All that You Need to Know About the GRE Exam and its Syllabus

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re planning to register for the GRE exam and are looking to acquaint yourself with the GRE syllabus? Well, you’ve landed at the right place, this article covers everything you need to know about the GRE.

The GRE Exam

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized test and most universities and business schools ask for the scores of this exam as part of their admission requirements. Whether you’re looking to study for a master’s program or a Ph.D. level program at a reputed university, the GRE test score is the most widely recognized and accepted score globally by most educational institutions.

The GRE test is conducted by ETS and is a computer-adaptive test that can be taken in two formats – paper-based and computer-delivered. The GRE test is of two types — General and Subject — and universities may ask for a particular type based on the program you’re applying for. While most business schools require a general GRE test, MS programs may require you to take a GRE subject test. You will have to check with your university for the type of GRE test they ask for before you begin registering.

GRE Test Duration and Fees

Depending on the region you apply for the GRE test your GRE registration fee will vary. Although the GRE subject test is charged at $150 worldwide, the cost of the GRE general test varies. All over the world $205 is charged to register for a GRE test. However, the fees for registering for a GRE exam from India and China are $213 and $231 respectively.

GRE Test Structure

The GRE test consists of 6 sections. The first part of the test is an analytical writing assessment test (AWA) which consists of two topics – analyze an argument and analyze an issue. To attempt both the GRE AWA topics, you will be provided 30 minutes for each topic. The second section consists of two sections of quantitative and verbal reasoning. Lastly, the exam also consists of an unscored section that is not counted towards the test scores.

Below we have explained the GRE syllabus in more detail.

First Section – GRE AWA or Analytical Writing Assessment

The GRE AWA section is the first section of the GRE test and is one hour long. As mentioned earlier in this article, the AWA section consists of two topics for which you will be provided 30 minutes each. This means you have an hour to complete the topics.

The two topics of the AWA section are:

  • Analyze an argument – In this section, you are provided with an argument and a specific set of instructions. You are required to analyze the overall soundness of the argument made.
  • Analyze an issue – In this section, you are provided with an issue and are required to present your opinions by supporting them with relevant examples.

The AWA section does not expect you to have knowledge on all the topics. The topics covered are of broad and general interest and you are expected to give your opinion with supporting examples. The GRE AWA section is scored on a scale of 2 – 6 with a 0.5 increment.

Second Section – GRE Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning

This is the most integral part of the GRE test where you will spend most of your time. Both verbal and quantitative reasoning has a total of 40 questions, divided into two parts. You are given 35 minutes per section for quantitative reasoning and 30 minutes per section for verbal reasoning.

Moreover, the GRE test, unlike the GMAT, is a section-level adaptive test. Therefore, the difficulty level of your second section of quantitative reasoning or verbal reasoning will depend on how you performed on the first section of each measure. Your final scores depend on the number of questions you have answered correctly and the difficulty level you reached in both measures.

To conclude, your GRE test is going to be three hours and 45 minutes long. Hence, you need to sit for a long duration and keep your focus throughout the exam. Hence, taking up mock tests during your preparation will help you. We wish you all the best!

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