If you are planning to join Master level programs in the USA and some other countries across the world then you should take a common entrance exam called GRE. The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized entrance test which has been accepted by the most of the top Graduate Schools for Masters level programs (like the popular Master of Science degree – MS in USA). Since 1949 the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is administrating the GRE Exam to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills of the students. The GRE Test not entirely based on any specific field of study outside of the GRE itself.

The GRE Exam is a Computer Based test conducted at various Pre-arranged qualified testing centers across the world. The Graduate Schools provide admission based on the GRE Scores, but the level of emphasis placed upon the GRE Scores varies widely between the schools and departments within schools. Depending on the Country of taking Test the Cost of GRE General Test varies between US$160 to $210. The ETS also reduce the test fee based on certain circumstances, they provide financial aid for the students who prove economic hardship. ETS will hold the Test Scores upto 5 years and later it will erase all the scores that are 5 years old. So your GRE Score will be valid for a period of five years from the date you took the test.

The difficulty level of the GRE Exam is not based on the question by question basis, it depends on the Sections. Your performance in first verbal and math sections determine the difficulty of the second sections presented. You also have the option to take Computer-based GRE Test once every 21 days, up to five times within a year, if you feel that you don’t perform well in the Previous Test. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a previously taken test. You can also take paper based GRE Test as often as it is offered.

GRE Exam Pattern

The GRE General Test consists of six sections namely analytical writing section, followed by two verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and either an experimental or research section. The First Analytical Writing Section involves separately timed issue and argument tasks. The next five sections may occur in any order. Unlike the Computer adaptive test before August 2011, Now the GRE Test is conducted as a multistage test to determine examinee’s performance on earlier sections. This means the difficulty level of the subsequent sections is determined by the examinee’s performance on previous sections. This New Exam Pattern allows the user to “mark” questions within each section for later review if time remains. And the total exam duration is 3 hours 45 Minutes. You will have One Minute breaks after each section and a 10 Minute break after the third section. In all sections of the Exam, the experimental section does not count towards the final exam but it is not distinguished from the scored sections.

S. No Section No.of Questions Duration
1. Analytical Writing (One section with two separately timed tasks)
  • One “Analyze an Issue” task
  • One “Analyze an Argument” task
30 minutes/task
2. Verbal Reasoning (Two sections) 20 Questions/section 30 minutes/section
3. Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 20 Questions/section 35 minutes per section
4. Unscored or Research/Experiment Section Varies Varies

GRE Exam Syllabus

As we already know the the GRE Exam consists of Six sections, you should know clearly about the questions asked in each section, because each section covers questions from various subjects. So check the type of questions asked in each section before going to attend the GRE entrance Test. To be helpful for the candidates who are going to attend the Graduate Record Examinations here, we have given the GRE Syllabus from which the questions may be asked in the main exam.

Analytical Writing Section

The Analytical writing section contains two different essays namely an “issue task” and an “argument task”. These essays can be written on a computer using a word processing program specifically designed by ETS. This AWS Section is graded on a scale of 0-6, in half-point increments. On this six-point holist scale, each essay should be scored by two readers. If the Scores are within one point, the average of the scores will be taken. If the two scores differ by more than a point, a third reader examines the response.

Issue Task

In this section, the examinee is given 30 minutes to write an essay on a selected topic. Usually, the topics issued in the GRE exam are selected from a pool of questions, which the  GRE Program has published in its entirety. The Candidates preparing for the GRE Exam can access the pool of tasks on the ETS Website.

Argument Task

In this section, The Examinee will be given an argument and asked to write an essay that critiques the argument. The Student should consider the argument and make suggestions about how to improve the logic of the argument by considering the argument’s logic. Generally, The test takers are not expected to provide the personal opinion on the subject, they are expected to address the logical flaws of the argument. The time allotted to write this essay is 30 minutes, and the Arguments are selected from the pool of topics. Students preparing for GRE Exam can access the pool of tasks on ETS Website.

Verbal Section

The Verbal Section consists of 20 questions and should be completed in 30 minutes. This section assesses reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and vocabulary usage of the candidates. Among all questions, 6 will be asked from text completion, 4 from sentence equivalence, and 10 critical reading questions. The Verbal test is scored on a scale of 130-170, in 1 point increments. And the average scores in this section are substantially lower than those in the quantitative section.

Quantitative Section

The Quantitative Section consists of questions that assess the candidate high school level mathematical knowledge and reasoning skills. Generally, the quantitative section consists of 20 questions and the time allotted for this section is 35 Minutes. Among all these questions 8 will be asked from quantitative comparisons, 9 from problem-solving items, and 3 data interpretation questions. And this section is scored on a scale of 130-170, in 1 point increments.

Experimental Section

The Experimental Section can be either quantitative or verbal or analytical writing task that contains new questions that ETS is considering for future use. This experimental section does not count towards the test taker’s score, but it is unidentified and appears identical to the scored sections. The test takers are advised to try their best on every section because test takers will have no clear idea about the experimental section. Sometimes an identified research section at the end of the test is given instead of the experimental section.