GRE – Graduate Record Examination

The GRE is a computer based test and consists of six sections and is a multi-stage test. A student is required to clear this as a pre-requisite to securing admission to Masters and Doctoral programs in overseas universities.

Once taken, the scores are valid for 5 years. The test which is of 3 hours and 45 minutes duration (with breaks between each section), can be taken multiple times upon payment of fees and if a student wishes to reappear with the objective of improving his scores, he has to wait for 21 days from the date of exam in every year.

Some universities give prominence to GRE scores and is considered an important criteria for admissions by some universities.  Some universities consider only the scores from the Verbal Section for admissions to various Arts programs while some Universities give prominence to scores secured in quantitative section for admissions to Mathematics, Science or Engineering programs.  Some Universities will openly share how they evaluate a GRE score for purpose of admission.

The GRE test consists of six sections as follows and the test may not follow any specific order as under:

  1. Verbal Section
  • Aims to test a students’ skills of English Language, comprehension, vocabulary and critical reasoning;
  • About 20 questions are posed which have to be completed in 30 minutes.
  1. Quantitative Section
  • The objective is to assess a students’ mathematical knowledge and reasoning skills which he has studied in high school.
  • About 20 questions are to be answered in 35 minutes
  • The break-up of questions: 8 Quantitative comparisons, 9 problem solving and 3 data interpretation.
  1. Analytical Writing Section to test a student’s analytical writing skills
  • The objective is to assess a student’s ability to write two essays – one of which is discussing a “issue task” while the other is to test his ability to form his opinion in an “argument task”
  • 30 minutes are allotted for each of the two essay questions.
  1. Experimental Section
  • The scores of this section are not added to the final scores.
  • A key feature of this test is that the test takers performance in the initial questions determines the level of difficulty.

One of the features of this test is that even if no question is answered correctly, the lower score that a student can secure a score of 130.