GRE Exam Information: Everything You Need to Know

Are you thinking about grad school and feeling overwhelmed by the GRE exam? The GRE is a big step on your path to advanced education. This blog will unpack everything from what the GRE is, to how to prep for success.

Dive in for a guide that makes sense!


Understanding the GRE

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test commonly used for admissions into graduate programs, including business schools. It consists of three main sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.

There are two types of GRE exams available – the General Test and Subject Tests.


What is the GRE?

The GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized test that many graduate schools use to decide if they should admit students into their programs. People show off their math and English skills on the GRE.

They answer questions about algebra, geometry, and data analysis. They also prove they know college-level words.

This exam has three main parts: analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. When you do well on the GRE, schools know you’re ready for tough courses in graduate or business school.

Students all over the world take this test as part of getting into grad school.


Why is it important?

The GRE is crucial for graduate school admissions. It evaluates your math, verbal, and analytical writing skills to determine your readiness for advanced academic study. Many graduate, business, and law schools worldwide consider GRE scores in their admissions process.

Moreover, the exam’s standardization ensures fair evaluation across applicants. Your performance on the GRE can significantly impact your chances of getting into the program of your choice.

Understanding the importance of the GRE exam will help you prepare effectively for this critical step toward furthering your education and future career prospects. Now let’s delve deeper into understanding the various types of GRE exams available – General and Subject tests.


Types of GRE exams (General, Subject)

The GRE offers two types of exams: the General Test and Subject Tests. The General Test assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. It’s widely accepted for various graduate and business school programs.

On the other hand, Subject Tests evaluate knowledge in specific fields like biology or psychology. These exams provide an opportunity to showcase expertise in a particular subject area, potentially strengthening a candidate’s application.

Moving on to Exam Information..


Exam Information

Learn about the test content and sections, as well as the testing locations, dates, cost, and registration process for the GRE exam.


Test content and sections

The GRE exam comprises three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. In the Analytical Writing section, you will analyze an issue and argue based on specific instructions.

The Verbal Reasoning section assesses your ability to understand and evaluate written material. Additionally, it measures your ability to recognize relationships among parts of sentences and concepts.

The Quantitative Reasoning section evaluates your problem-solving skills using basic math concepts and applying quantitative methods to interpret data. Each section plays a vital role in testing your critical thinking abilities across different subjects.


Testing locations and dates

After diving into the content and sections of the GRE exam, it’s crucial to understand where and when you can take the test. GRE General Test appointments are available throughout the year at Prometric test centers worldwide.

Additionally, the test is offered at various locations outside the Prometric test center network (such as universities) on specific dates. Here’s a summary of key information regarding testing locations and dates in a convenient table format:


GRE General Test GRE Subject Tests
Offered year-round at Prometric test centers Available on specific dates, three times per year
Additional testing at non-Prometric sites, including universities Limited locations compared to the General Test
Test dates vary by location; check the ETS website for details Registration closes approximately one month before the test date
Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis Subject Tests not offered at all Prometric centers
Rescheduling options available Fixed test dates require careful planning

Selecting the right date and location for your GRE is an important step in your test preparation journey. Make sure to register early to secure your preferred test date and location.


Cost and registration process

The cost and registration process for the GRE exam are as follows:

  1. The fee to take the GRE exam is $205.
  2. A fee reduction program is available for individuals who demonstrate financial need.
  3. Registration for the GRE exam can be done online on the official ETS website.
  4. Test – takers can choose from available test dates and locations during the registration process.
  5. Late registration is possible for an additional fee, but availability may be limited.
  6. Test – takers with disabilities may request accommodations during the registration process.
  7. After registering, a confirmation email with test details and instructions will be sent.


Scoring and Results

The GRE exam is scored based on the number of correct answers, and the ScoreSelect® option allows you to send only your best scores to schools. To learn more about scoring and results, keep reading!


How is the GRE scored?

The GRE is scored on a scale of 130-170 for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, and 0-6 for Analytical Writing. A good score varies depending on the school and program you are applying to, but generally, a total score around 310 is considered competitive.

Your scores are valid for five years, and you can take the test once every 21 days up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period.

GRE scoring is based on the number of correct answers which determines your raw score. Then, these raw scores are converted into scaled scores through a complex statistical process called equating.


