If a student is planning to get admission in a graduate school, they will probably need to appear for a GRE test (or the “Graduate Record Exam). The purpose of each GRE examination, of course, is to help graduate schools decide if you’ve got the right stuff for their program. GRE exam is primarily focused on assessing students on the topics like critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills.

GRE test consists of three sections: The analytical writing is the first one and the other two sections are verbal and quantitative sections which appear in any order. A student can take the GRE exam on a paper or on a computer whichever feasible. The timings of the test depend upon which version of test a student is appearing for. The paper-based test ends a bit longer and has two verbal and two quantitative sections. Similar to the computer-based test, a paper-based test may also contain an unscored section.

The computer based test is more popular and students opt-in for this version of test meaning the verbal and quantitative modules, the test adapts the difficulty level of its questions each time student submits an answer. The advantage in the computer-based test is each time student enters an answer, the computer scores it immediately, compares it with your preceding responses, and then presents a question suited per the level. If student answer correctly, the questions become more difficult. Incorrect answers result in the next question being slightly less difficult.

There are two types of GRE exams – The GRE General Test and GRE Subject Tests which are designed to achieve a specific intended purpose that adds value to the admissions decision-making process

Why GRE exam?

  • Student’s recognition – The GRE General Test helps the graduate institutions to recognize the students which are prepared for the graduate-level study. Scores identify which potential students are likely to struggle academically in a particular skill, which can help programs prepare to offer extra support to help those students be successful.
  • Easy comparison – Of all of the pieces of evidence institutions collect from applicants, only GRE scores are standardized and objective, giving faculty committees a way to directly compare applicants with different backgrounds and experiences.
  • Validity – The GRE test scores are valid for five years. The time frame is beneficial when the students are planning to complete multiple graduate courses and they require GRE scores for the intake. Please be informed after five years, the scores are deleted from the ETS database. They can never be accessed or sent to schools again. It is also worth noticing that a student can take the GRE revised General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period.

Test Format

  1. Analytical Writing Module – For the success of a graduate program, it is believed that critical thinking and writing skills are the key factors. These factors are widely recognized by the graduate-level faculty, surveys and the GRE Writing Test Committee. There are two tasks that encompass the Analytical Writing Module and both are considered fundamentals in most of the graduate study.
  1. Quantitative Reasoning Module – This section of the GRE General Test measures skills that are consistent with those outlined in the Mathematical Association of America’s Quantitative Reasoning for College Graduates. The skills that are accessed in this module are:
  • Reading an understanding of the quantitative information.
  • Usage of mathematical methods to iron out the quantitative obstacles.
  • Illustration and analysis of quantitative information which includes drawing interferences from data.
  1. Verbal Reasoning Module – The Verbal Reasoning module of the GRE General Test measures skills that faculty have identified through surveys as important for graduate-level success. The accessed proficiencies in this module are:
  • In a passage, the ability of a student to understand text which includes the meanings of sentences, summarize the text, distinguish major points from irrelevant points.
  • Ability of a student to illustrate a conversation which includes ability to draw conclusions, to figure out the missing information or to recognize assumptions.