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GRE Exam – Graduate Record Examinations

Introduction

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)

The Graduate Record Examinations commonly known as GRE is a standardized test conducted in both online (computer based) and offline (paper-based) mode for admissions to master’s and doctoral degree programs in most graduate schools in the United States and a few in many other countries. Applicants from varying educational and cultural backgrounds take the test.

The test is intended to evaluate verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing in applicants. It provides schools with a common measure for comparing candidates.

The test is developed and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service)

ETS (Educational Testing Service)

ETS is a private nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research, primarily through testing. They develop and administer more than 50 million achievement and admissions tests each year at more than 9,000 locations in the United States and 180 other countries. They develop and administer a broad range of educational products and services for government agencies, academic institutions, and corporations.

Some tests developed and administered by ETS are

GRE, HiSET, Praxis, TOEFL, TOEIC, SAT

Common Name: GRE

Full Name: Graduate Record Examinations

Developed By: ETS (Educational Testing Service)

Administered By: ETS (Educational Testing Service)

Official Website: www.ets.org/gre

 

Who takes the test?

The test is intended for bachelor’s degree graduates and undergraduate students about to graduate. The test score is used for admissions to master’s and doctoral degree programs in various universities.

Prerequisites or eligibility criteria

No official prerequisite or eligibility criteria, however, the test is supposed to be taken by bachelor’s degree graduates and undergraduate students who are about to graduate as the test score is used for admissions into master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Test Duration

GRE General Test

Computer-delivered test: 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Paper-delivered test: 3 hours and 30 minutes

GRE Subject Test

Test duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Score Validity

General Test: 5 years

Subject Test: 5 years

GRE General Test

Computer-delivered GRE General Test:

Test duration: 3 hours and 45 minutes.
There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

Paper-delivered GRE General Test:

Test duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes
There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the second section.

Score Scales

Verbal Reasoning: 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments

Quantitative Reasoning: 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments

Analytical Writing: 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments

 

GRE Test Measures

Verbal Reasoning

  • Ability to analyze and evaluate written material
  • Synthesize information obtained
  • Analyze relationships among component parts of sentences
  • Recognize relationships between words and concepts

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Problem-solving ability
  • Critical thinking
  • Arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis
  • Analytical Writing

Critical thinking

  • Analytical writing skills
  • Ability to articulate and support complex ideas

 

Types of questions asked

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Multiple-choice: only one answer correct
  • Multiple-choice: one or more than one answer correct
  • Quantitative comparison
  • Numeric entry

Verbal Reasoning

  • Sentence equivalence
  • Reading comprehension
  • Text completion

Analytical Writing (AWA)

  • Argument essay
  • Issue essay

 

Syllabus

Verbal Reasoning

  • analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author’s assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author’s intent
  • select important points; distinguish major from minor or relevant points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text
  • To understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts

Quantitative Reasoning

  • understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • solve problems using mathematical models
  • apply basic skills and elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis

Analytical Writing

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English

Content and Structure

Computer-delivered Test

The overall testing time for the computer-delivered GRE General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

Structure of the Computer-delivered Test

Measure Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)
1. “Analyze an

Issue” task

2. “Analyze an

Argument” task

30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions

per section

30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions

per section

35 minutes per section
Unscored* Varies Varies
Research** Varies Varies

NOTE:

* An unidentified unscored section that does not count toward your score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the unscored section are being tried out either for possible use in future tests or to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores from earlier editions.

** An identified research section that does not count toward your score may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for ETS research purposes.

The Analytical Writing section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order; therefore, you should treat each section as if it counts toward your score.

Test Design Features

The advanced adaptive design of the GRE General Test allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include:

  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • “Mark” and “Review” features to tag questions, so you can skip them and return later if you have time remaining in the section
  • The ability to change/edit answers within a section
  • An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section

 

 

Paper-delivered GRE General Test

The overall testing time for the paper-delivered Test is about three hours and 30 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the second section

Structure of the Paper-delivered Test

Measure Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing
(Two sections)
1. “Analyze an

Issue” task

2. “Analyze an

Argument” task

30 minutes per section
Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)
25 questions

per section

35 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
25 questions

per section

40 minutes per section

The Analytical Writing sections will always be first, while the other four sections may appear in any order.

