GRE Basics and Score Calculations

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The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a paper-based or computer-based test that evaluates graduate school applicants. ETS (Electronic Testing Service) administers the GRE in 160 countries and across 1,000 test centers all over the world. 

However, the GRE score is essential if you are the one planning to study abroad in an English speaking nation for a graduate degree course. In this article, let’s discuss the GRE test format and how to calculate the GRE Score among distinct GRE sections.

About GRE
  • The GRE test lasts 3 hours 45 minutes.
  • The cost of the GRE test is $205.
  • Mode of Examination: Paper-based and Computer-based
  • The paper-based GRE test is conducted three times a year
  • However, the online test is conducted round the year. 
  • Most abroad graduate programs require GRE subject score.
                                                                        GRE Basics
Exam Length 4 hours (including breaks)
Format Multi-stage test (MST), a computer-based format allowing students to navigate forward and backward within each test section
Scoring Scale 130-170 (1- point increments) for verbal and quantitative sections; 0-6 for analytical writing
Number of Test Sections 6 sections including research or experimental section
Verbal Reasoning Two 30-minute sections with 20 questions (approximately) each.
Quantitative Reasoning Two 30-minute sections with 20 questions (approximately) each, onscreen calculator available
Analytical Writing One section with two 30-minute tasks: analyze an issue and analyze an argument
Breaks A 10-minute break after the third section and 1- minute breaks between all other sections.

GRE Basics and score calculations

What are the sections included in the GRE test and how the score is calculated?

Check out how to convert GRE scaled score to a percentage

The GRE test has three sections:
  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Analytical Writing

Let’s discuss each GRE sections and why graduate programs often value one section more than the others.

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning: 130 – 170, in 1 point increments

The GRE verbal reasoning section measures the student’s ability to analyze and understand the written passages.

However, if your first language is not English then you need to prepare for it. There are a total of 20 questions in sections with each of 30 minutes.

This is the most critical section in the GRE and requires maximum preparation for non-native English speakers (International Students).

However, avoid making mistakes in GRE preparation in order to attain your dream score.

GRE verbal section comprises three question types: Reading Comprehension: A passage and questions related to that topic were given. Furthermore, you should select the right answer as weighs 40% of the Verbal Section.

The GRE Verbal Reasoning question types in this section include:

Here you require to select:

  • One answer
  • Multiple answers
  • Within the passage

Text Completion: It tests your ability to passage re-evaluation. Certainly, You have to fill in the blank in the sentence using the rest of the passage. However, the text completion passage lasts from 1-5 sentences with 1-3 blanks.

So, It comprises three answer choices for each blank. Importantly, you should remember to ensure that the passage becomes coherent with the answer choice. However, having excellent vocabulary and grammar knowledge is the best trick.

Sentence Equivalence: It is similar to text completion with a different structure; you should fill in the blanks. Each question consists of a bland with six answer choices.

However, you have to select the two right answer choices to complete the sentence coherently. Of course, the two right answers may not mean the same thing. Furthermore, this section is like a puzzle and needs a lot of practice.

Quantitative Reasoning 

Quantitative Reasoning: 130 – 170, in 1 point increments 

It is crucial to know that Quantitative Reasoning is one of the key sections that GRE has scored. Geometry, Arithmetic, and Data Analysis are the required skills to excel in this section. Indeed, this test content includes high school mathematics and statistics.

Hence, even calculators are allowed in both paper-based and computer-based testing formats.

Quantitative Reasoning Test Content and Structure

This section of the GRE is intended to evaluate your quantitative reasoning abilities and solve problems with quantitative methods.

Although, some problems are purely mathematical and some are word problems interpreted and modeled mathematically.

The GRE Quantitative reasoning consists of four question types including
  • Quantitative comparison questions
  • Multiple choice questions (select one answer)
  • Multiple choice questions (select one or more answers)
  • Numeric entry questions

Look, the major difference that you should understand is between these two multiple-choice questions. 

However, you can distinguish between these two in the following way:

The single answer multiple-choice question has a bubble format allowing a single selection whereas the multiple-answer includes a checkbox allowing multiple answers.

However, let’s look at the Final Section of the GRE test.

Analytical Writing

Analytical Writing: 0 – 6, in half-point increments

Many test-takers think that the AWA score is not as essential as your verbal score and composite math score on the GRE. Furthermore, graduate school admissions officers consider only the AWA score. If it is too low or considerably lower than their usual class average can affect your GRE score and can send up a red flag. Hence, the AWA score is highly important to admit to the best university in an English speaking country.

The GRE analytical writing section assesses your ability to critically thinking. It even tests how you transform your ideas into well-developed, well-supported and well-reasoned writing.

There are two sections in GRE to test the students’ analytical writing skills:

Analyzing an Issue: This section assesses your ability to develop and support your position(opinion) on the given issue. You have to take a position either agreeing/disagreeing with the issue, thus defending your position with evidence.

Analyzing an Argument: You’ve to dissect the argument thoroughly and demonstrate a logical grasp of the subject and identifies the critical elements of the argument, its assumptions, and build a thorough counter-argument against the prompt.

Till now, we’ve discussed how to calculate the GRE score. Almost all top universities accept the GRE test scores for graduate programs.

Click here to learn about top last-minute GRE tips to improve your GRE test score.

More than 500 business schools worldwide such as Harvard, Wharton, MIT, and INSEAD are considering the GRE score for their MBA programs.

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