GRE ExamFormat

The GRE general test is meant to measure your overall academic ability and is the standard test for admission to graduate schools in the United States. Also, there are an increasing number of business schools that also accept the GRE test as part of their application. However, not all graduate schools or programs require scores from the GRE General exam. Also, some schools and programs require various subject tests in addition to the general test, so check with your choice of schools to make sure which test(s) you need to take. The general GRE exam does NOT test specific facts or knowledge that you may have learned in any one class.

The format of the GRE general test is straight-forward. The Analytical Writing section is the first section of the exam, followed by a 10 minute break. After the break, there are 3 sections, one of which is an experimental section, which is not scored. The experimental section is used by ETS to test new questions for use in future tests.

When taking the test, you will have either 1 verbal and 2 math sections, or 2 verbal and 1 math section. You won’t know or be told which of the sections is the experimental section, so just be sure to do your best on all the parts of the test.

Analytical Writing 2 essays, 45 minutes and 30 minutes
The writing section of the GRE is meant to measure 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.
Break 10 minutes
Verbal 30 questions, 30 minutes
Includes 5-7 sentence completion questions, 8-10 antonym questions, 6-8 analogy questions, and 6-10 reading comprehension questions based on 2-4 reading passages. For more information on each of these question types, please see that tutorial chapter.
Math 28 questions, 45 minutes
Approximately 10 of the questions are problem solving questions (the standard word problem, multiple choice questions), 14 are quantitative comparison questions, and 4 are data interpretation questions. Also, you might see a user input question, where you'll be required to supply the answer for a given problem. For more information about the quantitative reasoning questions, please proceed to the appropriate tutorial.
Experimental Section* You will have a fourth, experimental section that will either be a math or a verbal section. 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 can be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd section after the break. The experimental section is used by ETS to test new questions.

*In the above example, the experimental section is the last section, but the order of the sections can be any of several combinations. For example, your test may be math-math-verbal, or verbal-math-verbal, or verbal-verbal-math, etc.