Graduate Record Examination (GRE) | What is GRE ?

A standardized test for Graduate School Admission

The Graduate Record Examination is a standardized test that acts as an admission prerequisite for most graduate schools in the Unites States. The GRE revised General Test is accepted at many of the graduate and business schools as well. It is a computer based test and is conducted on continuous basis throughout the year. In areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available, the test is administered in a paper-based format up to three times a year in October, November and February. The GRE scores are good up till five years of taking the examination.

The GRE went under momentous changes in August 2011, which resulted in the exam being adaptive on a question by question basis but one by section, such that the performance of the verbal and mathematics section determines the difficulty of the second sections presented. The scoring scale has also been brought down from the 200 to 800 scale to a 130 to 170 scale. Financial aid is provided to GRE applicants who prove economic hardship. Other than that the fee for the examination is US $ 185.

Also SeeWhat is GMAT ? Graduate Management Admission Test

Also See – Exam scheme for Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


Structure of GRE

The GRE revised General test measures the verbal reasoning, critical thinking and the analytical writing skills of the candidate. GRE looks at skills which are developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific subject.



Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)

One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze 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


The paper-based GRE General Test consists of six sections and is only available in areas where computer-based testing is unavailable. The analytical writing is split up into two sections, one section for each issue and argument task. The next four sections consist of two verbal and two quantitative sections in varying order. There is no experimental section on the paper-based test.

For the employer

Beginning in December 2012, GRE will be conducting a three year test program in which the GRE test takers will also be able to send their score to their employers.  This three year pilot program will evaluate the use and role that GRE scores play in employment decisions and provide the GRE Program with an opportunity to determine whether or not there is evidence to support the use of GRE scores for employment purposes.

As an employer you can receive GRE scores from candidates who feel that this information will add importance to their application.