What is GRE Exam ?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test that is commonly used for admissions to graduate schools and business schools in the United States and many other English-speaking countries. The exam is designed to measure the readiness of applicants for advanced studies in various fields.

The GRE is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), and it assesses a candidate's analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills. Test-takers can send their GRE scores to up to four graduate or business schools free of charge. However, they also have the option to send their scores to additional schools for a fee.

The GRE is offered in two formats: the computer-based GRE General Test and the paper-based GRE General Test. The computer-based test is the more common format and is available at numerous testing centers worldwide, while the paper-based test is typically administered in areas where computer-based testing is not available.

The GRE is divided into three main sections:

1) Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): 
This section evaluates the test-taker's ability to think critically and articulate complex ideas in written form. It consists of two tasks - "Analyze an Issue" and "Analyze an Argument," for which test-takers are required to write essays.

2) Verbal Reasoning: 
This section assesses the ability to understand and analyze written material, to evaluate arguments, and to recognize relationships between words and concepts. It involves reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, and text completion questions.

3) Quantitative Reasoning: 
This section measures the test-taker's mathematical ability, including understanding basic concepts, reasoning quantitatively, and solving problems in algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and data analysis.

The GRE scores are an essential component of the graduate school application process, along with other materials like academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. The GRE scores are used by admissions committees to gauge an applicant's potential for success in graduate-level studies.

GRE Test Scoring Range

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test score is reported on a scale for each section of the exam:
  • Verbal Reasoning: Scores range from 130 to 170 in one-point increments.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Scores range from 130 to 170 in one-point increments.
  • Analytical Writing: Scores range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments.
For the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, the scores are converted based on the number of correct answers, considering the difficulty level of the questions answered correctly. The Analytical Writing section is graded separately by human raters who evaluate the essays based on specific criteria.

The total GRE score is calculated by combining the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores, and it ranges from 260 to 340. The Analytical Writing score is reported separately.

How Long is the GRE Exam ?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) exam consists of multiple sections and takes approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The test is divided into three main sections. Here is the breakdown of the time allotted for each section:

1) Analytical Writing:
This section consists of two tasks :
  • 1 essay "Analyze an Issue" task: 30 minutes
  • 1 essay "Analyze an Argument" task: 30 minutes

2) Verbal Reasoning:
  • 2 sections with about 20 questions in each section: 30 minutes per section

3) Quantitative Reasoning:
  • 2 sections with about 20 questions in each section: 35 minutes per section

Additionally, there may be an unscored research section or an unidentified pretest section, which may add an additional 30 or 35 minutes to the total testing time, respectively. However, the time for these sections is not counted towards your score.

Who is Eligible for GRE Exam ?

The GRE General Test is open to all individuals who are interested in pursuing graduate or business school education, regardless of age or educational background. There are no specific eligibility criteria based on nationality, age, or previous qualifications. However, it's essential to note that each graduate or business school sets its own admission requirements, and the GRE scores are just one part of the application process.

Since the GRE is a global exam, it is available to candidates from all countries. International students who wish to study in the United States or other English-speaking countries often take the GRE as part of their application for graduate programs.

Fees for GRE Tests 2023

The registration fee for the GRE exam varies depending on the country in which you take the exam. In the United States and many other countries, the standard registration fee for the GRE Test is $220. This fee includes sending your scores to up to four graduate or business school programs or business schools of your choice.

However, there are additional fees for certain optional services and features, such as:

1) Late Registration: 
If you register after the regular deadline, there is a late registration fee of $25.

2) Rescheduling: 
If you need to change your test date or test center, there is a rescheduling fee of $50.

3) Changing Test Center: 
If you need to change your test center, there is a fee of $50.

4) Standby Testing (for Paper-based Test only): 
If you miss the regular registration deadline but still want to take the paper-based GRE, you may be able to sign up for standby testing for an additional fee of $50.

Additionally, ETS offers a Fee Reduction Program for U.S. citizens and residents who demonstrate financial need. Individuals who get GRE Fee Reduction voucher must pay $100 to register for the GRE General Test or 50% of regular test fee for a GRE Subject Test. The Fee Reduction Program also includes free additional score reports, a free subscription to the GRE Search Service, and free test preparation materials.

