Preparing to take the GRE General Test (formerly the GRE revised General Test)? Or maybe you just keep hearing it mentioned when people talk about graduate and business school admissions? Read on for some quick answers to the most commonly asked questions about the GRE…When people talk about the GRE, they’re probably referring to the GRE General Test. This is a standardized test used by many universities and graduate schools around the world as part of the graduate admissions process. IN addition to the GRE General Test, there are also the GRE Subject Tests, currently available in six fields: psychology, physics, mathematics, literature in English, chemistry and biology. The GRE is administered only in English. A GRE score may be a required part of your application to a graduate-level program. Even if it’s not a set requirement, it may still help to support your application for a place on a master’s or PhD program, or for a fellowship.

Thousands of universities, graduate schools and departments around the world accept GRE scores, for graduate course places and/or graduate fellowships – too many to list here! This includes an increasing number of business schools which use the GRE for MBA program admissions. Currently the GRE test can be taken at over 1,000 test centers, spread across more than 160 countries. In regions where the computer-based version is available, the test can be taken throughout the year. If only the paper version is available, it is offered on set dates up to three times a year in October, November and February.


The GRE tests your preparedness for grad school and is designed to predict how successful you’re likely to be as a grad student (we’ll touch more on this later).

The GRE General Test has three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The first section aims to assess how well students can understand and interpret passages of text. The second section has more of a numerical focus, testing students’ ability to interpret sets of data. The third section consists of two timed essays – one analyzing an issue, and one analyzing an argument.

The exam contains three sections that test different skill sets deemed critical for grad school success. These sections and what they test you on are as follows:

A) Verbal Reasoning Assessment

This part of the test will be assessing you on your reading comprehension skills by asking you to analyze the provided written material.

B) Quantitative Reasoning Assessment

Here your math skills will come in handy. You will be tested on how you can interpret the data and the quantitative problems presented to you. This part of the test is not going to assess you in detail but it is going to cover problem solving, quantitative comparisons and of course data interpretation.

C)  Analytical Writing

This part of the test also covers critical thinking besides assessing the analytical writing skills. Complex ideas are given and candidates are asked to articulate them effectively by supporting it with relevant ideas. You will need to stay focused to reason out your argument. Besides critical thinking and writing, your Basic English grammar skills are going to be judged.

How is GRE Exam Scored?

The quantitative part of the test, as well as the verbal section, together carry scores from 130 – 170, given in 1 point increments. Both these tests carry heavyweight as far as getting accepted in graduate schools is concerned. The last part of the test has a scorecard ranging from 0-6. 

It takes a little less than 4 hours to give the GRE. Extra time is also given for reading instructions and breaks. 

As you see, GRE exam holds a lot of value when getting into grade school so you shouldn’t aim at clearing them but at acing them so that you are placed amongst the other top contenders.