Understanding a good GRE score

After learning about the ScoreSelect® option, it’s essential to understand what constitutes a good GRE score. A good GRE score is relative and varies depending on the graduate programs and schools you’re applying to.

However, generally speaking, a competitive GRE score falls within the 75th percentile or higher for your target institutions. For instance, for top-tier programs in competitive fields like engineering or business, a combined score of around 320 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections may be considered strong.

Keep in mind that some schools have specific score requirements for admission, so research your desired programs thoroughly.

Your percentiles are equally crucial – they represent how well you performed compared to others who took the test. A percentile ranking above 90 indicates that you scored better than 90% of test-takers.


Preparing for the GRE

Discover valuable tips for test preparation, explore the resources available, and learn how to connect with schools and receive admissions advice.


Tips for test preparation

Preparing for the GRE exam requires focused effort and strategic planning. Here are key tips for effective test preparation:

  1. Utilize official study materials provided by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to familiarize yourself with the exam format and content.
  2. Create a study schedule that allows adequate time for reviewing all sections of the exam, focusing on areas where you need improvement.
  3. Practice regularly with GRE study guides and practice tests to build familiarity with the types of questions and develop effective test-taking strategies.
  4. Seek out online resources, such as interactive study apps and video tutorials, to supplement your study plan and reinforce key concepts.
  5. Consider enrolling in a GRE prep course or working with a tutor to receive personalized guidance and support in your preparation.
  6. Familiarize yourself with test day procedures by visiting the test center beforehand and ensuring you have all necessary identification and materials ready.
  7. Prioritize self – care during your preparation period, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and getting sufficient rest before test day.
  8. Connect with current graduate students or alumni who have taken the GRE for insights on their preparation experiences and valuable advice.


Resources available

After preparing for the GRE exam, it’s essential to know about the resources available to help you succeed. Here are some valuable resources at your disposal:

  1. Online practice tests: Access free and paid GRE practice tests covering math, verbal, and analytical writing skills.
  2. Study guides and books: Utilize official study materials and recommended prep books to strengthen your understanding of GRE content.
  3. Vocabulary-building tools: Use flashcards, apps, and online resources to enhance your college-level vocabulary.
  4. Prep courses: Consider enrolling in GRE preparation courses offered by test prep companies or educational institutions.
  5. Study groups: Join or create study groups with peers to share knowledge, practical tips, and motivation.
  6. Official website: Visit the official GRE website for test-taking tips, sample questions, and valuable information about the exam.
  7. Tutoring services: Seek assistance from tutors specializing in GRE preparation to receive personalized guidance and support.
  8. Educational podcasts: Listen to GRE-focused podcasts that discuss test strategies, content review, and success stories from previous test-takers.
  9. Mock interviews: Participate in mock interviews to refine your communication skills for the analytical writing section of the exam.
  10. Adaptive learning platforms: Explore adaptive learning platforms that customize study plans based on your strengths and weaknesses in GRE content areas.


Connect with schools and admissions advice

Connect with schools and admissions advice:

  1. Research potential graduate schools and their GRE score requirements to target your preparation.
  2. Reach out to admissions counselors or current students for insights into the application process and tips for success.
  3. Attend virtual or in – person information sessions hosted by schools to learn about their programs and get application advice.
  4. Utilize online forums, social media groups, and networking events to connect with other applicants and share experiences.
  5. Seek guidance from professors or mentors in your field for recommendations on schools and application strategies.
  6. Use resources like school websites, alumni networks, and professional organizations to gather information on programs of interest.
  7. Consider reaching out directly to faculty members or department heads at schools you are interested in for personalized advice.



In summary, the GRE exam is a vital part of applying to graduate school. It assesses your math, verbal, and analytical writing skills. To excel, understand the test content, study well, and use available resources.

Good luck with your GRE journey!


Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the GRE exam?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test that many graduate schools use to make admissions decisions.


2. How do I register for the GRE?

You can register for the GRE by visiting the official website and choosing a test date that suits you at one of the GRE test centers.


3. What does the GRE exam format look like?

The format of the GRE includes sections on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing where your ability to think critically is tested.


4. Can I take the GRE more than once?

Yes, if you want to improve your score or aren’t satisfied with your first try, you can retake the exam following policies about retesting dates.


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