GRE Test: Introduction, Subjects, Requirements, Test Dates, GRE Scores & Benefits

What Is The GRE?

The GRE or Graduate Record Examination is a standardized test taken by people who want to attend graduate school. They are typically those who want to obtain a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. Three subject areas are tested in the GRE, and namely, they are Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The allocated time for taking the GRE is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. The question types in each of the sections reflect the kind of thinking that students do in graduate school. The cost of taking the GRE ranges from $205 to $230, depending on one’s location.

Who Takes The GRE Test?

People who are yet planning to apply or immediately intend to apply to a graduate program take the GRE test. Of all the pertinent standardized tests, the GRE is the most commonly required and taken. GRE test-takers are aged 24 years old on the average, with a huge majority below the age of 30. Only 3% of this populace is aged 40 and above. Forty-six percent comprises the number of male GRE test-takers, while 50% are females.

Related Topic: GRE Test Scores, Good, Average And Range Of GRE Score

GRE Test Content

The test content of the GRE features questions that are close reflections of the kind of thinking and skills that you need in order to succeed in the demanding environment of today’s graduate schools. The GRE is however structured to be friendly to test-takers. You are allowed to skip certain questions in a section and have the leeway to go back to them and change your answers. You’ll also have the flexibility to select which questions in a particular section to answer first.

GRE Verbal Reasoning

In the Verbal Reasoning Test of the GRE, your skills about analyzing and drawing conclusions from an argument will be tested. Your reasoning from incomplete data will be measured as well. Identifying an author’s perspective or assumptions are included in this section along with understanding literal and figurative meanings and the author’s intent. Brush up on your skills in clarifying important points, major from minor points and summarizing and understanding a given text. Be keen on understanding word, sentence and text meanings and word and concept relationships.

Related Topic: GRE Practice Tests: Fly High And Be A “Super” Test-Taker

GRE Quantitative Reasoning

This section will test your skills in understanding, interpreting and analyzing quantitative data. You should be able to use Mathematical models to solve problems. Your knowledge of basic Arithmetic, Data Analysis, Algebra and Geometry will be measured. In this section of the GRE, you will be allowed to use an on-screen calculator, or a calculator will be provided if you take the test by paper.

GRE Analytical Writing

In this section, you should be able to clearly and effectually articulate ideas that are complex. With the use of relevant examples and reasons, you should know how to support particular ideas. Your skills in examining claims and associated evidence will be tested. How keen are you in sustaining a discussion that’s coherent and well-focused? At the same time, you should be proficient in controlling the rudiments of standard written English.

GRE Test Scores

In the Verbal Reasoning test, your score will be measured on a scale of 130 to 170 points. The Quantitative Reasoning test will have you garnering a score from 130 to 170 points while the Analytical Writing section is scored on a range of 0 to 6 points. If you were unable to answer a question, it will be categorized as a No Score or NS item. You have the privilege of using the ScoreSelect option when taking the GRE. That is, you have the option to decide which scores to forward to your preferred institutions. You’ll be entitled to 4 free score reports when taking the GRE. You can send the scores that you wish from your recent GRE administrations or your previous scores within the last 5 years.

See also our post on How Hard Is The GRE here for additional information.

Learn more: Private: GRE Practice Tests: Fly High And Be A “Super” Test-Taker

Computer-Delivered GRE General Content And Structure And Paper- Delivered General Test Content And Structure

The computer-delivered GRE totals 3 hours and 45 minutes to take. The three subject areas which are Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning are divided into 6 sections. Test takers are allowed to have a 10-minute break after the 3rd section. The computer-delivered GRE Analytical Writing section is comprised of two-separately timed tests known as the “Analyze an Issue” task and the “Analyze and Argument” task. Both these tasks have a time limit of 30 minutes each. The Verbal Reasoning section has two parts, with each of them consisting of 20 questions. Thirty minutes is the designated test time for every part. Quantitative Reasoning likewise has 2 sections with 20 questions each and need to be accomplished within 35 minutes for each section.

