GRE® Revised General Test

The GRE Revised General Test is a TIMED exam. The Educational Testing Service, ETS, has designed the exam to assess a student's preparedness in each of three skill areas that are necessary for success in graduate school. The three skill areas that the GRE revised General Test measures are the following: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The GRE revised General Test is unique in many ways:

  • The test provides a review feature, which allows students to tag specific questions which can be revisited later or skipped for the time being.
  • It also allows the option to move back and forth through a section.
  • During any one section of the exam, students can change answer choices.
  • The GRE Revised General Test provides several question formats in addition to the standard single-answer multiple choice question. These question formats are summarized below.

Analytical Writing

  • The Analytical Writing measure requires students to compose an Issue essay and an Argument essay. For each essay, test takers will be presented with a single topic.
  • Essay topics focus more on context and circumstance, rather than outside knowledge, and you will be asked to critically engage with the topic rather than generalize about it.
  • The Analytical Writing section will always comes first on the GRE revised General Test.
  • Each essay is timed separately for 30 minutes (the Analytical Writing section totaling 60 minutes).
  • The Analytical Writing Section is scored on a scale of o - 6, in 0.5 point increments.

Verbal Reasoning

  • This section offers three kinds of questions: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence questions. These question types are more attentive to methods of reading and interpretation, rather than just vocabulary. While vocabulary is still an important component of the GRE revised General test, vocabulary questions are presented within contextual frameworks, such as reading passages.
  • The scoring for the revised GRE Verbal Reasoning is on a scale of 130 – 170 in 1 point increments. This scoring scale allows for a comparison between graduate school candidates.

Quantitative Reasoning

  • This section offers questions that are meant to test a student's proficiency in arithmetic, algebra, and basic geometry. Data-analysis questions are also provided, which are based on contextual and real-life situations, and require test-takers to analyze and interpret plots, graphs, and date reports.
  • An on-screen basic digital calculator is available for use in the Quantitative Reasoning Sections of the GRE Revised General Test.
  • In addition to the common single-answer multiple choice questions, quantitative comparison as well as numerical entry questions types are provided. Multiple choice questions that require a test taker to select multiple answers are also provided.
  • The scoring for the Quantitative Reasoning measure for the GRE Revised General Test is on a scale of 130 – 170 in 1 point increments.

Structure of the GRE Revised General Test

The GRE test is composed of the above-mentioned three measures, spread out among 8 sections. The total testing time is approximately 4 hours. The Analytical Writing Section is always the first section of the exam, while the order of the four verbal and quantitative reasoning sections varies. An unscored section is also presented, and it can be either a verbal or quantitative reasoning section. The final section of the exam is always a research section, which is optional, and which does not count towards your score. The GRE Revised General Test is summarized in the following table:
Section Format/Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing Issue Essay 30 minutes
Analytical Writing Argument Essay 30 minutes
Verbal Reasoning Around 20 questions 30 minutes
Verbal Reasoning Around 20 questions 30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Around 20 questions 35 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Around 20 questions 35 minutes
Unscored Section Around 20 questions 30 or 35 minutes
Research Section Different every time Different every time