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GRE General Test

The Graduate Record Exam, popularly known as GRE is an international standardized test which paves way for a million of students to enter graduate or professional colleges all over the world including the United States of America. Most of the internationally reputed universities trust GRE score results as a certificate of merit or as an acknowledgement of excellence to admit the students in their institutions.

GRE exam is organized by a reputed organization known as Educational Testing Service or ETS, an organization run by a team of researchers, assessment developers and educational experts with more than 70 years of experience in analyzing and evaluating students’ natural intellect and their ability to move forward academically.

ETS organizes two kinds of GRE tests; GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test

GRE subject tests are taken by the test takers to prove their intelligence and skills in a specific subject. Students who are concerned to continue their academics in a specific field and have extensive potential knowledge in that specific subject appears for GRE subject tests. It serves as an additional advantage to prove their in depth knowledge in a specific subject to graduate or professional colleges. The subjects featuring in the GRE subject test are,

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Literature in English
  • Physics
  • Psychology

What does GRE General Exam test?

GRE general test examines mainly a candidate’s potential excellence in English language and mathematics. Apart from this the exam also tests one’s creativity in developing ideologies concerned with social issues.

Language skills:

GRE examines a student’s perceptiveness to comprehend, interpret, analyze and evaluate written documents which believes to be an undeniable quality to be possessed by students’ to go through graduation or any other program irrespective of the field they choose. Apart from this, the language part of the GRE strongly explores one’s mastery in high quality vocabulary and his ability to utilize them which again falls into an essential skill required to go through the curriculum.

Math skills:

Regarding mathematics, GRE inspects one’s basic problem solving skills by logical application of mathematical concepts and conventional formulas. The GRE math section tests one’s persistent knowledge and executional intelligence acquired in mathematical concepts over a prolonged period of time in high school.

Creativity and Ideology:

In this part, GRE tests how far a candidate can comprehend and analyze social issues and how far a candidate has the capability to put his thoughts into words. In this part the candidate has to reveal his ideologies in the form of an essay.

GRE Structure and Content:

To analyze and evaluate a student’s natural intellect and various potential skills acquired in the course of time and to test the various essential eligibility criteria to go through graduation, GRE is partitioned into three major sections.

  • Verbal Reasoning,
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing.

GRE Test Partition:

The three sections of the GRE general exam are tested in multiple sessions with a total time period of 3hours and 40 minutes.

Analytical Section:

First session of the GRE exam will be Analytical Writing. Analytical Writing section consists of one session with two essay writing tasks. An Issue essay and an Argument essay each with a time limit of 30 minutes.

Verbal and Quant section:

Verbal and Quant sections are split into two sessions each. Each verbal session consists of 20 questions with a time limit of 30 minutes and each Quant session consists of 20 questions with a time limit of 35 minutes. Totally verbal and Quant sections constitute four sessions of GRE general test and the order of these sessions vary in a random manner.

An Unscored section:

Apart from these sessions, GRE exam may consist of an unscored session either from quant or verbal section. Sometimes a test taker may get three verbal or three quantitative sessions in the exam which implies that one of those is an unscored or experimental session. In other words, if a candidate gets three quantitative sessions in the exam, then that means one of them is experimental or unscored session. But the test taker can never know which one of them is experimental. This unscored section doesn’t impact on one’s GRE score in any means. This session may have been imposed to check the psychological stability of a candidate.

Research section:

Sometimes there may be an additional session called Research section at the end of the exam. The advantage of this section with the previous one is that the candidate will get notified about it and he may skip it, if he wishes.

GRE is Adaptive in nature:

GRE test is adaptive in nature between the sessions. In simple, the difficulty level of quant or verbal section in the second session is based on the performance of the test taker in the first session. So to score up to the mark, a candidate has to go through a tough session and a tougher session of verbal and Quant.

