GRE TIPS TO ACE THE GRE
How To Ace the GRE
What is GRE?
The Graduate Record Examination or also called as GRE is a standardized test that is often used by graduate schools and business schools as a form of admission. It is part of their application process which measures whether or not the applicant/candidate is academically ready for the graduate programs or graduate business programs.
The Graduate Record Exam is administered by the Educational Testing Services (ETS). There are also two types of GRE test: GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test.
The GRE General Test measures general knowledge while the GRE Subject Test measures your expertise in your preferred field. Most schools usually require the general test, but sometimes some require applicants to take the subject test that is most related to their graduate programs.
There are a lot of differences between the two. Their content differs since the general test has 3 main sections, and it can be taken in two ways. It can either be a computer-based or paper-based test. For the subject test, it only has one section, and it can only be taken as a paper-based test.
Who takes the GRE?
According to Learning Express’ Acing the GRE Exam, those who take the test are those who want to apply in doctoral or master’s programs. Although they are only a part of the admission process, they still play a crucial role. Most universities make use of this standardized test because it is an indication for them of the student’s capabilities.
Format and Content Outline
What is covered on the GRE?
The most common and often required test is the GRE general test. The GRE exam has multiple-choice questions, a writing portion, and some numeric entry questions. It also consists of 3 main sections. The exam takes almost 4 hours to complete. It has 2 formats. You can take the CAT or the Computer Adaptive test, or you can take the paper-delivered version.
What is the GRE test pattern?
Computer-delivered or CAT GRE General Test
The overall allowed time to take the computer version of the GRE general test is at least 3 hours and 45 minutes.
|Measure||Number of Questions||Time Allowed|
|Analytical Writing – It has 1 section, but it contains 2 tasks that are separately timed.||The 2 tasks:
||30 minutes per task|
|Verbal Reasoning – It has 2 sections.||20 questions per section||30 minutes per section|
|Quantitative Reasoning – It has 2 sections.||20 questions per section||35 minutes per section|
|Unscored – In this section, unscored items may appear after the Analytical Writing Section. These items are used for future tests.||Varies||Varies|
|Research – It may be included in the unscored section, and it will appear at the end of the test. It is used for ETS research purposes.||Varies||Varies|
Paper-delivered GRE General Test Content and Structure
The overall allowed time to take the written or paper version of the GRE general test is at least 3 hours and 30 minutes. The Analytical Writing section will always come first, and the other sections may appear in any order.
Moreover, the answers are written into the test book and not in a separate answer sheet. You cannot also bring your own calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning because it will be provided for you.
|Measure||Number of Questions||Time Allowed|
|Analytical Writing – It has 2 sections.||The 2 sections:
||30 minutes per section|
|Verbal Reasoning – It has 2 sections.||25 questions per section||35 minutes per section|
|Quantitative Reasoning – It has 2 sections.||25 questions per section||40 minutes per section|
What is the syllabus for the GRE general knowledge test?
The syllabus for the GRE exam is divided into 3 main sections: Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.
1. Analytical Writing determines the applicant’s critical and analytical skills through its writing portion. The applicants are required to write two essays. It will test their abilities in articulation and construction of arguments. It must also show cohesion. This section is further divided into 2 tasks: “Analyze an Issue” and “Analyze an Argument.”
- “Analyze an Issue” – In this task, you must evaluate and give your opinion on an issue of general interest. You will be given instructions on how to respond to it. You must also state your argument, along with your reasons and examples to support your opinions.
- “Analyze an Argument:- In this task, you must evaluate a given argument. You will be given instructions on how to respond to it. You have to think about the logical soundness of the argument rather than agreeing or disagreeing to it.
2. Verbal Reasoning determines the applicant’s skills in evaluating and analyzing written material and consolidating information. It also analyzes relationships of sentence structure, words, and concepts. This section also has three types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence.
a. Reading Comprehension – This question type tests the applicant’s abilities to read and understand prose that is usually seen in graduate school. Some of these skills are:
- You must understand the meaning of paragraphs, individual words, and sentences.
