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Introduction of Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

  • Last Updated : 28 Feb, 2019

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is the most preferred examination for graduate schools in the United States. GRE is considered to be an admission requirement as it tests an individual’s critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills. The Educational Testing Service administers and conducts GRE.

Computer-based GRE Test consists of six sections.The first section is always the analytical writing section involving separately timed issue and argument tasks. The order of the next five sections is random. Two of them being verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and one being either an experimental or research section. It is a multistage test, where the examinee’s performance in earlier sections determines the difficulty of subsequent sections.

The test is conducted for a duration of 3 hours 45 minutes. One-minute break is offered after each section and a 10-minute break after the third section.

Paper-based GRE Test also consists of six sections. The analytical writing is divided into two sections- issue task and argument task. The next four sections are two verbal and two quantitative sections in any order. There is no experimental section in the paper-based test.

Sections –

  1. Analytical writing section:
    Thirty minutes are allotted to each of the two sections- issue task and argument task. The essays are written on a computer using a basic word processing program, which does not contain a spell-checker or other advanced features. Six-point holist scale is used for evaluation.
    • Issue Task:
      Topics for the issue task are selected from a variety of questions available on the ETS website.
    • Argument Task:
      Arguments are provided, the test takers are asked to consider the argument’s logic and to make suggestions about how to improve the logic of the argument. The Arguments are selected from topics, which the GRE Program has published in its entirety.
  2. Verbal section:
    It consists of about 6 text completion, 4 sentence equivalence, and 10 critical reading questions. This section is used to check the test taker’s perspectives and intentions.
  3. Quantitative section:
    It consists of about 8 quantitative comparisons, 9 problem solving items, and 3 data interpretation questions along with multiple correct responses. 35 minutes are allotted to this section.
  4. Experimental section:
    It can be either verbal or quantitative. However, it does not count towards the test-taker’s score. There is no way of knowing which section is experimental, so the test takers must focus on every section. Paper-based GRE has no such section.

There are no specific GRE Exam dates in India, it can be taken any time of the year by taking an appointment with the closest GRE exam center. The GRE General Test can be taken once every 21 days up to five times in a continuous rolling 12 month period.


  1. Analytical writing section:
    The elements of standard written English.
  2. Verbal section:
    Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verb, Tense, Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions, Pronoun Agreement, Subject-Verb Agreement, Modifiers, Parallelism.
  3. Quantitative section:
    Ratio and Proportion, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Speed, Distance and Time, Permutation & combination, Linear equations, Quadratic equations, Sets Theory, Statistics, Powers and Roots, Probability, Pipes, Cisterns, Work, Time, Lines and angles, Triangles, Polygon, Quadrilateral, Circles, Co-ordinate Geometry.

Three scores are reported in the GRE Test:

  1. Analytical Writing score:
    Reported on a 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning score:
    Reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
  3. Verbal Reasoning score:
    Reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
    The maximum score obtained is 340 (170 + 170)
    The minimum score obtained is 260 (130 + 130).

Percentile rank is also evaluated along with the result, which is an indication of the percentage of examinees who took that test and received a lower score.

  • For Paper-delivered GRE Test score is released about five weeks after the test date.
  • For Computer-delivered GRE Test at the end of your test you will be asked if you want to Report or Cancel your scores. If you select Report, result is released 10–15 days after the test date.

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