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GRE Exam Duration: What is Duration of GRE Exam

Updated on 30 May, 2024

GRE, or the Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test used by universities globally for graduate admissions. Around 1,13,304 Indian study abroad aspirants attempted the GRE exam in 2023.

The GRE exam duration is nearly 1 hour and 58 minutes. Prior to September 2023, the GRE General exam used to be 3 hours and 45 minutes long. There are a total of five sections now as compared to the six sections previously.

Knowing the GRE exam duration can help you streamline your preparation by informing you about the time that needs to be dedicated to each section of the exam. 

Read more about GRE exam duration and crucial tips to help you achieve your education abroad goals.

Section-Wise Time Requirements in GRE Examination

Here is a table to help you get a clear picture of the computer-based GRE General examination. Please remember this is the new exam pattern that is in-effect since September 22, 2023.

SectionNumber of QuestionsAllotted Time
Analytical Writing (One section)One 'Analyze an Issue' task30 minutes
Verbal Reasoning (Two sections)

Section 1: 12 questions

Section 2: 15 questions

Section 1: 18 minutes

Section 2: 23 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections)

Section 1: 12 questions

Section 2: 15 questions

Section 1: 21 minutes

Section 2: 26 minutes

Source: ETS official website

The new GRE General exam pattern has no scheduled break or the unscored/research section. Also, remember the Analytical Writing section will always be the first. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section.

Tips on Effectively Using Time While Writing Your GRE

Some of tips that can help you manage your time effectively during the GRE exam are: 

  • You should  attempt full-length GRE practice tests beforehand to get familiar with the format and time-based limitations. 
  • Remember, the new GRE pattern does not have any scheduled breaks. Hence, you must practice accordingly.  
  • Slow down and make sure that you get more points. Do not keep pushing for quicker results since it will only lead to poorer scores and silly mistakes. 
  • Answer those questions you are sure of. 
  • If you cannot find the answer to something instantly, keep moving on to next questions. If you want to come back to something, press the mark and move on. 
  • Whenever you get stuck on any mathematics question in GRE, do not stay in limbo. Do some other questions and then come back to the same.

Recommended Read: How to Score 170 in GRE Quant

Download these useful guides to ace your GRE preparation

GRE  Quant Guides
GRE verbal Sample
GRE AWA sample

GRE Preparation Strategy

Embarking on the GRE journey requires a calculated approach to mastering the diverse sections of the test. Being aware of fundamentals like GRE test duration, number of questions in each section, and difficulty level are crucial to perform well in the exam. 

When to Start Preparing

Though there is no ideal time to start preparing for the GRE exam. It is better to start your preparation as soon as possible. By starting this early, you will have sufficient time to:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the test format.
  2. Identify areas of strength and weakness.
  3. Establish a study routine.

GRE Preparation Tips: Analytical Writing

Out of the one hour and 58 minutes of total GRE exam duration, 30 minutes are allocated to the analytical writing section. The analytical writing section assesses your critical thinking and writing skills. Here are some tips to ace this section :

  1. Write essays on various topics to enhance your writing skills.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the types of prompts you will encounter.
  3. Find out what graders look for in a high-scoring essay.
  4. Analyze high-scoring essays to understand effective writing strategies.

GRE Preparation Tips: Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section evaluates basic math skills, comprehension of math concepts, and quantitative reasoning. Tips for success in this section are:

  1. Ensure a strong grasp of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
  2. Work on various math problems to improve quantitative reasoning.
  3. Practice with the official material available on the GRE website to understand the different types of questions asked in the GRE exam. 
  4. Understand question formats and develop strategies for each type.

GRE Preparation Tips: Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning section tests your ability to analyze written material, recognize relationships among words, and evaluate sentences. Some of the key strategies for this section are: 

  1. Develop a strong grasp of reading and analyzing the passages, distinguishing major points, and drawing conclusions.
  2. Make it a habit of reading through the passages to identify words or phrases that seem particularly significant.
  3. Actively engage with the text, ask questions, and analyze the author's perspectives.
  4. In text completion questions, after selecting your answer, always make sure that the complete sentence is making sense grammatically and logically. 

Recommended Read: How to Prepare for Verbal in GRE

Once you have acquired knowledge of the GRE exam duration, the next step is understanding the GRE syllabus and getting your hands on relevant GRE study materials. So, wait no more and embark on your journey toward graduate education. Here's wishing you the best for your future!

Also Read:

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How many attempts are there in a year for the GRE?

The GRE General Test can be taken up to five times in a single 12-month period (365 days). It can be taken once every 21 days at any of the GRE test centers in India. This is still true even if one has canceled their scores on a test taken previously.

Is GRE more difficult than JEE?

Both exams are ranked among the world's toughest by various independent organizations. IIT JEE is a competitive exam conducted in India for admission to the IITs and covers advanced topics in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, while the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to many graduate schools in the US, Canada, and a few other countries.

Both exams differ vastly from each other, and their difficulty level is subjective, depending upon individual preferences and expertise in the subjects.

Does the GRE take 5 hours?

No, according to the new test structure beginning September 22, 2023, the GRE exam duration is 1 hour and 58 minutes. The new GRE General exam pattern has no scheduled break or unscored/research section.

Is GRE harder than IELTS?

Both tests serve different purposes. IELTS tests different aspects of English language proficiency whereas GRE also evaluates analytical and quantitative skills.

Is there any negative marking on the GRE?

No, there is no negative marking on the GRE. 

Urvi Agrawal

Urvi has 3 years of experience as a content writer and marketer. Over years, she has established herself as a study-abroad expert and is adept at crafting compelling and engaging content for students. Self-driven and passionate professional, she likes writing poetry and has authored a poetry book ‘Thoughts of a Wallflower’.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.