- You must differentiate the major and minor points.
- You must know how to summarize a passage.
- You must know how to identify the author’s perspective.
- You must analyze a text and reach conclusions.
b. Text Completion – This question type tests the ability of the applicants to use the remaining information in a passage that contains omitted crucial words. They have to fill in the blanks with the right selection of words.
c. Sentence Equivalence – This question type tests the ability of the applicant to reach a conclusion. They must be able to complete and make a coherent sentence.
3. Quantitative Reasoning determines the applicant’s knowledge and mastery of basic mathematical skills and mathematical concepts. It also tests the ability to solve quantitative methods using quantitative reasoning. It has 4 content areas: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Data Analysis. This section also contains 4 types of questions:
- Quantitative Comparison Questions – these are questions that will ask the applicant to compare two quantities: Quantity A and Quantity B.
- Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice – these are multiple-choice questions that ask the applicant’s to choose only 1 answer from a list of 5 choices.
- Multiple-choice Questions — Select One or More Answer Choices – these are multiple-choice questions that ask the applicant’s to choose only 1 or more from a list of choices. The question may not indicate the number of choices to select.
- Numeric Entry Questions – these are questions that will ask the applicant to answer an integer, a decimal or a fraction.
How is the GRE test score calculated?
The GRE scores have different ranges depending on the section they are under. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning both have a score range of 130 to 170 in 1 point increments. The applicant’s score on the two sections will determine the difficulty level of the subsequent sections when it is taken as a computer-based exam. This is because they are section-level adaptive. Also, the raw score, which is the number of questions answered correctly, is converted into a scale score. The process is called “equating.”
On the other hand, the section for Analytical Writing is scored using a human rater and an ETS program called an e-rater. These raters use a six-point holistic scale for each of the essays. The written portion is graded in half-point increments from scale 0 to 6. If the human and the e-rater scores do not agree, then a second human score is obtained. So, the final score is the mean of the 2 human scores.
|Measure||GRE Score Range|
|Analytical Writing.||0 to 6, in half-point increments|
|Verbal Reasoning||130 to 170, in 1 point increments|
|Quantitative Reasoning||130 to 170, in 1 point increments|
What is a good GRE score?
The first thing you should do is to check the minimum score requirements of the graduate or business graduate programs you want to apply in. It will help you know what the score baseline is. You have to find the mean GRE score of applicants who were already admitted. According to ETS, based on the performance of the applicants who took the test between 2015, July 1 and 2018, June 20, here are the mean or average GRE scores:
|Measure||Number of Test Takers||Mean||Standard Deviation|
|Analytical Writing.||1, 692, 334||150.24||8.44|
|Verbal Reasoning||1, 695, 463||153.07||9.24|
|Quantitative Reasoning||1, 687, 411||3.55||0.86|
. What is the GRE ScoreSelect?
It is a feature that gives the applicant the choice to send only the GRE test scores that they want the school to see. You can send your scores from the Most Recent test administration or from All of the tests you have taken in the last 5 years. You can also Any specific test for a charge when you order additional score reports.
GRE Registration, Costs and Policies
There are three ways that you can register for the GRE: Online, Mail registration, and Phone. Here are some of the steps you can follow:
- You must have a “My GRE Account.” Through it, you can apply for the GRE test and check your scores.
- After creating an ETS account, you can select the type of GRE exam you are going to take. It can either be the GRE general test or the GRE subject test.
- When you have chosen your test type, you can now schedule when you are going to take the exam. You have to select the location and set the date and time.
- You must fill in the required background information.
- You should pay the appropriate fees for registration.
How much does it cost to take the GRE?
