sections in gre exam

Sections in GRE Exam: How Many Sections in GRE Exam (Verbal, Math & Writing)

Updated on 20 September, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Do you know all about the sections in GRE exam? The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is one of the most important standardized tests for admission into colleges and universities worldwide. There are three sections in the GRE, namely Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and Quantitative Reasoning. You should familiarize yourself with each section before venturing to take the test.

How Many Sections Are There in GRE exam? Here Are the details

The three sections in GRE exam can be written in their short forms, i.e., Verbal, Quant, and AW. Every section has a different aspect targeted for testing candidates. GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)  is slightly less than four hours and has two Verbal, two Quant, and one AW portions along with an extra Verbal or Quant section through either an unscored research segment or unscored experimental segment. AW always comes at the beginning, followed by a random order of Verbal and Quant. You may have two Verbal and Quant sections following each other or even one Verbal and one Quant followed by another Verbal and so on. 

The experimental section may come up after completing the AW and will not indicate the same. The research section always appears at the end of the examination, indicating its nature. The Quant and Verbal sections both have 20 questions each. However, Verbal gives you 30 minutes per section, while Quant gives you 35 minutes per section. AW requires two essays, each to be written in 30 minutes. Every GRE section has a separate scale for scoring. Both Quant and Verbal have a 130-170 scale with one-point increments. Your Quant and Verbal scores may be fused for a total score out of 340 points in all. AW has a 0-6 scoring scale with increments of half-points. E-rating is combined with individual graders for coming up with AW scores.

Verbal Reasoning

● You must identify proper vocabulary and words for paragraphs and sentences while comprehending key points, implications, and meanings of scholarly and intensive passages. 

● The three question types are Text Completion, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Equivalence. 

● Text Completion requires you to complete your sentences with suitable vocabulary. Every question has one to five sentences with one to three blanks usually. Questions with two to three blanks will have three answer options for each blank, while questions with a single blank will have five possible options for answers. No credit is given for partly-correct answers. 

● Sentence Equivalence tests your vocabulary. You have to choose synonymous words. You should select both options correctly to get credit. Every question has a sentence, one blank, and six possible answer options. 

● Reading Comprehension tests your ability to understand passages while differentiating between points, identifying assumptions, making conclusions, and finding missing information. Passages cover humanities, arts, natural sciences, and social sciences. In most cases, you will have to choose one out of five possible answers. 

Recommended Read: How to Prepare for GRE Verbal

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Quantitative Reasoning

● This section revolves around basic mathematics, including algebra, arithmetic, data analysis, and geometry. 

● You will get rough paper and a calculator on the screen. 

● There are five question types, i.e., multiple-choice (one or multiple answers to be chosen), multiple-choice (one answer to be chosen), quantitative comparison, data interpretation sets, and numeric entry. 

● Quantitative comparison will get you comparing two quantities with a description at hand and four choices for answers. Quantities may come in various avatars, including diagrams, equations, and integers. 

● Multiple choice questions (type 1) require you to choose one out of five possible choices. They cover various mathematics topics, including probability, coordinate systems, data interpretation, etc. 

● Multiple choice questions (type 2) allow choosing one or multiple choices for answers. 

● Numeric entry questions need a solution in a fraction and will have a denominator and numerator blank. Some of them requiring decimals or integers will have only one blank. 

● Data interpretation sets will be questions referring to a table or bar graph. You have to answer three questions back-to-back on various aspects. 

Recommended Read: Tips to Score 170 in GRE Quant

Analytical Writing

● You will have to write essays coherently and clearly on various topics with technical and factual accuracy, proper logic flow, and backing evidence while maintaining the highest standards of punctuation, grammar, capitalization, and spelling. 

● Essay types in this section are Analyze an Argument and Analyze an Issue

● Analyzing an Issue essay requires you to choose any side and then defend your argument. Your grade is based on the essay construction and logic rather than which side you take. 

● Analyze Argument essays require you to evaluate an argument and consider backing evidence and the author's assumptions. The essay should have an introduction, thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusion.

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


Should You focus More on Some GRE Sections? 

While you now know the various sections in GRE exam, you may be thinking about which sections to prioritize while preparing for the test. Experts feel that Analytical Writing does not have as much importance as the other sections since many universities and colleges do not pay much heed to scores in this section. They usually go by the writing samples and personal statements of candidates instead. 

Quantitative Reasoning is usually more important for those venturing into mathematical or scientific and engineering fields. Verbal Reasoning is more important for those venturing into the social sciences and humanities.
Also Read:

Is Passport Mandatory for GRE ExamGRE AWA Essays
Book for GRE ExamGRE Sample Issue Essays


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Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus


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