GRE – GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. Most top ranked global universities accept GRE as an admission test for the graduate programs from technical Masters to masters in arts to even MBA. Graduate 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.
The new GRE is composed of two Analytical Writing Assessment Responses (30 minutes each), two Quantitative Ability sections (20 questions and 35 minutes each) and two Verbal Ability sections (20 questions and 30 minutes each).
GRE Test Format:
1 Analytical Writing Assessment – 2 essays – 30 minutes each Task -One “Analyse an Issue” task and one “Analyse an Argument” task
2.Verbal Reasoning -20 questions per section -30 minutes per section
3.Quantitative Reasoning -20 questions per section -35 minutes per section
4.Unscored -Will vary – Will vary
- Research – Will vary – Will vary
The GRE consists of three sections:
- Analytical Writing
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning: A ‘Scaled Score’ which shows your score in the verbal reasoning section (on a scale of 130 – 170) During the verbal reasoning stage of the test, you will read short articles and answer questions that test how well you understood the information presented. This section of the test will also ask you some fill in the blank and other questions that test your vocabulary.
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 meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts.
Analytical Writing: Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, including the ability to articulate and support complex ideas, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, and examine claims and accompanying evidence.
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.
Quantitative Reasoning : Measures the ability to understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical models, and apply the basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. There is an emphasis on quantitative reasoning skills. The quantitative reasoning portion of the test focuses on mathematical equations. In the last section of the test, you’ll receive several questions, and you must write essays relating to those questions.
The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:
- understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information
- solve problems using mathematical models
- apply basic skills and elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis
The Quantitative Reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator. If you are taking the paper-delivered test, a calculator will be provided at the test center.
What is a good GRE score?
There is no such thing as a ‘good score’ or ‘bad score’ in GRE. Score alone does not guarantee a student admission in a good University or College. Simply put – a good score on the GRE is that score that enhances your chances in the particular university. The higher you score on the GRE, the higher is your chances of admission.GRE has well defined sections that have well defined topics and question types. As long as a student does doing justice to each question type and each topic, they will be able to sail through GRE the test. However, it is important that they should know the precise depth and breadth of the test. Numerous aspirants waste crucial time doing studying topics that are irrelevant to the GRE. Without knowing the exact boundaries, they even miss on certain crucial areas of the GRE test. Also, the well-defined question types in GRE require the knowledge of certain key strategies. Lack of awareness of such strategies lead to poor scores.
Important Key Strategies to follow when doing GRE
- Take a test to identify strong and weak areas
- Create objective study plan broken down into clear weekly action points
- Master the process to ace every question type
- Practice as much as you can
- Take periodic tests and analyse performance
GRE preparation timeline
Given that GRE scores can be used up to 5 years from the date of the test, anytime is a good time to start your GRE prep – whether you are in college or are presently working. However, most people spend about one to three months studying a few hours a week for the GRE. This means the amount of studying for the GRE could range roughly from eight hours studying two hours a week for four weeks) to 120 hours studying ten hours a week for 12 weeks) which means it takes 3-4 months to prepare for GRE.
GRE Eligibility Criteria
There is no age and qualification based eligibility criteria to take the GRE. The universities accepting a GRE score will however have pre-defined eligibility criteria. A student should check with university before applying.
GRE Exam Dates GRE is held all through the year across 1000+ centres in 160+countries.
To know about the GRE dates visit your nearest test centres.
How to Register for GRE GRE can be taken all through the year and at various locations worldwide. Follow the below process to register for the test. But before you start remember 2 things:
- Passport is mandatory for GRE.
- The name in the passport MUST exactly match with the name mentioned in GRE registration.
The GRE registration process is simple and completely online. To complete the registration process, you need to pay a registration fee of USD 205 online.
GRE registration process:
Step 1: View test centres, test dates and seat availability. Select GRE General Test
Step 2: Choose your nearby Test Centre, Test Date and available Test Time. Click on Register
Step 3: Sign in / Login to your ETS Account
Step 4: Complete the USD 205 through International Credit / Debit Card (Visa, Master, American Express, JCB, Discover) or PayPal to complete the test registration
Duration of the GRE test: The total testing time for the computer-delivered GRE General test is about 3 hours and 45 minutes, plus short breaks. There are six sections to the test: One Analytical Writing section with two separately timed writing tasks. Two Verbal Reasoning sections.
How often can you take the GRE test?
You can take the GRE revised General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This applies even if you cancelled your scores on a test taken previously. If you take the paper-delivered GRE revised general test, you can take it as often as it is offered.
How long is the GRE test with breaks?
The overall testing time for the computer-delivered GRE General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.
The average score for the GRE
The average (or 50th percentile) GRE score is a 150 on Verbal and a 152.6 on Quant (152 is a 47th percentile score and 153 is a 51st percentile score). For Analytical Writing, a 3.5 is the average score.
Where you can take the test: You can take either a computer-based test or a paper test. Where you can take the test depends on which option you choose, according to the Educational Testing System (ETS)
How Long do the Results Take?
The amount of time it takes to receive your score varies depending on whether you took the paper or computer test. Your results will arrive within 15 days after taking the computer test, but if you take the paper test, it can take up to six weeks for the results to arrive in the mail.
For how long is a GRE Score valid? Why are the Scores Valid for so Long?
ETS keeps your scores on file for a period of five years following the date you took the test. The scores on your GRE are one of the six factors that graduate schools look at in regards to applicants. ETS retains test scores because it knows that not everyone immediately applies to graduate school after taking the test.
Your GRE score, combined with your letters of recommendation and transcripts, can help you secure a spot in a good graduate program. ETS, which administers the test, keeps scores on file for five years, giving you the chance to take some time off after college before applying to grad school.
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