Many universities worldwide use the GRE as a standardised test to gauge a student’s ability to carry out the course work for a graduate or a postgraduate degree. Hence, preparation and practice are crucial for acing this exam if you want to make it into the university of your choice. You can start your practice with a GRE sample paper — which is designed to mimic the original exam — to understand where you stand in terms of your knowledge of each section, you also get to understand the areas that you are good at or weak in, etc. When you solve multiple GRE exam papers, your chances of getting a high score increases. This is because you understand the question pattern, the kinds of questions asked, the time that you take to answer each question, etc. and hence, formulate a plan and strategy accordingly.
Through the course of this article, we’ll give you an overview of the structure of the GRE sample test paper, some sample questions and the benefits of solving a sample paper. So keep reading!
GRE Sample Paper Format
The GRE Test paper comprises three sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. You’ll get 3 hours 45 minutes to finish the exam.
Now, let’s take a brief look at the different sections.
1. Analytical Writing – GRE Analytical Writing is the first section that you’ll come across in the GRE paper. The section measures your critical thinking and analytical writing skills, through two separately timed 30 minute tasks. The tasks test your ability to express and support complex ideas in writing. The tasks are of two types — Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument. The AWA section is scored on a range of 0-6 with half point increments.
2. Quantitative Reasoning- The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE exam assesses your ability to reason quantitatively and solve mathematical problems. The questions asked in this section are mainly from Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, and Data Analysis. The 4 types of questions asked in this section are Multiple-choice Questions (Select One Answer), Quantitative Comparison Questions, Multiple-choice Questions ( Select One or More Answer), and Numeric Entry Questions. The score range for this section is 130-170, with one point increment.
3. Verbal Reasoning – Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE exam measures your ability to evaluate a written prompt and integrate the information obtained from it. You’ll have to solve 20 questions from each section of GRE Verbal Reasoning in 30 minutes. The section assesses how well you recognize relationships between the parts of a sentence and between words and concepts. The questions are of 3 types — Text Completion, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Equivalence. The Verbal Reasoning is scored on a scale of 130-170, with one point increment.
What to Expect in a GRE Sample Paper?
Ideally, a GRE sample paper should model the questions that you might receive in the actual examination. It should also create a similar environment to be mentally prepared to take the exam and know what to expect.
Since the GRE is a four-hour long computerised exam, you should attempt the GRE sample test paper in one four hour stretch. Moreover, the questions on the sample GRE question paper are mostly drawn from the questions that have appeared in examinations in the previous years. Besides, the ETS or the Educational Testing Service, the organisation that conducts GRE, also has GRE model papers on its website for various sections. If you go through those papers, you will understand that there is a pattern to the questions in the exam.
A GRE sample paper will most likely come with detailed answers to all the questions. These will help you understand where you went wrong and improve your score in the actual exam.
To begin with, here’s a sample GRE question and answer.
|Quantity A||Quantity B|
|Side length of a regular Quadrilateral, whose perimeter is 36||Side length of a regular octagon, whose perimeter is 72|
- Quantity A is greater.
- Quantity B is greater.
- The two quantities are equal.
- The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Regular Polygon: All sides and all angles are equal in a polygon.
Perimeter: Sum of all the sides.
Quadrilateral is a polygon with 4 sides, since all sides are equal, sum of the sides (Perimeter) = 4 * side.
4 * side = 36
Side length = 9.
Octagon is a polygon with 8 sides, since all sides are equal, sum of the sides (Perimeter) = 8 * side.
8 * side = 72
Side length = 9.
Both the Quantities are equal.
Hence the answer is C.
The Benefits of Solving GRE Sample Papers
If you are planning on taking the GRE, solving various GRE exam sample papers can offer valuable insights on time management, question types, etc., and help improve your score. Here are some of the benefits of practising the GRE model paper.
- Familiarizes You with the Exam
There is no denying that practice makes perfect. Well, at least near perfect. Therefore, as you practice using GRE sample test papers with answers, you will become more familiar with the exam and question pattern.
You may have practised a large number of questions when you were preparing for each topic. However, there is a difference when you are practising questions of one topic at a time and when you have to do questions from various topics as you would in the actual exam. This familiarizes you with the actual examination.
Shifting between different topics and searching through everything you have learned is not as simple as solving questions from a single topic. When you practice various GRE sample test papers, you will notice an improvement in this skill.
- Helps in Strategising
Every exam needs a strategy. What would you do when you do not know the answer to a question? What if you know how to approach a question, but it is a time-consuming process? Will you guess the answers to questions? If you think of the GRE like a battle, then your strategy is your battle plan.
Generally, a score of 155 and above on your verbal reasoning and 160 and above on your quantitative reasoning is considered good. However, this will vary depending on which university and what course you want. Some universities may need a higher score in quantitative reasoning. Some courses, such as the ones on literature and humanities, might expect a higher score in the verbal section. Having a strategy will help you get the desired score. If you are applying for a technical course, it might make better sense to focus on the questions in the quantitative reasoning section.
- Prepares You Mentally
Acing an exam is not just about studying all the topics and practising questions for those topics. How you feel in the exam environment plays a huge role in determining your score. Some students get intimidated in the exam environment and end up taking more time than they usually do to solve questions and even forget certain topics.
Practising a GRE sample paper in the test environment eradicates this fear when you take the actual exam. Since you are already familiar with the format and exam environment, you will be better prepared for it.
- Helps Focus on Your Weaknesses
Solving GRE sample papers will expose areas that need more work. There may be certain topics that you need to revise more or maybe your time management skills are holding you back, or perhaps you doubt yourself while selecting answers. So, as you practice more GRE model papers, you will be able to understand the issues that are holding you back. With the help of these papers, you will be able to work on these areas to improve your GRE score.
There is no denying that working on GRE sample papers can benefit you greatly. The quality of the sample paper is equally important in this regard. CareerLabs offers mock GRE sample test papers with answers that can help radically improve your score. The questions are chosen with utmost care to reflect the actual pattern and the answers are detailed enough to help you understand the concepts better.
- Where can I get GRE sample papers from?
There are a lot of options online from which you can download GRE sample papers. However, try to download sample papers from reliable sources such as the official ETS website to get the questions that are exactly similar to the actual test papers. These sample papers are also available in various GRE books as well.
- Is the question pattern of the sample papers and the GRE actual question paper the same ?
Yes, in most cases, the pattern of questions asked in the sample papers and GRE actual paper are similar.
- What is GRE Powerprep?
Powerprep is the collection of practice tests by GRE official website. These tests familiarize you with the exact question pattern, the on-screen calculator, etc., that will be of use during the actual test.