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About Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination GRE® revised General Test is the most widely accepted graduate admissions test worldwide. The test measures students on verbal, quantitative and analytical writing skills. Data shows that scores on the GRE General Test accurately predicts graduate school students' grades and performance.

Many programs, especially those at large state schools, establish cut off points for GRE scores to limit the application pool, while others use GRE scores to directly determine how much financial support a student receives.

In August 2011, the GRE revised General Test replaced the GRE® General Test. Featuring the new test-taker friendly design and new questions, the revised test more closely reflects the kind of thinking a student will do in graduate or business school and demonstrates that a student is ready for graduate-level work.

Purpose of Examination

The GRE General Test is designed to provide graduate schools with a common measure for comparing the qualifications of applicants from varied backgrounds. In addition to using it as an admission criterion, schools often use GRE scores to determine a students’ eligibility for merit-based grants and fellowships, as well as teaching and research assistantships.

Test Format

Measure 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)
Approximately 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
Approximately 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Unscored Section Varies Varies
Research Section Varies Varies

New Test Features

The GRE revised General Test design features advanced technology that allows a student to freely move forward and backward within a section. Specific features include:

  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • A "mark and review" feature to tag questions, so a student can skip these and return to them later
  • 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

Test centers

GRE can be taken on weekdays from Monday to Friday at Thomson Prometric centers across the world.

Test Fee: US$ 190 (Includes fee for reporting scores to 4 universities)

Scores for the GRE® revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011)

Measure Scores Reported*
Verbal Reasoning 130 – 170, in 1 point increments
Quantitative Reasoning 130 – 170, in 1 point increments
Analytical Writing 0 – 6, in half point increments

The GRE® revised General Test Scores will be reported beginning November 2011.  The GRE score is valid for five years; however most of the universities insist on a GRE score not more than 2-3 years old.