GRE Test Pattern:

Verbal Reasoning Section:

The Verbal Reasoning section of GRE is the most important and most difficult part of the GRE examination one has to focus a lot on. Verbal section aims to examine a test taker’s ability to evaluate and understand different comprehensions and also the capability of test takers to understand the relationship between various words utilized in a sentence. It also intends to test the candidate’s grammatical skills and stock of vocabulary. The verbal section of GRE tends to test the above said abilities of a candidate by splitting the section into three parts, which are

  • Reading Comprehension,
  • Text Completion
  • Sentence Equivalence.

Reading Comprehension :

In Reading comprehension part of verbal section, a passage will be given for thorough analysis and then questions will be asked from that passage. All a candidate has to do is to go through the passage carefully, evaluate the information present or sometimes concealed in the passage and then answer the questions. There will be around 5 passages per session of verbal section and each passage will consist from one to several paragraphs.

The questions of Reading comprehension passage falls into three types:

Multiple choice question: (select one answer)

The question will be asked from the passage and the test taker has to choose one right answer from the given choice list.

Multiple choice question: (select one or more answers)

The question will be asked from the passage and the test taker has to choose one or more correct answers from the choice list. The number of correct answers may or may not be specified. There will be no credit for partially correct answer.

Select in passage questions:

In this type of question, a candidate has to choose a phrase or sentence or a word from the given passage that exactly answers the question. All he has to do is to select the portion he believes to be appropriate and that portion will get highlighted concluding that the answer has been chosen.

Sample Question:

Policymakers must confront the dilemma that fossil fuels continue to be an indispensable source of energy even though burning them produces atmospheric accumulations of carbon dioxide that increase the likelihood of potentially disastrous global climate change. Currently, technology that would capture carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and sequester it harmlessly underground or undersea instead of releasing it into the atmosphere might double the cost of generating electricity. But because sequestration does not affect the cost of electricity transmission and distribution, delivered prices will rise less, by no more than 50 percent. Research into better technologies for capturing carbon dioxide will undoubtedly lead to lowered costs.

Sample Multiple-choice Question — Select One Answer Choice

1. The passage implies which of the following about the current cost of generating electricity?

  1. It is higher than it would be if better technologies for capturing carbon dioxide were available.
  2. It is somewhat less than the cost of electricity transmission and distribution.
  3. It constitutes at most half of the delivered price of electricity.
  4. It is dwelt on by policymakers to the exclusion of other costs associated with electricity delivery.
  5. It is not fully recovered by the prices charged directly to electricity consumers.

Correct Answer: C

Sample Multiple-choice Question — Select One or More Answer Choices

Consider each of the three choices separately and select all that apply.

2. The passage suggests that extensive use of sequestration would, over time, have which of the following consequences?

  1. The burning of fossil fuels would eventually cease to produce atmospheric accumulations of carbon dioxide.
  2. The proportion of the delivered price of electricity due to generation would rise and then decline.
  3. Power plants would consume progressively lower quantities of fossil fuels.

Correct Answer: B

Sample Select-in-Passage Question

3. Select the sentence that explains why an outcome of sequestration that might have been expected would not occur.

Correct Answer: "But because sequestration does not affect the cost of electricity transmission and distribution, delivered prices will rise less, by no more than 50 percent."

Text Completion Section

In Text Completion portion, a passage will be given with blanks and a candidate has to fill the blanks by choosing an appropriate answer from the choice list given. The passage may vary from one to five sentences. There will be around 6 Text Completion passages per session of verbal section.

The passages of text completion portion falls into two types:

Single blank type:

In this type of passage, there will be only one blank to be filled and there will be 5 choices in the choice list.

Multi blank type:

In this type of passage, there will be two to three blanks and three choices will be given to each blank. The choice list is distinct for each blank and do not have impact on one another. Credit will not be given to partially correct answers.

Sample questions:

Type 1:

In parts of the Arctic, the land grades into the landfast ice so _______ that you can walk off the coast and not know you are over the hidden sea.

