The Ultimate 2020 Guide for GRE

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To pursue higher education abroad, apart from submitting a list of documents like SOP, LORs, etc, and English proficiency test scores [If applicable], one also needs to obtain a minimum percentile in competitive exams. While SAT and ACT are important for taking admission in undergraduate courses, exams like GMAT, LSAT, etc, are required for Graduate programs. One such exam for pursuing postgraduation programs is the GRE. In this blog, we have compiled all the important information pertaining to this exam.

Quick Read: How to Prepare for GRE Online?

What is GRE?

Administered and conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a test taken by students who wish to pursue a master’s 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 (a 21-day gap between each attempt). Anyone, irrespective of age, who has a bachelor’s degree can give this test. Nowadays, universities across countries like France, China, Australia, and Germany, etc have also started accepting GRE scores for admissions. 

GRE General Test at Home: Guidelines

With the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, ETS has started offering the “test at-home” option for those who can’t visit the GRE test centers due to partial or complete lockdown. Here are some points which you must know about this. 

  • The GRE pattern and format will remain the same.
  • You can take the test on your own computer and it will be monitored by a human proctor through ProctorU.
  • The service is available till 30th June 2020.
  • You can appear round the clock on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. 
  • This option is not available for Iran and Mainland China.
  • Rescheduling fees have also been waived off for the time being. 
GRE Test From Home Registration

Want to Prepare for GRE at the Comfort of Your Home? Then Click Here to Register for Live Online Classes and Take a Step Towards your Dream University!

What are the Types of GRE Exams?

There are two types of GRE exams and the details related to GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test has been given a rundown below.

Types Details Who Takes the GRE Test?
GRE General Test To take admission to graduate programs, most of the universities require a valid GRE General test score.

It mainly tests your analytical, verbal, and quantitative reasoning ability. 

GRE General Test is taken by those who want to apply for:

1. Masters
2. Specialised Masters in Business
3. J.D Degree
4. MBA
5. Doctoral Programs

GRE Subject Test Whether you want to appear for this test or not depends on the university you are applying to. For instance, Yale University needs GRE Subject test score but the University of California Berkeley may need it for some of the courses.

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 Subject Test is taken by those who want to prove their educational qualifications in the following subjects:

1. Biology
2. Mathematics
3. Physics
4. Psychology
5. English Literature
6. Chemistry

GRE Eligibility Criteria

Components Details
GRE Eligibility No specific eligibility criteria have been mentioned for this exam. 
Nationality Since this exam is a standardised test for pursuing masters in various countries, there is no restriction on nationality.
Age Limit Applicants should be 18 years or above.
Academic Qualifications Graduate Degree

GRE Registration

GRE

Registration Charges

Events Charges 
GRE General Test Registration Fee USD 205 [Rs 15,300]
GRE Subject Test Registration Fee USD 150 [Rs 11,200]
Rescheduling Fee USD 50 [Rs 3,700]
Changing Test Centre/Subject USD 50 [Rs 3,700]
Online Score Viewing FREE
Additional Score Reports [ASRs] USD 27 [Rs 2,025]
Subject Test Score Review USD 50 [Rs 3,700]

Note: These are the approximate charges and can vary based on the Dollar to Rupee conversion rates.

Take a look at the list of GRE Test Centres!

GRE Exam Dates

Following the lines of other competitive exams, there are no set dates for GRE. You can choose the exam date as per your convenience. However, it is advised to book a slot at least 3 months before your university application deadline. This way, if you want to reappear for the exam, you will get time to do so. Read our blog on GRE exam dates to understand the process of booking the slots.

GRE Exam Pattern

As discussed, GRE is conducted both in online and offline modes. 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. Though the number of sections remains the same, the pattern in both the case differs slightly. Here is the GRE exam pattern of both paper-based and online tests.

GRE Exam Pattern and Score Range
GRE Exam Pattern & Score Range

Computer-Based

The total duration of 3 hours 45 minutes is allotted for this test and a 10-minute break is also given after completing the 3rd section. Apart from the sections mentioned above, there are two more parts in the online GRE exam:

  • 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. 

