The GRE, which stands for Graduate Records Examination, is needed for most graduate school applications. The GRE is administered by ETS, Educational Testing Services, which also does the TOFEL, SAT, AP and many other instructionally related tests. In August 2011, the GRE was revised which means that there are new types of questions and old types such as analogies have been eliminated, and it is now a longer and is graded on a different scale.
The GRE® General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today's demanding graduate and business school programs. The test-taker friendly design lets you skip questions within a section, go back and change answers and have the flexibility to choose which questions within a section you want to answer first. Get a look at the structure of the computer-delivered or paper-delivered GRE General Test.
The GRE General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills-skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study but are important for all.
In all cases, the Analytical Writing section is the first section of the exam, followed by a 10-minute break. After the break, there are 6 sections: two verbal, two math, an unscored section, and a research section. The research section is always the last section, while the other sections can appear in any order. Therefore, you won’t be able to tell which section is unscored, so you must be sure to do your best on all sections:
|Analytic Writing||2 essays, 30 minutes each
The writing section of the GRE is meant to measure your analytical reasoning, organization, and analysis skills. The two essays include an issue essay and an argument essay. There are no right or wrong answers to the essay questions, and the essays will be read and scored by 2 (and possibly 3) readers. For more information about the essay section, and for writing tips, go to the essay tutorial section.
|Two sections each with 20 questions, 30 minutes for each section
Each section includes a mix of reading comprehension question, text completion, and sentence equivalence questions. Reading comprehension questions are either single answer, multiple answers, or select in the passage, while text completion questions will have either one, two, or three blanks. For more information on each of these question types, please see that tutorial section.
|Quantitative Reasoning||Two sections each with 20 questions, 35 minutes for each section
Each quantitative reasoning section (also commonly called the "Math GRE sections") contains a mix of multiple choice, quantitative analysis, and user input questions. For more information about the quantitative reasoning questions, proceed to the appropriate tutorial.
|Unscored Section*||An experimental section that will either be a math or a verbal section may also be included on the exam. You will know if you were given a math or verbal experimental section because you will have two of those sections during the test, but you won’t know which of two identical sections will be experimental. The experimental section does not count toward your score and is used by ETS to try out new questions for possible use in future exams.|
In the above example, the unscored section is the last section, but the order of the sections can be any of several combinations. For example, your exam may be math-verbal-math-verbal-unscored, or verbal-math-unscored-math-verbal, etc.
The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to:
The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:
The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:
The Quantitative Reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator. If you are taking the paper-delivered test, a calculator will be provided at the test center.
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