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What is GRE?

GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, also known as GRE General Test, is a standardized test required for admissions to graduate schools in the United States, Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, etc.

Countries Where GRE Exam Is Accepted

Graduate schools in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, etc., accept GRE test scores for admission to their graduate programs.

Weightage Of GRE Exam

Specific academic programs and graduate schools put a lot of emphasis on GRE Exam scores. In contrast, for some schools and programs, it is a mere admissions criteria and other supplemental materials like Statement Of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation, Grade Point Average, Extracurriculars, Work Experience, etc.

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GRE Test For Business Schools:

Business Schools heavily weigh GRE GMAT scores as part of their admission process. GRE GMAT scores are accepted for MBA programs. Admissions to MBA programs also require a very high GRE GMAT score.

GRE Test For Economics Programs:

Admission to economics programs also requires a high GRE score, like MBA or other Business programs.

GRE Test For Engineering:

Engineering programs have a somewhat flexible range of accepted GRE exam scores, which are not as high as those required for business, MBA and economics programs.

This range varies from school to school and from specialisation to specialisation in the field of engineering.

GRE Test For Mathematics and Science Programs:

Specific mathematics and science programs consider only the Quantitative Section score of an applicant while making the admission decision.

GRE Test For Liberal Arts Programs:

Only the Verbal Section score is considered for admission to specific Liberal Arts Programs.

GRE For Scholarships:

Certain schools, programs, and fellowships require the GRE Test scores to award scholarships to applicants.

Types Of GRE

There are two modes available for appearing in the GRE Exam:

  • Computer Based GRE General Test
  • Paper-Based GRE General Test

The GRE pattern for both tests is almost the same regarding the number of scored sections involved.

On the other hand, these two modes have a few differences in the GRE pattern, which will be discussed further.

faq on GRE

The fee for the GRE General Test is around Rs.15,912, and the cost for GRE Subject Tests is around Rs.11,205.

To apply for the GRE or to do GRE registration, create an account on the ETS website, www.ets.org, and complete your GRE registration.

There are GRE coaching centers in almost all cities in India. Also, online GRE coaching is free, or a person can buy a GRE prep course.

A variety of GRE prep course services are offered on the internet.

Buy the GRE prep course that suits the best for you.

 

You can find various GRE test sample questions on the ETS website www.ets.org. It has all GRE test sample questions – from GRE Quantitative practice test sample questions to Verbal Reasoning practice sample questions.

GRE Quantitative practice test sample questions are available on the ETS website www.ets.org. These are official GRE Quantitative Reasoning practice questions.

The official ETS website, www.ets.org, has a lot of GRE test prep material. The GRE test prep material includes official GRE Quantitative Reasoning practice questions and Verbal reasoning questions.

To find the best GRE practice test for yourself, you have to scout all the websites that provide GRE practice tests. You must see what suits you best to determine the best GRE practice tests for yourself.

The GRE mock test is available on the internet on various websites. The GRE mock test can either be free or paid.

GRE at home means GRE testing at home can be done. During COVID, the test taker could sit safely in their homes and take the GRE testing at home. For GRE testing at home or “GRE at Home”, a lot of arrangements have to be made.

Structure Of Computer Based GRE Exam

There are a total of 6 sections in the computer-based GRE General Test.

GRE Analytical Writing Section:

The GRE Test always begins with the GRE Analytical Writing section first. Task 1 of the Analytical Writing section is the 30-minute “Analyse an Issue” task. The next task is the 30-minute “Analyse an Argument”.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Sections and Quantitative Reasoning Sections:

Subsequently, the following five sections include two Verbal Reasoning sections, two Quantitative Reasoning sections, and one Experimental section, and these sections can occur in any order.

Further, there is a scheduled one-minute break after each section and a scheduled 10-minute break after the third section.

GRE Experimental Section:

The Experimental Section is not graded for the GRE total score but is used by ETS to set future GRE Test papers. It can be either verbal reasoning or quantitative reasoning. However, the test taker will not know which section is the experimental section and hence has to attempt all the sections sincerely because any section might add to the GRE total score.

