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GRE Lectures – Grammar Basics

GRE is a standardized exam that is taken by thousands of graduates every year for admissions into masters and Ph.D. programs at top universities located all over the world. Cracking the GRE can be an arduous task for any aspirant, but with the right mentorship and able guidance, you will be able to ace the GRE quite effortlessly.

Also Read: What is a good GRE score?

We at BYJU’S provide all the necessary ingredients that will help you to prepare for the GRE in a seamless manner. Here are some salient features of the BYJU’S GRE prep course:

  • 100 hours of offline lectures available in a tab Diagnostic.
  • A Diagnostic Toolkit that will provide you with complete analytics of your daily progress and performance
  • Experience high-quality teaching by GRE toppers: Verbal – Mr. P.N. Santosh (338/340), Quant – Mr. Amith Ravindra (330/340).
  • Get access to 1500+ questions with video solutions and in-depth statistics tailor-made to improve one’s score.
  • Take 5 mock GRE exams to simulate the actual GRE test environment.
  • Utilize live online classes that are conducted in the form of webinars for a richer learning experience.
  • The Membean software subscription will ensure that you don’t just mug up words but learn and understand them in the best way possible.
  • Also, get one complimentary counseling session for admissions.

Here is a basic guide containing some important facts and details that will help you to develop a better understanding of the GRE and help you in your preparation for the same.

GRE Eligibility Criteria

There are no particular eligibility criteria for GRE. GRE has never fixed an upper or lower limit regarding the age of the candidate. Neither are there any restrictions related to experience when it comes to appearing for GRE. Fresh graduates can appear for GRE and use their scorecard to get admission into a master’s degree program. So, if you think that you are ready to take the GRE exam, then you should go ahead with your preparation without giving it a second thought.

GRE Exam Pattern

The time duration of the GRE test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections in total: two sections each on verbal and quantitative reasoning, and one section on analytical writing. The sixth section is redundant as it has no role to play in calculation of the final score.

The exam is conducted in multiple stages. Since it is computer adaptive, the difficulty of the next section depends upon your performance in the previous section. If you do well in the first verbal section, the difficulty level of the second verbal section will automatically increase. Here is the GRE exam pattern for both computer-delivered and paper-delivered tests:

Section Paper–Based Test Computer–Based Test
Duration No. of Questions Duration No. of Questions
Analytical Writing 60 minutes 2 60 minutes 2
Verbal reasoning 70 minutes 50 60 minutes 40
Quantitative Reasoning 80 minutes 50 70 minutes 40

GRE Syllabus

The GRE tests the skills of a candidate in areas like Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Here are the various topics asked in the three sections of the GRE exam:

Quantitative Reasoning

This section can be further divided into four major topics namely: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis. The sub-topics asked under these major topics are as follows-


  • Integers:
  • Fractions
  • Exponents and Roots
  • Decimals
  • Real Numbers
  • Ratio
  • Percentages


  • Operations with Algebraic Expressions
  • Rules of Exponents
  • Solving Linear Equations
  • Solving Quadratic Equations
  • Solving Linear Inequalities
  • Functions
  • Applications
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Graphs of Functions


  • Lines and Angles
  • Polygons
  • Triangles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Circles
  • 3-D Figures

Data Analysis:

  • Graphical Methods for Describing Data
  • Numerical Methods for Describing Data
  • Counting Methods
  • Probability
  • Distributions of Data, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions
  • Data Interpretation Examples

Verbal Reasoning

The three types of questions that make up this section are reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence. This section requires candidates to possess knowledge related to the following topics:

  • Basic sentence: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism

Analytical Writing

This section tests the writing skills of a candidate. Candidates are given topics on which they have to write. They may also be given passages, on the basis of which they have to come up with the answers. The passages could be related to any topic, so the syllabus of this section is quite vast. ETS has provided topic pools for both issue and argument-related tasks. You can go through them to develop a clear idea of the type of questions that are asked in this section.

GRE Subject Tests

The GRE Subject tests can act as an excellent medium to prove your excellence in a particular subject and distinguish yourself from other applicants. The GRE subject tests are intended for students who have an undergraduate major or extensive background in one of these six disciplines:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

GRE Registration

The registration process for the GRE is quite straightforward. To appear for the GRE General Test 2020, a candidate has to first create the ‘My GRE Account’. The ‘My GRE Account’ will be used to complete the application and check the exam score upon the declaration of the results. There are three ways to register for the GRE general test, namely online, phone and mail registration. Candidates can opt for either online or mail methods for registration in case they want to appear for the GRE 2020 subject test.

Here are five major steps that candidates should follow to register for GRE 2020:

1. Create an ETS account for GRE registration 2020.

2. Select the GRE test type – GRE General or GRE Subject test.

3. Set location and date for the exam.

4. Fill the required academic background information.

5. Make the payment.

The global registration fee for the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test is $205 and $150 respectively.

GRE Preparation Strategy

Devising a proper preparation plan is the most important part of the GRE preparation process. It takes a lot of brainstorming to come up with a strategy that is completely in sync with your goals and also in accordance with your current skillset. Given below is the basic guideline that you should follow for devising a flawless preparation strategy:

  • Figure out your shortcomings

Take a mock test in the initial stage of your preparation to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Taking the mock test will help you to devise a proper preparation plan that will be best suited to your individual needs. Make sure that you come up with a plan that helps you to improve upon your shortcomings and build on your strengths at the same time.

  • Conceptualize

The best way to improve upon the weak areas is to develop a strong grip over the underlying concepts. Regular practice of questions from easy to medium level will help you in the retention of the learned concepts. Find out the sections (such as Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction) and the question types (Arguments, Idioms) that trouble you the most. Devote more time to get better in these areas and do not let any chapter to be a dead weight on your score.

  • Build on the conceptual knowledge

Once you feel confident about your hold over the vital concepts, you should start practicing high difficulty level questions. The complex questions will put your application ability to test. If you still face any difficulty while solving questions of a particular type (like sentence correction) then you can again work on the basics (such as grammar rules) to develop a better understanding of that topic.

  • Learn tricks for faster problem-solving

Time will be a crucial factor that will decide how you fare in the GRE exam. In order to optimize your performance, you should learn new tricks that will help you to solve the questions faster than how you would do normally using conventional methods. You will be able to use the saved time to solve difficult questions, which can be very positive for your overall performance in the exam. Just learning these tricks will not be sufficient. You will need to follow these methods while practicing questions on a regular basis so that their usage becomes second nature for you.

  • Practice and review

Take back to back mock tests in the final phase of your GRE prep. The mock tests will allow you to practice questions related to different sections simultaneously. You might come across some difficult questions while taking the mock tests, solving them in a limited time can be difficult. Even if you get them wrong the first time, make sure that you again attempt those questions after the completion of the test. You should also go through the solution to learn faster methods of solving the same question.

The preparation strategy will largely vary depending upon your current understanding of the fundamental concepts and the time in hand. Just make sure that you allow yourself enough time to cover all the areas of the GRE exam and do not rush through the preparation. Here are the detailed one month, two-month, and three-month study plans that you can follow for an effective GRE preparation. No matter which schedule you choose to follow, you must ensure that you are consistent in your efforts. With complete dedication and proper guidance, you will be able to crack the GRE and achieve the desired score to get into the college of your dreams.