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About GRE

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a computer-based exam required by many graduate schools for admission to a variety of programs. GRE is a standardized exam, which means that it is designed to assess general skills necessary for graduate school, thereby providing graduate schools a tool to gauge students from different countries and varied backgrounds. Skills tested by GRE are acquired skills and with right preparation, a student can ace the exam.

What are GRE subject tests:

GRE subject tests are designed to test the knowledge of a particular subject area that a student is expected to major in? The GRE subject tests are in the paper based format and consist of multiple-choice questions only. Subject tests are offered limited number of times in a year. The GRE exam is conducted by Education Testing Services (ETS) and more information can gained from

Graduate Schools use GRE scores for various purposes. The GRE provides these schools a quantitative measure of comparison among thousands of applications from around the world. Scores are a necessary component of the application; however they can even be used to grant fellowships or financial aid. GRE also indirectly builds vocabulary and skills that are expected from an average graduate student in these schools.

Syllabus and Pattern

Exam Length

4 hours, including breaks

Scoring Scale

130 – 170 (1 point increments) for Verbal and Quantitative; 260 – 340 Overall.
0 – 6 for Analytical Writing


MultiStage Test (MST); a computer-based format that allows students to navigate forward and backward within each section of the test.

Number of Sections

6 sections, including an experimental section


One 10-minute break after third section; 1 – minute breaks between all other sections

Analytical Writing

One section with two 30 – minute tasks: analyze an issue and analyze an argument

Verbal Reasoning

Two 30 minute sections with approximately 20 questions each

Quantitative Reasoning

Two 35 – minute sections with approximately 20 questions each on screen calculator available

Score Validity

5 years


How is GRE scored: Both verbal and quantitative sections are scored on a scale from 130 to 170 (1 point increments) so that the overall score ranges from 260 – 340. You receive the score immediately after completing the test. ETS offers an option of sending this score to 4 schools for free; you can select these schools at the time of your exam.

The score for analytical writing is sent with actual score card within fifteen days from date of the test. It is scored on a scale of 1-6, in 0.5 increments. Understanding & usage of GRE score

Percentile Verbal Quantitative
















As per official reports, a good 78% of all the test takers score around or below 160 in the verbal section. In the verbal section this number raises to 85%#. Only 20%# of all test takers would score a healthy 4.5 or above in Analytical writing section. Most schools/universities usually set a benchmark for the GRE score that a prospective student should have (usually around the mark of 310*). Understanding one’s weakness and strength is major key to crack the score.

Eligibility and Application

Eligibility to take GRE: There are no eligibility criteria for GRE as such. The exam is useful for those who have completed or are pursuing their graduate or equivalent education. However, in order to take the GRE, one should necessarily possess a valid passport. Without a valid Passport, a student is not allowed into the venue on test day.

How to Apply/Register Application process: To register for GRE, a My GRE Account is to be set up on ETS website. In the account dash board you can find an option for ‘Register for the General Test’. You can see the available dates and centres and select them. Pay US $195 online using an American Express, MasterCard or Visa credit card. The reporting time and the test centre address will be mailed to you. Important: A student must enter the exact name as it appears in the passport excluding spaces and any symbols that may appear. In case of any discrepancy in the spelling of the name, the student is not allowed to enter the venue. Application fee and deadlines: Fee for GRE is US $195, which is to be paid online using an American Express, MasterCard or Visa credit card. As this exam is conducted all-round the year, there are no deadlines to be observed. The test taking is based on the slots available and the applicant can choose a comfortable slot for him or her.