The GRE (Graduate Record exam) is a standardized test conducted by Educational Testing Service(ETS), for the purpose of admissions into graduate, business and doctoral degrees. The test is conducted in 160 countries with over 1000 test centers to supplement them. The test can be delivered in two formats viz, Paper-based and Computer-adaptive. The exam intends to test the candidate’s English vocabulary, critical thinking and mathematical skills. These skills are tested through three segments viz, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.
The Analytical Writing section is the first segment to appear in the GRE test. This section comprises of 2 questions – Analysis of an Argument and Analysis of an issue. The Analytical section is marked between 0-6 points. The time duration for attempting this section is 30 minutes for each question. Next comes the GRE Verbal reasoning and the GRE Quantitative reasoning sections. These are marked on the scale between 130-170 marks per section. The increment is by one mark in each of these sections.
The total number of questions is 40 per section. The 40 questions are further subdivided into 20 questions in both Verbal and Quantitative reasoning. The time limit for Quantitative reasoning is 35 minutes per section (per 20 questions) and similarly for Verbal reasoning it is 30 minutes per section (per 20 questions).
Test duration: 3 hours 45 minutes
Breaks: 1 minute break after each section
|Section||Number of questions||Time(minutes)|
|AWA- Issue task||1||30|
|Research / Experimental||Varies||Varies|
|Analytical writing assessment||0-6||0.5|
- GRE Analytical writing section: The Analytical Writing section is aimed at evaluating the responses provided by the candidates to each of the tasks assigned. It judges how the candidate is able to express his ideas, justify his selection by providing apt explanation and convey what the author is trying to communicate. It involves 2 different topics – Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument each of which must be completed within 30 minutes.
- Issue task: In this task a topic or issue of common interest will be presented to the candidate. Following this there will be a specific set of instructions on how to proceed. It will generally ask the candidate’s opinion if he either supports the topic or opposes it. It is mainly to judge the ability of the candidate to evaluate an issue, form a clear view on it and express his/her arguments in support of or opposing the same.
- Argument task: In contrast the argument task will have a conclusion given in the form of a short passage with instructions. This is to test the capability of the candidate to scrutinize the author’s message which is being conveyed in the paragraph. The candidate will then have to go on and support his statements with valid and relevant points.
- Verbal Reasoning: The Verbal Reasoning section tests the ability of the individual to comprehend the meaning of words, sentences and the logical relation between words. It also evaluates the aptitude the candidate has to form reason from incomplete data and the skills to obtain only relevant information and points from the given data. This section is also aimed at understanding the candidate’s capacity to grasp the author’s message in the given paragraph.
- Quantitative Aptitude: GRE Quantitative aptitude section tests the ability to apply fundamental concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data interpretation. It judges the candidate’s competence to solving mathematical problems and their capacity to grasp, interpret and analyze quantitative information.
- Research / Experimental
Research: An identified research section that does not count toward your score may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for ETS research purposes.
Experimental (Unscored section):An unidentified unscored section that does not count toward your score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the unscored section are being tried out either for possible use in future tests or to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores from earlier editions.
Test Design Features
GRE has brought about quite a few favourable features in order to make taking the test a simple task. Some of them are listed below.
- You now have the option to edit your answers in a section.
- There is an option to Mark your questions which you would like to come back to at a later time to check the same.
- The ability to change/edit answers within a section
- For the Quantitative Reasoning section there is an on screen calculator which is available.
- GRE revised General Test allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section.
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