Furthermore, the test taker can easily navigate back and forth between questions within each section.

Multi Stage Test:

GRE is a multi-stage test. This means that a test taker’s performance in one section determines the difficulty level of the subsequent sections for them.

If a test taker does well in section 2. As a result, he or she will encounter more difficult questions in section 3 than someone who did not do so well in section 2.

Doing well in one section and attempting difficult questions in subsequent sections helps improve the percentile score of a test taker, the factor universities are interested in while considering the test taker as an applicant for admission.

How does the percentile system work?

Suppose an applicant’s percentile score is 97. This means that the applicant did better on the same GRE test than 97 percent of those who applied, and the applicant falls into the top 3 percent of the total applicant pool.

Universities are also interested in your percentile score because it helps them gauge your level of competence compared to all other test takers who appeared for that particular GRE.

Scoring:

A test taker can score a GRE total of 170, that is, a perfect score, even if they have missed a few questions.

The lowest possible score is 130, which a test taker scores when they have answered all the questions incorrectly.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Section:

GRE Analytical Writing section is divided into two tasks:

  • The “Analyse an Issue” Task
  • The “Analyse an Argument” Task

A test taker has to write an essay for both these tasks. For each essay, the test taker gets 30 minutes.

In the Issue Task, the test taker has to respond to an issue on any topic of general interest. Furthermore, they will be provided with instructions on answering the essay.

The test taker has to assess the issue while considering its complexities and develop an opinion with supporting examples to assist their opinion or argument.

In the Argument Task, the test taker has to assess an argument based on a set of specific instructions that will be provided in the GRE online test paper. The test taker does not have to agree or disagree with the argument’s stand but instead has to evaluate the argument’s logical soundness.

The tasks are rated by two raters on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest and one being the lowest. If the two scores differ within the point range, the average is taken under those circumstances. If not, a third rater rates the essay.

In the computer-based GRE online test, the test taker has to use a primary word processor developed by ETS. The primary word processor contains functionalities such as cutting, cutting, pasting, inserting, deleting, ing, and undergoing previactionstions. However, tools such as spell-checking and grammar-checking tools are not provided.

Analyze an Issue Task:

The “Analyse an Issue” task tests and evaluates a test taker’s critical thinking ability and persuasive writing skills.

Since the topics provided for the “Analyse an Issue” task are of general interest. As a result, they can be debated over different perspectives and opinions and extrapolated to other conditions and situations.

A test taker’s task is to provide a compelling argument for their opinion on the central issue based on the instructions provided after the Issue statement.

Remember that no “right” answer or “right” opinion exists. Instead, your ability to evaluate a topic and develop an argument to support your opinion based on the specific instructions provided to you is being assessed.

Examples of Different Sets of Instructions in the GRE Exam:

  • A test taker has to formulate a response based on which all the views align with their own opinion and provide reasoning. They must address both the opinions presented to them while developing their argument.
  • The examinee has to develop a response in which they have to analyze the extent to which they might agree or disagree with the claim and the reason the claim is based.
  • The test taker will have to discuss their views regarding the policy and give reasons to support them. They also have to consider the potential outcomes of implementing the policy and how these outcomes mold your opinion about the policy.
  • The examinee has to discuss the extent to which they might disagree or agree with the given claim and the examples or reasons that could be used to challenge their opinion.
  • A recommendation will be provided, and the test taker will have to discuss the extent to which they might disagree or agree. Also, sketch certain circumstances in which the recommendation would be advantageous or disadvantageous. Furthermore, add as to how these shape your opinion.
  • A statement will be provided, and the test taker will have to discuss the extent to which they might disagree or agree. Assess how the statement might or might not be valid and how these assessments shape your opinion.

Preparing for the “Analyse an Issue” Task:

The “Analyse an Issue” Task topics are selected from a pool of topics published by the GRE Program on the ETS website.

Hence, the test takers can practice for the “Analyse an Issue” task from this pool of topics.

