About GRE exam


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS). It measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills that a student acquired during his Bachelor’s but not restricted by field of study.



Can I apply for GRE?

There are no strict rules as far as eligibility is concerned. Applicants from diverse backgrounds who have completed their Bachelor’ appear for the test as GRE provides a benchmark for evaluation. Prospective graduate and business school applicants from all around the world who are interested in pursuing a master’s, MBA or doctoral degree take the GRE General Test.

GRE is accepted by most of the graduate schools in the United States of America (USA). It is also accepted in a wide range of courses in Germany and Canada. The range of accepted scores varies as per the department and school or department candidate is applying to. Emphasis on GRE score varies according to importance a particular graduate program assigns, apart from other Statement of Purpose, Recommendations, and other things.


What is the syllabus for GRE?

Getting a Master’s or a Doctorate is prestigious in one’s life which open doors to a multitude of opportunities. To pursue the higher education successfully, one needs to have higher order thinking, which GRE hopes to measure. Hence, unlike most graduate admissions exams in India, GRE has no syllabus but an objective to test a candidate on critical reasoning.

  1. Verbal Reasoning — Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning — Measures problem-solving ability using basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
  3. Analytical Writing — Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.


What are the sections on GRE?

GRE is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).

MeasureNumber of QuestionsAllotted Time
Analytical Writing

(One section with two separately timed tasks)

One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning

(Two sections)

20 questions per section30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning

(Two sections)

20 questions per section35 minutes per section
Experimental*20 questions per section30/35 minutes per section

*These sections may appear for research purpose. They do not contribute to your final score in any way.

GRE Preparation

Analytical Writing

What is analytical writing section on GRE?

The analytical writing section consists of two separately timed analytical writing tasks:

  1. “Analyze an Issue” task

In this task, you are expected to analyze a general issue with the help of instructions provided. You need to consider its complexities and back up your opinion with reason and examples.

  1. “Analyze an Argument” task

In this task, instead of taking a side you are expected to evaluate logical soundness of the argument presented in the question.

Both tasks must be completed within 30 minutes each with about 350 words. These writing tasks in GRE checks following features:

  1. Articulation of complex ideas clearly and effectively
  2. Support of ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  3. Examination of claims and accompanying assumptions and evidence
  4. well-focused, coherent discussion
  5. Control over elements of standard written English

Verbal Reasoning

Why is GRE vocabulary less relevant now?

This section is most feared as students put unnecessary weightage on “GRE Vocabulary”. According to ETS they have reduced dependency on this “Vocabulary” to a great extent in 2011 revised General Test version. They wish to check ability to

  1. analyze and draw conclusions from discourse
  2. reason from incomplete data
  3. Identify author’s assumptions and/or perspective
  4. Understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author’s intent
  5. Select important points
  6. Distinguish major from minor or relevant points
  7. Recognize structure of a text and summarize it
  8. Grasp meaning of individual words, sentences or paragraphs

It includes following types of questions:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Text Completion
  3. Sentence Equivalence

Quantitative Reasoning

Why Engineers score higher on GRE?

This section is easy for most of the Indian students with an engineering background. It benchmarks your ability

  1. understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information
  2. Solve problems using mathematical models
  3. Apply basic skills and elementary concepts in Mathematics

It includes basic concepts of following subjects:

  1. Arithmetic
  2. Algebra
  3. Geometry
  4. Data Interpretation


How is the marking scheme of GRE?

GRE general test scores are assigned as follows:

  • Analytical writing is scored by qualified readers out of 6. The final score is the average of two Essay tasks.
  • Scores for Verbal Reasoning as well as Quantitative Reasoning are reported on the scale of 130-170 and they are declared right after the exam.

These test scores are valid for five years. Students may choose to send scores to four universities before the exams free of cost. Additional score reports would be at a cost of $27 per university. You may login to your GRE account to work around.