GRE Exam Results

After completing the GRE General Test, test-takers will receive unofficial GRE scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections immediately after finishing the exam. They have the option to either accept or cancel these unofficial scores at that time. However, it's important to note that these unofficial scores are not the final scores and should be considered preliminary.

The official GRE scores, including the Analytical Writing Assessment scores, are typically available within 10-15 days after the test date. Test-takers will receive an email notification when their official scores are ready. These scores can be accessed online through the test-taker's ETS account.

GRE scores are reported on a scale as follows:
  • Verbal Reasoning: 130-170, in 1-point increments
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 130-170, in 1-point increments
  • Analytical Writing: 0-6, in half-point increments

In addition to the individual section scores, test-takers also receive a total score, which is the combined score of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. The total score ranges from 260 to 340, in 1-point increments.

When viewing official GRE scores online, test-takers can also see their percentile ranks. The percentile rank indicates the percentage of test-takers who scored below a specific score. For example, if a test-taker's Verbal Reasoning score falls in the 70th percentile, it means they scored higher than 70% of all test-takers who took the GRE.

Test-takers can choose to send their official GRE scores to up to four graduate or business schools or fellowship programs free of charge. However, additional score reports sent to schools or programs after test day may incur a fee.

GRE Exam Dates

The GRE Test is administered throughout the year at various testing centers worldwide. You may take the GRE Test once every 21 days, up to 5 times in any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This is true even if you cancelled the results of a test you previously took.

Make sure your results will be available in time for your application deadlines when choosing a test date. About 10 to 15 days following your test date, score reports are emailed to the people you've chosen to receive them. Consider the delivery of scores and the institution's procedures when selecting a test date.

ETS, the organization that conducts the GRE, typically offers the exam on multiple dates each month. Test dates may vary by location, and availability can be subject to demand, so it's essential to check the official GRE website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on test dates and locations.

How to Register for the GRE Exam ?

To register for the GRE General Test, create an ETS account, and complete the registration form. To GRE exam registration, follow these steps:

1) Create an ETS Account: 
Start by visiting the official GRE website at www.ets.org/gre. Click on "My GRE Account" and then select "Create an Account." Provide the necessary information to set up your ETS account.

2) Log In to Your ETS Account:
Once you have created an ETS account, log in using your username and password.

3) Select "Register for the GRE General Test": 
After logging in, click on "Register for the GRE General Test" from your ETS account homepage.

4) Find a Test Center and Date: 
Enter your location (country and city) to find nearby test centers. The website will display available test centers and dates in your area. Choose a test center and date that is convenient for you.

5) Choose a Test Date and Time: 
Click on your preferred test date from the available options at the chosen test center. The website will display available time slots for that date.

6) Complete the Registration Form: 
Fill in all the required information on the registration form, including personal details, contact information, and academic background.

7) Agree to GRE Test Taker Privacy Statement and Policies: 
Review the GRE Test Taker Privacy Statement and ETS's policies, and then agree to them to proceed with the registration.

8) Pay the Exam Fee: 
You will need to pay the registration fee using a credit or debit card or other payment methods accepted by ETS. The registration fee covers sending your scores to up to four graduate or business schools or fellowship programs.

9) Receive Confirmation: 
After successful registration and payment, you will receive a confirmation email with your test date, time, and test center location. Be sure to review the details carefully to avoid any issues on test day.

Once registered, use the time before the test to prepare thoroughly. Utilize official GRE test preparation materials, practice tests, and study guides to enhance your readiness for the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the GRE General Test structured?
The GRE General Test consists of three main sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The test also includes an unscored or research section.

How often is the GRE General Test offered?
The GRE General Test is offered throughout the year, and test dates may vary by location. It is available at various testing centers worldwide.

Can I retake the GRE General Test?
Yes, you can retake the GRE General Test. However, there are certain restrictions on how frequently you can retake the test. As of my last update, you can take the test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period.

How long are GRE scores valid?
GRE scores are typically valid for five years from the test date. Graduate schools may have their own policies regarding the acceptance of older scores, so it's best to check with the specific institutions to which you are applying.

Is there a GRE subject-specific test?
Yes, in addition to the GRE General Test, there are GRE Subject Tests available for specific disciplines, such as Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. However, not all graduate programs require or accept GRE Subject Test scores, so check with your chosen programs for their specific requirements.