Sample Essay Responses are also available on the ETS website. These essays have already been rated. Therefore, by looking at the responses with 5 and 6 rating points, test takers can note several successful strategies for drafting and presenting a persuasive essay.

Rater commentary for these sample essay responses is also available, which shows how the writing is evaluated in real-time by raters and, consequently, how the use of examples to support the test taker’s opinion and build the argument, language fluency, organization, and structure of the essay is graded.

Types of Questions in GRE Verbal Reasoning Section:

1.    Reading Comprehension Type Questions:

Test takers will be provided with passages based on which they have to answer specific questions.

In a typical test, there will be ten passages. These passages can vary in length from one paragraph to several paragraphs. Most passages will be one paragraph long, and only a passage or two will be more than one paragraph long.

The number of questions per passage can be from one to six. The passages can be academic or non-academic, based on everyday topics and topics covering biological and physical sciences, business, arts and humanities,  and sciences.

The questions will be multiple choice questions, either single correct or multiple correct.

Select One Answer Choice Type Questions:

Five options will be provided, and the test taker must select anyone they think is the correct answer.

Select One or More Answer Choices Type Questions:

There are three answer choices given to the test taker, of which one, two, or all three might be correct. The test taker must select all the right answer choices to gain points. There are no points for partially ticked answers.

Select In Passage Type Questions:

Here, the test taker will have to select a sentence from the passage according to the instructions given in the question.

To select a sentence, the test taker has to choose the sentence with the keyboard or click on any word in the sentence to be determined. The preferred type of question does not occur in paper-based GRE Tests. In place of Select in Passage Type of Questions, Multiple Choice Questions are asked.

To answer the Reading Comprehension Questions in the Verbal Reasoning Section, a test taker should:

  • Be able to summarise a passage
  • Understand the meaning of paragraphs, sentences, and individual words.
  • Be able to comprehend and interpret incomplete data to identify information that is missing from the text.
  • Be able to understand the assumptions made by the author and the perspective of the author.
  • Be able to make conclusions about a text after analyzing and evaluating it
  • Be able to find out the weaknesses as well as strengths in the author’s opinions
  • Be able to differentiate between major and minor points
  • Be able to analyze the structure of the text and establish how different parts of the text relate to each other
  • Be able to provide additional possible explanations in addition to the one already provided in the text

All this requires active reading of the text by the test taker. These texts are usually asked to be read and interpreted in graduate schools.

2.    Text Completion:

  • A passage, one to five sentences in length, will be provided along with one to three blanks.
  • For each blank, three options for the correct answer will be provided.
  • Five options for the correct answer will be given if there is just one blank in that particular passage.
  • All of these questions are single correct questions.
  • There will be no scoring for partially correct answers.

3.    Sentence Equivalence Questions:

Partial information will be provided to the test taker, who has to complete a sentence based on the incomplete data.

The questions will have just one sentence with a single blank, and the test taker has to pick two options out of the six options provided in the question to complete the sentence, which should be grammatically and logically sound.

After filling the blank with the selected choices, the individual sentences should convey the same meaning.

Both the selected options should be correct. Partially correct answers will not be scored.

Tips for the “Analyse an Issue” Task:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the central Issue on which I have to form an opinion, and what do the instructions specifically ask me to do?
  • To what extent do I agree or disagree with the claim?
  • Are there any assumptions that the claim makes? Are these assumptions reasonable? Do I agree with these assumptions?
  • Is the claim valid under all circumstances? What are the situations in which it might be invalid?
  • What reasons and examples support my opinion on the Issue?
  • What are the most compelling examples that support my viewpoint? Are they real or hypothetical?
  • Are there any counterarguments that someone can make to my opinion? How do I defend my opinion against those counterarguments?

By all means, the best-rated responses always deeply navigate the Issue’s complexity and communicate through persuasive writing.