Test Design Features

  • When taking a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, you are free, within that section, to skip questions and come back to them later or change the answer to a question.
  • There are paper-delivered equivalents for most of the question types, including text completions and numeric entry.
  • Answers are entered into the test book, rather than a separate answer sheet.
  • You will be provided with an ETS calculator to use during the Quantitative Reasoning section; you may not use your own calculator.

 

 

Fee Structure

General Test

  • Australia –  $230
  • China –  $220.7
  • Nigeria –  $220
  • Turkey –  $255
  • All other areas of the world –  $205

Subject Tests

  • Worldwide –  $150

Special Handling Requests

  • Late registration fee (paper-delivered test online registration only) –  $25
  • Standby testing (paper-delivered test only) –  $50
  • Rescheduling Fee
    China –  $53.9
    All other areas of the world  –  $50
  • Changing your test center –  $50
  • Changing your Subject Test –  $50

 

Scoring Services

  • View Scores Online –  Free
  • GRE Diagnostic Service (Computer-delivered Test only) –  Free
  • Print Official Examinee Score Report Online –  Free
  • Additional Score Reports (ASR) –  per recipient  –  $27
  • Score Review
    Analytical Writing measure –  $60
    Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures (Paper-delivered tests only) –  $50
    Subject Tests –  $50
  • Score Reinstatement Fee –  $50

GRE Subject Test

Psychology Test

The test consists of approximately 205 multiple-choice questions covering Experimental, Social and General Psychology topics.

Percentage distribution

  • Biological (17-21%)
  • Cognitive (17-24%)
  • Social (12-14%)
  • Development (12-14%)
  • Clinical (15-19%)
  • Measurement/Methodology/Other (15-19%)

Mathematics Test

Test duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Score range: 200 to 990, in 10-point increments

Score validity: 5 years

The test consists of approximately 66 multiple-choice questions. Approximately 50 percent of the questions involve calculus and its applications.

Percentage distribution

  • Calculus (50%)
  • Algebra (25%)
  • Additional Topics (25%)

 

Biology Test

Test duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Score range: 200 to 990, in 10-point increments

Score validity: 5 years

The test consists of approximately 190 multiple-choice questions. The content of the test is organized into three subscore areas: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology and Ecology and Evolution.

Percentage distribution

  • Cellular And Molecular Biology (33-34%)
  • Organismal Biology (33-34%)
  • Ecology And Evolution (33-34%)

 

Chemistry Test

Test duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Score range: 200 to 990, in 10-point increments

Score validity: 5 years

The test consists of approximately 130 multiple-choice questions. The content of the test emphasizes the four fields into which chemistry traditionally has been divided: Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry.

Percentage distribution

  • Analytical Chemistry (15%)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (25%)
  • Organic Chemistry (30%)
  • Physical Chemistry (30%)

 

Physics Test

Test duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Score range: 200 to 990, in 10-point increments

Score validity: 5 years

The test consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice questions covering Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Atomic Physics, Optics and Wave Phenomena, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Special Relativity, Laboratory Methods and Specialized Topics.

Percentage distribution

  • Classical Mechanics (20%)
  • Electromagnetism (18%)
  • Optics And Wave Phenomena (9%)
  • Thermodynamics And Statistical Mechanics (10%)
  • Quantum Mechanics (12%)
  • Atomic Physics (10%)
  • Special Relativity (6%)
  • Laboratory Methods (6%)
  • Specialized Topics (9%)

 

Literature in English Test

Test duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Score range: 200 to 990, in 10-point increments

Score validity: 5 years

Each edition of the test consists of approximately 230 multiple-choice questions organized into four major areas: Literary Analysis, Identification, Cultural and Historical Contexts, and History and Theory of Literary Criticism.

Percentage distribution

  • Literary Analysis (40-55%)
  • Identification (15-20%)
  • Cultural and Historical Contexts (20-25%)
  • History and Theory of Literary Criticism (10-15%)

 

 

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