GRE is one of the most popular exams for graduate applicants seeking a masters or doctoral degree such as an MS, MBA, JD, or Ph.D. The GRE test is organized by Educational Testing Services across thousands of centres in 160 countries. GRE scores are accepted by more than 1200 business and other graduate schools in 94 countries including the US.

       There are two modes for GRE General Test: Computer-based and Paper-based

       GRE scores are used by thousands of business schools to assess a candidate's ability

       Students take the GRE for being accepted in masters, doctoral, business graduate, law, and fellowship programs

       GRE Subject Tests are held on paper thrice in a year and assess a candidate’s ability in a specific field

       GRE’s exam pattern ensures fairness and overall assessment of candidates to efficiently pursue a graduate program

       Scores of GRE exam are valid for 5 years

       The GRE Subject test is available in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Literature in English, Psychology and Physics.

       The test was taken by more than 600,000 candidates from all over the world in 2017.


Types of GRE


There are two types of GRE tests- General GRE and GRE Subject Test


GRE General

The GRE General Test assesses candidates in three areas - Analytical Writing(scored 0-6), Verbal Reasoning(scored 130-170), and Quantitative Reasoning(scored 130-170). Types of questions that appear on the GRE General Test are closely related to the thought process required to pursue graduate and professional schools (including business and law). Irrespective of the educational background, graduate applicants from around the globe take the GRE General test.

Total time for the computer-based GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Its computer-based test is held throughout the year, whereas the paper-based test is organized twice annually.


GRE Subject

GRE Subject tests are used to assess candidates’ knowledge in a particular field of study. Graduate applicants with a bachelor’s degree in one of the following subjects can take the GRE Subject Test:




       English Literature



GRE Subject tests are paper based and held thrice in a year in the months of September, October, and April. GRE subject tests are scored on a scale of 200-990 with 10-point increments. Total time for the test is 2 hours and 50 minutes.


GRE 2020- Eligibility

       Candidates appearing for GRE subject tests should have an undergraduate degree in the subject they are appearing for

       There is no age limit for candidates taking the GRE

       Students need to pay a registration fee of 205 USD for the GRE general test

       The registration fee for GRE subject tests is 150 USD


How to Register for GRE?


Candidates can register for the GRE General Test either online on the official website or via phone. They can also request a GRE General Test Authorization Voucher by Mail.

       The registration must be done at least 2 business days before the preferred test date.

       The GRE General Test consists of questions on Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The GRE Subject Test aims at analysing candidate’s knowledge in a particular field of Study.

       GRE Registration fee ranges between the US $ 205 – $ 230 depending upon the region a candidate is registering from.

GRE 2020 Exam Pattern


The GRE General Exam is held in two modes- computer based and online. Test pattern for both is more or less the same, details for which are mentioned below.


Computer-delivered test has three sections:

       Analytical Writing

       Verbal Reasoning

       Quantitative Reasoning

The Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test has two separate tasks with 30 minutes allowed for completion of each task. The section assesses your writing skills and ability to clearly present ideas.

Verbal Reasoning includes two 30 minute sections with 20 questions in each section. It determines how accurately you can draw conclusions, distinguish between the important and trivial, understand the relationship between words and concepts, etc.

Quantitative Reasoning has 40 questions evenly divided into two sections with 35 minutes per section. It assesses your ability to solve problems using mathematical formulas, analyze quantitative information, and know elementary level arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis.

Computer – Delivered Test Pattern

       The test is divided into six sections with a 10 minutes break after the third section.

       The entire duration of the test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Given below is structure followed by the GRE General Test:

*Note: Apart from the above mentioned sections, the GRE computer-based exam may also include the following sections:

Unidentified- This section may appear anywhere after the Analytical Writing. It is an unidentified section which has no effect on your total score.

Research- A research question may replace the unscored section in the GRE exam pattern. This section is identified and always placed at the end. Again, the research question will have no impact on candidates’ overall score, its purpose is to assist ETS’s research.

The GRE exam pattern incorporates a fluid sequencing of questions. The Analytical Writing section always appears first. Other sections (Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Unidentified) may be placed in any manner after the first section


Paper – Delivered Test Pattern

       The paper is divided into six sections – two sections each of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

       The duration of the test is 3 hours 30 minutes with a 10 minutes break after the second section.

       ETS provides a calculator for candidates to solve QR questions. Candidates are not allowed to bring their own calculators.

       Candidates can attempt the VR and QR sections in any order they wish while taking the GRE paper-delivered test.

       Analytical writing sections will be first in the sequence of sections while the order of remaining sections is not fixed.

GRE Subject Test

       The duration of each subject test is 2 hours and 50 minutes.

       There are 6 different subject tests – Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology.

       Biology test consists of 190 five-choice questions from three major areas: cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution.

       Chemistry test consists of approximately 130 multiple choice questions from the four fields into which chemistry has been traditionally divided and some interrelationships among the fields.

       Literature in English comprises approximately 230 questions on poetry, drama, biography, the essay, the short story, the novel, criticism, literary theory and the history of English language.

       Mathematics test is made up of 66 multiple choice questions from courses of undergraduate level.

       Physics test has 100 five-choice questions aimed at assessing a candidate’s clarity of fundamental principles of physics and their ability to apply such principles.

       Psychology consists of 205 multiple type questions from the core of knowledge of the courses offered at the undergraduate level in the field of psychology

GRE General Test Syllabus


There are three major components of the GRE General Test and do not have a specified syllabus. The content of each section is as follows:

Verbal Reasoning

This section requires a candidate to:

       analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author's assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author's intent

       select important points; distinguish major from minor or relevant points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text

       understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts

Three types of questions are asked in this section and they are:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Text Completion
  3. Sentence Equivalence

Quantitative Reasoning

 It intends to test if a candidate can:

       understand, interpret and analyze quantitative problems

       solve problems using mathematical formulae and techniques

       apply elementary concepts and basic skills of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis

Analytical Writing

The sections aim at assessing the following abilities in a candidate:

       articulate complex ideas effectively and with clarity

       support ideas with appropriate reasons and examples

       examine claims and accompanying evidence

       sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion

       control the elements of standard written English

GRE Subjects Test Syllabus


The syllabus for each subject of GRE Subjects Test is as follows:

Biology: Biology test is made up of questions on the following topics:

       Cellular and Molecular Biology

       Organismal Biology

       Ecology and Evolution

Chemistry: The knowledge of the following topics which are covered in the UG level of education are tested in GRE Chemistry Test:

       Analytical Chemistry

       Inorganic Chemistry

       Organic Chemistry

       Physical Chemistry

Literature in English: The following categories of the literary works throughout history till the present times are tested in the GRE English Test:

       Literary Analysis


       Cultural and Historical Contexts

       History and Theory of Literary Criticism

Mathematics: The following areas of Mathematics are explored and tested by the GRE Mathematics Test:



       Discrete Mathematics

       Real Analysis

       Probability and Statistics

       Additional Mathematics

Physics: Candidates’ knowledge of following topics of Physics learned at the undergraduate level is tested in GRE Physics Test:

       Classical Mechanics


       Optics and Wave Phenomena

       Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

       Quantum Mechanics

       Atomic Physics

       Special Relativity

       Laboratory Methods

       Specialised Topics like Nuclear and Particle Physics etc.

Psychology: The GRE Psychology Test measures candidates knowledge in the following areas of psychology:







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