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The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised test that is accepted for admission to various disciplines at many graduate and business schools across the globe. Aspirants who are interested in pursuing a master's degree, specialised master's course, MBA or doctoral degree can sit for the GRE . GRE Test is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a US based organisation. It is available both in computer-based format and paper-based one. In addition to the GRE general test, there are seven GRE subject tests that evaluate candidates’ knowledge in their respective fields. The GRE Test is available at over 1000 test centres in more than 160 countries. It covers three major sections- Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. While Verbal and Quants are scored on a scale of 130-170, analytical writing is score on a scale of 0-6.

GRE Facts

  • Exam Name :
    Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Commonly Known as :
  • Exam Level :
  • Conducting Body :
    Educational Testing Service (ETS)

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    GRE Test Eligibility

    GRE aspirants can apply for the test irrespective of age and qualification, as there is no specific GRE Eligibility Criteria. However, candidates have to fulfil the admission criteria for individual institutes where they are applying. Since, GRE is a postgraduate test, generally, students who have cleared their undergraduate studies opt for the examination for entry into Masters or Phd courses abroad, especially across universities in USA and Canada among others. However, aspirants should keep this in mind that whether programme requires GRE score, does not depend on the country but on the university. Even within a university, some departments might ask for GRE score while others might not. Hence, candidates are required to first check the admission checklist of the universities before checking the GRE Eligibility Criteria.

    GRE Eligibility Criteria :

    Acronym GRE facts
    Test type GRE General (Aptitude) GRE Subject (Subjective)
    GRE eligibility criteria No specific eligibility criteria to pursue postgraduate programmes
    Test sections Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing
    Test duration 3 hours 45 minutes
    GRE score 130-170( per section) Analytical writing: 1-6

    GRE Test Pattern

    The GRE Test Pattern has three sections- Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The total duration of the GRE is 3 hours 40 minutes. Besides the main academic sections, there are two other variable sections and a 10-minute break is given after the third (Quantitative Reasoning) section during the GRE test.

    The two variable sections are Unscored and the Research section, which do not count toward the actual GRE score. The GRE test pattern includes seven GRE subject tests. They are: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. Each subject has a different GRE test pattern.

    GRE Test Pattern :

    Measure GRE facts Allotted Time
    Analytical Writing(One section with two timed tasks) One "Analyse an Issue" task and one "Analyse an Argument" task 30 minutes per task
    Verbal Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
    Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section
    Unscored Varies Varies
    Research Varies Varies
    GRE Participating Institutes

    Various organisations use GRE test scores in considering candidates for their graduate programmes. It is accepted by institutions across the world for their postgraduate programmes. While GRE is most commonly accepted by universities in USA and Canada, universities in Australia, Singapore and Germany among others also accept GRE scores, especially for their engineering programmes. The acceptance of GRE score usually depends on the department. Also, GRE subject test score is not required by all universities or departments. Aspirants can apply for the GRE subject test if the department requires it.

    There are also many specialised MBA master's and doctoral programmess in business that accept GRE scores. GRE scores are accepted by thousands of GRE test participating institutes in the world which also includes over 1,200 business schools. Besides MBA and other graduate programmes, GRE scores are also accepted for interdisciplinary programmes like MIS and Engineering Management.

    GRE Registration

    To appear for GRE test, candidates have to first create a ‘My GRE Account’. You can apply for the GRE as well as check your scores in your account. For the GRE general test there are three ways to register. They are: Online, Phone and Mail registration. Candidates can opt from Online and Mail registration in the case of GRE subject test.

    Here are major five steps that candidates should follow to register for GRE : GRE Registration fee: Fees for GRE General Test is $205 worldwide. Fees for GRE Subject test is $150 globally.
    Special Handling Requests Allotted Time
    Late registration fee (paper-based test online registration only) $25
    Standby testing (paper-based test only) $50
    Rescheduling fee $50
    Changing your test center $50

    If candidates wish to change a subject in the Subject test, they will have to pay $50 extra.

    GRE Test Dates

    There are no specific test dates for GRE. The computer-based GRE Test is offered year-round at Prometric test centers. Aspirants can take the exam as per their requirement. You can take the GRE once every 21 days, up to five times within a 12-month period. This applies even if you cancelled your scores on a test taken previously. Also, the GRE test date , depends on the availability of the test centre selected by the candidate. If the seats in the speficia test centre is filled up as on that date, the aspirant has to either select a new date or go for a different test location. However, you have to first create a ‘My GRE Account’ in order to register for a specific date.

    GRE Admit Card

    The GRE test admission ticket is sent to the candidates by mail after the process of registration. The admission ticket confirms the choice of test, test date, GRE test center and also score recipients. If there is any mistake in the GRE admit card you can make the changes in the correction stab and mail it to the address printed on the form.

    GRE Results

    ETS sends the candidates an email notification when their respective scores are available. The results are available in the respective GRE test accounts of the aspirants. Candidates sitting for the computer-based test can source their unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores at the test center. The official results are available within 10 to 15 days of the GRE test.

    Scoring Pattern of GRE : Candidates can check the scoring pattern for GRE verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning and analytical writing from window below
    GRE Scoring Pattern
    Measure GRE Scores
    GRE Verbal Reasoning 130–170, in 1 point increment
    GRE Quantitative Reasoning 130–170, in 1 point increment
    GRE Analytical Writing 0–6, in half point increments