NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » All you need to know to crack the new GRE

All you need to know to crack the new GRE

Last updated on: October 28, 2011 15:16 IST

All you need to know to crack the new GRE


Counsellor Suchitra Surve of Growth Centre explains the revised changes in the GRE exam pattern and offers tips for aspirants to crack the exam.

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. GRE is administered by Education Testing Service (ETS) and is a multiple-choice entrance test that graduate schools in English speaking countries, (eg. United States, United Kingdom, where medium of instruction is English) use for admission of students into their graduate programs.

GRE has general test and subject tests as well. The General Test measures abilities in verbal, quantitative and analytical fields which are needed for graduate or business school. This year there is change in the GRE exam.

Students who are taking new GRE now on have an advantage of friendly design for the computer-based test. The test  features advanced technology that allows students to freely move forward and backward, edit or change answers and skip questions, all within a section, and use an on-screen calculator.

These features were not as a part of the earlier test. There are new types of questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, many featuring real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking of an individual.

The Subject Tests measure achievements in specific fields of study. Subject tests are offered in the following Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English Literature, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

Some universities require these subject test scores in addition to the general test when applying to the Ph.D. program.

ETS can send your GRE scores to a maximum of four universities chosen by you. The costs of sending these scores are in-built in the fees that you pay for appearing in the test. 

All images used for representation purpose only

Image: Picture used for representation purpose only


Test pattern and registration details

Prev     Next

GRE General Test has three distinct sections: Quantitative Section, Verbal Section and Analytical Writing Assessment Section.

The test is available in Paper based and Computer based. Mostly nowadays the computer based test is available and recommended. In old GRE format, Analytical writing section was always first in the test, followed by Verbal, Quantitative and Research section.

But in New Revised GRE either of the sections could be first. If there is a Research section mostly it always appears at the end of the test. The computer-based test takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Test format for computer-based test:


No. of Questions

Time Allotted

Analytical Writing
(1 section with 2 separately timed tasks)

One "Analyze an Issue" task


One "Analyze an Argument" task.

30 minutes per task (30mins + 30mins = 60 mins)

Verbal Reasoning
(2 sections)

Approximately 20 questions per section.

30 minutes per section (30mins + 30mins = 60mins)

Quantitative Reasoning
(2 sections)

Approximately 20 questions per section.

35 minutes per section (35mins + 35mins = 70 mins)







There's a 10-minute break following the third section and a 1-minute break between the other test sections.

Scoring pattern

A Verbal Reasoning score reported on a 130 to 170 score scale, in 1-point increments.

A Quantitative Reasoning score reported on a 130 to 170 score scale, in 1-point increments.

An Analytical Writing score reported on a 0 to 6 score scale, in half-point increments.

GRE registration

The GRE General Test is offered in many countries some of them are United States, Canada, India and many other countries as well.

Students need to register for the test as early as possible in order to get the required test date. The appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should take care of the details required while registration and choose the nearest testing location available. The GRE exam registrations can be done in the following ways:

  • Online Registration
  • Phone Registration
  • Regular Postal mail

Photographs: Courtesy: Integreon
Prev     Next

Tips for aspirants

Prev     More

Students should be aware of the type of questions that will appear in the GRE Test and how long each section is and the time limits. This will help you pace yourself through the test.

Students should devote just the right amount of time to each question. Maximising marks in a given period of time should be the aim. Do not rush. The questions at the beginning affect score more than those towards the end.

It is essential that the student relaxes before going to the test. A person who is relaxed usually does much better than a person who is tense during an exam. Get enough sleep before the day.

Getting to the test centre on time is vital. In fact you should try and get to the test center 15-30 minutes before time. Taking a test drive to your test center exactly a week before might be a good idea. This will give you a rough idea of the traffic conditions at the time and day of your GRE.

Students are not allowed to bring any sheets of paper to the GRE test centre but are provided scratch paper by the center. Make effective use of this to make quick notes or for solving math questions.

Keep your cool all the time, even when you don't know the answer. Once students panic, even answer to the easiest questions can be wrongly attempted.

GRE revised General Test (computer-based and paper-based) can be taken only once every 60 days, and no more than five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if a student cancelled his scores on a test taken previously. If he takes only the paper-based GRE revised General Test, he can take it as often as it is offered.

Photographs: Pagalguy
Prev     More