What is GRE?

What is GRE-General Test?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE-General test) is a globally accepted standardized test that is owned and administered by Educational testing service (ETS). This standardized test acts like a feather in the cap by exhibiting the test taker’s verbal and quantitative reasoning abilities required to thrive in the universities, law schools, and business schools in theUS, Canada, and across many countries across the globe.
GRE is conducted in both computer-based and Paper-based modes. However, paper-based testing is not available in the regions where the computer-delivered test is available.A computer-based GRE test is conducted year-round, while the paper-based test is offered three times a year. The Computer-based GRE-general test taker can take the test once every 21 days but only up to 5 times within 12 months. On the contrary, the paper-based test can be taken as often as the makers of the test offer it.
GRE-computer based Test is a 3 hour 45 min test conducted by ETS. The test features six sections and is scored on a scale of 260 – 340. The score is valid for five years following the test date.
A complete list of test center locations is available at www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/centers_dates/

GRE Exam Structure

GRE-General test consists of 6 sections: One Analytical Writing Assessment, Two Verbal reasoning sections, Two Quantitative reasoning sections, and One Un-scored section.
The test begins with an Analytical Writing assessment section, which lasts for 60 min. Followed by this, the candidate can get either a verbal or quantitative section. The test comprises of two scored verbal and 2 scored quant sections which can come in any order. Along with these scored sections, the test also includes either an unscored and unidentified section or an unscored research section.
There is a 10 min break scheduled after the third section, and there is also a 1 min break after every section.


No of Questions

Allotted Time


Analytical Writing
(One Section with Two separately timed task)
One “Analyse an Issue” task and one “Analyse an Argument” task. 30 minutes per task 0 – 6 score scale
(In Half point increments)
Verbal Reasoning
(Two Sections)
20 questions per section 30 minutes per section 130 – 170 score scale (in One point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two Sections)
20 questions per section 35 minutes per section 130 – 170 score scale (in One point increments)
Unscored Section
(Position Varies)
20 questions 30 min/35 min No Score
(At the end of the test)
Varies Varies No Score

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

Analytical writing or AWA section consists of 2 tasks: Issue task and Argument task. This section requires candidates to think critically, evaluate the given text, and construct a focused response using supportive ideas and examples by basing on the instructions that follow each task. Time allocated for each task is 30 minutes, and the candidate will be scored on a scale of 0-6 with 0.5 increments.

Issue Task

A topic is presented to the candidate and is followed by a specific instruction. The test taker needs to clearly express his/her opinion and develop a response as per the given instruction with suitable reasons and well-illustrated examples to support his/her opinion.

Argument Task

In this task, the test taker is provided with a short paragraph, which is followed by an instruction. The candidate needs to analyze an argument and write a critique of that argument, analyzing the soundness of the author’s argument and reasoning.

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning part of the GRE test measures your ability to understand what you read and how you analyze the flow of thoughts in the given text. The test consists of two scored verbal reasoning sections. Each section consists of 20 questions, and the test taker is given 30 min time per section to answer these questions. The Verbal part of GRE is made up of three question types: Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion, and Reading comprehension.

Sentence Equivalence

The test presents a sentence with one blank. This sentence is followed by six options. The candidate needs to choose two choices that perfectly fit the blank. The test does not consider partially correct answers: if one option is correct and the other choice is incorrect, no credit will be given to that question.

Text Completion

The test presents a text with one to five sentences. Each sentence can have either one, two, or three blanks. Each text is followed by answer choices: One blank text is followed by five options, while two blank and three blank texts (questions) are followed by three options for each blank. The test taker must choose only one correct fit answer choice for each blank. The test does not give partial credits: For two blank or three blank questions, all the given blanks in the given text must be correct. If one blank gets a correct choice and the other blank/s get the wrong fit choice, the question is not considered.

Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension on the GRE verbal section tests your ability to read and understand written material that is commonly found in the graduate and business schools. The passages can range from one to several paragraphs. Each passage can be followed by one to six questions. The questions related to this part of the test appear in three different formats: multiple choice questions which ask you to select one answer, multiple-choice questions which ask you to select one or more than one answer, and select in the passage. Nearly half of the verbal reasoning section questions belong to Reading comprehension.

The questions on Reading Comprehension test your ability to summarize the passage, differentiate the main idea and supporting idea, draw logical conclusions, analyze the function of a sentence/phrase/word in the passage, understand the meaning of the words in the context, identify the assumption, reason the passage to pick the missing information, pick the best possible strengthener or weakener, and tone

Quantitative Reasoning

GRE-General test includes two scored quantitative reasoning sections. Each section contains 20 questions, and a total of 35 min is allocated to answer one quantitative reasoning section.

The questions in this part of GRE assess your command on high school level Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Data analysis. The test taker is expected to analyze quantitative information and solve the problems using quantitative reasoning methods. The Quantitative sections include four question types: Quantitative comparison, Multiple choice questions – select one answer, Multiple choice questions – select or more answers, and Numeric entry questions. An on-screen calculator is provided to the test taker in this reasoning section.


Quantitative Comparison

These questions require the candidate to compare two quantities and then choose an answer choice that correctly explains the comparison. Each question is followed by four answer choices.

Multiple Choice Questions – Select One Answer

Each question is followed by five answer choices. The candidate needs to pick one correct answer.

Multiple Choice Questions – Select One Or More Answers

Each question is followed by 3 to 8 answer choices. The test taker needs to choose all the possible correct choices for the given question. No credit will be given for partially correct answers.

Numeric Entry Questions

These questions are not followed by multiple answer choices. You need to enter the answer in the provided answer box.

Un-Scored And Un-Identified Section

The test may have an additional section that is unscored. This section can include either verbal or quant questions. The time given for this section also varies depending on the type of questions. (Verbal – 30 min and Quant – 35 min). However, this section is un-identified. It can be included at any point in the test. The test taker cannot skip this section.

Un-Scored And Identified Research Section

The test may have a Research section that is also unscored instead of an un-identified & un-scored section. This Research section is also unscored, yet the position is defined: the last section with a clear instruction. Skipping this section will not affect the test score in any manner.


The GRE-Genera test reports three scores after the test: AWA, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning scores.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

AWA section is scored by one trained evaluator and also by an e-rater, a computerized scoring engine. The average of these two scores give a score on the scale of (0 – 6) in half-point increment. If the scores given by the evaluator and e-rater disagree, a second human evaluator will score the essay. Thereafter, the average of the two scores gives the final score. The candidate will receive AWA score about10 – 15 days after the test day.

Verbal & Quantitative Reasoning Sections

The scores of verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections depend on the number of correct answers and also on the difficulty level of each section.

Verbal Reasoning Section

The two sections will be scored, and a score on the scale of 130 – 170 will be reported to the test taker after the submission of the test.

Quantitative Reasoning Section

The two sections that come under this part of GRE will be scored, and a score on the scale of 130 – 170 will be reported at the end of the test.

Exam Fees

The GRE-General test fee is $213. For more details and to book the exam slot, visit the official website www.ets.org/gre.

Score Reporting

After the end of the test, if the candidate chooses to report his/her scores, an unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores will be reported. On the other hand, the candidate also has a feasibility to cancel the scores after the test too.

The GRE test taker will be eligible to send four score reports without any additional fees. With the “Score Select” option provided by ETS, the test takers can select their best score from the given attempts and send them to the colleges. You can also order additional scores for a fee of US$27 per scorecard.

Reschedule the test

You must cancel or reschedule the test at least four days before the scheduled test day.An additional fee of approximately$50 will be charged to reschedule the test date. However, the fees constantly varies. Hence, visit www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fees for the updated information about the additional fees.

You need to have an appointment confirmation number to continue the process of rescheduling.

Cancel the test

You need to cancel the test date at least four days before the scheduled test day to receive a refund of half of the original test fees.

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