GRE or Graduate Record Examinations is a standardised exam that helps students and aspirants to get into graduate schools and graduate business schools, globally. GRE is an exam conducted by ETS or Educational Testing Service. There are two types of format: computer-based and paper-based. In the pandemic times, the GRE exam was moved online too which can be taken at home, if one has the computer and human proctor monitors.

This article talks about all the information related to GRE. The exam pattern, criteria, eligibility, why should one take the GRE? How to obtain a decent record on an exam? Well, all the information is provided here. Get all the tips, GRE preparation strategies and much more here. Read the entire article, to get all the aspects.

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

What is the GRE Exam?

The GRE exam is a standardised test that is an admission requirement to many graduate business and graduate schools in the USA, Canada and a few other countries. The exam is owned and governed by the ETS or Educational Testing Service. The GRE exam was created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Skills tested Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning.
Purpose Admissions to doctoral and master’s degree programs in several institutes
Year started 1936; 85 years ago
Score validity 5 years
Countries About 1,000 examination hubs in more than 160 nations

Who Takes GRE Exam?

Business and graduate school applicants, from all around the world, who are willing and are interested in getting a master’s, doctoral, specialized master’s in business, J.D or an  MBA degree. They can take the general test which provides the university that you are applying for complete data and qualifications about you.

The exam is considered important as it is used for admissions or fellowships to boost your undergraduate records, other qualifications and recommendation letters for your upper level of study.

Also Read: Is the English Proficiency Exam Compulsory for People Migrating to Canada?

GRE Exam Pattern

The exam is divided into two tests

#GRE General Test

#GRE Subject Test

GRE General Test

GRE Sections Paper-based

No of sections




No of questions



Analytical Writing 2 sections- 2 tasks 60 minutes 1 section- two tasks 60 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 2 sections- 50 questions 70 minutes 2 section- 40 questions 60 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 2 sections- 50 questions 80 minutes 2 section- 40 questions 70 minutes
Unscored Varies Varies Varies Varies
Research Varies Varies Varies Varies

GRE Analytical Writing

There are two sections that have two tasks

#Analyse an issue task: In this section, one needs to think critically about the question or topic. Here you have to express your thoughts and beliefs about the question in writing. The aspirant will be given a specific set of instructions with an issue statement.

#Analyse an argument: In this type of question, there will be a brief passage that will be given to the aspirant. The aspirant needs to interpret from the case given and needs to discuss the logical things based on the instructions.

GRE Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative reasoning has four types of questions

#Quantitative Comparison Questions: Comparing column a and column b and interpreting the answer.

#Multiple Choice Questions: Again here you have two divisions where the aspirant has two types of format: select one correct answer or select multiple answers.

#Numeric entry questions: In this type of question, the aspirant needs to put the answer in the box, where you need to enter your numeric solved answer.

GRE Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning section has various formats and half of the question type is comprehension passages. The verbal section is divided into 3 sections

#Reading Comprehension: Here you will have multiple-choice questions, with selecting one or more options and select in passage questions where you choose the related description.

#Sentence Equivalence: It consists of one blank, single sentence and six answer choices.

#Text Completion: This section consists of one to five sentences and there are choices given to fill in the blanks.

Also Read: How many Idioms and Phrases are there in English? Get all Your Doubts Cleared Here

GRE Syllabus 


There are approx. 188 five-decision questions are assembled in sets towards the finish of the test and depend on portrayals of the research facility, graphs, or test results. The test is separated into three significant regions:

#Organismal Biology

#Cellular and Molecular Biology

#Ecology and Evolution


There are 130 numerous decision questions, and the test questions are developed to improve on numerical controls. Accordingly, neither tables nor computations of logarithms are required. In the event that the arrangement requires the utilization of logarithms, the qualities will be incorporated with the inquiry.

