General Questions about GRE
The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test is a computer-delivered test that lasts for approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. It consists of three separately-timed sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit assessment organization, at Prometric test centers or at other ETS-approved centers.
Yes, the paper version of the GRE revised General Test lasts approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes and consists of the same three separately-timed sections as the computerized test.
In the computer-delivered GRE: • Verbal – Two 30-minute sections with 20 questions each • Quantitative Reasoning – Two 35-minute sections with 20 questions each • Analytical Writing – One section with two separately-timed tasks: Analyze an issue and Analyze an argument. In the paper-based GRE: • Verbal – Two 35-minute sections with 25 questions each • Quantitative Reasoning – Two 40-minute sections with 25 questions each • Analytical Writing – Two 30-minute sections: Analyze an issue and Analyze an argument.
Whether you want to take admission to a graduate program, a postgraduate program, an MBA program, or a specialized master's course in business in the United States, you will need to produce your GRE scores as part of the admission process. The most current list of MBA programs accepting GRE scores can be found here. The complete list of educational institutions accepting GRE scores can be found here.
The ETS provides the GRE Search Service, wherein candidates can add their profiles to the GRE Search Service database for free. Graduate and business schools the world over use this database to find prospective students. If your profile matches their requirements, you will receive information about their programs, admission procedure, fellowships, and scholarships.
The GRE revised General Test is the only admissions test for graduate and business school that lets test takers use their personal test-taking strategies. Within a section, you can: • Change answers • Tag questions with "mark" and "review" features • Skip questions and return to them later • Preview and review questions For the computer-delivered test, you can use an on-screen calculator for the Quantitative section and in the paper-based test, you will be provided with calculators by the test center.
The Verbal and Quantitative sections are section-level adaptive. This means that the first section of each segment will have questions of average difficulty. Based on your performance on the first section, the difficulty level of the next section will be determined. For example, if you perform well in the first Verbal section, you will be given a harder set of questions in the second Verbal section. Scoring takes into account the total number of questions with correct answers and the difficulty level of the questions.
According to a survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep in 2014, 85% of MBA programs give students the option to submit either a GRE score or a GMAT score. In addition, 78% of MBA programs viewed both test scores equally.
The ETS has developed a GRE Comparison Tool to help business schools compare GRE scores with their equivalent GMAT scores. GRE Verbal scores and Quantitative scores can be entered in the tool to get equivalent GMAT scores. Since the predicted GMAT scores may not be completely equivalent to the GRE scores due to measurement error, a predicted score range is reported.
You can write the GRE General Test 5 times within a year and you can take the test once every 21 days, even if you have canceled the scores of your previous attempt. The paper-delivered test can be taken as often as it is offered.
The computer-delivered GRE General Test is offered throughout the year.
The paper-delivered GRE General Test is offered up to 3 times a year.
Registering for the GRE Test
Your ID depends on your country of citizenship and where you plan to take the test. Your ID should meet ALL of the following requirements: • It should be original. • It should be government-issued. • It should be valid. • It should have your full name. • It should have a recognizable, recent photograph. • It should have your signature. To find out which ID is acceptable for your country of citizenship, check here.
If you cannot meet ID requirements because you have refugee status or have been granted political asylum, or for other reasons, you should contact the ETS Office of Testing Integrity (OTI) at least 7 days before registering for the test. • You must receive approval from the ETS OTI before you sit for the test. • You may be asked to provide documents for review before your get approval. • If you do not seek ETS OTI approval before you register for the test, and as a result you are not allowed to sit the test or your scores are withheld, your test fee will not be refunded. Email: TSReturns@ets.org Phone: 1-800-750-6991 (United States, U.S. Territories and Canada) 1-609-406-5430 (all other locations) Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. ET Fax: 1-609-406-9709
The registration fee for the GRE General Test varies across geographies: • China = US$220.70 • Australia = US$ 230.00 • Rest of the world = US$205.00
You can register online or via phone. For detailed information about how to register in your region, look here.
The paper-delivered test is available ONLY in those regions of the world where the computer-delivered test is not administered. You can register for the paper-delivered test online or via mail. For more details, look here.
