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GRE Exam : All About Graduate Record Examination | What is GRE Test

Updated on 15 September, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

gre exam

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the standard and prominent entrance exam students take to qualify for an undergraduate or postgraduate course, specifically in English-speaking nations. The Educational Testing Services (ETS),  a New Jersey-based organization, conducts the GRE. The test comprises verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. The 3 hours and 45-minute exam is accepted by more than 1500 universities across the globe. The students who want to pursue postgraduate courses can also appear for the GRE. GRE tests can be taken in both online and offline modes. You can also appear for the GRE online from the comfort of your home. Though some institutions require a test centre-based exam score rather than the online exam scores.This article will describe every GRE Exam detail to help students score well in the test.

GRE Exam Highlights

Type of GRE testSubject Test and General test
SectionsVerbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning
No. of Questions

General Test- 82

Subject Test- 66 to 230


Verbal reasoning- 130-170

Analytical reasoning- 0-6

Quantitative reasoning- 130-170

Duration of test

General test- 3 hours and 45 minutes

Subject test- 2 hours and 50 minutes

Exam purposeAdmission in colleges offering MS, MBA and Law, etc


GRE Exam Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for GRE is as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any domain
  • No upper age limit fixed by organizers to appear for the examination
  • The candidate must have a valid passport
  • Parents/guardians/candidates must possess a debit/credit card to pay for the fee
  • Must take the test at least thirty to 45 days before applying.

GRE General Test Registration Process

The GRE general and subject test registration can be done from anywhere, anytime. A candidate can use any of the following modes to register for GRE online test:

  • via website
  • via mail
  • via phone

GRE Exam Fee Structure

Both GRE Subject Test and GRE General Test have different fee structures. The GRE exam details for fee are as follows:

Type of testPrice
General Test$213
Subject Test$150


GRE Extra Services Fees

GRE ServicesExam fees
GRE subject change$50
GRE Score Review$50
GRE Rescheduling$50
GRE late exam registration$25
GRE additional score report request$27
GRE test center change$50


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GRE Exam at Home

You can give the exam from the comfort of your home as well. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ETS came up with the option of a GRE home test facility. The GRE exam from home registration fee is $213.

GRE Exam Center

The GRE centers in India are under the purview of ETS. The candidates can now attempt the GRE  either from the test center or their home. The test centers are available in almost every city in the country. Candidates can book their slots at the center of their choice at their convenience. However, they should check the official website of ETS before opting for a test center if it is functional or not.

GRE Important dates in India

The GRE exam is offered both online and offline all over the country. The students can choose the nearest  Prometric test center and date to start their registration for the test. A student can retake the GRE test in a gap of 21 days but can only attempt it five times a year within a span of 12 months or 365 days. This is also applicable if a student applies for the cancellation of scores of the last attempt. GRE exam dates for 2022 can be opted by the candidates at their convenience.

Download these useful guides to ace your GRE preparation

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GRE Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The exam pattern and syllabus for both the subject and general tests are different. The exam can be taken online or on paper as per the candidate’s suitability. The pattern and syllabus in the GRE portion have different sections and question types. The GRE exam detailed pattern is discussed below:

GRE Exam Pattern and Syllabus

GRE exam section

Total Questions


Question’s type


Analytical Reasoning


n/aAnalyzing argument and issueThink and represent your idea meticulously

Quantitative Reasoning


Profit & loss

Numeric entry questions

Comparison questions

Point out all the important information

Analyze and understand every particular word and its relation with the concept and reach a conclusion

Linear equations
Ratio and proportion
Quadratic equations
Sets theory
Lines and angles
Surface area
Speed, time and distance
Power and roots

Verbal Reasoning


comprehension, articles, idioms, sentence correction, antonyms, and synonyms, etc.Comprehension, completing text and sentence equivalency

· Analyze the data

. Solve geometric questions and sums

Test Duration Breakup (Section-wise)

SectionTime limit
Verbal60 minutes
Quantitative70 minutes
Analytical60 minutes


GRE Subject Test

The GRE subject is conducted offline thrice a year, unlike the general test. The subject areas in GRE subject syllabus includes:

·         Mathematics

·         Biology

·         Physics

·         English Literature

·         Psychology

·         Chemistry

Differences between GRE Subject and GRE General Test

GRE Subject and General have certain differences based on varied parameters. The table below shows the major differences between the GRE tests.

AreaGRE Subject TestGRE General Test

Single-subject test:





English Literature


Three sections- Verbal, Quant, and Analytical
ModeOffline modeOnline and offline mode
DatesExams are held thrice a year-Oct, Sept and AprilConducted throughout the year
FeesFee: $150Fees: $255
No. of Questions66-23082
DurationTime limit- 2 hours 50 minutes3 hours 45 minutes
Score Range200-990260-340


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GRE Test Scores

The quality of the attempt affects the GRE scores. The score calculation for both GRE general test and subject test varies. Let us know all about GRE scores.

GRE Score Calculation for the Quant and Verbal Section

The total GRE is marked in the verbal and quant areas. The scores are calculated based on the number of right responses to the questions asked. Two major factors that influence the GRE score calculation:-

Each verbal and quant section comprises measures. Computer-based tests are adaptive and also determine the test’s difficulty level. The first measure has simple questions, whereas the second measure is quite complex. Please note that the second section depends on how you perform in the first one.

