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Graduate Record Examination

Most colleges and Universities have their own requirements for admission. Along with undergraduate records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for graduate-level study you may be required to take the GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS (GRE). In this test verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills are evaluated.

There are two types of GRE tests:

1. GRE General Test

2. GRE Subject Test

GRE General Test

The General Test measures:

  • verbal reasoning
  • quantitative reasoning
  • critical thinking
  • analytical writing skills

These are not related to any specific subject.

Test pattern

Verbal section

The skills measured:
  • 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
  • understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts

Quantitative Section

The skills measured:
  • understand quantitative information
  • interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • solve problems using mathematical models
  • apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively/li>
  • 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
Test time: three hours and 30 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the second section.

Test Structure

Paper-based Test

Three scores are reported on the revised General Test:

1. Verbal Reasoning:
130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
2. Quantitative Reasoning:
130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
3. Analytical Writing:
0–6 score level, in half-point increments.

The GRE is a computer-adaptive test, which means your performance on previous questions determines which question you'll be asked next. The computer adapts the level of the questions to according to ability. Initially questions of medium difficulty level are administered. If the questions are answered correctly, a more difficult question is given. Otherwise, an easier question is administered. So, at every level the computer tailors the test to the examinee's level. The number of questions attempted and the number of correct responses determine the score.

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

Computer-based Test

GRE scores are valid for five years.

GRE scores are valid for five years.

The GRE Subject Tests measure your knowledge of a particular field of study.

There are eight Subject Tests:

  • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Note: The last administration of the GRE Computer Science Test will be in April 2013. The test will be discontinued after the April 2013 administration. Scores will continue to be reportable for five years.
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

GRE Subject Test scores are accepted by graduate schools all over the world. The scores assist in comparing the qualifications of applicants according to common standards.

The Subject Tests are held in October, November and April every year throughout the world.

Test Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes. Sections are not timed separately.
The GRE Subject Tests are paper-based tests.


The total score is on a 200-990 score scale for each test with 10-point increments.
The Biochemistry; Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; and Psychology Tests also yield sub scores on a 20–99 score scale, in one-point increments.

Scoring of the Subject Tests is a 2-step process:
1. A raw score consisting of the number of questions answered correctly minus one-fourth the number of questions answered incorrectly is calculated.
2. The raw score is then equated to take into account differences in difficulty among different tests editions. In this way a given scaled score reflects approximately the same grade of ability regardless of the test edition taken.

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