To find test centers near your location and available test dates, use this. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Yes, you can cancel or reschedule your test date, but you must do it before four days of your scheduled date or else you will lose the test fee. If you live in Mainland China, you must change or reschedule your test date before 10 days of your scheduled date in order to get a partial refund. • If you cancel your test within the given period, you will be refunded half the original test fee. • If you reschedule your test within the given period, you will be required to pay US$53.90 if you live in China and US$50 if you live anywhere else in the world. For the paper-delivered GRE General Test, you may reschedule your date only within the same testing year (July 1 to June 30). • For details about canceling or rescheduling the computer-delivered GRE General Test, read here. • For details about canceling or rescheduling the paper-delivered GRE General Test, read here.
Yes, you can change the location of your test center by contacting GRE services. A fee of US$50 will be levied.
Yes, if you meet the requirements of ETS for disabilities and health-related needs, you are eligible to receive testing accommodations. For more details, read this.
Most college application deadlines fall between November and January. You will need time to do the following in order to get into the college of your choice: • Prepare for the GRE • Put aside time to retake the test, should it be necessary • Work on your LORs and SOPs • Collect your research work Thus, you should begin your preparations 6 months in advance of your college application deadlines.
There is no age limit for writing the GRE General Test.
You can contact GRE services at 1-609-771-7670 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to get help with your ID queries. If you live in India or Korea, you should get in touch with your local GRE Customer Support Center. You can expect to receive a response to your email within 72 hours.
The casing of the letters does not matter.
You should enter both the names without a space between them. The name on your ID and the name you enter during registration should be exactly the same, excluding spaces, apostrophes, and accents.
You should enter your given name as your first name and then enter it again as your last name.
It is not mandatory to enter a middle name during registration. • If your ID does not have a middle name, you can skip this field. • If your ID has a middle name, you should enter the first initial in this field. If you want to add your middle name to your ETS account, you need to call GRE services. Only a middle initial is allowed in your ETS account, so business schools will see this when they view your report. To see what a report looks like, here's a sample.
GRE Testing Sections/Format
The computer-delivered GRE General Test has 6 sections. You can take a 10-minute break after the third section. Section No. of questions Time limit Analytical Writing (1 section) • Analyze an Issue task • Analyze an Argument task 30 min per task Verbal Reasoning (2 sections) 20 questions per section 30 min per section Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections) 20 questions per section 35 min per section Unscored Variable Variable Research Variable Variable • The unscored section is unidentified and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It does not count toward your score. Questions in this section are used to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores on the previous editions. They may also be questions that are being tried out for possible future use. • The research section is identified and does not count toward your score. It may appear instead of the unscored section. It will always appear at the end of the test. These questions are used for ETS research purposes. You will always get the Analytical Writing section first. The remaining sections may appear in any order.
The paper-delivered GRE General Test has 6 sections. You can take a 10-minute break after the second section. Section No. of questions Time limit Analytical Writing (2 sections) • Analyze an Issue task • Analyze an Argument task 30 min per section Verbal Reasoning (2 sections) 25 questions per section 35 min per section Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections) 25 questions per section 40 min per section You will always get the Analytical Writing section first. The remaining sections may appear in any order.
The Verbal Reasoning section measures a candidate's ability to: • understand relationships among words and among concepts. • understand the meanings of words, sentences, and whole texts. • understand the structure of a text and be able to summarize it. • be able to distinguish between major and minor points of a text. • analyze and draw conclusions from discourse. • understand multiple levels of meaning—figurative, literal, and author's intent. • identify the author's assumptions and/or perspective. • reason from incomplete data. For examples of Verbal Reasoning questions, look here.
The Quantitative Reasoning section measures a candidate's ability to: • apply elementary concepts and basic skills of algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis. • solve problems with the help of mathematical models. • understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information. For examples of Quantitative Reasoning questions, look here.
The Analytical Writing section measures a candidate's ability to: • control the elements of standard written English • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively In this section, your responses should be focused, which will show your ability to directly respond to a task. For examples of Analytical Writing questions, look here.
The Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test and the Writing section of the TOEFL test measure two different sets of skills. In the Writing section of the TOEFL test, two writing tasks are assigned: • An independent task in which the candidate has to support an opinion in writing. • An integrated task in which the candidate has to write a response that integrates and organizes information from a reading passage and a lecture. These writing tasks are meant to test the candidate's command of English grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and syntax as well as his/her composition skills. To a certain extent, the ability to synthesize and analyze material is also tested. However, these tasks do not measure higher levels of analytical writing and critical thinking. Thus, the GRE Analytical Writing section and the TOEFL Writing section cannot be compared. Nevertheless, the TOEFL Writing score can help schools determine whether a low score in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test is due to a lack of command over English.
GRE Test Scores
The GRE General Test scores are valid for 5 years from the date the test was taken.
Using the GRE ScoreSelect option, you can choose which test scores will be sent to institutions you have previously selected. You can choose the "Most Recent" option and send the scores from the test you have registered to take, or you can choose the "All" option and send scores from all the tests you have taken. Thus, you can be confident about showcasing only your best scores to your target business schools. This option is available for both GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test.
You can view your scores within 5 weeks of taking the test. ETS will send an email to you notifying you that your scores are ready to be viewed and that the official score reports have been sent to your selected graduate and business schools. If you want a paper copy, you can take a print out of your official score report. Here is a sample score report.
ETS sends Graduate Institution Score Reports directly to up to 4 institutions that you have selected. Here is a sample score report sent to schools.
Your Official Score Report will have the following details: • Name • Address • Email ID • Phone number • Intended graduate major • GRE test scores and associated percentile ranks There will be no mention of the other score recipients you have selected or the scores that you have chosen not to report.
Yes, you can request Additional Score Reports (ASR) at a payment of US$27 per recipient. You have the Most Recent and All option here as well. Scores will be sent to your chosen schools after around 5 business days of placing the request. You can ask for ASRs via mail, by fax, or online using your ETS account. Once an ASR request has been put in, it cannot be changed or canceled. You will need to complete this form if you want to order ASRs by mail or fax.
Contact GRE services for help with change of name and/or mailing address after the test was administered.
The Verbal Reasoning section is scored on a scale between 130 and 170 in 1-point increments. The Quantitative Reasoning section is scored on a scale between 130 and 170 in 1-point increments. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale between 0 and 6 in half-point increments. If you do not answer any questions at all in a section, it will be reported as a No Score (NS) section.
A percentile rank is given for each GRE test score. This indicates the percentage of test takers who wrote that test with you and scored less than you.
You can request for a score review up to 90 days from the date of the test. You can place your request in three ways: • Online via your ETS account • By mail or fax using the Score Review Request Form (PDF) It takes about 4 weeks to receive the results of the review. During the review process, you cannot report your GRE test scores to target schools. If your score changes after the review process, the new (higher or lower) score will be reported to the schools you have selected. You are required to pay a fee of US$60.
You can request a review of your score within 90 days of your test date. You can place your request online via your ETS account or by mail or fax using the score review form (PDF) along with a fee of US$50. You can expect to receive the results of your review within 4 weeks. You cannot report your GRE test scores while the review is in progress. After the review, your new score (higher or lower) will be reported to your designated schools.
GRE Test Day
When you check-in at the test center, the following procedures are done for ID verification: • signature comparison • videotaping • fingerprinting or thumbprinting • biometric photo and voice identification You must also present an acceptable and valid ID document. If you have an authorization voucher, you must present that, too. You should also have your confirmation email in which the location of the test center and the time of the test is mentioned. If you do not cooperate with these procedures, you will not be allowed to sit the test and your test fee will not be refunded.
You should bring the following items to the test center if you are writing a paper-delivered test: • 3-4 sharpened No. 02 or HB pencils, a good eraser (Pencils and erasers are not provided at the test center. Mechanical pencils and pens are not allowed.) • Your confirmation email • Acceptable, valid ID document
• It is advisable to bring at least two forms of acceptable ID documentation. If your ID is questioned by the test administrator, you can present the supplemental ID. • If the test administrator cannot positively confirm you, you may or may not be allowed to sit the test and your scores may be withheld. • If you leave the test center to get another form of acceptable ID, your seat may or may not be held for you. • If you are admitted to the test center, it does not assure that your ID is valid or your scores will be reported. Cases of questionable ID will be reviewed by the ETS Office of Testing Integrity. • You may be required to show your ID and/or sign a log at the test center at various points throughout the progress of the test.
