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GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION (GRE)

What is GRE?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, General Test is a standardised test that is accepted for admission to various disciplines at many graduate and business schools across the globe.

GRE is conducted in two modes; computer-based and paper-based formats. In addition to the GRE general test, there are seven GRE subject tests that evaluate candidates’ knowledge in their respective fields.

It is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a US-based organisation.

Eligibility and Registration for GRE

Aspirants can apply for the GRE irrespective of age and qualification, as there is no specific GRE eligibility criteria. The candidates, however, have to fulfill the admission criteria for the institutes/ universities they are applying to.

As a GRE score is used for admission to postgraduate programmes, students who have completed their undergraduate studies should opt for the examination.

In order to appear for GRE, candidates have to first create a ‘My GRE Account’. Candidates can apply for the GRE as well as check their scores in My GRE Account.

There are three ways to register for the GRE general test; Online, Phone and Mail registration. Candidates can opt either Online or Mail registration in the case of GRE subject test.

Importance of GRE

GRE score is used for entry to Masters or PhD courses abroad, specifically in universities in US and Canada. Universities in a number of European and Asian countries have also started accepting GRE scores for a variety of Graduate programmes.

The GRE Test is available at over 1000 test centres in more than 160 countries.

Test Pattern of GRE

The GRE Test Pattern has three sections- Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The total duration of the GRE is 3 hours 40 minutes.

Besides the main academic sections, there are two other variable sections and a 10-minute break is given after the third (Quantitative Reasoning) section during the test.


The test has four sections:

Paper-Based GRE Section Computer-Based
Duration No. of Sections Computer-Based No. of Sections Duration
60 minutes 2 Sections, 2 tasks Analytical Writing 1 Section, 2 tasks 60 minutes
70 minutes 2 Sections, 50 questions Verbal reasoning 2 Sections, 40 questions 60 minutes
80 minutes 2 Sections, 50 questions Quantitative Reasoning 2 Sections 40 questions 70 minutes
Unscored Varies Varies
Research Varies Varies

While Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning are scored on a scale of 130 – 170, analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0-6.

Tips to Crack GRE

Learn new words: Along with learning new words, learn and practice the usage of the words as well. It is always interesting to play with words and their formations.

Check Grammar: Another major GRE preparation tip is to practice Grammar extensively. The simplest way here would be to understand the basic usages and very importantly learn tenses and other particulars of English grammar.

Practice elementary mathematics: It is imperative for candidates appearing for GRE to make sure their concepts of elementary mathematics are clear. The main topics in this section includes Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data analysis.

Read and Analyse: Candidates should first read and then analyse the content. They should try forming well-read opinions and try to provide reasons for the framed opinions.

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