Scoring Guide for “Analyse an Issue” Task:

Score NS – No essay response

Score 0 – Response irrelevant to the Issue at hand

Score 1 – Fundamentally Deficient

Score 2 – Seriously Flawed

Score 3 – Limited

Score 4 – Adequate

Score 5 – Strong

Score 6 – Outstanding

Analyse an Argument Task:

In the “Analyse an Argument” Task, a test taker’s ability to understand, interpret, and analyze an argument according to a given set of specific instructions and to communicate their evaluation into an essay is evaluated.

The ” Argument ” topic will consist of a short passage in which the author presents specific claims regarding the interpretation of events or some course of action taken and backs the claims with evidence and reasons.

Consequently, the test taker has to critically examine the author’s reasons and use of evidence and evaluate the logical soundness of the author’s claims based on them.

Furthermore, they have to pay special attention to the author’s claims, statements, and conclusions, the proofs and the evidence that the author presents, the assumptions that the author makes without justifications, and the findings that are not explicitly stated. Still, one can draw from the author’s statements and claims.

Structure and Line of Reasoning:

  • The “structure” and the “line of reasoning” are essential. A test taker has to critically examine the thinking steps and the logical soundness while proceeding through the steps and how everything is linked together.

    The test taker has to hunt for transition phrases and words to determine whether the author is making a logical connection.

Remember:

Remember that the test taker does not have to agree or disagree with the author’s claims or opinions, and neither evaluate the accuracy of the arguments presented by the author nor express their views on the topic under discussion for which the author presents claims.

Instead, the test taker is supposed to assess and analyze the logical soundness of the author’s argument presented before them based on the given set of specific instructions.

Examples of Different Sets of Instructions in GRE Exam:

  • Suggest a few other possible explanations that oppose the author’s answer.
  • Discuss the questions and answers to which will decide whether the provided recommendation will give a predicted outcome.
  • Point out and suggest the proofs or the evidence required to evaluate the argument presented by the author, and assess how these proofs and evidence will strengthen or weaken the author’s argument.
  • Discuss the questions and answers that will determine the rationality of the prediction made by the author and the argument on which the prediction is made.
  • To determine the rationality of the conclusion stated by the author and the argument on which the decision is formed, discuss the questions and answers to which will do so.
  • Discuss the questions and answers that will determine the advice’s rationality and the argument according to which the guidance is given. Explain how the answers would help assess and analyze the advice.
  • Analyse and assess the stated and unstated assumptions made in the argument and how the argument depends on them. How will the argument be affected if the assumptions are proven false?
  • Discuss the questions and answers that will determine the recommendations’ rationalityand the argument according to which the recommendations are suggested.

Preparing for the “Analyse an Argument” Task:

The topics for the “Analyse an Argument” Task are selected from a pool of the issues published by the GRE Program on the ETS website.

Hence, the test takers can practice for the “Analyse an Argument” task from this pool of topics.

Additionally, Sample Argument Tasks and Sample Essay Responses are available on the ETS website for future test takers.

Test takers can refer to essays rated 5 and 6 to gain insightful strategies and tips to draft an analytical response for the “Analyse an Argument” task.

Rater commentary is based on fluency in the language, organization within the essay, and the ability to evaluate the logical lines of reasoning, support, evidence, etc. In addition, the raters also commented on which parts of the response were well-written and which did not do a good job.

Tips for the “Analyse an Argument” Task:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are all the claims, conclusions, and stated as well as unstated assumptions that the author is trying to make?
  • Are there any other possible explanations and arguments that can refute the statement in the question?
  • What other evidence or proof can strengthen or weaken the argument presented before you?
  • How should the argument be modified to add more logic and soundness to the existing line of reasoning?

Practice as much as you can with the pool of topics given to you by the GRE Program on the website.

Scoring Guide for “Analyse an Argument” Task:

Score NS – No essay response

Score 0 – Response irrelevant to the Argument at hand

Score 1 – Fundamentally Deficient

Score 2 – Seriously Flawed

Score 3 – Limited

Score 4 – Adequate

Score 5 – Strong

Score 6 – Outstanding

For in depth score analysis description, visit www.ets.org

GRE Verbal Reasoning Section:

The Verbal Reasoning Section is scored from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments. Here, the test taker has to answer about 20 questions in under 30 minutes in each Verbal Reasoning Section.

