About the GRE

The GRE® (Graduate Record Exam) is the standardized exam of choice for a large number of graduate programs and an increasing number of business schools. The exam is used in admissions decisions by many programs in the US and other English-speaking countries. The GRE is administered and managed by ETS. You can register for the GRE online at the ETS website.

The exam report contains three metrics: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Analytical writing is measured on a scale from 0 to 6, in half-point increments. This scoring scheme remains unchanged from the format of the exam prior to August 2011. The verbal and quantitative reasoning sections are both scored on a new scale of 130-170, in 1-point increments. This is as opposed to the old scheme of 200-800 in 10-point increments.

Test Format

(post-August 2011)

The GRE has six sections, five of which will be constant and one of which will vary:

The testing session is structured as follows:


Number of Questions

Time (minutes)

Analytical Writing


30 per question

Verbal Reasoning
(2 sections)

Approx. 20 per section

30 per section

Quantitative Reasoning
(2 sections)

Approx. 20 per section

35 per section







    Total: 3 Hours, 45 Minutes

The writing section will always come first, followed by five sections in any order. You will be given a one-minute break at the end of each section, and a 10-minute break at the end of the third section.

1The unidentified section may be a verbal or a quantitative reasoning section, and will not be scored. However, this section will not be identified and will be indistinguishable from scored sections.

2In lieu of an unscored, unidentified section, you may find an identified research section. This section is also unscored and is included for ETS internal research. Unlike the unidentified section, this research section will appear at the end of the exam.

Test Material

This site is designed only to aid you in the process of preparing for the exam; it will not replace practice exams and proper studying.  In order to be prepared for the exam, you should be able to answer the following types of questions:

Analytical Writing

  1. One task will be to "Analyze an Issue"
  2. The other task will be to "Analyze an Argument"

Verbal Reasoning

  • Reading Comprehension
    You are given a passage from one to several paragraphs in length. Passages are drawn from various disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities, academic and nonacademic. You will have one to six questions from each passage, and will be tested on your level of comprenehsion of the passage and your ability to interpret its implications. Questions may involve selection of a single answer choice or multiple answer choices. Other questions may prompt you to select a single sentence from the passage.
  • Text Completion
  • You are given passage of one to five sentences containing one to three blanks total, and you have three to five answer choices per blank (five choices in the case of one blank). Answers for each blank operate independently of one another with single correct answers, and no credit is given for partially-correct answers.
  • Sentence Equivalence
  • A single sentence with just one blank, you must choose two out of six answer choices that could complete the sentence. No credit is given for partially-correct answers.

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Arithmetic
    • integers
    • division
    • factors
    • prime numbers
    • exponents and radicals
    • percentages, ratios, and decimals
    • rates
  • Algebra
    • operations with exponents
    • factoring and simplifying algebraic equations
    • relations and inequalities
    • quadratic equations
    • solving simultaneous equations
    • slopes, graphs, coordinate geometry
    • word problems
  • Geometry
    • parallel and perpendicular lines
    • circles, triangles, quadrilaterals, and other polygons
    • congruent and similar figures
    • 3-D figures
    • area, perimeter, volume, Pythagorean theorem and angle measurement
    • proofs are not tested
  • Data Analysis
    • mean, mode, range, standard deviation, quartiles and percentiles
    • interpretation of data in tables or graphs including line, bar, circle, scatterplots, etc.
    • elementary probability, combinations, and permutations
    • Venn diagrams

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