GRE Score Calculation For Analytical Writing

The September GRE is relatively more manageable than the August exam. ETS does not show any clear scoring process; however, it mentions answering all the questions correctly to increase high scoring points. Let’s discuss how the analytical writing section of GRE is calculated-

  • Trained rater reads the essay and marks on a scale of 0-6
  • The ETS made software e-rater analyzes the essay and gives a score based on multiple areas
  • If the e-rater and human reader’s score matches, then the final score is shared based on those two scores
  • If there’s a vast difference or any discretion; then a second human reader is allotted to review the document.

Subject Test Score Calculation

As mentioned, the GRE subject test comprises six subjects candidates can choose according to their preference. The score here is also calculated using the equating method.

In the biology section, the accurate answers for every content are added to the subscore.

In the psychology and physics part, the subscore consists of correct answers in each content and the correct answer of the whole sheet.

Recommended Reads:

GRE Exam fee in IndiaGRE Exam Registration
Best Books for GRE PreparationHow to Send Official GRE Scores to Universities
How to Score 170 in GRE QuantHow to Prepare for Verbal in GRE


How to Get GRE Exam Results?

The GRE exam result will reflect in the ETS account within 10-15 days after the test. The candidate will receive a notification once the results are out. The official GRE exam in India score consists of the following information:

  • Date of birth
  • Contact info
  • Gender
  • Your intended graduate major
  • GRE test score
  • Associated rank
  • Fellowship score
  • Cumulative scores reported from the last five years.

Who can take the GRE test?

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree is eligible to take the GRE in India. There’s no age limit to sit for the GRE. English fluency is necessary to ace the exam as there are writing and reasoning sections. However, if a candidate is not an expert in English, they can still be eligible to appear in the exam.

How to register for the GRE Exam?

GRE online test is conducted all around the year and at various locations worldwide. The appointment for the GRE entrance exam is scheduled on the availability of first cum, first-served basis. The registration can be done either online, via website or phone. The candidates can choose the mode that suits them the best.

How many times GRE Exam is conducted in a year?

You can take the GRE exam as many times as you want. However, you need to ensure that there is 21 days gap between the two tests. Moreover, In one calendar year, the test can be taken only five times.

GRE Preparation Tips

  • Lock the date before so you can plan your preparation accordingly to score high marks.
  • Take online assessments to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Work on your weakness to avoid losing scores.
  • Solve as many mock tests as possible. It will help you understand the exam pattern and increase your speed.
  • Start working on your vocabulary as GRE has a rich vocabulary that you might not understand if you don’t prepare.
  • If you’ve opted for any subject, focus on it. If you opt for engineering or any other stream, focus on strengthening the topic related to your domain.

Read more about GRE Preparation

GRE Updates

Many universities in the US have temporarily waived the requirement of the GRE test amidst COVID-19. Some universities have made it optional to attempt GRE and submit the scores. As it is only a temporary move, the students are advised to appear for the GRE exam as it will only add weightage to their application.   

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is GRE exam?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is standard test students take to qualify or postgraduate courses. The GRE exam is generally required for admissions in English-speaking nations. The test is also considered prominent across the world.

What is the full form of GRE?

GRE was the acronym for Graduate Record Examination. Presently it has been made the test name and its abbreviation is no longer used.

What is GRE exam used for?

The GRE exam is used for taking admissions in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in around 1500 universities world over. Generally, GRE is required for all post-graduate courses to study abroad. The test comprises three sections - quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and verbal reasoning.

Is GRE exam tough?

The GRE test focuses on critical thinking, hence making it difficult for average students. But the exam is easily manageable for those who have a knowledge of vocabulary and critical thinking.

How much is the fee for the GRE exam?

The fee for the GRE exam general test is $213 while for the subject test is $150. However, there are additional charges for alterations in the test bookings and attempts such as rescheduling fee, subject change fee, test center change fee vary for GRE Exam.

How to write the GRE exam?

The GRE exam has three different sections - analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. The analytical writing section measures the candidate's critical thinking and analytical writing skills. It also assesses the test taker's ability to base complex ideas and evaluate arguments.

What Types of Grad Programs Accept GRE Test Scores?

Generally, most international universities accept GRE scores for admissions in courses such as MBA, MS, law, MIM and others. MBA and MIM programs accept GRE General Test scores in almost all specializations.

What Is the Computer-Adaptive GRE General Test?

In the GRE computer adaptive test, the difficulty level of the next section is based on the success rate of the candidate in the previous section. This implies that as the candidate proceeds further in the next step of the question, the difficulty level increases. But students should work on technique, time management and score strategy.

How to crack the GRE exam?

Cracking GRE is not an impossible task. With few tips and tricks, a candidate can not only clear the GRE exam but score well in the exam as well.

  • Practice more 
  • Work on your speed
  • Clear your concepts 
  • Target your dreams school and focus on your GRE score.

How long are GRE scores valid?

GRE score is valid for five years following the date of the test. For instance, a score received in July 2012 are valid only till July 2026. The GRE scores gained before July 2016 are not valid. To process the request for generating the GRE scores, it needs five business days.

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