What is GRE?

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized multiple-choice test conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Services), an American assessment organization. GRE is a computer adaptive as well as a computer-based test.

What is the purpose of the GRE?

GRE is one of the world’s largest assessment programs and is widely used to get into top Universities or to secure a merit-based fellowship for Grad schools. This examination is a common graduate school requirement for both Master’s programs and Ph.D. programs in various streams such as Engineering as well as Humanities and Sciences. However more than 1200 Business schools around the World also take the test. GRE scores are accepted by top universities in the USA. GRE score is also accepted by some Indian colleges for the Master’s programs. A good GRE general test score will help you to get into Graduate Schools even if you have a low undergrad GPA or less work experience. During the admission process, admission committees will compare your GRE score with those of other applicants so a good GRE score helps in merit-based funding. One can write GRE up to five times a year and submit with the highest score in the college. GRE score is valid for 5 years.

Who is Eligible for GRE?

Generally, people who want to pursue their master’s or Ph.D. write this exam. To write the exam, you need to have a valid passport as proof of identity at the exam center. In terms of age, although ETS has not mentioned any kind of age or educational qualifications. So this exam is for those who are looking to pursue their master’s or Ph.D. abroad.

What are the different types of GREs that you can write?

There are two basic types of GRE tests, one is the GRE Subject test and the other is GRE General test.

The GRE Subject test is used for prospective masters, Ph.D.  applicants and it acts as a common measure for comparing candidates’ qualifications. The different subjects for which the GRE Subject test is written are Biology, Chemistry, Literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

On the other hand, the GRE General Test is the test most of you will be writing. Most colleges abroad require only a score from  this test for you to do your master’s or Ph.D.

GRE syllabus and pattern

Here we will be discussing only the GRE General test pattern because that is what you should focus on.

GRE General test pattern comprises of the following three testing sections:

1. Quantitative reasoning: This section consists of 40 Questions and the time allotted is 70 minutes. The syllabus for the Quantitative reasoning section revolves around the following topics:

    a). Algebra: This topic mainly focuses on Speed Distance and Time, Profit and Loss, Coordinate Geometry, Linear Equations, Exponents, Equations and Inequalities, Linear and Quadratic inequalities, etc.

     b). Arithmetic: This topic mainly focuses on Ratio and proportions, Arithmetic Operations, Simple and Compound Interest, Statistics, Property and types of integers, Power and Exponents, Roots, Numbers properties, Percentage.

        c). Data Analysis: This topic mainly focuses on Probability, Sets Theory, Venn Diagrams, Permutation and Combination, Descriptive statistics: Median, Mean, Range, Mode, Percentiles, etc. Data Interpretation based on graphs (circle graphs, scatter plots, etc.).

    d). Geometry: Circles, Triangle, Quadrilaterals, Angle Measurements, Three-dimensional figures, Polygon, Area, Perimeter, Volume, Lines and angles, etc.

2. Verbal reasoning: This section consists of 40 Questions and the time allotted is 60 minutes. The syllabus for the Verbal reasoning section revolves around the following topics:

  • Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs and Tense
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism etc

3. Analytical writing: Analyze an issue AND analyze an argument- the time allotted for this section is 60 minutes. The GRE analytical writing section aims to measure the candidate’s ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, examine claims and accompany with evidence, sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion and control the elements with standard written English.

Scoring in GRE

The total score is 340 and you can easily score 260+. There is no passing or failing in GRE, the better the result you come up with the better University you are in.

How much is the registration fee for the GRE?

The total registration fee for the GRE exam is around $205. If you plan to reschedule the exam date or request for changing the exam center then you have to pay an additional $50. The exam conducting body also gives concessions to the students who provide documents supporting their financial crisis.

Where can I register for the GRE?

Before you begin the registration process, make sure you pick the right test date and understand the policies and procedures. See the Registration Checklist here:


The GRE General Test is available at more than 1,000 test centers in more than 160 countries and can be taken at home. When you are ready to register, visit the following link to get started:


Which is the Best book to prepare for the GRE?

ETS GRE Guide is one of the best books to prepare for the GRE. It is the official book by the GRE exam conducting body that is ETS.

How much time does it take to prepare for GRE?

If your basics are clear enough then you can get ready for the examination in 15 days. In the worst case, it will take you one month to prepare.