GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is an exam required for admissions in various masters and doctoral degree programmes,

You must prepare well for this exam because without proper preparation you can’t get good marks in GRE, and without good marks admission to various colleges can become difficult.

Therefore, start your preparation beforehand, but how, what, how much time is required to prepare for GRE?

In this article, we will find out how many days are required for your GRE preparation?

GRE- Graduate Record Examination

GRE is a standardized test conducted by the Education Testing Service of the USA. It aims to measure the basic quantitative, verbal, analytical writing ability of candidates applying for foreign universities.

There is two-phase of the GRE test:

# GRE General Test

# GRE Subject Test

GRE General Test

The GRE General Test aims to test the quantitative, analytic reasoning and verbal skills of the candidates.

These skills are important for every candidate to have as it does not belong to any particular field.

Computer vs Paper-based Test

GRE general test is conducted in two ways: Paper and Computer-based.

The paper test is conducted offline. A candidate has to physically attend the exam centre and give his exam.

Computer test is conducted online via computer.

Difference between Paper and Computer Test

#Time limit

The computer test lasts three hours and 45 minutes whereas the paper mode or offline test takes three hours in 30 minutes to complete.

# Number of question

The number of questions also differs. The GRE online or computer-based exams have 20 questions for verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, and whereas the paper-based exam has 25 portions for both

The other difference between the GRE online test and the offline test is that the offline test does not have a reading comprehension selecting passage questions.

Exam Pattern of GRE

There are three types of questions in the GRE:

# Analytical writing

# Quantitative Reasoning

# Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning contains three types of questions. Reading comprehension sentence equivalence, and text computation

Analytical writing contains two parts, analysis and argument, analysis and issue.

The Quantitative Reasoning section contains four sections: multiple-choice questions, multiple-choice questions where you have to select more than one answer and a Numeric entry.

Also Read GRE Syllabus and Exam Pattern: Here’s Everything to Know about the GRE

GRE Subject Test

The subject test is a paper-based exam and is conducted thrice every year. It is meant for candidates who want to apply for higher degree programs for specific subjects.

This includes biology, chemistry, literature, mathematics, physics, and Psychology.

# Biology consists of 190 questions.

It includes cellular and molecular biology organism, biology, ecology and evolution

# Chemistry contains 130 questions.

It includes Analytical chemistry inorganic-organic physical chemistry,

# English contains 230 Questions.

This Includes Literary analysis, identification, cultural and historical context, history and theory of literary criticism.

# Mathematics contains 66 Questions including calculus, algebra that discrete mathematics probability, statistics, additional mathematics real analysis.

# Physics contains 100 questions which include mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum physics, atomic physics, special relativity laboratory method, nuclear particle physics, thermodynamics, statical mechanics,  optics and wave phenomenon.

# Psychology contains 205 questions, biological, cognitive, developmental, social, clinical and methodology.

The time duration of the care subject test is two hours and 50 minutes. The score ranges are between 200 to 190 marks.

Moreover, it has a negative marking system one point for each correct and ¼ marks for every wrong answer.

Why are You preparing for GRE Exams?

Before you decide how much time to contribute to your preparation, you must decide your goal. Ask yourself, why are you preparing for GRE exams?

Do you know there are thousands of universities, colleges in the world that accept GRE?

Therefore, which college do you want to apply? to Each college has a high GRE score required while some colleges have high score cutoff than others.

What is a Good Score?

A good GRE score is subjective. It depends on various factors. University requirement is one such factor.

A score can be best, good, modest, or average.

The best score can get you admission to top universities, whereas, with the average, you can get admission to other foreign universities.

# Best

# Good

# Modest

# Average

Different GRE Score Cutoff of Foreign Universities

Massachusetts Institute of Technology- QA 158, Verbal 159, Analytical 5.3

Stanford University- QA 159, Verbal 158, Analytical 4.8

University of California- QA 153-156, Verbal 167, Analytical 4.5

University of Michigan- QA 160, Verbal 167, Analytical 5.0

University of Chicago- QA 158, Verbal 167, Analytical 4.0

Georgia Technological University QA 158, Verbal 167, Analytical 4.3

John Hopkins University QA 163, Verbal 164, Analytical 4.8

University of Texas QA 166, Verbal 162, Analytical 4.5

University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign- QA 154, Verbal 162, Analytical 4.5

Cornell University- QA 162, Verbal 162, Analytical 4.5

Also Read: When should I give my GRE and IELTS test so that I can apply for an MS in Jan-Feb 2021?

Tips to Decide How much Time to Contribute

Take Practice Test

Now that you have decided your aim you should try to analyze your current position, you can take the GRE practice test.

Analyze your scores and match them with your choice of university cut off.

Look how far you have come from your goal. This will help you understand your current position, and hence formulate a better study plan.

Suppose your head approx 10 hours to raise two-point therefore analyse the time you should contribute using the formula,

GRE preparation time: (Score Gap/ 2) * 10

How Many Days are required for an Average Person for GRE Preparation?

