GRE General Test Overview      

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE®) General Test and Subject Tests are taken by individuals applying to graduate schools. GRE is administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service) in Princeton – USA. ETS is a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research, primarily through testing.

The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The General Test is given year-round as a computer-based test in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries. Paper-based General Test administrations are offered in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available.
 

The skills measured include the test taker's
ability to
• analyze and evaluate written material and    synthesize information obtained from it
• analyze relationships among component
   parts of sentences
• recognize relationships between words and   concepts
 
 The skills measured include the test taker's  ability  to
 • understand basic concepts of    arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis
 • reason quantitatively
 • solve problems in a quantitative setting

The skills measured include the test taker's ability to
• articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
• examine claims and accompanying evidence
• support ideas with relevant reasons and   examples
• sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
• control the elements of standard written
   English

Prospective graduate applicants take the General Test. GRE test scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate records and other qualifications for graduate study. The scores provide common measures for comparing the qualifications of applicants and aid in evaluating grades and recommendations. Any one who wants to continue his/her education into graduation level can take this test.

The General Test is offered year-round at computer-based test centers in the U.S., Canada and many other countries. It is offered at paper-based test centers in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. Many authorized center around the word now offer the Computer Based Test.

Any accredited graduate, business or professional school, or any department or division within a school, may require or recommend that its applicants take the General Test, a Subject Test or both. If approved by the GRE Board, a non-accredited institution can also receive test takers' scores. The universities in USA and few other countries use this score to evaluate the qualifications of their prospective applicants.
 
Test Content: Computer-Based General Test

The computer-based General Test is composed of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections. In addition, one unidentified unscored section may be included and this section can appear in any position in the test after the Analytical Writing Section. Questions in the unscored section are being tested for possible use in future tests and answers will not count toward your scores.

Total testing time is up to three hours, not including the research section. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.

The Analytical Writing section is always first. For the Issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics. Instead, one topic will be presented.

The Verbal and Quantitative sections may appear in any order, including an unidentified unscored section.

Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.

Typical Computer-Based GRE General Test

Section
Number of Questions
Time
Analytical Writing
1 Issue Task*
45 minutes
Analytical Writing
1 Argument Task*
30 minutes
Verbal
30
30 minutes
Quantitative
28
45 minutes
Unscored**
Varies
Varies
Research***
Varies
Varies

* For the Issue task, two essay topics are presented and you choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics. Instead one topic is presented.

** An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.

*** An identified research section that is not scored may be included and it is always at the end of the test.

Test Content: Paper-Based General Test Content

The paper-based General Test is composed of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections. In addition, one unidentified unscored section may be included and this section can appear in any position in the test after the Analytical Writing Section. Questions in the unscored section are being tested for possible use in future tests and answers will not count toward your scores.

Total testing time is up to 3 3/4 hours. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.

The Analytical Writing section is always first. For the Issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics. Instead one topic will be presented.

The Verbal and Quantitative sections may appear in any order, including an unidentified Verbal or Quantitative unscored section. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.

Typical Computer-Based GRE General Test

Section
Number of Questions
Time
Analytical Writing
1 Issue Task*
45 minutes
Analytical Writing
1 Argument Task*
30 minutes
Verbal (2 sections)
38 per section
30 minutes per section
Quantitative (2 sections)
30 per section
30 minutes per section
Unscored**
Varies
30 minutes

*For the Issue task, two essay topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics. Instead, one topic will be presented.

** An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.

Modified Versions of Verbal and Quantitative Questions

The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on an earlier section of the test. Some modifications are substantial. Others are less apparent.

Thus, even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be a different question and may also have a different correct answer. You can be assured of doing your best on the test you take by paying careful attention to the wording of each question as it appears in your test.

The GRE Program is currently investigating the feasibility of reusing questions that have been published in GRE practice materials. As part of that investigation, you may see questions from these materials on a test you take.

For complete and updated information, visit the official website of GRE.