There are four fields into which the test’s substance underlines – Analytical science, inorganic science, natural science, and actual science. Due to the interrelationship between these fields, test takers may connect a specific inquiry with one field. Conversely, other test takers may have experienced a similar material in an alternate region. For example, the information important to address a few inquiries named testing natural science may well have been gained in insightful science courses by some test takers.

Literature in English

There are approx. 230 inquiries on dramatization, account, verse, short story, analysis, history of dialects, and artistic hypothesis. A few inquiries depend on short works republished completely, some on passages from longer works.

The test is separated into two gatherings – Analytical and genuine. The authentic inquiries require a test taker to distinguish attributes of basic or abstract developments, to decide the period or writer of work dependent on the substance and style, to allot an artistic work to the period wherein it was composed, or to recognize journalists work depicted in a concise remark.

The insightful inquiries test the capacity to peruse an abstract book insightfully. You need to look at an offered section of verse or composition and respond to inquiries regarding the structure, which means artistic strategies, and language angles.

Mathematics Test

There are approx. 66 numerous decision questions drawn from courses offered at the undergrad level. Half of the inquiries include analytics and its applications, and 25% of inquiries in the test are in abstract algebra, elementary algebra, linear algebra and number theory. The remainder of the inquiries manages different parts of arithmetic.

Physics Test

There are approx. 100 five-decision questions. The test intends to decide your grip on essential standards and the capacity to apply standards in the difficult answer. Most test questions can be addressed depending on the dominance of the initial three years of undergrad physical science.

The International System (SI) of units is utilized in the test. A table of data addressing different actual constants and a couple of change factors among SI units is introduced in the test book.

H4 Psychology Test

There are approx. 205 numerous decision questions. Each question in the test has five choices from which the test taker is to choose the one choice that is the right or most appropriate response to the inquiry.

Upgrade materials, like a chart or a portrayal of an examination, may fill in as the reason for a few issues. The inquiries are drawn from the centre of information most regularly experienced in courses offered at the undergrad level inside the comprehensively characterized brain research field.

An inquiry may require reviewing data, investigating connections, applying standards, making determinations from information, and assessing an examination plan.

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GRE Scoring

Verbal Reasoning 

Percentile Ranking Scaled Score
99 169-170
95 165
87 161
78 158
63 154
50 151
36 148
22 144
10 140

Quantitative Reasoning 

Percentile Ranking Scaled Score
98 170
95 168
86 163
78 160
64 156
52 153
37 149
21 145
10 141

Analytical Writing 

Percentile Ranking Scaled Score
99 6.0
98 5.5
93 5.0
80 4.5
56 4.0
38 3.5
15 3.0
7 2.5
2 2.0

GRE Scores

Here is a rough figure about decent scores which are averages of subjects

GRE Subject Quant Score Verbal Score
Business 152 149.5
Education 147.3 150.8
Engineering 158.9 148.7
Humanities and Arts 149.2 156.5
Natural Sciences 153.1 150.8
Social Sciences 150.1 152.9
Other Fields 148.9 149.7
Total 145.8 150.8

GRE Experimental Section 

Your test will also include an experimental component, which is an extra Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section that ETS adds to the test so that it can standardise new problems for future GREs.That means that if you knew where the experimental part was, you could doodle for half an hour, guess in a random pattern, or daydream for an hour and still earn the same GRE score.

The experimental portion, on the other hand, is hidden below a real piece and cannot be identified. On the day of the test, all you’ll know is that one of the topic areas will have three sections instead of two. Many individuals are naturally trying to figure out which piece is experimental. But, because ETS wants you to give it your all, it tries everything it can to keep you wondering.

In the event that you surmise wrong, you could blow the entire test, so we encourage you to regard all segments as scored except if you are told something else.

Finally, rather than a test area, your test could contain an examination segment. This segment is unscored and will be demonstrated accordingly. On the off chance that you have an examination area on the test, it will be the last segment. Give cautious consideration to the headings toward the start of the segment.