  1. permanently
  2. imperceptibly
  3. irregularly
  4. precariously
  5. slightly

Type 2:

It is refreshing to read a book about our planet by an author who does not allow facts to be (1)__________ by politics: well aware of the political disputes about the effects of human activities on climate and biodiversity, this author does not permit them to (2)__________ his comprehensive description of what we know about our biosphere. He emphasizes the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations, and the (3)__________, calling attention to the many aspects of planetary evolution that must be better understood before we can accurately diagnose the condition of our planet.

Answer choices:

Blank (1) Blank (2) Blank (3)
overshadowed enhance plausibility of our hypotheses
invalidated obscure certainty of our entitlement
illuminated underscore superficiality of our theories

Correct Answer: overshadowed, obscure, and superficiality of our theories

Sentence Equivalence Section

Sentence equivalence consists of one single sentence with one blank. But there will be two right answers which exactly fits in the blank. So the test taker has to choose two right answers from a choice list of six choices. That is, the two answers which a test taker chooses will have the same meaning and when fitted in the blank of the sentence will act in the same manner. In brief, the two answers must be synonyms of one another and must fit in the sentence to give the same exact meaning.

Sample questions:

Although it does contain some pioneering ideas, one would hardly characterize the work as __________.

  1. orthodox
  2. eccentric
  3. original
  4. trifling
  5. conventional
  6. innovative

Correct Answer: C and F

(These sample questions are taken from the URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/about/general/verbal_reasoning_sample_questions/)

Analytical Writing section:

The Analytical Writing section of the GRE examination, apart from testing the writing skills and one’s grammatical knowledge aims to examine two essential abilities that one must have gained through natural growth in a habitat.

One is the ability to develop an ideology with known facts, impose it and support it. The other is the ability to analyze an issue, take a stand, find evidence and then argue for the side. One may wonder why GRE tests these skills. But one cannot neglect the fact that all inventions and civilizations were born from these qualities of great personalities.

An overview of the Analytical writing section is given below:

No. of Sessions No. of Tasks Type of Questions Allotted Time
1 1 Analyze an Issue 30 Minutes
2 Analyze an Argument 30 Minutes

Analyze an Issue

This type of question intends to examine the depth of your thinking, i.e., how deeply you can think about a certain issue, criticize it with your ideology and express your opinion in the form of writing.

A sample question is provided here to help you out;

As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.

Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

(This sample question is taken from the URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/sample_task)

Analyze an Argument

This part of the Analytical writing section aims at evaluating how well you can understand and therefore assess an argument with proper writing skill. You need to establish the arguments with proper logic and evidence.

A sample question for this task is given below;

In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river's water and the river's smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is therefore sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year's budget to riverside recreational facilities.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

(This sample question is taken from the URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/sample_task)

GRE Quantitative Reasoning section :

The Quant section in GRE aims to measure your basic skills of mathematics and your ability to evaluate data from fundamental mathematical notions, apply mathematical concepts and conventional formulas in a right manner to solve problems. Quantitative section is the easiest section of GRE general test as it tests one’s mathematical knowledge at the level of high school. The quantitative reasoning section examines one’s potentiality in mathematical concepts of;

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Data Analysis

The GRE math section consists of four types of questions.

Comparison Questions

In comparison type case of questions, you need to compare two entities to derive a relationship between them.

Quantity A Quantity B
54% of 360 150
  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.


Without doing the exact computation, you can see that 54 percent of 360 is greater than One half of 360, which is 180, and 180 is greater than Quantity B, 150. Thus the correct answer is Choice A, Quantity A is greater.

(This Question is taken from the following URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/comparison/sample_questions)

Multiple Choice Questions with One Answer

This type of Multiple Choice Questions asks you to select one answer choice from the choice list. A sample question is given below;

A car got 33 miles per gallon using gasoline that cost $2.95 per gallon. Approximately what was the cost, in dollars, of the gasoline used in driving the car 350 miles?