The usual GRE cost for the general test in most parts of the world is $205, while for the subject test it is always $150. According to the ETS, here are some of the costs:
|Standard Test Administration for the General Test||Registration Fee|
|All other areas of the world||$205|
|Special Handling Requests||Fees|
|Late registration fee for paper-delivered test online registration only||$25|
|Standby testing for paper-delivered test only||$50|
|Rescheduling fee for China||$53.90|
|Rescheduling fee for all other areas of the world||$50|
|Changing your test center||$50|
|Changing your Subject Test||$50|
How much does it cost to retake the GRE test?
Every time that you take the GRE test, you have to pay the full fees. You can retake it every 21 days and within 12 months for 5 times within any continuous rolling. For the paper-delivered test, you can retake it as many times that it is offered.
What are the GRE test dates?
The computer-based exam is offered throughout the year and is available in more than a thousand testing centers in different countries. In places such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea, it is offered up to three times per month. In other areas of the world where the computer-based exam is not offered, the paper-delivered test is available in November and February up to two times a year.
How to best prepare for the GRE?
According to the GRE Tales Study Guide: Best GRE Strategies, there are four strategies to remember to prepare for the exam:
Strategy 1: You should be able to pace yourself. You must keep track of the time as you go along the exam. You must know that with each question, you must be answering it within the average time allowed, which is one minute or a half-minute per question. If you notice that you might be lagging, then you have to speed up. You must answer as accurately as you can. For computer-delivered tests, you won’t be able to go back to the questions again. But, with the paper-delivered test, you can return to them if you have a hard time answering.
Strategy 2: You should make use of the process of elimination. There might be times when you don’t know, or you are unsure of the answer for certain questions. This is where the process of elimination comes in handy. You are making an educated guess. You have to bet on the right answers.
Strategy 3: You must invest and find the right sources for GRE practice tests, GRE preps, GRE sample tests, and GRE study guides. Before you take the test, you must know what you are up against. With the help of these resources, you ‘ll be able to figure out how you can strategize your study schedule and the topics you will cover.
To guide you through there are some of the GRE practice questions you can find in the book, GRE Self Practice Tests:
1. In some 19th century novels you see the very poor conditions people lived in that can only be described as……. misery.
2. Television can give you a very good idea of how people live in different countries as it can ……. scenes from every day life.
3. This is a sort of shortened version of what happened and has been ……. to fit into the newspaper.
You can also find some at Manhattan Prep’s Book of GRE Practice Problems:
1. f is a positive integer, how many integer values are possible for x?
2. If 3x + 6y = 69 and 2x – y = 11, what is the value of y?
3. In a certain election race, all of the 8,400 votes were cast for either Candidate A or Candidate B. If votes for Candidate A and votes for Candidate B were cast in a 4 to 3 ratio, how many votes were cast for Candidate A?
Strategy 4: Don’t make light of the exam. Although you can choose the ScoreSelect option, it is best to have good scores. If you are going to take the test for the first time, you should be prepared and ready. As mentioned in the previous strategy, you should take sample tests or practice tests so you’ll know the content and format inside and out.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between the GRE and the SAT?
One of the key differences between the two is the purpose for which they are used. The GRE is used for graduate school admissions, while the SAT is used for undergraduate school admissions. They also differ in format since the SAT is only offered as a paper-delivered test. The GRE, on the other hand, offers it both the computer-delivered test and the paper-delivered test.
What are the best study materials for GRE?
The best study materials are GRE test preps, study guides, and practice tests, among others. You can also find a reliable free GRE practice test at Practice Test Geeks. We offer various sample questions that can help you prepare for the GRE.
Is it possible to take the GRE general test in high school?
Yes, it is. Your GRE scores will be valid for 5 years, so you can use it for your graduate school admission if you want.
Is the GRE exam easy or difficult?
You must study so that it won’t be hard. The level of difficulty of the test will depend on you. If you are not prepared, then the exam will be complicated. That’s why you should always study and be ready.
Where can I find practice test papers for the GRE?
You can find them by buying some practice test books, or you can find them online. Various websites offer them for free. You can check out Practice Test Geeks. We offer a variety of sample questions and sample tests for exams such as the GRE.