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Posted on May 28 2020

GRE wasn't made in a day! A look at the basics

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
GRE wasn't made in a day! A look at the basics

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test conducted by Educational Testing Services (ETS).

The scores obtained in this exam is counted when you try to study overseas, joining graduate-level schools to pursue master’s degree programs.

GRE exam tests your abilities in the language (writing), analytical thinking, and mathematics. The scores of GRE are accepted in countries like the US and Canada.

The score range of the GRE exam is from 130 to 170.

The GRE test can be taken either on paper or on a computer. Though the time of the test varies according to the mode of taking it, being prepared to spend 3 hours for the exam is ideal.

The test has 3 main sections:

  • Analytical writing
  • Verbal
  • Quantitative

There is no specific order for the sections of the test. There could even be an unscored section, also called the research section.

The paper version of the GRE exam takes longer than the computer test. Also, in the computer test, the test-taker gets to write the verbal and quantitative sections in a computer-adaptive manner.

This means that the test starts with an average difficulty level and as the test progresses, the test system adapts the question’s difficulty according to your answers given. So, correct answers will lead to more difficult questions and wrong answers to easier questions.

Analytical writing

In the first part of this section, you have to read a paragraph on a general issue. Then, you have to write your views about that topic, addressing it as you see fit for 45 minutes.

In the second part, you must read and then critique an argument. The task is for 30 minutes. All you need to do is to analyze the argument and give your reasoning about it.

Verbal test

This section involves elements like:

  • Analogies
  • Antonyms
  • Sentence completion
  • Reading comprehension

The purpose of this section is to:

  • Check your ability to form conclusions from written materials
  • Recognize relationships between words and concepts
  • Find out the relationship between different parts of the sentence

Math or the quantitative test

This section involves math of the high-school level. It involves topics like geometry, algebra, and analysis of data.

The test takes 30 minutes on paper with 30 questions and 45 minutes on the computer with 28 questions.

With the best GRE coaching and consistent efforts with the right understanding of the test, you can ace the test with relative ease.

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