  1. $10
  2. $20
  3. $30
  4. $40
  5. $50


Scanning the answer choices indicates that you can do at least some estimation and still answer confidently. The car used (350/ 33) gallons of gasoline, so the cost was Open parenthesis, (350/33)(2.95) dollars. You can estimate the product (350/ 33) (2.95) by estimating (350/ 33) a little low, 10, and estimating 2.95 a little high, 3, to get approximately (10)( 3) = 30 dollars. You can also use the calculator to compute a more exact answer and then round the answer to the nearest 10 dollars, as suggested by the answer choices. The calculator yields the decimal 31.287, which rounds to 30 dollars. Thus the correct answer is Choice C, $30.

(This Question is taken from the following URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/multiple_choice_one/sample_questions)

Multiple Choice Questions Select Many

This type of multiple choice questions will have one or more than one correct answers in the choice list and the candidate has to find all the correct answers. The number of correct answers may or may not be specified in the question. No credit is given for partially correct answer.

A sample question is given below;

Which of the following integers are multiples of both 2 and 3?

Indicate all such integers.

  1. 8
  2. 9
  3. 12
  4. 18
  5. 21
  6. 36


You can first identify the multiples of 2, which are 8, 12, 18 and 36, and then among the multiples of 2 identify the multiples of 3, which are 12, 18 and 36. Alternatively, if you realize that every number that is a multiple of 2 and 3 is also a multiple of 6, you can identify the choices that are multiples of 6. The correct answer consists of Choices C (12), D (18) and F (36).

(This Question is taken from the following URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/multiple_choice_more/sample_questions)

Numeric Entry Questions

In this section, you won't find answer choices, and you need to type the correct answer in a box. There would be one box for integer or decimal answers and two boxes for fractional answers. A sample question is provided below;

One pen costs $0.25, and one marker costs $0.35. At those prices, what is the total cost of 18 pens and 100 markers?


Multiplying $0.25 by 18 yields $4.50, which is the cost of the 18 pens; and multiplying $0.35 by 100 yields $35.00, which is the cost of the 100 markers. The total cost is, therefore, $4.50+ $35.00=$39.00. Equivalent decimals, such as $39.5 or $39.500, are considered correct. Thus the correct answer is $39.50 (or equivalent).

(This Question is taken from the following URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/numeric_entry/sample_questions)

Data Interpretation Questions

Within Data Analysis part these type of questions are asked. This section typically analyzes your ability to evaluate various data. To score well in this section, you need to have a detailed idea about various charts like bar charts, pie charts, line charts, etc. These type of questions may fall either into multiple choice type or numeric entry type.

Here is a sample question you can refer;

Annual Percent Change in Dollar Amount of Sales at Five Retail Stores from 2006 to 2008 :

Store Percent Change from 2006 to 2007 Percent Change from 2007 to 2008
P 10 -10
Q -20 9
R 5 12
S -7 -15
T 17 -8

If the dollar amount of sales at Store P was $800,000 for 2006, what was the dollar amount of sales at that store for 2008?

  1. $727,200
  2. $792,000
  3. $800,000
  4. $880,000
  5. $968,000


If the dollar amount of sales at Store P was $800,000 for 2006, then it was 10 percent greater for 2007, which is 110 percent of that amount, or $880,000. For 2008 the amount was 90 percent of $880,000, which is $792,000. The correct answer is Choice B, $ 792,000.

Note that an increase of 10 percent for one year and a decrease of 10 percent for the following year do not result in the same dollar amount as the original dollar amount because the base that is used in computing the percentage is $800,000 for the first change but $880,000 for the second change.

(This Question is taken from the following URL - https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/data_interpretation/sample_questions)

Score Calculations:

The Verbal and quantitative part consists of totally 40 questions each in the GRE exam. Both the parts are scored on one point increment basis. Each correct question is awarded one point. That is 40 correct answers in verbal part is calculated as a raw score of 40. Then the raw score is converted into official score in the range of 130-170 points. That is, a raw score of 40 is converted into 170 points in the official score card and raw score of 30 and 25 are converted into 160 and 155 points in the official score card. So the least possible raw score is 0, while the least possible official score is 130 and the highest possible raw score is 40, while the highest possible official score is 170 for verbal or quantitative part.

