Standardized Tests - GRE®

  • GRE®
  • Test Content and Structure
  • Experimental Section
  • Score Select Option
GRE® General Test

The GRE® General Test measures fundamental skills - verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills and does not require any subject-specific theoretical study. Many graduate and professional schools in the U.S. require student’s GRE® scores for admission to their graduate programmes. The GRE® is also accepted / required by some universities in Canada. Applicants must submit their GRE® scores together with certain other records/requirements as part of the process of admission to graduate schools and it is a mandatory for students seeking Masters Degree or PhD degrees in the USA for most of the Universities. GRE® test is conducted in two forms that include the computer-based test and the paper-based test. In India the computer-based test is taken. This test is available in about 160 countries and has approximately 700 test centers. GRE® test is available throughout the year on a continuous basis.



Introduced in August 2011, the GRE® revised General Test features new types of questions that measure your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study Here's a look at content covered in the three test sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The following provides a brief description of the different sections, number of questions, question types, allotted time for each section, and total time.

Verbal Reasoning

Featuring new types of questions, the Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to understand what you read and how you apply your reasoning skills.

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 the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts: understand relationships among words and among concepts.

Quantitative Reasoning

Emphasis is laid on data interpretation and real-life scenarios; this section has new types of questions that require you to show your quantitative reasoning ability. For computation, the computer-based test includes an on-screen calculator. And, for paper-based test, a calculator will be provided at the test center.

Understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information.

Apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics and solve problems using mathematical models

Analytical Writing

You are required to accurately demonstrate your skills to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented.

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 overall testing time for the computer-based GRE® revised General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

Experimental Section

Experimental Section

The experimental section does not count towards the test-taker's score. This section can be either a verbal, quantitative, or analytical writing task and contains new questions ETS is considering for future use. The experimental section is unidentified and appears identical to the scored sections. Because test takers have no definite way of knowing which section is experimental, it is typically advised that test takers try their best on every section. Sometimes an identified research section at the end of the test is given instead of the experimental section.

Structure of the Computer-based Test
Measure Number of Questions Allotted Time Max. Marks
Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)
One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze an Argument" task 30 minutes per task Scored on a scale of 0-6
Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions per section 6 text completion, 4 sentence equivalence, 10 critical reading 30 minutes per section 170
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions per section 8 quantitative comparisons, 9 problem solving items and 3 data interpretation questions 35 minutes per section 170
What Are the Subject Tests?

The GRE? Subject Tests are achievement tests that measure the knowledge of a prospective graduate school applicant in a particular field of study. Each Subject Test is intended for students who have an undergraduate major or extensive background in one of these eight disciplines:

  • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology/ Biology/ Chemistry/ Computer Science/ Literature in English/ Mathematics/ Physics/ Psychology.

Admissions or fellowship panels use GRE scores to supplement undergraduate records, letters of recommendation and other qualifications for graduate study.



The new Score Select option introduced lets you decide which GRE® scores to send to the institutions you designate.