The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test required for admission to many graduate programs abroad. It is a common prerequisite for individuals planning to pursue a Master’s degree in various fields. The GRE is specifically designed to assess the academic knowledge and skills of test-takers.
Accepted by numerous business and law schools globally, the GRE serves as a tool for educational institutions to evaluate applicants’ academic capabilities and their potential to successfully complete graduate programs in business or law. The test covers a range of subjects to gauge the candidate’s quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing abilities.
Prospective graduate students are encouraged to prepare thoroughly for the GRE to enhance their chances of securing admission to their desired programs. Success in the GRE can play a crucial role in demonstrating an applicant’s readiness for advanced academic pursuits and is a key factor considered by many prestigious institutions worldwide.
Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE stands out as one of the premier assessment programs globally for gaining admission to graduate business or law schools. This examination is available year-round, allowing candidates the flexibility to choose a test date that aligns with their preparation schedule. Notably, individuals are granted the opportunity to retake the GRE up to five times within a consecutive year, providing a chance for improvement.
Furthermore, GRE scores remain valid for a period of five years, offering applicants the flexibility to apply to graduate programs within this timeframe. The multi-year validity allows candidates to strategically plan their educational pursuits, considering various factors such as work experience or additional academic preparation. Overall, the GRE, facilitated by the ETS, plays a crucial role in shaping the academic journey of those aspiring to pursue advanced degrees in business or law.
The advantages of taking the GRE are outlined below:
1.Specialized Subject Tests:Individuals planning to pursue master’s or doctoral programs in disciplines such as Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Psychology can opt for GRE subject tests to enhance their prospects of selection.
2.Gateway to Diverse Programs:Attaining the right GRE score opens doors for individuals aspiring to pursue MBA, MS, and Doctoral programs abroad, serving as a critical entry requirement for these diverse academic paths.
3.Consideration for Scholarships and Fellowships:GRE scores are extensively evaluated when selecting candidates for scholarships and fellowships, emphasizing the test’s role in identifying high-achieving and deserving individuals.
4.Detailed Sectional Scores: Universities receive individual scores for each GRE section, enabling them to pinpoint a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. This information aids institutions in providing additional support to candidates as needed.
5.Long Validity Period: GRE scores remain valid for five years, allowing students to apply to graduate schools within this timeframe, providing flexibility and accommodating various life circumstances.
6.Interactive Test Features:The GRE offers interactive features such as the ability to skip, mark, and change answers. As the only computer-based test with reattempt options, it provides a unique testing experience.
7.Prompt Score Reporting: Official GRE scores are typically available within 15 days of completing the test. Additionally, students can view their unofficial scores immediately after completing the test.
8.Potential Impact on Visa Approval: A strong GRE score can enhance the likelihood of visa approval, underlining the test’s significance in demonstrating a candidate’s academic preparedness. While not as challenging as the GMAT, a sincere approach is essential to succeed in the GRE.
9.Accepted by Law Schools: Many US law schools accept the GRE in place of the GMAT, offering a more versatile option for individuals pursuing legal education.
The GRE consists of two primary types of tests:
1.GRE General Test:
The GRE General Test is meticulously designed to evaluate a test taker’s proficiency in verbal reasoning, analytical writing, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning skills. In the computer-based format, a candidate’s performance in earlier sections influences the difficulty level of subsequent sections, ensuring a tailored assessment.
The GRE General Test is available in three distinct formats:
-Verbal Reasoning: Assesses the ability to analyze and evaluate written material.
-Analytical Writing: Evaluates critical writing and analytical thinking skills.
– Quantitative Reasoning:Measures mathematical and problem-solving capabilities.
2.GRE Paper-Based Test:
The GRE paper-based test (PBT) is administered in a traditional paper and pen format, spanning a duration of 3 hours and 30 minutes. This test is conducted three times a year, providing an alternative to the computer-based format for those who prefer or require a paper-based examination experience. The GRE PBT covers similar content areas as the computer-based version but is delivered in a different format to accommodate diverse testing preferences.
