Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an international level competitive exam for students who aspire to get a specialized degree in a Master’s program or Doctoral degree at renowned business schools or universities around the world particularly in North America(USA and Canada), Europe, UK, Singapore, and ANZ region. The entrance test mainly evaluates applicants’ Analytical Writing skills, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning skills.

Ideally, the new GRE syllabus 2020 has three major segments which include:

  • GRE Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA): This section consists of two tasks: (i) analyze an issue task, and (ii) analyze an argument task. In the first task, a reference is drawn on a topic of common interest and the candidates are asked to analyze the issue and express their respective ideas in a vivid and logical manner. In the second task, an argument is given wherein the candidates need to analyze the rational strength of the given argument and figure out its positive and negative points. The objective of the GRE AWA section is not just to test the test-takers’ judgment on a particular topic but rather capture their analytical capacity and power of interpretation of a given argument.

Here are some of the keys points to remember in this section:

  1. Time Duration: 1 hour
  2. No. of Questions: 2 Essays, 2 Sections with 1 essay in each.
  3. Scoring: Marks 0-6 with an increment of 0.5
  4. The AWA tests your essay writing skills and checks your ability to think critically, communicate your ideas effectively and form appropriate and constructive assessment.
  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: In this segment of the GRE exam syllabus, it assesses the test taker’s ability to read and understand a written material in the English language which resembles the kind of material used in high school level. There are three types of questions under this section: (i) Reading Comprehension; (ii) Text Completion; and (iii) Sentence Equivalence.

(i) Reading Comprehension: In the first question type, the candidate needs to understand the essence of words and the paragraphs used in the passage; he/she has to understand how the different parts of a text are related to one another and pick some valid points from the passage and grasp the ideas by reading between the lines and answer the questions based on the analysis done.

(ii) Text Completion: Under this category, the test taker is asked to furnish the missing words or idioms/phrases in the given passage. The purpose of this question is to check the candidate’s ability to assimilate the given text and make some valid inferences.

(iii) Sentence Equivalence: In this question type, the candidate is asked to fill in the blanks of a sentence with the most relevant and appropriate word and select an alternative word from the listed options. The purpose of this subsection is not just to choose a suitable word for a given sentence, rather select the best option from among the probable answers.

Here are some of the keys points to remember in this section:

  1. Time Duration: 1 hour
  2. No. of Questions: 40 questions, 2 Sections with 20 Questions each.
  3. Scoring: 130-170 with an increment of 1.
  4. The GRE verbal section tests your reading and reasoning ability along with argument analysis skills. It also checks your ability to correct the written material in accordance with Standard English grammar rules. It consists of questions based on Reading Comprehension, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence.
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: The main objective of the quantitative aptitude for GRE is to evaluate the test taker’s basic knowledge of the basic math concepts like Arithmetic, Algebra, Data Analysis, Geometry, etc. and problem-solving skills based on these concepts. The questions on mathematics, calculus, trigonometry, and statistics are mainly from the ones studied at academia. The types of questions in this section include quantitative correlation, numeric entry (computation) questions and multiple-choice questions with the correct answer(s), etc. Aspirants can find a detailed list of various topics on the ETS website. Some of the quantitative topics include:
  1. Number properties
  2. Probability
  3. Simple and compound interest
  4. Linear equations
  5. Quadratic equations
  6. Sets Theory
  7. Permutation & combination

Here are some of the keys points to remember in this section:

  1. Time Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes
  2. No. of questions: 40 questions, 2 sections with 20 questions in each.
  3. Scoring: 130-170 with an increment of 1.
  4. The Quantitative Aptitude section tests your quantitative skills, ability to solve quant problems and interpret numerical data.
  5. There are two types of multiple-choice questions that are used in the Quantitative section: Data Analysis Arithmetic Elementary Algebra Geometry Concepts.

The GRE exam pattern has two test formats: GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. Let’s have a detailed understanding of what does the pattern and syllabus for GRE exam comprise of:

  • GRE General Test: This test comprises of GRE General Test syllabus mainly focused on analytical writing assessment, verbal ability, and quantitative reasoning. We have discussed extensively each of the sections already. As per the GRE exam pattern, the GRE General test has a total duration of 3 hours 45 minutes. You can refer the table below for the GRE test pattern:

You can download the GRE syllabus in PDF format from the link given below:

  • GRE Subject Test: This test is an addition to the basic GRE exam and is timed at 2 hours and 50 minutes. According to the GRE Subject Test syllabus, the subjects particularly comprise of the following papers which the students would have studied in their undergraduate level. Those subjects include:
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • English Literature

In December 2016, the Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology test was discontinued and the GRE Computer Science Test was discarded in April 2013.Planning to pursue a Master’s or Doctoral degree from a well-known foreign university and wondering how and where to start? At CareerLabs, we are here to help you and offer complete coaching and training for the GRE exam and guide you throughout until your exam day. You can reach out to us at +91636600441, or even drop an SMS. You can write to us at Kick-start your GRE test preparation with special guidance from India’s top GRE trainers and talk to our counselors for best results.

Paper-based Test Segment Name Computer-based Test
Duration Total Number of Questions Duration Total Number of Questions
30 minutes per task One task each: (i)”Analyze an Issue” (ii)”Analyze an Argument” Analytical Writing Assessment 30 minutes per task One task each: (i)”Analyze an Issue”(ii)”Analyze an Argument”
35 minutes per section 25 questions per section Verbal Reasoning (2 Sections) 30 minutes per section 20 questions per section
40 minutes per section 25 questions per section Quantitative Reasoning (2 Sections) 35 minutes per section 20 questions per section
10 minutes break
Research Varies Varies
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GRE Syllabus PDF
Top GRE Articles 2019
GRE 2019 GRE Subject Test GRE Syllabus GRE Exam Dates
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