Analytical writing part is calculated on half-point increment basis ranging from 0-6 points. The essays are scored by a human grader and an e-grader and the average of both the score points is considered as the final score. If there is a difference above 1 point between the human and e-grader, then one more human grader is brought in. Then the average score points of the two human graders is the final score point. The essays are graded mainly on the basis of overall skill of handling the concept of the essay rather than the presentation or grammatical errors.

How many times can a test taker sit for the GRE exams?

The number of times appearing for GRE has no limits, but has certain restrictions. If you appear for the computer-based test, you can take it five times a year with an interval of 21 days between any two tests. And in case of the paper-based test, one can appear with no restrictions as the exam is held only three times per year. The paper-based GRE test takes place in the months of

  • February,
  • October and
  • November.

GRE Computer-based test VS. GRE Paper-based test

As you already know from the previous section of this article, the GRE exam takes place in two modes.

  • Computer based :
  • Computer based test is conducted throughout the year almost covering all the geographical areas of the world.

  • Paper based;
  • Paper based test is conducted three times a year in geographical areas where computer based test is not possible.

Computer based test Paper based test
The time limit for verbal and quantitative section is 30 and 35 minutes per session respectively and consists of 20 questions from each section. The time limit for verbal and quantitative section is 35 and 40 minutes per session respectively consisting of 25 questions from each section.
There may be an unscored section or an additional research section. There is no unscored or additional sections.
Scores are sent to desired universities on the test day itself. Scores will be sent only after 15 days of the test day.
The essays of the analytical writing part is graded by a human grader and an e-grader. The essays are graded by two human graders.

GRE Test Centers:

The computer based GRE test takes place in specified Prometric and non-Prometric centers all over the world. Seats are occupied on the basis of the order of registration. That is on the first come first served basis. But as computer based tests are conducted through out the year mostly over all geographical areas, most probably a candidate gets a convenient test center. But it is always better to register earlier to get your desired test center on your preferred test date.

Here is a URL to help you out in finding your GRE test location;


The paper based test is held only in very few geographical areas where computer based is not possible and is held only three times in a year. So seat availability in a convenient test center may at times become difficult. So early registration is mandatory. Also if there is no test center within the radius of 150 miles, you can request a supplementary test center to ETS.

To know more about GRE paper based test dates and locations, click on the URL below;


GRE Test fee:

The GRE general test fee is $ 205 worldwide. Only in three countries, namely Australia, Nigeria and China the GRE registration fee is $230, $220 and $220.70 respectively.

A Brief Idea about the ETS Account

Any potential student who is thinking of sitting for the GRE exam needs to create an ETS account for registration purpose. ETS account has a huge role to play in the whole GRE test. This account consecutively helps the examinee in getting all the notifications related to the GRE exam, in registering for the exam, in canceling the registration for any discrepancy, in checking the exam scores, in buying various practice sets and so on.

How to prepare for GRE?

As you know, the GRE exam intends to measure the ability of abstract thinking of the test takers through three sections, namely,

  • Verbal,
  • Quant and
  • Analytical Writing.

Here we’re presenting you a brief note about how you should prepare for each section in GRE. Have a look;

First, we'll discuss the verbal section of the GRE. As you know, this section has three parts, namely

  • Reading comprehension,
  • Text completion
  • Sentence equivalence.

And the key to get a perfect score in the GRE verbal section is to read more and more high quality written sources with diversified topics every day. As you read more, you will get trained to comprehend, interpret and evaluate written sources quickly and also you will get assess to lot of high quality vocabulary. Apart from this, you need to practice to accumulate and utilize lot of new words every day to enrich your vocabulary. There might be some difficult words in the question paper and to understand them clearly, you need to have a strong collection of words to yourself.