These two test formats cater to the varied needs and preferences of test takers, allowing them to choose the mode that aligns best with their comfort and test-taking style.
Here is a summary of the topics covered in the GRE syllabus:
The GRE Analytical Writing section is designed to assess a candidate’s capacity for critical and logical thinking, requiring the demonstration of pertinent and reasoned arguments.
In this analytical segment, candidates are expected to articulate their arguments and discussions from an analytical perspective, utilizing standard and precise English vocabulary. This section comprises two task types:
1.Issue Task: Candidates are allotted 30 minutes to compose an essay on a specific topic.
2.Argument Task:Test takers are presented with an argument and tasked with critically analyzing it through an essay, all within a time frame of 30 minutes.
The Verbal Reasoning section is structured to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency in analyzing written content and establishing connections among sentences using words and concepts. It gauges the candidate’s comprehension, identification of the author’s perspective, recognition of relevant points, and understanding of word meanings.
This section comprises:
– 4 Sentence Equivalence Questions
– 6 Text Completion Questions
– 10 Reading Comprehension Questions
Resulting in a total of 20 questions per section.
The curriculum covers:
– Verb Tense
– Sentence Structure (Noun, Pronoun, Adjective)
– Subject-Verb Agreement
The GRE Quantitative Section assesses fundamental quantitative skills, as well as the ability to interpret and analyze quantitative information to solve mathematical problems. The question types within this section are:
Quantitative Comparison: Involves questions that necessitate comparing two quantities and identifying their relationship.
Problem Solving: Encompasses multiple-choice questions and data interpretation.
The list of topics covered includes:
The curriculum emphasizes:
Analytical Writing Assessment:
Total Test Duration:
The GRE General Test has different scoring systems for each section:
Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning:
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA):
Total GRE score:
The GRE General Test lasts approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes, divided into three sections:
You can designate institutions to receive your scores during registration or after your test by going to your online GRE account within 48 hours of your test date. Sending additional score reports later requires a fee.
You can request additional score reports (ASRs) online through your GRE account. There is a fee for each ASR resquest.
No, you cannot see your official scores immediately after completing the test. You will receive your scores electronically within 10-15 days of your test date.
Verbal Reasoning: Tests your ability to read, comprehend, and analyze complex texts. Question types include reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence.
Quantitative Reasoning: Tests your problem-solving skills in basic algebra, geometry, data analysis, and arithmetic. Question types include multiple choice and quantitative comparison.
Analytical Writing Assessment: Tests your critical thinking and writing skills by asking you to analyze arguments and write persuasive essays.
It depends on your individual starting point and study intensity. While dedicated effort can improve your score in a month, achieving a highly competitive score might require more time.
There are various resources available:
Choose resources that suit your learning style and budget.
There is no direct conversion from scaled score to percentage in GRE. The percentiles reported with your scores indicate how you fared compared to other test-takers.
The GRE General Test assesses general verbal, quantitative, and writing skills, while the GRE Subject Test focuses on specific subject areas like Math, Physics, or Chemistry. Not all graduate programs require the Subject Test.
GRE scores are valid for 5 years from the test date.
No, the GRE General Test is currently only offered at physical test centers worldwide.
A “good” score depends on your target schools and programs. Generally, scores in the 150s or higher on verbal and quantitative sections and 4.0 or higher on the writing section are considered competitive.
Most graduate programs in the United States, including those in business, law, and education, require the GRE as part of the application process. However, some programs, particularly those in the humanities and social sciences, may not require it. It’s always best to check with the specific programs you’re interested in to see if they require the GRE.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, many students begin studying for the GRE in the summer or fall before they plan to apply to graduate school. This gives them plenty of time to prepare and take the test in the early fall or winter of their application year.
The GRE costs $205 to register. There are also additional fees for sending score reports to schools and for requesting score cancellations.
Some common mistakes that people make on the GRE include not reading the questions carefully, rushing through the test, and not using all of the time available. It’s also important to avoid getting stressed out during the test, as this can cloud your thinking and make it more difficult to do your best.
Here are a few tips for doing well on the GRE: