GRE Test Information and Preparation Tips


Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a test which is mandatory before taking admissions in the postgraduate programs in USA (mostly). It is important as numerous applicants from around the World apply in universities, and their GRE scores evaluate them. The current registration fee for the GRE General test is 195$, and for GRE Subject test, it is 150$. It is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). In this post, you will get GRE Test Information and some preparation tips to score well in the test.

Difference between Subject and General

GRE Subject test is for highlighting your skills in a particular subject like Biology, Maths or English. While GRE General Test highlights your verbal and quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. Mostly, GRE is mandatory for the admission in Post Graduation in the universities of the USA and top universities of other countries like UK, Australia, etc. While GRE Subject is required at very few universities. However, GRE Subject test can give you an edge over the other applicants if the subject is related to the program in which you will apply.

Test Format

GRE general test format includes the following sections:

  • Two sections of Quantitative Reasoning with 20 questions and 35 minutes for each. Questions include multiple choice, quantitative analysis, and user input.
  • Two sections of Verbal Reasoning with 20 questions and 30 minutes for each.  It includes reading comprehensions, text completion and sentence equivalent choosing questions.
  • Two sections of Analytical Writing with one essay and 30 minutes for each. One will be an issue essay, and the other will be an argument essay. This section measures your analytical reasoning and analysis skills.
  • Additionally, there will be one part, the score of which will be not counted. It can be either verbal and quantitative. You will get to know about this other part as you will already have completed two verbal and two quantitative questions. But you won’t know which of the section out of three is the unscored. ETS tries out new questions in this part for using these in future tests.

You can skip questions within a SECTION and answer it later within the time limit. You can not go back to a section once the time is up or you finished the section. Moreover, there is no negative marking in the test for wrong answers. Hence, you can make a guess instead of leaving a question unanswered.

Scoring Range

For the verbal and quantitative sections, the scores range from 130 – 170 for each. For analytical writing section, the scores range from 0.0 to 6.0 in half increments. You will be able to see your scores for verbal and quantitative sections at the end of your test. The score of the analytical section will be emailed to you with an official score sheet after 10-15 working days of your test date.

How to prepare

  • Make a study plan and follow it strictly. More importantly, stick to it.
  • Make sure that you are aware of the test format.
  • Expand your vocabulary to do well in the verbal section.
  • Practice writing essays for the analytical section.
  • Make sure that you do not take a very long time on one question in the quantitative section.
  • There are various GRE practice tests available on the internet.
  • Further, there are many videos on YouTube which teach you about the tips and tricks.
  • Practice completing your test on time.
  • Take a GRE Mock test at ETS to get familiar with the environment. GRE POWERPREP II is also available to download for free which contains practice questions.
  • Books: Magoosh, Kaplan, and Manhattan.

How to register

You can register online on the ETS website, or you can visit ETS center in your city. The ETS website contains the locations of all centers in the World. The registration of the test is on the first come first serve basis. Hence, it is advised to register as soon as possible to get the preferred date. Especially when the deadline for any scholarship(for example Full Bright Scholarship) is nearby.


Do not take this test very easy. Neither it is very tough. But it requires preparation and practice. GRE is not about testing your memorization. Therefore, you need to practice as much as you can with dedication and consistency. Moreover, remember that the preparation for GRE test is not an overnight process. It takes some time to understand the test format. If you want to score well in GRE, you should refrain from rushing through practice tests.  Reach the test center early. If possible, try to take TOEFL or IELTS after GRE test as it may create more opportunities for admission in many universities.

I hope the above GRE test information and Preparation tips will be helpful for the GRE aspirants. Best of Luck!



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