The Ultimate 2020 Guide for GRE


GRE? Your mind must be wobbling with all kinds of questions right now. 

What exactly is this? Is this some exam? If yes, then how do I appear for it? What is the eligibility criteria and pattern?

But don’t worry. We have compiled all the relevant information regarding GRE in this blog. So, let’s get started!

What is GRE?

Administered and conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), GRE is an exam for students who wish to pursue a masters or PhD program in the US. It is amongst the toughest exams in the world and is available in both online and offline modes. Further, you can appear for this exam 5 times in 12 months (21-day gap between each attempt). Anyone, irrespective of age, who has a bachelor’s degree can give this test. Unlike TOEFL, GRE score is valid for 5 years. Nowadays, many universities in countries like France, China, Australia, and Germany have started accepting GRE scores for admissions. 

Types of Exams and When needed

There are two types of GRE exams. These are the General test and Subject test. 

  • GRE General test: To take admission, every university needs a valid GRE General test score. It mainly tests your analytical, verbal and quantitative reasoning ability. 
  • GRE Subject test: biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, and literature in English are the subjects for which this exam is conducted. Whether you want to appear for this test or not depends on the university you are applying to. For instance, University of Yale needs GRE Subject test score but the University of Berkeley doesn’t mention it categorically. You can give this exam if you want to highlight your skills and knowledge in a specific subject. The score range for this is between 200-990 with 10 point increments. 

GRE – Online Exam Pattern

As mentioned above, the GRE exam has three sections. While verbal reasoning deals with reading comprehension and vocabulary, Quantitative reasoning assesses basic high school level maths. In the analytical writing section, your essay writing skills are tested. Total, 3 hours 45 minutes are allotted for this test and a 10-minute break is also given after completing 3rd section. 

SectionsNumber of QuestionsTime AllottedScore
Analytical Writing – 1 section, 2 tasksOne “Analyse an Issue” task + One “Analyse an Argument task30 minutes per task0-6, in half-point increments
Verbal Reasoning – 2 sections20 questions in each section 30 minutes per session130-170, in 1 point increments
Quantitative Reasoning – 2 sections20 questions in each section35 minutes per session130-170, in one-point increments

Apart from these, there are two more sections :

  • Unidentified Unscored Section: It comes after the analytical part. The primary objective of this section is to test you for future general tests. Thus, the score is not added to your final marks. 
  • Identified Research Section: This score obtained is not added to the final score and the questions are only added for ETS research purpose. 

GRE – Offline Exam Pattern

With the same three sections, this exam concludes in 3 hours 30 minutes. This test starts with the analytical section but Unlike the GRE General Test, you can attempt the reasoning and verbal section in the order of your preference. 

SectionsNumber of QuestionsTime Allotted
Analytical Writing – 2 sectionsSection 1 – Analyse an Issue Section 2 – Analyse an argument30 minutes per session
Verbal Reasoning – 2 sections25 questions in each section 35 minutes per session
Quantitative Reasoning – 2 sections25 questions in each section40 minutes per session

GRE Score and Universities

What is a good score in GRE? What score is needed to get admitted to an Ivy League college? 

These questions haunt students more than often. While scoring well in GRE is important, there is no minimum cut-off prescribed for this test because the admission process is holistic in nature. Apart from GRE Score, a candidates CGPA, work experience, extra-curricular activities and internships also play a pivotal role in admission. Thus, 

  • If you have a strong work profile, good CGPA and 320+ score, then you have high chances of getting selected in an Ivy League college. If not an Ivy League, then certainly in top 20 global universities.
  • A score between 300-320 can help you secure an admission in top 20-100 world colleges.
  • A score of less than 290 can be compensated with a good work profile 

Syllabus of GRE Exam

“Practise makes a man perfect”. This statement stands true when it comes to giving GRE exam. Your skills are tested more than your knowledge in this test. Therefore, it is advisable to go through the syllabus at least once.

  • Analytical Writing

The primary objective of this section is to test how effectively a student can summarise complex ideas in an easy yet concise way. 

