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About GRE


GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is your gateway to graduate programs and business schools across the world. Prospective graduate and business school applicants from all around the world who are interested in pursuing a master's, MBA, specialized master's in business or doctoral degree take the GRE General Test. The GRE General Test, created and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills. If you plan to pursue an MS, MEM (Masters in Engineering Management) or MFE (Masters in Financial Engineering), then GRE is a qualifying test that you will need to take.

Structure of the GRE®

The total testing time for the revised GRE® test is around 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

One Analytical Writing section with two separately timed writing tasks

  • Two Verbal Reasoning sections
  • Two Quantitative Reasoning sections
  • One unscored section, typically a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, that may appear at any point in the test.
Section Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing
(1 section with 2
separately timed tasks)
1 "Analyse an Issue" task and 30 minutes per task
  1 "Analyse an Argument" task  
Verbal Reasoning
(2 sections)
Approximately 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(2 sections)
Approximately 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Unscored* Varies Varies
Research** Varies Varies

The test features a score scale that reports the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.*An unidentified unscored section that does not count towards a score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section.

**An identified research section may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for the purpose of ETS research and will not count towards the test taker's score.

There is a 10-minute break following the third section, and a 1-minute break between the other test sections.

Number of Attempts for GRE®

You can take the GRE® once every 21 days, up to five times per year within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

Right Time to Write GRE®

Since the application timeline is between Nov–March of every year for fall intake, it is advisable that the student finishes with the GRE® by Sept–Oct, so that one could give sufficient time to prepare the required application documents. The application time line for Spring would be between May–September for the Spring intake.

Applying for GRE®

First, you pick a test date and decide on the payment type — with a valid credit or debit card — American Express®, Discover®, JCB®, MasterCard® or VISA®. Note: the card doesn't need to be in your name, so you can use the cards of family or friends. If a credit/debit card is available (Visa, Master Card, American Express), you can register:

  • Online on the official GRE website: You need to create or have a My GRE Account to register online. Use an American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA credit/debit card or voucher number. You will get your confirmation by e-mail. Be sure that the spelling of the name you use when registering exactly matches the name printed on your identification documents (excluding accents, apostrophes and spaces) that you will present at the test center.
  • By phone: Call the appropriate Regional Registration Center (RRC) at least two business days before your preferred test date. You will be given an appointment confirmation number, reporting time and the test center address Be sure to write it down. Use an American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, VISA credit/debit card or a voucher number.
  • Mail Registration: Download and complete the Computer-delivered GRE® revised General Test Authorization Voucher Request Form (PDF). Mail the appropriate payment and voucher request form to the address printed on the form. Allow up to three weeks for processing and mail delivery. When you receive your authorization voucher, call the test center directly or Prometric® Services at 1-443-751-4820 or 1-800-473-2255 to schedule an appointment. Use an American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA credit/debit card, money order, certified check or a voucher number.

Exam Fee for the GRE®

The test registration fee for the GRE® is USD 195. If you want to reschedule the date, time, or location of your test, you have to pay a rescheduling fee of USD 50. It must be done at least four days prior to your test appointment. If you cancel your registration no later than four days prior to your test date, you will receive a refund equivalent to half of the original test fee.

Sending Scores of GRE®

On the day of the GRE®, you can send your scores to 4 recipients for free. Using the ScoreSelect® option for each of your four free score reports, you can decide to send scores from your Most Recent test administration or from All the times you have taken the General Test in the last five years. Additional score reports can be ordered online on at USD 27 per score report.

At the end of the test, you will be given the option to you will be given the opportunity to Report or Cancel your scores. If you choose Report Scores, you will see your unofficial scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures at the test center. You cannot cancel your score for one section of the test and have the scores for the remaining sections reported. Although you have the option of cancelling your scores, consider very carefully before doing so because the score reporting choices available with the ScoreSelect® option allow you to report only the scores you feel reflect your personal best. If you cancel your scores, neither you nor any schools will ever see them and they will not be part of your reportable history. Cancelled scores are not added to your permanent record. If you wish to take the test again, you must reregister and submit another test payment.If you select to report your scores, you will view your unofficial scores on the screen and the score will become a part of your reportable history.

Apart from a GRE® score, what else is required to apply to graduate school?

Your application needs a Statement of Purpose, Recommendation Letters, Transcripts, Research Statements and Design Portfolio (if required).

Revised GRE®

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section of the revised GRE® will have a total of 40 Questions (20 in each section). Time allotted will be 30 Minutes for each section

This section will not test you on Analogies, Antonyms and Sentence Completion. Instead, it will consist of Text Completion, Sentence Equivalence and Reading Comprehension. However, good vocabulary is still important to do well in this section.

Also, some new question types have been introduced in this section–

  • Some Reading Comprehension questions might have multiple correct options, and all correct options need to be selected
  • Some Reading Comprehension questions will require you to select a line from the passage as the answer.
  • Some fill in the blank questions have multiple blanks and you will need to identify all correct answers.
  • Sentence equivalence questions require you to identify 2 answer choices that best complete the sentence.
Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the revised GRE® will have a total of 40 Questions (20 in each section). Time allotted will be 35 minutes for each section.

Apart from regular numeric comparison questions and MCQs, some new question types have been introduced in this section:

  • Multiple-choice questions that have more than one correct answer, requiring you to select all of the correct answers from the choices provided.
  • Numeric Entry questions, in which no answer options will be provided and would require you to enter your answer in a box.                                          
  • On-screen basic calculators will be provided for this section.
AWA (Analytical Writing Ability)

The analytical writing ability (AWA) section will have only one topic (no option) provided to the student for each essay. Time allowed for each essay will be 30 minutes, and each essay will be rated out of 6. This section Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.

GRE Comparison Tool

GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools

The GRE® has also come out with a tool to convert GRE® scores into the GMAT equivalent to promote GRE among management schools. Click here to know more.

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