Remember, it does not matter how much time you contribute to your preparation. The only thing that matter is how serious you are.

Suppose you are studying for five hours a day, but your mind continuously wandering during the time, it is useless.

Therefore remain to remove all distractions and be 100% while you are studying.

Generally, you should start your preparation before three to four months of your exam date.

However, do you want to find out exactly how long you should study or how intense your study goal should be?

Then ask yourself this question,

How Strong is Your English? 

If you are a non-native English speaker and your English is not quite strong, then GRE verbal will be tough for you. You have to start studying for it several months before with a proper study plan.

Math Skills

You should also analyze your current math skills. This will help you to understand how much time you need to devote to preparation.

GRE- Preparation Strategy

Method of Studying

There are three methods for preparing:

# Coaching

# Self-study

# Online Classes

Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Before you start with your preparation, the first step should including have a better understanding of GRE, its pattern and then the syllabus.

Go through the syllabus in detail point out every topic and subtopics. This will act as your checklist, and help you to make your timetable.

Practice Test

You need to have a subject insight into your current position. Take some practice test and mock tests. This will give you a depth analysis of your current position.

Example Problems

#1. Verbal Reasoning

  1. While scientists dismiss as fanciful the idea of sudden changes in a genetic code (spontaneous mutation), it is possible that nature, like some master musician, —- on occasion, departing from the expected or predictable.

(A) repeats

(B) improvises

(C) ornaments

(D) corrects

(E) harmonizes


(A) bank: vault

(B) suitcase: clothing

(C) chequebook: balance

(D) wealth: prestige

(E) envelope: stamp

3. Passage

For many years, Benjamin Quarles’ seminal account of the participation of African Americans in the American Revolution has remained the standard work in the field. According to Quarles, the outcome of this conflict was mixed for African American slaves who enlisted in Britain’s fight against its rebellious American colonies in return for the promise of freedom: the British treacherously resold many into slavery in the West Indies, while others obtained freedom in Canada and Africa. Building on Quarles’ analysis of the latter group, Sylvia Frey studied the former slaves who emigrated to British colonies in Canada. According to Frey, these refugees-the most successful of the African American Revolutionary War participants-viewed themselves as the ideological heirs of the American Revolution. Frey sees this inheritance reflected in their demands for the same rights that the American revolutionaries had demanded from the British: land ownership, limits to arbitrary authority and burdensome taxes, and freedom of religion.

Questions from the Passage

According to the passage, which of the following is true about the African American Revolutionary War participants who settled in Canada after the American Revolution?

(A) Although they were politically unaligned with either side, they identified more with British ideology than with American ideology.

(B) While they were not immediately betrayed by the British, they ultimately suffered the same fate as did African American Revolutionary. War participants were resold into slavery in the West Indies.

(C) They settled in Canada rather than in Africa because of the greater religious freedom available in Canada.

(D) They were more politically active than were African American Revolutionary War participants who settled in Africa.

(E) They were more successful than were African American Revolutionary War participants who settled Africa.

Also Read: How to Prepare for GRE Verbal in 1 Month? The Ultimate Guide You Should Follow

#2. Analytical Writing

1.The ancient Greek playwright Euripides followed the established conventions of verse composition less rigorously at the end of his career than at the beginning. Since the lines from a recently discovered Euripidean play adhere to those conventions as rigorously as do lines from Euripides’ early plays, the recently discovered play must have been composed early in Euripides’ career. Which of the following is an assumption made in the argument?

(A) All of Euripides’ plays were written in verse.

(B) Euripides did not write any plays late in his career in which he imitated the style of his early plays.

(C) Euripides grew increasingly unaware of the established conventions of verse composition as his career progressed.

(D) Late in his career, Euripides was the only playwright of his day who consciously broke with the established conventions of verse composition.

(E) Ancient playwrights tended to be less willing to violate certain conventions early in their careers than they were later in their careers

#3. Quantitative Reasoning

  1. If the number of microbes in a test tube increases by 25 per cent per day, how many microbes are there in the test tube at the end of a given day if the number of microbes at the end of the next day is 240,000?

(A) 180,000

(B) 192,000

(C) 210,000

(D) 288,000

(E) 300,000

Target Score

Look out for the university you want to apply to. Analyze cut off for each section. This will act as your target score.


Divide the days into hours and arrange them in a tabular form. Now mark out your sleep time, mealtime and other important work.

Now with the leftover time decide which subject you want to study at what time.  Allocate carefully to different subjects.


Always remember you can crack any exam with proper preparation and strategy. GRE is a tough exam but you can surely score well.

Start your preparation at least 3-4 months before. You can also re-take the GRE if you don’t like your score in just 25 days.

Looking for more informative articles like this? Then do check the blog section IELTS Ninja.

Also Read: How to Prepare for GRE Verbal in 10 Days? Here’s Your Guide to Preparation

Content Protection by

About the Author


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.

View All Articles