In the Verbal Reasoning Section, a test taker’s ability to comprehend written materials and answer questions based on the material by extracting information from it is evaluated. In addition to that, it also evaluates a test taker’s ability to study relationships between words, sentences, and concepts.

You will encounter questions in various formats in the Verbal Reasoning section. While in about half of the questions, the test taker has to answer questions based on unseen passages, in the rest of the questions, the test taker has to complete and interpret sentences and paragraphs.

Types of Questions in the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section:

1.    Reading Comprehension Type Questions:

Test takers will be provided with passages based on which they have to answer specific questions.

In a typical test, there will be ten passages. These passages can vary in length from one paragraph to several paragraphs. However, most passages will be one paragraph long, and only a passage or two will be more than one paragraph long.

The number of questions per passage can be from one to six. The passages can be academic or nonacademic, based on everyday topics and topics covering biological and physical sciences, business, arts and humanities, and social sciences.

Furthermore, the questions will be multiple choice questions, single correct or multiple correct questions.

Select One Answer Choice Type Questions:

Five options will be provided, and the test taker must select anyone they think is the correct answer.

Select One or More Answer Choices Type Questions:

There are three answer choices given to the test taker, of which one, two, or all three might be correct. The test taker must select all the right answer choices to gain points. There are no points for partially ticked answers.

Select In Passage Type Questions:

Here, the test taker will select a sentence from the passage according to the instructions given in the question.

To select a sentence, the test taker has to choose the sentence with the keyboard or click on any word in the sentence to be selected.

This type of question does not occur in paper-based GRE Tests. In place of Select Passage Type of Questions, Multiple Choice Questions are asked.

To answer the Reading Comprehension Questions in the Verbal Reasoning Section, a test taker should:

  • Should be able to summarise a passage
  • Must understand the meaning of paragraphs, sentences as well as individual words
  • Be able to comprehend and interpret incomplete data to identify information that is missing from the text
  • Should be able to understand the assumptions made by the author and the perspective of the author
  • Be able to make conclusions about a text after analyzing and evaluating it
  • Must find out the weaknesses as well as strengths in the author’s opinions
  • Be able to differentiate between major and minor points
  • Should be able to analyze the structure of the text and establish how different parts of the text relate to each other
  • Be able to provide additional possible explanations in addition to the one already provided in the text

All this requires active reading of the text by the test taker. These texts are usually asked to be read and interpreted in graduate schools.

2.    Text Completion:

  • A passage, one to five sentences in length, will be provided along with one to three blanks.
  • For each blank, three options for the correct answer will be provided.
  • Five options for the correct answer will be given if there is just one blank in that particular passage.
  • All of these questions are single correct questions.
  • There will be no scoring for partially correct answers.

3.    Sentence Equivalence Questions:

Partial information will be provided to the test taker, and consequently, the test taker has to complete a sentence based on the incomplete data.

The questions will have just one sentence with a single blank, and the test taker has to pick two options out of the six options provided in the question to complete the sentence, which should be grammatically and logically sound.

After filling the blank with the selected choices, the individual sentences should convey the same meaning.

Both the selected options should be correct. Partially correct answers will not be scored.

GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section:

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE online test tests the basic mathematical concepts used at the high school level of the test taker.

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section is scored from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments.

A test taker has to answer 20 questions in under 35 minutes in each Quantitative Reasoning Section.

Some questions are asked in the form of “word problems” based on elementary calculations a person encounters in real life, while some questions are entirely and specifically mathematical problems.

The Four Spheres of Mathematics Tested in the Quantitative Reasoning Section are as follows:

1.    Algebra:

Topics asked include:

  • Algebraic Expressions
  • Exponents and Powers
  • Inequalities
  • Functions and Relations
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Quadratic Inequalities
  • Linear Equations
  • Linear Inequalities, etc.