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

Common Books for GRE

#ETS GRE: The Official Guide to Revised General Test

#5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

#Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides

#The Princeton Review GRE Prep 2021

Best Books for Quantitative Section 

#Manhattan Prep: GRE Math Strategies

#Princeton Review: Math Workout for GRE

#Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions by ETS

#Kaplan GRE Math Workbook

Best Books for Analytical Writing Section

#GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics by Vibrant Publishers

#The Official Guide to the GRE General Test by ETS

Best Books for Verbal Section

#The Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice by ETS

#Barron’s Verbal Workbook

#GRE Verbal Workbook by Kaplan Test Prep

#Manhattan Word Problems GRE Strategy Guide

Best Books for Biology Subject Test 

#Campbell Biology by Jane B. Reece

#Kaplan GRE Subject Test

#GRE Biology Test Secrets Study Guide

#Sterling Test Prep GRE Biology Practice Questions

#Cracking the GRE Biology Test by Princeton Review

#Sterling Test Prep GRE Biology: Review of Cell and Molecular Biology

#Molecular Biology of the Cell

#Organismal Biology: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

#The Ecology Book: Big Ideas Explained

#Ecology: Evolution, Application, Integration

Best Books for Literature Subject Test

#The Post-Colonial Studies Reader

#Critical Practice

#The Norton Anthology of English Literature

#Dictionary of Poetic Terms

#The Norton Anthology of Poetry

#The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory

#The Norton Anthology of American Literature

#Cracking the GRE Literature in English Subject Test

#Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

#Plato: Complete Works

Best Books for Physics Subject Test 

#Conquering the Physics GRE

#Schaum’s 3,000 Solved Problems in Physics

#Fundamentals of Physics

#Introduction to Special Relativity

#Classical Electromagnetism

#Sears and Zemansky’s University Physics

#University of Chicago Graduate Problems in Physics with Solutions

#Sterling Test Prep Physics GRE Practice Questions

#Princeton Problems in Physics with Solutions

#GRE Physics w/ CD by REA

Best Books for Chemistry Subject Test 

#Chemistry: The Central Science

#General Chemistry – Standalone book

#Organic Chemistry by Paula Bruice

#Atkins’ Physical Chemistry

#GRE Chemistry Test Secrets Study Guide by Mometrix

#Sterling Test Prep GRE Chemistry Practice Questions

#Cracking the GRE Chemistry Subject Test by Princeton Review

#Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry

#GRE Chemistry w/CD-ROM 4th Ed

Best Books for Mathematics Subject Test 

#McGraw-Hill Education Conquering GRE Math

#Math Workout for the GRE by Princeton Review

#Barron’s GRE Math Workbook

#Cracking the GRE Premium by Princeton Review

#5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

#Magoosh GRE Prep

#GRE Math Strategies by Manhattan Prep

#Official GRE Super Power Pack by ETS

Best Books for Psychology Subject Test 

#GRE Psychology w/CD-ROM

#GRE Psychology Test Secrets Study Guide

#Test Yourself 1000+ ETS GRE Psychology Flashcards

#GRE Psychology Test Flashcard Study System

#Cracking the GRE Psychology Subject Test by Princeton Review

#GRE Psychology (Barron’s Test Prep)

#Princeton Review GRE Psychology Prep

#GRE Subject Test: Psychology by Kaplan

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

Universities Accepting GRE Scores 

USA Colleges 

American University Washington, D.C.
University of the Potomac Washington, D.C.
Central Connecticut State University New Britain
Fairfield University Fairfield
Quinnipiac University New Haven
Rensselaer at Hartford Hartford
Western Connecticut State University Danbury
University of Connecticut Mansfield
University of Hartford West Hartford
Delaware State University Dover

Canada Colleges

Brock University St. Catharines
Cape Breton University Sydney
Carleton University Ottawa
Concordia University Montreal
Dalhousie University Halifax
Ivey Business School Toronto
Lakehead University Thunder Bay
McMaster University Hamilton
Queen’s University School of Business Kingston
University of Ottawa Ottawa