The paper-delivered GRE has a total testing time of 3 hours and 30 minutes. Six sections comprise this test wherein takers are permitted to have a 10-minute break after the second section. Analytical Writing has 2 tasks, namely “Analyze an Issue” and “Analyze an Argument”. The allotted time for each of these portions is 30 minutes. Two sections consist the Verbal Reasoning, too, with each comprising 25 questions that have to be accomplished in 35 minutes each. Quantitative Reasoning encompasses 2 sections with 25 questions each and a total time limit of 40 minutes per section.

Related Topic: What Is A Good GRE Score? Tips To Gain Admission In Your Dream School

GRE Test Requirements

gre cost

ID or identification information is required when registering for the GRE. The name indicated in your ID should exactly match your registration name. When you report to your test center, you will be responsible for bringing a valid and acceptable ID. Make sure that your document is up-to-date. Bring an original ID, not a photocopied one or that which is saved on your smartphone or any other electronic gadget. It has to be government-issued, valid and contains your first and last name. Your photograph (on the ID) should be recent and recognizable.

When taking the computer-delivered GRE, you should bring a valid and acceptable ID on your test day. If necessary, you should take with you an authorization voucher. You have to present your confirmation email that indicates the time and date of your test and the location of your testing center.

If you intend to take the paper-delivered GRE, bring a valid and acceptable ID along with your confirmation email. Such an email will be sent to you by the ETS following your registration. It contains a message that confirms your test date, time and location, and your score recipients. At your test center, bring 3 or 4 sharpened #2 pencils and a good quality eraser. Mechanical pencils and all kinds of pens are not allowed when taking the paper-delivered GRE.

Related Topic: How To Study For The GRE Effectively – Here’s A Foolproof 8-Week Test Prep Plan

GRE Test Dates

If you’re taking the computer-delivered GRE, you should primarily create an ETS account online and register. All-year-round, the computer version of this test is offered at Prometric test centers. Score reports will be forwarded to your chosen institutions after 10-15 days of taking the test. If you are not satisfied with your score, you can retake the GRE, especially as the computer-version is available once every 21 days. You can take this test 5 times within a 365 days period.

For the paper-delivered GRE, your initial task is to register online. This test is available 3 times a year. Here is a chart to guide you about the most recent GRE test dates and deadlines:

GRE Dates for Paper Delivered Testing for General Test are:

Test DateRegular DeadlineLate DeadlineOnline Score Availability
November 9, 2020September 27, 2020October 4, 2020December 9, 2020
February 1, 2020December 20, 2019December 27, 2020March 2, 2020

GRE Dates for Paper Delivered Testing for Subject Test are:

Test DateRegular DeadlineLate DeadlineOnline Score Availability
April 4, 2020February 21, 2020February 28, 2020May 4, 2020
September 14, 2020August 2, 2020August 9, 2020October 14, 2020
October 26, 2020September 13, 2020September 20, 2020November 25, 2020

gre tests

The GRE is one of the most preferred admissions tests by the world’s top graduate and business schools. It is known to be an accurate assessment of the skills needed by students to succeed in various graduate school programs. What are the benefits of taking the GRE?

  • Graduate and business schools accept GRE scores. The GRE is the only graduate admissions test that is applicable for both. With a high GRE score, you’ll have the option to enroll in many top-ranked programs all across the globe.
  • You can approach the test in a method that works to your best advantage. The GRE test allows you to preview and omit questions as well as a return to them for review or to change your answers. You’ll feel more at ease with this test and can better achieve your best score.
  • Your GRE scores are valid for 5 years. Even if you take the test just now, you’ll have more time to decide on when and where you plan to pursue your graduate degree.
  • You can choose which scores to send to your preferred schools. This is called the ScoreSelect option of GRE test takers where you can skip sending your bad scores but on the other hand forward your best scores to your chosen schools.