The GRE question paper includes both sections —  general test and subject test. The duration of the GRE general exam is 3 hours and 45 minutes for a computer-based exam. Where online options are not available, you can take the paper exam with a duration of 3 hours and 30 minutes. There are seven sections and 82 questions to be answered. On the other hand, the subject test can only be taken in paper format. The total duration of this test is 2 hours and 50 minutes. There are six disciplines to choose from, including Physics, Psychology, Mathematics, Literature in English, Chemistry, and Biology. 

Now that you have a brief idea about the exams and the sections, let’s have a look at the GRE exam question paper in a bit more detail. 

What is the Structure of the GRE?

There are three sections in the GRE General Test, which includes analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. 

The analytical writing section of GRE question paper 2021 includes two tasks: Analyse an Issue and Analyse an Argument. The first task analyses your analytical and critical thinking skills regarding a general topic. The second task tests your clarity of thought about the topic through your writing. More so, it involves analysing an argument that focuses on understanding, analysing, and evaluating it by following specific instructions. 

How To Prepare for Each Section of GRE?

Analytical Reasoning

You can prepare for the Analyse an Issue question by practising topics from previous years papers. The steps for solving the Analyse an Issue question are:

  • Reading the claim carefully and understanding the specific instructions. Discussing the question with your teacher if you are not clear
  • Trying to use your experience and relating it to the claim. This will help you in qualifying or negating the claim.
  • Making your decision
  • Supporting it with relevant evidence

The Analyse an Argument section in the GRE 2021 question paper tests your analytical writing skills. There are no specific analytical methods you need to know. However, you need to familiarise yourself with terms like:

  • Alternative Explanation: another reason that could explain the event
  • Analysis: The different parts to an argument and how they combine to form the argument
  • Argument: Claims that either support or reject something

Practising argument topics already published is an effective way to prepare for this section. Spend time reading the argument and the given instructions. Check the claims given, and think of possible alternatives. Try to find additional evidence to strengthen or weaken the claim. 

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE question paper PDF tests your knowledge of basic mathematical concepts and your ability to find solutions to problems using quantitative methods. The section includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. 

Arithmetic includes integers, arithmetic operations, and concepts like estimation. Algebra has relations, creating equations for solving word problems, coordinate geometry and more. Questions under geometry include perpendicular lines, quadrilaterals, the Pythagorean theorem, and similar problems. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics like mean, standard deviation, counting methods, probability distributions, and more. 

There are four different types of questions in quantitative reasoning: 

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions: You are asked to compare two quantities in such questions. The approach to such problems would be understanding the answer choices and simplifying the equation. 
  • Single Answer for Multiple Choice Questions: You are given a question and five answer choices. Here you need to solve the question and check the answer that matches. 
  • Multiple Answers to Multiple Choice Questions: Check the question for conditions that help you narrow down the answer options. Here you can choose more than one answer. 
  • Numeric Questions: You do not have any answer choices, and you need to enter your answer in one or two answer boxes. 
Verbal Reasoning

In this section of the GRE 2021 question paper, your skills for analysing and evaluating written material will be tested. You need to analyse the relationship between different words, concepts, and parts of a sentence. 

While some questions will require you to read a passage and answer questions relating to the content, the other questions will require interpreting sentences or paragraphs. Assessment specialists choose the passages for verbal reasoning from published material. 

The three types of questions in the GRE question paper are:

Reading and Comprehension

You will need to comprehend prose ( words, sentences, major points, and minor points). You are expected to draw conclusions from the information given, summarize a passage, and understand the author’s perspective and assumption.

You need to engage with the text and understand it, not just read it. There are ten passages in the GRE 2021 question paper, with most passages just a paragraph in length. One or two passages extend to more than a paragraph. Passages can be based on any topic from art, science to everyday life and are taken from books or journals. Answers range from single to multiple choices, and there could be up to six questions from the passage. 

  • Text Completion

You need to build an overview of the passage as you read it. You need to fill in the appropriate word in the blanks given in the passage. There are usually one to five sentences, and each blank has three choices. To score well in this section, you need to read the whole passage and look at all the words or phrases before filling in the blanks. After filling them all in, ensure that the passage makes sense as a whole. 

  • Sentence Equivalence:

The Sentence Equivalence section also tests your ability to fill in the blank so that it fits with the passage as a whole. There will be a single sentence having a single blank. You need to choose the right option from six answers. Read the sentence completely before filling in the blank. 

The GRE question paper is your best tool for GRE preparation. You need to understand what each section demands before answering the questions. Moreover, you can get guidance on GRE questions with CareerLabs and clear the exam.


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