There are many competitive or entrance exams after inter or degree. Lakhs of students appear for these exams every year aiming to get admission in a good college or university. There are a few exams that are also applicable outside the country like the IELTS examination and CELPIP which is approved in Canada. Aspirants get huge benefits if qualified for these examinations.

In the following article, you will get to know about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE syllabus and exam pattern. So, do read this article till the end to know everything about the GRE.

What is Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is a significant stage in the graduate school or business school application procedure. The GRE is a computer-based, multiple-choice and standardized test that is frequently proposed for admission to graduate programs and graduate business programs like MBA, all over the world.

The GRE is formulated and conducted by test maker ETS to provide graduate and business schools with basic criteria for comparing applicants’ capabilities and skills for graduate-level academic work. Graduate school and business school admissions councils review your GRE score, along with your academic catalogue and supporting elements, to assess your willingness for the rigours of graduate academic study. An outstanding record on the GRE will have a sincere, positive influence on your graduate or business school application. The GRE record is valid for 5 years.

Know in Detail

The GRE General Test assists you to do your fairest on the test day. With the General Test, you decide which marks to deliver to schools. If you believe you didn’t do your fairest on test day, that’s fine. You can retake the examination and then send only the records you wish institutes to see.

In addition, the General exam is the only admission examination for graduate and professional school that allows you to skip questions within a category, you can go back and modify the answers, and have the power to tackle the questions within a portion you like to answer foremost. The General Test also promotes question kinds that closely indicate the kind of thinking you’ll do in graduate and professional school, comprising business and law.

Also Read: Alternative Exams to the IELTS: Why IELTS is Considered over Other Exams

Who takes it?

Forthcoming graduate and business school applicants from all worldwide who are enthusiastic about pursuing a master’s, specialized master’s in business, J.D., MBA  or doctoral degree obtain the General Test. Aspirants come from ranging cultural and educational environments and the GRE General Test contributes to schools with a mutual measure for comparing competitors qualifications.

GRE records are utilised by admissions or fellowship panels to enhance your undergraduate scores, recommendation letters and different qualifications for graduate-level study.

Exam Pattern for GRE

In August 2011, the exam pattern for GRE underwent some major changes. The total score decreased from 1600 to 340. This exam is divided into two portions:

# the GRE general test

# and the GRE subject test

The general test examines the applicants on the following skills:

# Quantitative reasoning skills

# Verbal reasoning skills

# Analytical writing skills

On the other hand, the subject test indicates on:

# Concentrate on the subject you want to seek in higher education.

# You can select from eight particular fields of study.

# Proposed by only limited select universities or colleges for select programs offered.

Variance in Tests

GRE  Test Focus Taken By Cost
General Test Verbal & Quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical skills attained over an extended period. Mainly MS candidates. PhD. aspirants also take it up but are limited in comparison. The general test costs $205.
Subject Test The subject Test gages undergraduate attainment in 8 particular fields of study. Chosen by MS or PhD aspirants aiming to change the fields of study. The majority is PhD here. The subject test costs $150.

Structure of the General Test

GRE Sections Computer-based Paper-based
Verbal Reasoning Comprises of two sections and 40 questions (60 minutes) Comprises of two sections and 50 questions (70 minutes)
Quantitative Reasoning Comprises of two sections and 40 questions (70 minutes) Comprises of two sections and 50 questions (80 minutes)
Analytical Writing Comprises of one section and two tasks (60 minutes) Comprises of two sections and two tasks (60 minutes)

Also Read: Duolingo English Test Pattern: How to Prepare for the Duolingo English Test?

Syllabus for the General Exam

The general examination comprises three sections: analytical writing skills, quantitative reasoning skills and verbal reasoning skills. Check out below to know the syllabus for each section of the general exam.

Analytical Writing Skills

It consists of two components, each component is scored on a scale of 1-6.

# Analyse an issue

# Analyse an argument

The applicants are expected to express their ideas in a way that promotes logical flow, preciseness and clarity.

Quantitative Reasoning Skills

This section is mainly based on mathematics. The score range for this skill is 130-170 with a duration of 35 minutes provided to solve 2/3 sections. This test is formulated to examine the ability of the test taker’s on the following basis:

# Algebra (30%)

# Geometry (15%)

# Arithmetic (30%)

# Data Analysis (25%)

Verbal Reasoning Skills

In this section the test taker is evaluated and analysed based on written materials, recognising the relationship between the components, concepts and words. It is further divided into three categories:

# Reading comprehension (50%)

# Sentence equivalence (25%)

# Text completion (25%)

Syllabus for the Subject Exam

The GRE Subject Tests are meant to examine a test taker’s proficiency in his selected field of study. Some colleges and schools use the record as a measure for preference alongside undergraduate scores, General trial scores, recommendation letter etc. This examination is performed in the following six disciplines:

#1 Chemistry

#2 Biology

#3 Physics

#4 Mathematics

#5 English Literature

#6 Psychology

Also Read: CELPIP vs IELTS: Contrast to Know between CELPIP and IELTS Tests


Hope that the above article was helpful for you to know everything about the GRE examination, the test pattern and the syllabus for various sections. Everything about the examination is mentioned above. Notice all the necessary points required for the examination.

These competitive examinations are very beneficial for aspirants who are planning to study abroad. The record of these examinations plays a vital role during the admission process in a university or college. Many councils of the universities give preference to a high score in the GRE examination. If you are aiming to give this examination, keep your mind directed and focus on your goal with all determination. Proper planning and following a prominent guide is all required to crack any tests.

Looking for more such articles based on entrance or any competitive exams? Need a proper guide to follow? Then, we have got you the best solutions. Visit the website IELTS Ninja for all guidance and study materials for you in all kinds of examinations. Let us know in the comment section below, if you have a doubt, we are here to solve all your queries.

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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