What is the GRE Test?
The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a commercially-run standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools, principally in the United States [but also in other English-speaking Countries].
Graduate programs and business schools use GRE scores to evaluate your readiness for graduate-level work. The GRE Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.
Who Takes It and Why?
Each year, more than 600,000 prospective graduate school applicants from approximately 230 countries take the GRE Test. Applicants come from varying educational backgrounds and countries, and the GRE Test provides the only common measure for comparing their qualifications.
Who Accepts It?
The GRE Test is accepted at more than 3,200 graduate and business schools as well as departments and divisions within these schools.
Format of GRE
The computer-based GRE Test is composed of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. The Analytical Writing section is always first. In addition, one unidentified, unscored section may be included and can appear in any position in the test after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the unscored section are being tested for possible use in future tests and answers will not count toward your scores. An identified research section that is not scored may also be included, and if so, it is always at the end of the test.
The Verbal and Quantitative sections, including the unidentified unscored section, may appear in any order. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.
Total testing time is three hours, not including the research section. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.
Typical Computer-based GRE Test
|Section||Number of Questions||Time|
|Analytical Writing||One Issue Task1||45 minutes|
|One Argument Task1||30 minutes|
|Verbal Reasoning||30||30 minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning||28||45 minutes|
1 For the Issue task, two essay topics are presented and you choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead, a single topic is presented.
2 An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.
3 An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it is always at the end of the test.
The Analytical Writing section of the GRE Test measures your ability to:
- Articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively.
- Examine claims and accompanying evidence.
- Support an argument with relevant reasons and examples.
- Sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion.
- Control the elements of standard written English. (this factor plays a role only to the extent that poor writing skills impede readers’ understanding of the argument)
This section of the GRE Test measures reading comprehension, verbal and analogical reasoning skills in a multiple-choice format.
The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:
- Analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it.
- Analyze relationships among component parts of sentences.
- Recognize relationships between words and concepts.
The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE Test measures your ability to:
- Understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
- Reason quantitatively.
- Solve problems in a quantitative setting.
GRE Test dates
- Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
- One may take the GRE Test (computer-based or paper-based) only once per calendar month, and no more than five times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.
One can Register For Computer-Based test here
- Reserve a convenient date to take the exam. Schedule a date around six months from the start of your GRE prep.
- The test is not an accurate and precise evaluation of your aptitude. This is because the format of the test has a slight quirk in it, which usually bolsters or hampers a student’s score. So be informed and use it to your advantage. a score of 1,400 or above is respectable.
- Take ample time cracking the first 7-10 questions, even if you miss out on five questions at the end. A stellar performance in the questions you managed to attempt could even get you a score of 800.
Kaplan and Barron’s are the most preferred books for the GRE general test preparation and most candidates use both the books for prep.
- The advice and strategy offered by Kaplan are very good.
- Barron’s on the other hand has much more challenging practice tests and exercises.
- Barron’s gives a better feeling of what the test is like, has an exhaustive set of problems and induces a problem solving and analytical thinking attitude.