Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

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The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is one of the most sought after tests amongst business school graduates in the United States and many other countries around the world. The aim of the exam is to test the skills of candidates across key factors such as verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing. The test is generic in nature and is not restricted to specific academic faculties. Aspirants have to take the test through qualified test centers, specially designated for this purpose.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:

analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author’s assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author’s intent
select important points; distinguish major from minor or relevant points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text
understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts

Featuring new types of questions, the Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to understand what you read and how you apply your reasoning skills.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:

understand quantitative information
interpret and analyze quantitative information
solve problems using mathematical models
apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics

With increased emphasis on data interpretation and real-life scenarios, this section has new types of questions that require you to show your quantitative reasoning ability. To reduce the emphasis on computation, the computer-based test includes an on-screen calculator. And, if you are taking the paper-based test, a calculator will be provided at the test center.

Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to:

articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
examine claims and accompanying evidence
sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
control the elements of standard written English

The Analytical Writing section requires you to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented, so you can accurately demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task.

Modified Versions of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Questions

The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on the test. Some modifications are substantial; others are less apparent.

Even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be different and have a different answer. Pay careful attention to the wording of each question.

Computer-based GRE® General Test Content and Structure

The overall testing time for the computer-based GRE® revised General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

Structure of the Computer-based Test


Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)
One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task 30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Unscored¹ Varies Varies
Research² Varies Varies


An unidentified un-scored section that does not count toward your score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the un-scored section are being tried out either for possible use in future tests or to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores from earlier editions.

²An identified research section that is not scored may be included in place of the un-scored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for ETS research purposes and will not count toward your score.

The Analytical Writing section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unidentified/un-scored sections may appear in any order; therefore, you should treat each section as if it counts toward your score.

Test Design Features

The GRE revised General Test design features advanced technology that allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include:

Preview and review capabilities within a section
A “mark and review” feature to tag questions, so you can skip them and return later if you have time remaining in the section
The ability to change/edit answers within a section
An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section
New answer formats, including tasks such as numeric entry and highlighting a sentence in a passage to answer a question

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