Paper-Based

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. 

GRE Syllabus

“Practise makes a man perfect”. This statement stands true when it comes to giving the 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. The topics included in the GRE syllabus are tabulated below.

Sections GRE Syllabus
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. To understand this topic, you can read our blog on the GRE quant syllabus.  

If you want to know the syllabus of GRE SUBJECT TESTS, then read our GRE Syllabus blog!

How to Calculate GRE Scores?

Understanding the process of GRE score evaluation is essential in order to assess your errors. The section-wise score range and increments have been given a rundown in the table below.

Sections Score Scale  Increments
Analytical Writing 0-6 Half-Point
Quantitative Reasoning 130-170 1-Point
Verbal Reasoning 130-170 1-Point
GRE Subject Test 200-990 10-Points

Take a look at our detailed scoring analysis on GRE Results and Score!

What is a Good GRE Score?

“What is a good score in GRE?”, “What score is needed to get admitted to Ivy League colleges?”. These questions haunt students more than often. While scoring well in this exam is important, there is no minimum cut-off prescribed for this test because the admission process is holistic in nature. Apart from GRE scores, a candidate’s 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 the top 20 global universities.
  • A score between 300-320 can help you secure an admission in the top 20-100 colleges.
  • A score of less than 290 can be compensated with a good work profile.

GRE Preparation Tips

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

Identify your weaknesses, convert them into your strengths

Reading comprehension gives you nightmares? Then start practising it in advance. Do you lose more than gaining in the profit and loss questions? Then analyze 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 in improving your vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension ability.

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 mistakes. 

Practice, practice till you succeed

The ultimate goal should be to practice as many questions as possible to master this exam. Practising GRE sample papers will not only enhance your speed but will also improve accuracy.   

Planning to prepare for GRE in 3 months?
Take a look at our exclusive study plan and preparation strategies at
How to Crack GRE in 3 Months!

GRE vs GMAT: Which One to Choose?

Both GRE and GMAT are the major standardized exams that one needs to take in order to apply for postgraduate programmes abroad. But the dilemma between GRE vs GMAT arises for MBA aspirants since many international business schools and universities, especially in the US and Europe, are readily accepting GRE scores for MBA admissions. Thus, choosing between these two can be a tough decision and this is why we have elaborated upon their key differences and similarities thus bringing you an unbiased comparison between these two tests, you can check it out at GRE vs GMAT.

Top Universities Accepting GRE Scores

GRE scores are usually considered for MS as well as MBA degrees abroad and might also be taken for other postgraduate programmes. The exam scores are also widely accepted in prominent study destinations across the world such as the US, UK, Australia, Canada as well as European countries. If you are wondering which score range you need to target to get into your dream university abroad, read our detailed blog on top universities accepting GRE scores!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to take the GRE?

For the GRE General test, all countries except the USA, Nigeria, Turkey, and China have to pay $205 which is Rs. 15,000. The price for the GRE Subject test is $150 which equals Rs 11,000.

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. 

Is GRE score accepted for taking admission to Law and Business schools?

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

How many times can one take GRE?

A candidate can take the GRE test 5 times in a year, once every 21 days.

How long are the GRE scores valid?

Unlike TOEFL, the scores of which are valid for only 2 years, GRE scores have a validity of 5 years. So, for instance, if you give your exam on 15th June 2016, the score will be valid until July 2021. What is important to note is that the scores reported before July 2014 will no longer be considered valid.

When will I receive my GRE results?

Your GRE results and scores will be available to view within 15-20 days upon completing your exam and will be forwarded to your chosen academic institutions withing 3 weeks of your test date.

Sample Questions

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

The 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

IMPREGNABLE: ASSAULT::

  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

To practice more questions, check out GRE Sample Paper!

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. Join our Live Online classes where you’ll get to learn from industry experts, solve a wide range of mock papers, and attend one-on-one sessions to clear all your doubts!

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