What is the GRE test?


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test measures students’ readiness for graduate-level work.

GRE test scores are required, or accepted as an alternative to the GMAT, for admission to MBA, specialised Master's and other postgraduate business programmes. ETS, the organisation that administers the exam, says:

The GRE revised General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills: these develop over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study, but are important for all”,

Structure and Scoring

The GRE General Test is conducted in English and contains three sections, either in computer-based (CBT) or paper-based (PBT) formats, depending on the testing location. It contains three sections, plus two unscored and research sections in the computer-based format only.

1. Analytical Writing

Format: 2 Essays
Topic: Analysis of an argument, Analysis of an issue
Time: 60 minutes
Score: 0 – 6

2. Verbal

Format: 40 questions
Topic: Reading comprehension, Text completion, Sentence equivalence
Time: 60 minutes
Score: 130-170

3. Quantitative Reasoning

Format: 40 questions
Topic: Quantitative comparison, Problem solving, Data interpretation
Time: 70 minutes
Score: 130-170

Three hours and 45 minutes, plus short breaks.

Prior to August 1, 2011 the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections were assessed on a 200 – 800 scale. The concordance tables provide information about scores on the previous 200–800 point scales, the current 130–170 point scales and the corresponding percentile ranks.

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Registration takes place online.The fastest way to register is online on www.ets.org/gre.

Testing and Score Reporting

The GRE test is administered in about 700 test centres in more than 160 countries. The computer-based test is offered all the year round at most locations around the world. The paper-based format is administered up to three times a year in areas where computer-based testing is not available.

The GRE exam costs USD 230 in Australia, USD 220.70 in China, and USD 205 for the rest of the world. The rescheduling fee is USD 50. Changing your test centre will also cost you USD 50.

Plan about four weeks for delivery of your official test scores to the programmes of your choice.

You may retake the GRE test once every 21 days and up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. The test score is valid for five years.

Take some time to compare GRE vs. GMAT infographic