  • The next section in question is the Analytical writing section. Practice is the key for success and so you should practice writing at least two essays every day on a regular basis. Select your practice essay topics from Pool of topics given in the ETS website as you are definitely going to get both the essay topics from it. Another matter of concern is including practical examples in your writing. The Analytical writing section in the GRE expects you to give practical real life examples. But make sure those examples are specific and appropriate. Don't include something in your write-up which you're not sure of. Also, never write from your perspective. The essays in this section should always be written as a third person’s point of view.
  • Finally, to prepare for the GRE Math section, all you need to do is to go back to the syllabus of your prolonged schooling and focus on the basic math concepts you came across. The GRE Math section mainly focuses on high school level Mathematics, but checks your understanding in a trickier and in a diplomatic way. So you need to practice various concepts in Algebra, Mensuration, Geometry, Arithmetic, Statistics in a more complicated way. Good preparation materials and practice tests will help you go through this part. However, there is no Trigonometry and Calculus in the general GRE exam.

GRE preparation:

In this context to be mentioned, there is no proper scale to calculate the time needed to prepare for the GRE exam. It entirely depends on the examinee's ability to capture. But if given a rough measure, the minimum duration to prepare for GRE would be about three months, provided a student studies at least for 7-8 hours a day.

Nowadays students can take the help of various preparation books, online prep courses, and practice tests, etc. to prepare themselves for GRE at home.

GRE preparation books:

Some recommended books to prepare for the GRE exam are,

  1. GRE Prep Plus (Kaplan)
  2. This book costs only $22.38 and is undoubtedly one of the best books for GRE. It covers all the sections of GRE and also comes with online practice sets, exam strategies, video clips, etc. Buy this from Amazon today.

  3. GRE Prep (Magoosh)
  4. Another best and affordable book for GRE preparation is the book by Magoosh. The Paperback edition of the book costs less than $15 and is the first choice for many examinees. Get this book from Amazon.

  5. The Official Guide to the GRE (ETS)
  6. Coming from the exam organizing authority itself, the GRE prep book from ETS is a blessing for most of the test takers and that too at less than $23. To know about the guidelines to GRE in detail, you have to buy this book from Amazon today.

    You can also use the help of GRE Prep courses, study groups and private tutors to prepare yourself in a better way.

Practice and Mock Tests:

In this context to be mentioned, there is a difference between diagnostic tests and practice tests. Diagnostic tests are taken at the beginning of preparation to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the test takers. While practice tests should be taken in between preparations to understand where the student is standing then and how much he or she needs to improve.

Here some URLs where you can practice GRE mock tests for free. Have a look;


These power prep tests are useful because they are from ETS itself and they follow the GRE question type thoroughly. Some other tests are,



To achieve a higher score in the GRE exam, you can focus on the mock tests of the following site;


Here you would be able to practice for each of the sections of GRE; these tests are formed in the same set-up as the original GRE tests with proper timer, online calculator, etc. Here we're providing the URLs to some of the free tests from this site;


What to expect on the GRE Test day?

If you’re going to the GRE exam center, here are the things which you need;

  • A print-out of the mail you received after the successful completion of your GRE registration process. This mail contains all the required information related to your exam, like your preferred test center, the date of your test, etc.
  • You need to carry one or two sharp HB pencils, and an eraser as these items would not be given to the test takers from the center. The rough sheet would be provided, so you don't need to carry that.

Relaxations in GRE test:

In this context to be mentioned, the GRE exam lets you skip the difficult questions and proceed to well- known questions and provides the option of coming back to them once you finish the other questions. Hence, this exam paves way for the students to solve the questions according to their convenience.

You will be provided with an online calculator.

You can use unlimited number of scratch papers provided by the test administration.

There is no negative marking. So you don’t have to leave any question unanswered.

There will be a break of 10 minutes in between the exam to relax yourself.

GRE Score Select option:

The score select option in GRE is like an ultimate advantage and has been created to help out the students. Suppose, you’ve appeared for GRE five times; the GRE score select option helps you in sending the score which you prefer the most to your desired universities. If you wish to send your score of your third attempt and believe it to be the best, then score select option would help you in doing that and the Grad school you are applying won’t even know that you have appeared for GRE a total of five times.

