What is GRE Paper Based General Exam Pattern

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) can be taken in two available test formats: Paper-based and Computer-based. The Paper-based test is non-adaptive test. Generally, the paper based test is available in those locations where computers and internet connection haven’t yet marked their presence. Henceforth, the availability of the paper-based test is much lower than that of the computer-based test. The paper-based test is available just three times a year while the computer-based test is available multiple times per week per year.

The Paper-based test is three hours and 30 minutes long without adding time for the breaks. A 10 minute break is available after the completion of the second section.

Test Structure of the Paper-based Test


Number of Questions

Allotted Time


Analytical Writing

(One section, two separate timed tasks)

One Analyze An Issue and One Analyze An Argument

30 minutes per task

0-6 per question

(0.5 mark increment)

Verbal Reasoning

(Two sections)

25 questions per section

35 minutes per section


(1 mark per question)

Quantitative Reasoning

(Two sections)

25 questions per section

40 minutes per section


(1 mark per question)

When compared to the computer-based test, there are five more questions per section in both the Verbal and the Quantitative Reasoning sections. The ETS will calculate the scaled score to arrive at the final GRE scores for the candidate.

Test Features

  • There is no separate answer sheet to enter the answers, instead answers are entered into the question booklet itself.
  • The candidate is free to skip between questions in the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
  • All candidates will be provided with a calculator by ETS for the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section. There is no need for candidates to bring a calculator.

ETS provides the candidates with a Practice Book for the Paper-delivered GRE General Test. It contains questions in the pattern of the GRE Paper-based test. The GRE Paper test is extremely similar to the GRE Computer test. The registration process for both the exams are the same and so is the cost of the exam. The candidate receives the unofficial test score immediately after finishing the GRE Computer-based test, while there is no unofficial score for the GRE Paper-based test. The final results of the Paper-based test are received five-six weeks after the day of the examination.

Check if the GRE General Test is offered in the paper form in your city and choose a test date well before the deadline for the applications to the colleges close.

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