GRE Test Guide

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GRE- the Graduate Record Examination is a standardized test that assesses the student’s reasoning and analytical skills in writing, reading, and mathematics.

However, it is neither subjective nor requires advanced knowledge of any specific course. Besides, GRE offers universities a broad estimate of how a student is qualified to conduct any rigorous problem solving and critical thinking essential in graduate school.

  • 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 a GRE subject score.

Why GRE?

The test is exclusively for American universities providing masters and doctoral programs to evaluate candidates. Of course, some individual universities do not offer GRE as the entrance test. Instead ETS (Educational Testing Service, an independent organization develops and administers GRE.

However, most abroad admission committees use the aspirant’s GRE scores in combination with several other factors. These factors include undergraduate GPA, personal statements, and letters of recommendation for evaluating the aspirant’s admissions file.

Who Can Take GRE?

The aspirants who are applying for a graduate program abroad can take the GRE.

Besides, if you’re the one who is applying for a master’s or doctoral program in the sciences, arts, humanity, you probably need to take the GRE test.

GRE Test Format

The 4-hour test consists of three sections with 170 points. Here is the test format of the GRE. To have a deep look at the GRE test format, visit the link.

Exam Length4 hours (including breaks)
FormatMulti-stage test (MST), a computer-based format allowing students to navigate forward and backward within each test section
Scoring Scale130-170 (1- point increments) for verbal and quantitative sections; 0-6 for analytical writing
Number of Test Sections6 sections including research or experimental section
Verbal ReasoningTwo 30-minute sections with 20 questions (approximately) each.
Quantitative ReasoningTwo 30-minute sections with 20 questions (approximately) each, onscreen calculator available
Analytical WritingOne section with two 30-minute tasks: analyze an issue and analyze an argument
BreaksA 10-minute break after the third section and 1- minute breaks between all other sections.

GRE Exam Syllabus

The GRE test comprises verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. The GRE test scores that are reported include:

1. Verbal Reasoning

We know, the verbal reasoning section measures the student’s ability to read and understand the given material. Three types of questions are devised: (i) Reading comprehension; (ii) Text completion; and (iii) Sentence equivalence. Hence, to comprehend the texts in graduate school, the test-taker has to identify the relationships between parts of a sentence, and the relationship between the concepts and words.

Moving forward, about 50 percent of the questions are based on reading comprehension, and the rest expect the candidate to read, understand, and complete sentences or passages.

2. Quantitative Reasoning

You know! the objective of the quantitative section in GRE is assessing the student’s grasp of the basic math concepts. These concepts include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

Besides this, it also includes skills to solve the problem based on these concepts.

3. Analytical writing

The two-task analytical writing section tests the student’s ability to examine the arguments and complex issues to put forth his/her ideas logically.

However, the first task is known as the “analyze an issue task,” is a viewpoint on a given topic of popular interest. Then the students are asked to analyze the issue and express their own opinions.

Moreover, in the second task which is “analyze an argument task,” you face an argument; the students have to analyze the logical strength of the given argument and point out its pros and cons. The objective is not only to test the student’s knowledge in the given particular topic but also their power of expression and analytical capability.

GRE Score Calculations

The GRE General Test scores are calculated in the following manner:

SectionScore Scale
Verbal Reasoning130–170, in 1-point increments
Quantitative Reasoning130–170, in 1-point increments
Analytical Writing0–6, in half-point increments

So, an important point to note here is that the GRE score validity is for five years from the date of the GRE test date.

The GRE score report also provides you the GRE score percentile rank for each of the above test scores. The percentile ranks are a good way to know where you stand.

GRE Test Strategies to Crack the GRE

Most students when studying for the GRE exam pay too much attention to the verbal section because it is widely considered as harder than GRE math. However, the quant is the easy section among the three.

Hence, if you’re just beginning your GRE prep, it is important that you know the strategies to Crack the GRE test.

  • Understand how to study the facts in the argument
  • Preview question before reading passage
  • Use your own words
  • Answer the question asked
  • For inference types -mimic the reasoning
  • Eliminate the word complexity (pick the obvious answer choice)
  • Know the difference between assumption and conclusion
  • For strengthening
  • For weakening -identify the premise and conclusion
  • Beware of test makers’ traps

So finally the one thing more powerful than any mantra is PRACTICE. The more you apply these tips and go about answering your paper, the more likely you will understand the test makers’ mind and be able to solve it with ease and score well In GRE Critical Reasoning.


What is the duration of the GRE?

The GRE test length is three hours and forty-five minutes including

  • The writing section—two essays in total (60 minutes total)
  • Two verbal sections (30 minutes each, 60 minutes total)
  • Two quantitative sections (35 minutes each, 70 minutes total)
  • One ungraded experimental section (30-35 minutes)

How much does the GRE cost?

The GRE costs ₹ 14,660.78. You can register for the exam on the ETS website.

Who can take the GRE test?

Aspirants who are planning for graduate school admissions in an English speaking nation (like the USA).

How is the general GRE different from GRE subject tests?

The GRE general test examines the verbal, math, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills of the test-taker. However, the GRE subject tests, on the other hand, each focus on a particular area (like Maths, Biology, or English)

What does the GRE measure?

The GRE tests verbal concepts and quantitative reasoning as well as your analytical writing abilities.

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