about the GRE

About GRE : The Graduate Record Examination

GRE Scoring, Structure and Mechanism

A few things to know about GRE

The GRE general test evaluates skills which closely reflect the graduate school requirements. GRE is a three parts the exam with verbal reasoning which measures your abilities to understand, reflect, analyse written material, quantitative reasoning which measures your problem solving abilities using basic mathematical concepts and last but not the least analytical writing section which measures critical thinking as well as writing under pressure specifically related to ability to reflect thoughts on complex ideas and articulate them well.

The exam can be either Computer Delivered or paper delivered.  In India majority of the exams are computer delivered so the focus will be on computer delivered test rather than paper delivered test and GRE would automatically mean the computer delivered test.  but there isn’t much difference between the two as far as the final Score is concerned.  GRE examination has 7 parts,  time allocated and number of questions for each of these sections are mentioned in the table below :

MeasureNumber of QuestionsAllotted Time
Analytical Writing (Once

Sections with Two writing


One Analyzed an Issue task

and one Analyse an argu

ment task

30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning (Two Sec


20 question per section30 minutes per task
Quantitative Reasoning

(Two Sections)

20 question per section30 minutes per task

Table 1: The GRE Structure

The examination will have an experimental section, that can be either quantitative or verbal. The experimental section will look just like any other section but it’s score will not be considered as part of GRE.

Since the aim here is to just give you a General introduction about the GRE exam and give the limit my discussion about the content the above mentioned things.

Scoring on the GRE

The scoring in the GRE exam for verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning is between 130 to 170 inclusive, with an 1 point increments and for article writing is between 0 and 6 inclusive with half point increments. The scores are valid for 5 years and you can check at the GRE website. Check when your score will expire based on the test date on the GRE website.

Verbal and Quant

The verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections are section wise adaptive within each section all questions contribute equally to the final score but each section doesn’t have the same weight. 1st A RAW score is calculated based on the number of questions answered correctly, note that there is no negative marking for answering a question wrong. Then these raw scores are converted into a scale using a process known as equating as per the GRE.

The equating process accounts for minor variations in difficulty among the different test editions as well as the differences in difficulty introduced by the section-level adaptation. Thus a given scaled score for a particular measure reflects the same level of performance regardless of which second section was selected and when the test was taken.

The AWAs

The analytical writing section is scored by 1 train rater and one computer rater and the final score is average and round off to the nearest half.

What’s a good score on the GRE?

A good score in GRE is anything above 320 with a split of at least 150 in each. In the quantitative section out of the 40 questions that will be considered for scoring answering at least 30 correct will ensure a very high score. You can  order either the latest test score or all the scores while in the examination hall or you can order latest score, any desk or all the test scores to be sent to the university after getting the final score.

Registration and ID requirements

Register for the test got to www.ets.org/gre  and follow the instructions on the website. To register for the test  you may need a credit card although it is not required while making the account and it is not necessary that it should be on your name.  In some cases you can also use the debit card to register for the test so check if the debit card works if it does then use it otherwise you may have to use credit card. In order to write the test you need a valid government ID proof in India accepted ID proof is a passport which is not expired on the test day.


  1. GRE is required for graduate admissions in law, business, STEM  and Social Sciences Programme in the United States and few other universities outside the United States.
  2. There are three types of skills to be tested in GRE analytical writing quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning.
  3. The examination last for about 3 and half hours and scoring is between 130 to 170 for both quantitative and  verbal reasoning section and 0 to 6, inclusive for analytical writing section.
  4. A government ID is required for the test, in india a passport for a detailed list of acceptable government ID check the ETS website.

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