Yes, you should arrive at the test center approximately 30 minutes early. For computer-delivered tests, you will be required to write and sign a confidentiality statement. If you do not do this, you cannot write the test and your fees will not be refunded.
The ETS considers the following behavior as irregular: • using study aids and notes during the test • having access to the questions and answers before the test • one candidate copying from another • a candidate taking the test for someone else You can report such irregular behavior by contacting ETS using the following information: Email: TSReturns@ets.org Phone: (US only) 1-800-353-8570, 1-609-406-5430 Fax: 1-609-406-9709
If you arrive late at the test center, you may not be allowed to write the test and your test fee will not be refunded.
You are NOT allowed to carry tobacco, food, and beverages into the testing room. Other personal items such as phones, watches (digital, analog, or smart), photographic devices, scanning devices, listening devices, recording devices, and any other electronic items are also NOT allowed in the testing room. Test center administrators will inform you about where to store your personal items. You may be asked to empty your pockets. The test center is not responsible for the safekeeping of your personal items.
No, you are NOT allowed to use your phone during breaks to check messages, see the time, or make phone calls.
No, your friends and/or relatives cannot wait for you or be in contact with you at the test center while you write the test. Only ETS-approved observers can enter the testing room while the test is in progress.
• It is advisable to dress such that you will be comfortable at any temperature. • Your clothing or body should not have test-related information written on it. • You are not allowed to wear any jewelry except wedding or engagement rings. • Do not wear clothing such as headbands, barrettes, ornate clips, cuff links, tie clips, or any other hair accessory as you may be asked to remove them before you can sit the test. • The test center administrator may inspect articles of clothing such as jackets, outerwear, scarves, hats, bowties, neckties, and hair accessories. • You may be asked to temporarily remove your spectacles for close visual inspection. You will be inspected during check-in and when you return from breaks.
No, you cannot leave the test center during the test or during breaks.
Yes, the test center will provide you with scratch paper to be used ONLY during the test. You cannot use it during breaks or before the test. You must return all scratch paper to the test administrator after you complete the test. • You should not write on anything other than the scratch paper provided. • You should not carry your own paper.
You can seek the attention of the test administrator if you want to leave your seat during the test progress. However, the timing of your section will not be stopped.
Raise your hand to get the attention of the test administrator.
You will be offered a free retest or you can choose to get a full refund of your test fee. You can also seek reimbursement of traveling expenses (documented and reasonable) from ETS by contacting GRE services within 30 days of your appointment. You will need to provide the following information: name, mailing address, date of birth, email address, daytime telephone number, original test date, CBT appointment number or registration number, and a brief description of the occurrence at the test center. You will be reimbursed in US dollars.
About GRE Subject Tests
The GRE subject tests are available in the following disciplines: • Biochemistry • Cell and molecular biology • Chemistry • Biology • Computer science • Mathematics • Psychology • Physics • Literature in English
The GRE subject tests are intended to assess the test taker's knowledge in a specific discipline. They can help you emphasize your skills in a specific discipline and stand out from the other applicants.
They are offered three times a year in a paper-and-pencil format (November, December, April). You can see the updated list of test centers here.
The syllabus varies from discipline to discipline. In general, the test covers concepts that candidates will have encountered during their undergraduate studies. Most test questions are multiple-choice questions. For detailed information on the content of the GRE subject tests, look here.
All over the world, the registration fee is US$150. Learn about the accepted forms of payment here.
Yes, you can cancel or change the date of your GRE Subject Test. You are eligible for a partial refund if you cancel or reschedule before at least four days of your appointment.
Yes, you can change your test center for the GRE Subject Test four days or more ahead of your appointment.
You can request for change of your GRE Subject if you keep within the registration deadline. You are required to pay a fee of US$50. However, change of subject test is dependent on availability of space. You can change your subject test online via your ETS account or by calling GRE services. GRE services will require details like your name, address, date of birth, test date, and registration number.