GRE General Test- An Introduction

About the GRE

The GRE 2019 is a standardized test for prospective aspirants who wish to pursue a specialized Master’s course like MS, MBA, MEM or Doctoral degree at renowned graduate schools particularly in North America(USA and Canada), Europe, UK, Singapore, AUS and NZ region. The full form of GRE is Graduate Record Examinations. The competitive test is designed and administered by the Educational Testing Service(ETS) and conducted not only in the United States but in 180 countries worldwide. The ETS headquarters is located at Princeton, New Jersey, United States.

Why take the GRE test?

The GRE test assesses an applicant’s mathematical skills like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Data Interpretation, etc. verbal prowess like college-level vocabulary and grammatical skills and measures his/her ability to analyze and critically examine a written material, solve problems and writing skills by composing an essay defending the validity of an argument.

Aspirants having a strong will to pursue a management degree or Ph.D. in a certain subject from world-class institutes generally tend to take the GRE test as GRE scores are considered as one of the key criteria for fetching admission to such business grad schools. It’s not just a mere admission formality, the GRE exam tests your fundamental and innate qualities too.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the only test that any person needs to take for admissions into graduate or business schools abroad. The GRE General test evaluates candidate’s skills in Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The GRE General test provides a common platform to assess all the students qualification through a single measure.

GRE Revised General Test

The GRE revised General test is just a revamped version of the old GRE General test. The new GRE test moved to a new scoring system, effectively replacing the old method of scoring between 200-800 with scores between 130-170 marks with one mark increments for right answers. The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections are now scored between 130 – 170 marks while the Analytical Writing is scored between 0 – 6 with half mark increments. The test also allows candidates to go back to questions previously skipped or change the answers to previous questions. The revised GRE test also introduced the adaptive test format.

The Official Guide to GRE Test

ETS provides the candidates with a few free preparation guides. The POWERPREP Online is a tool which can be used to simulate the GRE Computer-based test and it is available for two attempts. The Practice Test for Paper-delivered GRE General Test can be used as a preparation for the paper-based test. The Math Review is a free document that revises the math concepts which are important for the GRE test. Apart from the free materials, there are more paid preparation materials which can be brought. However, there are a number of free GRE apps which are easily available online among which –  BYJU’S GRE Learning App is the leading provider of app based study; the app can be downloaded from Google Play Store and App Store.

What comprises the GRE exam?

The GRE General Test is a computer-delivered exam which is timed at 3 hours 45 minutes test. In India, only this version of the test is being conducted. The GRE test has 6 sections with a 10-minute break once you complete the third section. Let’s have a look at how the GRE test is structured:

Name of the Section Time Limit Number of questions
Analytical Writing Assessment ½ an hour per task One “Analyze an Issue” and “Analyze an Argument” task each
Verbal Reasoning (2 Sections) ½ an hour per section 20 questions per section
Quantitative Reasoning (2 Sections) ½ an hour per section 20 questions per section
10-minute break
Research Varies Varies
Unscored Varies Varies

The Research and the Unscored section are the two different variable sections’ scores which do not count towards the actual GRE 2019 score. These are often considered as optional parts of the test.

GRE General Test Syllabus

Section Syllabus
Verbal Reasoning Syllabus Basic sentence structure, verb tense, idioms and idiomatic expression, pronoun agreement, subject verb agreement, modifiers, parallelism, great vocabulary
Quantitative Reasoning Syllabus Number, percentage, profit and loss, ratio and proportion, simple and compound interest, speed distance and time, permutation and combination, linear equation, quadratic equation, set theory, statistics, powers and roots, probability, work and time, geometry, coordinate geometry, mensuration
Analytical Writing Syllabus Basic sentence structure

GRE Fees

According to ETS, the official website of GRE, the registration fee to take the GRE test is about US$205. The GRE cost in India costs about Rs. 14,250(approx.) subject to change in foreign exchange rates.

GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test

Bases GRE General Test GRE Subject Test
Purpose Entry to Graduate, Business or Doctoral degree Entry to technical graduate programs
Required by Graduate or Business schools Scientific and technical universities or individual dept.
Adaptive Computer adaptive test, paper-based Paper based test
Duration 3 hours 45 minutes 2 hours and 50 minutes
Fees US$205 US$150
Test contents Verbal, Quant and AWA Specific specialization in the 7 subjects like: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology



Literature in English




When is the GRE offered?

The GRE test is conducted all year round. Applicants have the flexibility to choose the GRE exam date per their convenience from the available exam dates list. They can kick-start their GRE preparation as per their study plan and submit applications to the respective grad schools on or before the set deadlines. Below is the table depicting the crucial dates that candidates can refer while applying for the GRE test:

GRE Important Dates
GRE Registration Open throughout the year
GRE Examination Date No official exam date. Candidates can choose the exam date during the exam registration
GRE Result Declaration Approx. 10-15 days post the test date

What is the GRE score?

The GRE score is valid for up to 5 years.  340 is considered the highest score/grade which an applicant can record in the exam. Given below is the section-wise segregation of the GRE General Test:

GRE Sections GRE Score Range
Analytical Writing Assessment(AWA) On a scale of 0–6 in ½ point increment
Verbal Reasoning(VR) On a scale of 130–170 in 1 point increment
Quantitative Reasoning(QR) On a scale of 130–170 in 1 point increment


Have you been planning lately to pursue an MS or Doctoral degree from an international university and don’t know how to get started? At BYJU’S, our GRE experts offer you intensive counseling, mentorship, and training of the GRE exam and guide you in every step of your preparation. You can reach out to us at +918884544444, or even drop an SMS at this number. You can write to us at