2.    Geometry:

Topics asked include:

  • Quadrilaterals
  • Polygons
  • Lines
  • Triangles
  • Circles
  • Similarities and Congruence
  • Perimeter, Area, and Volume
  • Pythagorean Theorem, etc.

            The proofs are not asked.

3.    Data Analysis:

Topics asked include:

  • Percentiles and Quartiles
  • Scatter Plots, Circle Graphs, Box Plots, Line Graphs
  • Probability
  • Mean, Median, and Mode
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Permutations and Combinations, etc.

4.    Arithmetic:

Topics asked include:

  • Arithmetic Operations
  • Rate
  • Estimation
  • Ratio
  • Percent
  • Number Line
  • Sequences and Series
  • Prime Numbers
  • Factorization, etc.

            For a more detailed syllabus, visit the official ETS website, www.ets.org

CCalculus, trigonometry, and higher-level mathematics are mainly not tested in the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE test.

During The GRE Test, Certain Assumptions Are Also Stated In The Quantitative Reasoning Section Description:

  • Triangles, lines, and other geometric figures are not drawn to scale
  • Coordinate systems are drawn to scale
  • Graphs are drawn to scale
  • All numbers used in the questions are real numbers
  • All figures lie on a plane unless stated otherwise

Types Of Questions in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section:

There are four types of questions asked in the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE Exam:

  1. Select One Answer Choice Questions
  2. Select One Or More Answer Choice Questions
  3. Quantitative Comparison Questions
  4. Numeric Entry Questions

The questions can either be asked as independent questions or will be invited as a part of a set of questions comprising a Data Interpretation Set.

Using a calculator is allowed while attempting the Quantitative Reasoning Section. An on-screen calculator is provided for the GRE online test to be tried on a computer. In the case of the paper-delivered test, a handheld physical calculator is provided.

1.    Select One Answer Choice Questions:

Five options are provided for these multiple-choice questions, of which one is the correct answer.

2.    Select One Or More Answer Questions:

A test taker has to tick one or more correct options out of all the options provided. The number of suitable possibilities may or may not be indicated in the question.

3.    Quantitative Comparison Questions:

The test taker has to compare Quantity A and Quantity B and determine if:

  • Quantity A is greater
  • Quantity B is greater
  • Quantity A and Quantity B are equal
  • The given information is insufficient to make a comparison

4.    Numeric Entry Questions:

There are two formats in which this question can be asked:

  1. A single answer box will be provided, and the test taker must type an integer or decimal answer into it.
  2. Two separate boxes will be provided in case the answer is in the form of a fraction.

            A test taker has to input the answers using the computer mouse and keyboard.

The decimal answers will mention the rules for rounding off in the question.

Data Interpretation Sets:

Several questions will be asked based on the same graphical or other type of data presentation. The questions may be Numeric Entry Type Questions, Select One Answer Choice Type Questions, and Select More Or One Answer Type Questions.

 

Paper Based GRE Exam:

The paper-based GRE is almost similar in pattern to the computer-based GRE.

The significant difference between the paper-based GRE and the computer-based GRE is the absence of the GRE Experimental Section in the paper-based GRE. Hence, the paper-based GRE test paper-based is also less.

The computer-based GRE takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete, and the paper-based GRE takes 3 and 30 minutes to finish.

Which Is Better – Paper-Based GRE Exam Or Computer-Based GRE Exam:

The computer-based GRE and the paper-based GRE have the same difficulty level, and which exam to take depends on the individual test taker’s comfort level with the examination mode.

On the contrary, in terms of availability, the computer-based GRE is offered more frequently throughout the year than the paper-based GRE.

GRE Subject Tests:

The GRE Subject Tests are offered in the following areas:

  • GRE Mathematics
  • GRE Physics
  • GRE Chemistry
  • GRE Psychology

The GRE Mathematics, GRE Physics, GRE Chemistry, and GRE Psychology tests are all conducted by ETS.

The GRE Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Psychology tests evaluate a person’s knowledge in the respective subjects.

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