  • Verbal Reasoning

The topics under this section include: Idioms, vocabulary, parallelism, critical reasoning, reading comprehension, nouns, pronouns and adjectives, text completion, verbs and tenses, subject-verb agreement and pronoun agreement

  • Quantitative Reasoning 

In this section, the questions asked are generally from topics like geometry, algebra and data analysis. You can read more about the syllabus here – Syllabus 

Registration Process of GRE

By simply following these steps, you can register yourself on the ETS website for the GRE exam: 

  • Create an ETS account through their website.
  • Choose the type of exam you want to appear for.
  • Select your centre and month in which you want to give the exam.
  • Fill all the requisite details.
  • Make the payment. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How much does it cost to take the GRE?

For GRE General test, all countries except the USA, Nigeria, Turkey and China have to pay $205 which is Rs. 14,350. The price for the GRE Subject test is $150 which equals Rs 10,500

  1. What is GRE 2019-2020 test date?

You can find ample of dates every month for GRE General online test. For paper-delivered exam, the test will be conducted on 3rd February, 2020. The last date of registration for paper-delivered test is on 27th december, 2019. If you miss out on the deadline, you can pay $25 as late registration charges and register before 3rd January, 2020. 

  1. Is GRE score accepted for taking admission in Law and Business schools?

Yes, it is. The GRE general score is used to pursue JD program (Juris Doctor) in law. Further, many universities like Harvard and Oxford use this score to admit students to their business programs. 

  1. How do I send my GRE Scores?

You can send your scores to 4 Universities or fellowship sponsors on the test day free of cost. But if you wish to send your scores after the test day or to some other institutions, then you will have to shed $27 per recipient.

Further, ETS offers a “score select option”. This allows you to decide which score you want to forward to the universities. It can either be your current score, previous score or all the test scores. 

Tips and Tricks to Sail Smoothly Through the Exam

Well isn’t this what we are always looking for? Below are a few points which you should keep in mind while preparing for this coveted exam:

  • Identify your weaknesses, convert them into your strength

Reading comprehension gives you nightmares? Then start practising it well in advance. Do you lose more than gaining in the profit and loss questions? Then analyse your mistakes, hone in on those errors and improve your score. 

  • Read, A LOT! 

It is important to read newspapers, blogs and books regularly to ace this exam. It helps both in improving your vocabulary and grammar. 

  • More cram, more spam

Just like the unsolicited mails in our spam box, unnecessary cramming can lead to information overload. Therefore, memorise only the important formulas and work on your errors. 

  • Practise, practise till you succeed

The ultimate goal should be to practise as many questions as possible to master this exam. Practising not only improves your speed but it also teaches you time management.  

Sample Questions for GRE Exam

Since you have now been familiarised with the nitty-gritties of the GRE exam,  here are some sample questions you can go through:

Conflict between generations may be a problem that has persisted for centuries, but the nature and intensity of the conflict obviously _____ in response to changes in social and economic conditions

  1. Increase
  2. Decline
  3. Disappear
  4. Vary
  5. Wane

If the integer m is a multiple of both 10 and 12, then all of the following must be factors of m EXCEPT

  1. 15
  2. 10
  3. 12
  4. 6
  5. 8

There are 3 children of a lady. In how many ways is it possible to dress them for a party if the first child likes 3 dresses, second likes 4 and the third likes 5 but the third child has outgrown one of them? Each child has a different set of clothes.

  1. 11
  2. 10
  3. 60
  4. 48
  5. 15


  1. invincible : control
  2. independent : conquest
  3. inimitable : modification
  4. immutable : alteration
  5. intractable : destruction

In how many different ways can 3 yellow shirts and 3 white shirts be distributed among 6 children such that each child receives a shirt?

  1. 20
  2. 216
  3. 40
  4. 720
  5. 729

Thus, with this blog, we have tried to give you an insight into all the important details of the GRE exam. If you are planning to pursue Masters abroad and need more training in preparing for this exam then we at Leverage Edu are here to guide you in the right direction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Read More


Studying abroad opens doors to several opportunities. It can give you opportunities to explore the world and different…
Universities for GRE Score 300-310
Read More

Universities for GRE Score 300-310

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is an internationally-recognized examination that is conducted with the intention of providing students admission…
GRE Scholarships
Read More

GRE Scholarships

A good GRE score can be a gateway to a whole new world. It sets a great impression…