Now you might be wondering, how this option works. At once you finish your GRE test, you would get your unofficial verbal and Quant scores instantly. You would be given the choice to send your score to four schools for free at that very moment. You would also be given four choices

  • send the most recent score
  • send any one of the score preferred
  • send all the scores
  • Don’t send any score

And the decision is yours. But once you choose a certain exam date, you have to send all the scores obtained on that particular exam. You cannot interchange the scores of the individual sections received in two separate GRE tests or skip any of the section score. So, this is how the score select option works.

Which Schools accept GRE scores?

The GRE test scores are accepted by most of the reputed universities around the world, and this exam has become mandatory to enroll your name in the top grad schools. Many grad schools accept the score of GRE for their business courses as well as their specialized Master's programs. There is no restriction regarding age limit or qualification to appear for GRE. Students can appear for the GRE exam even in High School. But they should consider two aspects. One is the validation period of GRE scores and the other is the eligibility criteria concerned with age and qualification of the program and the institution they wish to get admitted.

Usually Students who're keen on pursuing business studies appear for GMAT as it was the test widely accepted by all business schools. But nowadays, top business schools like the Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Yale School of Management, etc. accept GRE scores.

At the same time, there are also some grad schools which do not require the GRE scores for certain programs. For examples, many programs in University of Oxford, University of Toronto, Imperial college of London, etc do not need GRE.

Again there are some B-schools which only accept GMAT scores; like Macquarie University, Graduate School of Management Australia, Berkeley College USA, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, etc.

Mostly, students prepare to sit for GRE to enroll their names in the US graduate and business schools. There are a few schools outside the USA which also accept GRE scores.

In the URL below you would find the list of various courses which require GRE scores;


GRE Score Report

GRE score report is the report or receipt of your official GRE score. In case of the computer based GRE test, a test taker gets his or her unofficial scores for the Verbal and Quant sections right after the completion of the exam. But the official scores report is available in the ETS portal after 10-15 days of the test. In fact, ETS lets you order for additional score reports. You can order them online or by mail or Fax. These reports would reach you by 5-10 days and would cost you a charge of $27 per report.

When it comes to sending your GRE scores to various colleges and universities, it is advised that you send your best scores, as the GRE score select option lets you do that. You are provided to send your scores to four universities for free, and after that, for sending scores to each university, you need to pay $27 for each score report.

GRE Test Dates

To find out the dates of GRE paper-based as well as computer based tests and the respective number of seats available for test locations, the deadlines, etc. you need to make an account in the ETS portal.

If for any reason you can’t appear on the scheduled exam date you can change the date of your exam or you can cancel the exam, provided you make the change at least four days before your exam date. This rescheduling would cost you $50.

To find the date and exam center availability, you need to log in to your GRE ETS account.

But keep in mind one thing, for computer based tests, your official scores would be available after 10-15 days; so choose the exam date in such a way that you don’t miss the deadline of your desired university.

And for paper-based tests, you would not get unofficial or raw score at the test center and the official score would be available approximately about a month period. So it is important that you choose the exam dates keeping in mind the last dates of enrolling in your desired Universities and grad schools.

Good GRE Score:

Both the Verbal and Quant sections of GRE are scored on a scale of 130 to 170; while the Analytical Writing section is scored in a scale of 0 to 6.

Now what is considered to be a good score? It depends on your dream University, program preferred and your percentile rank. Not all Universities expect a miraculous score.

Average Score:

The official report of ETS states that the worldwide average score of the students in verbal and Quant section is 151.3 and 150.8 respectively. So any score above 302.1 falls into the category of an above average score.

Good Score:

The same official report of ETS states that the standard deviations on the average quant and verbal section scores are 8.7 and 8.5. So if we add the standard deviations with the average score 302.1+17.2, we get 319.3. So any score above 319.3 falls into the category of a good score.

Perfect Score:

Perfect score is no less than 340. To enter into the top most reputed Universities of the world, it is always advised to aim for a perfect score.

And regarding Analytical writing section, anything above 5 is considered as good and anything below 3 is considered to be worse.

To improve your GRE scores, you need to practice more; sit for various practice tests, go through the preparation books, and you should never lose your patience. Too much stress would jeopardize your whole exam; so keep your calm and keep working hard.