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Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

  • What is GRE?

The GRE® revised General Test—the most widely accepted graduate admissions test worldwide—measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that are necessary for success in graduate and business school.

Prospective graduate and business school applicants from all around the world take the GRE revised General Test. Applicants come from varying educational and cultural backgrounds, and the GRE revised General Test provides a common measure for comparing candidates’ qualifications.

GRE scores are used by admissions committees and fellowship panels to supplement your undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and other qualifications for graduate-level study.

The GRE revised General Test is available at about 700 test centers in more than 160 countries. In most regions of the world, the computer-based test is available on a continuous basis throughout the year. In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea, the computer-based test is available one to three times per month. 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.

  • What does GRE measure?

The GRE revised General Test is composed of three measures—Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

The Analytical Writing section measures the ability to articulate and support complex ideas, examine claims and accompanying evidence, sustain a focused and coherent discussion, and control the elements of standard written English. The Analytical Writing section requires you to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented, so you can accurately demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task.

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it; understand the meanings of words, sentences, and entire texts; and understand relationships among words and among concepts. The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to understand what you read and how you apply your reasoning skills.

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your basic mathematical skills and your understanding of the elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information and to solve problems using mathematical models.

  • What is the test structure of computer-based GRE revised general test?

The following is typical test structure of GRE?

What is measured?

Number of questions

Allotted time

Analytical writing

(one section with two separately timed tasks)

One – analyze an issue task (30 minutes)

One – analyze an argument task (30 minutes)

30 minutes


30 minutes


Verbal Reasoning

(two sections)


20 questions for section


30 minutes for section


Quantitative Reasoning

(two sections)


20 questions for section


35 minutes for section


Un-scored verbal or quantitative reasoning section


20 questions for the section


30/35 minutes basing on the type of section.


Research section







Note: the un-scored section may appear at any point after the Analytical Writing Section. So, we cannot decide which section is experimental section and which one is scored section.

So, you should answer all the sections with equal care and sincerity

Note: the Research Section, if it appears in the test, will always be the last section and it is a declared section. You will be appropriately notified that the section is research section.

  • Is computer-based GRE computer-adaptive?

The answer is partly ‘yes’ and partly ‘no’.

Within each section, the GRE is computer-linear. This means that the computer does not increase or decrease the difficulty level of question basing on your performance.

Between sections, the GRE is computer-adaptive. This means that basing on your performance in one section, the computer changes the difficulty level of the next section. Of course, this does not apply to the un-scored section, which might be present at any part after Analytical Writing Section.

Thus, computer-based GRE is partly computer-adaptive and partly not.

  • Can I move back and forth between the sections?

As every individual section is internally computer-linear, you can move forth or back in any sections.

As the test is adaptive between the sections, you cannot move between the sections. That means, once you have completed the section, you cannot go back to that section anymore, but as long as you are within a section, you can move either way.


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