armed to the teeth. Catch hold of us to get the best prep options, now!

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