GRE is conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS). There are two types of GRE tests – General and Subject tests. The GRE General Test is accepted by many graduate and business schools worldwide and is a standardized computer-based exam with multiple-choice questions. On the other hand, the GRE Subject test is a paper-based test and its scores can be used by fellowship panels or admissions to supplement your undergraduate records, other qualifications, and recommendation letters.

GRE Exam

Here is a brief overview of the GRE:

GRE Full Form Graduate Record Examinations
Official Website
Conducted by ETS – Educational Testing Service
Types of Format Computer-delivered and Paper-Delivered
Types of GRE General and subject test
GRE Fees $ 220 worldwide for the general test. Except for a few places including India. The fee for the GRE subject test is $150.
GRE Validity 5 years
GRE Sections Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing section. There are no sections for the GRE subject test.
Scores/grades used by Most graduate schools in the USA, and few in other countries
Counties/regions About 1,000 test centers in more than 160 countries
Calculator Allowed Yes
Scratchpad Allowed You may use the test booklet to take notes for paper GRE, whereas computer-delivered test sheets will be provided at the center

GRE exam pattern computer-based test

Computer-based Total duration No. of sections No. of questions
Verbal Reasoning 30 minutes 2 20
Quantitative Reasoning 35 minutes 2 20
Analytical Writing 60 minutes 1 2
Research Varies 1 Varies
Unscored Varies 1 Varies
Total 3 hours 45 Minutes 7 82

What is the GRE exam pattern(General Test)?

Paper-based Total duration No. of sections No. of questions
Verbal Reasoning 35 minutes 2 25
Quantitative Reasoning 40 minutes 2 25
Analytical Writing 30 minutes 2 2
Total 3 hours 30 Minutes 6 52

Analytical Writing

Number of questions Minutes to complete Analytical Writing Score range
One “Analyze an Issue” task 30 minutes 0 to 6

The Analytical Writing Assessment, or “essay” section, measures whether you can articulate your thoughts and responses to complex ideas in a clear and reasoned way. Formulating a well-supported thesis in response to new and unfamiliar topics and key to doing well in Analytical Writing.
During the “Analyze an Issue” task you will read an opinion on a topic of general interest and be given instructions on how to respond to the issue at hand.

Verbal Reasoning (Verbal)

Number of questions Minutes to complete Verbal Reasoning Score range
  • 7 Text Completion questions
  • 6 Sentence Equivalence questions
  • 14 Reading Comprehension questions
  • 27 questions total
  • 18 minutes for section 1
  • 23 minutes for section 2
130 to 170


The Verbal section of the GRE tests your ability to analyze written material, as well as relationships among component parts of sentences, including words and concepts. Verbal Reasoning questions appear in several formats:


Text Completion (TC) questions ask you to fill in the blank to complete sentences. Variations include 1-, 2-, and 3-blank questions. You’ll encounter approximately three to four of these in each Verbal section, and you should aim to complete each in about 1–1.5 minutes. To master these, you’ll need to build your vocabulary as well as develop your skill at using context clues from the sentence to make predictions for the blanks. There is no partial credit: you must answer correctly for all blanks to receive points for these questions.


Sentence Equivalence (SE) questions require you to fill in a single blank with two choices that create two coherent sentences that are logically similar in meaning. You will encounter approximately three SE questions in each Verbal section. Aim to complete each in about 1 minute. As with TC questions, you’ll need to work on building your vocabulary and identifying context clues in order to master SE questions.


Reading Comprehension (RC) questions are based on passages of one or more paragraphs that develop an explanation or argument on a topic. RC questions require you to understand central ideas presented in the text and the structure of a text, as well as to research details in the passage and draw valid inferences from it. RC questions require strategic reading and paraphrasing skills.

Each Verbal section will contain approximately six to eight RC questions, and you should aim to spend an average of 1–3 minutes on reading a passage and 1 minute per question.

Quantitative Reasoning (Quant)

Number of questions Minutes to complete Verbal Reasoning Score range
  • 10 Quantitative Comparison questions
  • 13 Problem Solving questions
  • 4 Data Interpretations questions
  • 27 questions total
  • 21 minutes for section 1
  • 26 minutes for section 2
130 to 170


The Quant section of the GRE tests your basic quantitative skills, as well as your ability to reason and solve problems with quantitative methods. You’ll see questions covering basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. These topics are typically covered in high school. You will not see trigonometry, calculus, or any other high-level math.

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