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GRE Syllabus 2024: What is the Updated Syllabus of GRE

Updated on 22 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

gre syllabus

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is the first step in planning higher education abroad in master's or graduate programs. The exam scores are also accepted for admission to MBA and some law courses abroad. The GRE syllabus 2024 is spread across three sections – Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The score you earn after taking the 1 hour and 58 minutes exam is valid for the next five years. The article will cover all information regarding the GRE exam syllabus to help aspirants prepare well for the exam.

Understanding GRE Exam Pattern and Syllabus

GRE is an admission prerequisite at most universities in countries such as the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Singapore. You should have a detailed understanding of the GRE syllabus and its exam pattern before you commit your time, effort, and resources to prepare.

GRE Syllabus 2024

The GRE Syllabus for 2024 can be broadly divided into General Test Syllabus and GRE Subject Test Syllabus. The General Test Syllabus covers three areas of testing: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. These are individually scored, and the universities then consider the average final GRE score.

The test is standard for every student aspiring to pursue their post-graduate programs abroad. Now, some universities demand that the applicants appear for the GRE Subject Test, which examines the applicants on their knowledge about the specific subject they wish to specialize in. The test covers a wide range of subjects in the streams of language, analytics, and science.

GRE Exam Pattern

There are two ways a candidate can take the GRE: Computer-Delivered Test and Paper-Delivered Test. The GRE is generally a computer-based test that one can take five times a year while maintaining a gap of 21 days between two attempts. In cases where a computer is unavailable or if you feel uncomfortable using computers, the GRE can also be taken as a paper-delivered test.

Section-Wise Syllabus for 2024 GRE General Test

1. Analytical Writing

The analytical writing section challenges a student to articulate clearly complex ideas. The test measures the taker's ability to fluently communicate ideas, support them with relevant reasoning, hold up an engaging discussion, and prove command over written English. While earlier the syllabus for the GRE Analytical Writing comprised of two individually timed tasks. Now, there is only task per the new GRE exam pattern. It includes questions on Issue Analysis to assess the student's ability to articulate and support complex ideas and evaluate arguments.

2. Verbal Reasoning

The GRE verbal syllabus is structured to test the taker's reasoning proficiency from incomplete data, interpret perspectives, and draw conclusions from presented communication. The test taker should be able to highlight major and minor points of relevance from the given body of text, summarize it, and establish relationships between words and ideas. Following are the topics covered under the verbal syllabus:

a) Verb Tense

b) Modifiers

c) Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions

d) Pronoun Agreement

e) Parallelism

f) Subject-Verb Agreement

3. GRE Quantitative Reasoning

The GRE quant syllabus measures the student's strength in comprehending quantitative information, analysis & interpretation of those using mathematical theories in problem-solving, and applying fundamental mathematical concepts of arithmetic, geometry, statistics, algebra, and probability.

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Syllabus for GRE Subject Test

It is to be remembered that from September 2023, the total testing time for GRE Subject test is 2 hours and 50 minutes for the Mathematics test and 2 hours for the Physics and Psychology tests. There are no separately timed sections. Listed below is the syllabus covered in the GRE Subject test.


The math subject test has around 66 MCQs based on the curriculum commonly taught in undergraduate programs. GRE math syllabus includes the following: 

  • Calculus: 50%
  • Algebra: 25%
  • Additional Topics (like Discrete Mathematics, Geometry, Statistics): 25%


The GRE Subject test for Physics comprises approximately 70 MCQs. You will find some of the questions grouped in sets based on different physics concepts. Following are some of the topics you need to prepare:

  • Classical Mechanics: 20%
  • Electromagnetism: 18%
  • Optics and Wave Phenomena: 8%
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics: 10%
  • Quantum Mechanics: 13%
  • Atomic Physics: 10%
  • Special Relativity: 6%
  • Laboratory Methods: 6%
  • Specialized Topics (Nuclear and Particle physics, crystal structure, astrophysics, etc.): 9%


The psychology subject test has around 144 MCQs based on the various branches of the subject like:

  • Biological (30 questions)
  • Cognitive (29 questions)
  • Social (19 questions)
  • Developmental (18 questions)
  • Clinical (23 questions)
  • Measurement/Methodology/Other (25 questions)

Know More:

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How to Score 170 in GRE QuantHow to Prepare for Verbal in GRE

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How to Prepare for GRE General Test

The last thing that will get you through your GRE is cramming. The GRE is an intense and extensive examination format that requires candidates to invest a reasonable amount of time and sincere effort. The recommended timeline to prepare for your GRE is at least four to twelve weeks, depending on your speed and your daily commitment to studies. You can follow the tips below and plan your preparations accordingly:

1. Know Your Base Score: Before beginning, take a full-length practice test available online and see where you stand if you were to take the actual test soon. It will help you determine the topics you need to rework.

2. Set Your Target Score: Shortlist your prospective universities and note the score you need to aim for with them. This way, you will know your goal and be able to work towards it. 

3. Plan Your Ascend: It will take some research to arrive at the perfect plan to help you rise from your base score to the target score. Look at online testimonials of successful students and follow what suits you best.

4. Focus on Technique: Besides having a result-oriented approach, you should pay attention to how you approach each question. Find out the techniques to solve particular problems and work on bettering them.

5. Review Your Performance: Always analyze how you did in the practice tests, search for the patterns in your mistake and the questions you consistently have problems with. You will eventually see how useful that is.

6. Build Your Vocabulary: One way to enrich your vocabulary is by reading academic journals and publications. The internet will help you do this easily. Having a strong vocabulary takes you a long way in your GRE journey.

A master's degree from a reputed university abroad is an asset that helps you realize your career goals. A great GRE score is the first step to enrolling in a renowned global university. There are plenty of resources online that can help you prepare for the 2024 GRE test. You can also check out our recommended best books for GRE preparation to pave your way for a successful GRE.

Read More:

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GRE Cutoff for US UniversitiesIs GRE Required for Masters in Canada


Frequently Asked Questions

How many times can one appear for GRE?

You can appear for GRE a total of 5 times a year. The attempts need to be 21 days apart.

What is a good GRE score?

You are scored individually in the three segments of the GRE. A Verbal Reasoning score in the range of 158-162, a Quantitative Reasoning score between 159-164, and an Analytical Writing score of 4-6 are considered good.

What is the GRE fee?

The GRE 2024 fee is ₹22,500 in India. If a student needs to reschedule the test, a handling fee of ₹5,000 is charged.

Can a student crack the GRE without coaching?

Coaching for the GRE comes at a considerable expense, and it can be avoided. With proper time management and dedicated effort, it is possible to crack GRE without burning a hole in your pocket. You just need to go through all the online resources and prepare from the GRE study materials sold in the market. While a tutor and classes do help, with proper planning, it is possible to score well in GRE without coaching.

Is there any similarity between the GRE syllabus and the GATE syllabus?

GATE and GRE are entirely different from each other and are taken for two different purposes. While the GRE is required for admission into master's programs abroad, the GATE examination is conducted exclusively for admission to MTech and ME programs in India. The GATE syllabus is subject-specific and is taken by students who have studied the topic during their undergraduate program.

Is the GRE syllabus the same for all branches?

The GRE General Test is the same for all graduate programs across different subjects and programs. GRE General Test score can be used for MS as well as MBA programs. While the GRE General Test has the same syllabus across branches, the GRE Subject Test syllabus varies across streams/subjects.

Is there any change in the GRE syllabus 2024?

The GRE syllabus for 2024 is the same as the previous year's syllabus. So, if you had prepared well in 2023, you are good to go to take the test in 2024. But you must remember that the 2024 GRE exam pattern has changed, bringing the total exam duration to half of the previous, i.e., now the exam is 1 hour and 58 minutes instead of the earlier 3 hours and 45 minutes. Hence, you must pay extra attention to your speed and how you attempt questions.

How much time does it usually take to complete the GRE syllabus?

Students must be able to score well with six to eight weeks of intensive preparation. Aspirants can expect to put in four hours each day to complete the syllabus timely.

Is three months sufficient to prepare for the GRE?

Yes, three months or 12 weeks are more than enough to prepare for GRE.

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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