The GRE General Exam (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardised exam that is an admission requirement — for a Masters Degree or Ph.D. in any field — for most graduate schools abroad. You can take the GRE exam any time during the whole year by selecting a slot for the exam 45 days in advance. This exam is offered and supervised by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and is designed to measure your aptitude in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.
So, what is the GRE exam? Who conducts the GRE? The GRE exam is a computer-adaptive exam supervised at various prometric testing centres located all over India. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the organisation that designs the GRE exam. Most of the top graduate schools expect applicants to provide a GRE score as part of the admission requirements for masters programmes. Moreover, the GRE exam pattern and syllabus remain consistent, and do not change from year to year. The GRE exam aims to determine the extent to which undergraduate education has enhanced your aptitude in abstract thinking, and how ready you are to take on master’s level learning at a postgraduate programme.
GRE Exam Duration and Reattempts:
- The total GRE exam duration is 3 hours and 45 minutes.
- The GRE is a computer-adaptive exam which is conducted all year round, subject to seat availability. Additionally, it can be taken a maximum of 5 times in a year with a minimum gap of 21 days between consecutive attempts.
- ETS provides you the option to pay the fee using a Credit/debit card (only Diners Club International, American Express, JCB, Discover, MasterCard, Global, Rupay, Visa), E-check service, Money order, paypal, etc.
The GRE exam fee for registering is USD 205. There will be additional fees for rescheduling, or altering your appointment in any manner. You can also ask for a reevaluation for your AWA score, etc, at an additional cost. Here are some tables that will help you understand the GRE fee easily.
|Other parts of the world||$205.00|
Other special charges:
|Rescheduling fee — in China||$53.90|
|Rescheduling fee — Other parts in the world||$50.00|
|Test Center change||$50.00|
Apart from this, if you want to cancel the exam, ETS has a provision for that. If you cancel the exam at least 4 days prior to the scheduled date, you’ll get a half refund. If you fail to do so, you won’t be receiving any refund. You can either cancel your exam online or by contacting them via phone or email.
Eligibility Criteria for GRE Examination
The GRE entrance exam does not have any specific eligibility criteria. Almost all the top MS colleges around the world accept GRE scores for admission. Prospective graduates like you who are interested in pursuing MS, master’s and specialized master’s in business or research and doctoral degree, have to take the GRE General Test. A great part about this test is that it allows applicants from various backgrounds and cultures to take the test and provides a common platform to test and compare every candidate’s qualification.
In order to take the test, you will first need to create an account on the GRE official website, ETS.com. ETS also conducts other popular tests such as the TOEFL, so if you have already taken one of these tests and have an account on ETS, you can use the same account to register for the GRE.
Before you register on the ETS website, make sure to go through all the details about the GRE exam as well as the registration checklist provided on the site, and choose the day you would like to book your test for. The procedure is exceedingly simple, and once you have created an account using your email address, you will receive all your GRE-related updates and information on your email. After registering for the examination, you will also gain access to some free resources and prep material for the GRE that is offered by ETS.
How to Use Your GRE Score
- Your GRE score is valid for 5 years. For example, scores for the test that is taken on the 5th of June 2016, will be valid until 5th June 2021.
- You can select up to four graduate schools to send your scores. If you wish to apply to more schools, you may do so at an extra $27 cost per school.
- Graduate schools will consider your best GRE score among all the attempts. So, if you didn’t score well in the first attempt, you always have a backup option of retaking the exam and sending fresh scores. The ScoreSelect option offered by ETS enables you to take the test more confidently and send the scores that you feel are your personal best. This option is available for both the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Tests.
- A good GRE score can compensate for an average or below-average academic record in your undergrad.
- You can take the GRE exam for MS abroad. You can also apply to technical, techno-managerial, managerial, Ph.D., Languages, Social Studies and several other types of masters through this exam.
- Aim for a GRE score of 320+ to be eligible for applying to almost all colleges abroad.
- Your GRE score can also be used to apply for an MBA.
Read this GRE score article to know more about the scores.
Pattern of the GRE General Test
The GRE Exam has three sections, as illustrated in the table below:
|Analytical Writing Assessment||2 essays – 30 minutes each||The two types of essays are an issue essay and an argumentative essay. Your work will be evaluated by e-raters as well as human raters. There are no wrong answers for this section.The Analytical Writing Assessment section tests your ability to accurately analyse an argument and coherently present your thoughts and ideas.||Analyse an IssueAnalyse an Argument||1 – 6 with intervals of 0.5|
|Verbal Reasoning||2 Sections with 20 questions each, 30 minutes for each section||Includes reading comprehension passages, and questions on sentence completion and equivalence. The questions can have either single or multiple answers whereas the text completion questions will have upto three blanks.Measures your ability to evaluate and analyze the given written material. Analyze relationships among the sentences and among words and concepts.||Reading ComprehensionSentence EquivalenceText Completion||130 – 170 with intervals of 1 (scaled)|
|Quantitative Reasoning||2 Sections with 20 questions each, 35 minutes for each section||Each quantitative section consists of roughly 8 quantitative comparison questions, 9 problem solving questions, and also 3 data interpretation questions.Your problem solving skills will be measured here. Concepts like algebra, geometry, basic arithmetic, and data analysis are tested in this section.||Quantitative ComparisonProblem SolvingData Interpretation||130 – 170 with intervals of 1 (scaled)|
|Unscored Section||Experimental section introduced by ETS to try out the possibility of adding new sections to the test. This doesn’t count toward the test scores. The section will either contain quantitative or verbal sections.||–||Varies|
GRE Subject Test
GRE also offers tests for specific subjects. The GRE Subject Tests are taken to test one’s knowledge in specified areas of subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. Total testing time for a Subject Test is 2 hours and 50 minutes.
GRE subject tests are not conducted throughout the year like the GRE General Test, but only in April, September, and October. These tests are paper-delivered only.
We hope the above information helped you gain some basic information on the GRE exam, the sections of the exams and how they are scored. Good luck with the exam and your higher education journey.
- How long is my GRE score valid for?
Your GRE score will be valid for 5 years from the date that it is issued.
- How should I prepare for the GRE?
The key to doing well on the GRE is to create a study schedule and stick to it. It is possible to satisfactorily prepare for your GRE whether you have a period of 2 weeks or 12 months. Dedication and discipline will help you get through your study. Make sure to take sufficient breaks to recharge so as to ensure that you don’t burn out mentally or physically.
- What does computer-adaptive mean?
The GRE is a computer-adaptive test. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections follow the computer-adaptive system, whereas the Analytical Writing Assessment section does not. This means that the second subsection of each section will adapt to how well you did in the first subsection, i.e., the difficulty of the questions you receive in the second subsection will be based on how well you did in the first subsection.