UK Colleges

City University London London
Cranfield University Cranfield
Hult International Business School London
University of Leeds Leeds
London Business School London (EMBA)
University of Oxford Oxford
University of Cambridge Cambridge
University of Kent Canterbury
University of Manchester Manchester
University of Reading Reading
University of Warwick Coventry

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

GRE Preparation Tips 

Here are some preparations tips that will help you to score better

Choose the Right Study Material 

As provided above, books are very important for preparation. One should choose a book, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. There are many books in the market, have an overview of all the books, and solve as many study materials as you can.

Online is the greatest source of study material, so use it. There are many websites, ebooks, videos, where you can find these materials. There is nothing one can’t get online. Go through concepts first and then choose the study material as per it.

Create a Study Plan 

First, check the exam pattern, syllabus, exam date, etc. Then create a study plan according to it. There should be a concrete study plan and one should follow it with patience. A comprehensive study of your strengths and weaknesses should also be calculated.

Do Not Underestimate the Difficulty of Quant

The GRE is different from what you have studied in college. There will be instances where you will remember your high school teachings, but it will be very competitive in Quant. Many people and aspirants misunderstand maths as quant. They both are different. The exam focuses on reasoning and how to solve a situation by understanding the problem.

One has to attempt problems with dilemmas and situations so that they can answer the trickiest questions.

Prepare Well for AWA

Analytical Writing Assessment is the assessment that allows all the universities to comprehend your writing skills. There will be other sections too, but AWA will speak it all. Before the test, prepare an outline for 2 essays. Then practise these outlines by writing essays. Has the essay checked online or by any professional? Work on the points, and make sure you are perfect with the outlines so that in an exam, you don’t have to worry.

Build Your Mental Stamina 

The exam is 3 hours 45 minutes long and one should have the mental and physical stamina and patience to sit and complete the examination. One should develop the habit that they can sit for 3 hours straight with only one break in the middle. You should prepare your mind to work for these many hours straight. Time management and remaining focused is important. You should have your energy levels high.

While preparing for the exam, one should also do yoga and exercises so that one can have a fresh and healthy mind at the time of examination.

Know the Contextual Meaning of the GRE Words

This is the mistake done by every student and with most of the examinations, learning a dictionary by heart and memorizing it. Stop it! It is just a waste of time and your energy. There are lakhs of words there and you think, one can memorise it all?

Keep a book, write down words every day, use them in your speech, use them in your writing, understand them while you listen. Understand them and use them, not memorise them. The exam needs to give you a decent vocabulary.

Make a List of Target Universities

Start with your list of dream universities and stick to the paper, where you study. This helps you to be motivated and focused and will be reminding you that you need to get into your dream institution, no matter what. Build your profile for the university, collect everything the university needs, so that you leave no rock unturned to get into that university.

Also Read: Unfamiliar with the New Vocabulary? Memorize Promptly with These Tips


Hopefully, this article gave an all-around view in detail. GRE is attempted by many people but, the one who studies with concentration and determination can only clear it. Though some aspirants feel that this exam is easy, with no proper preparation, it is just a dream. GRE might help you get into your dream college and GRE scores are quite helpful, as they give your certificates a shine and they can select you without any hesitation. Hopefully, this article gave you full information, if you have any doubts, please let us know in the comments section below.

Also Read: GRE Exam Fee in India 2021: Know the Full Syllabus to Ace Your Preparation

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Amiksha Kantam

Amiksha is a budding Content Writer. A young writer who has written over 250 poems and quotes and also an author of a famous Wattpad novel named “Ma and the Magical Kingdom” and always sets her goals high with her determination like the sky. Her mother is her inspiration and her family is her biggest support. She has her interest in writing, reading novels and craft. She has developed her hardworking and disciplined persona from her mother. She is very out going and loves travelling, trekking and hiking. She believes in the quote “Creativity lies in actions not experience

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