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GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score is required for admission to Graduate Studies, Fellowship Programs and Research Programs at US universities and some other English speaking countries. GRE is administered by ETS.
The test measures skills in the areas of verbal reasoning, mathematics, analytical writing and critical thinking.
There are two types of GRE Tests:
1. The General Test
2. The Subject Test
The GRE Computer Based General test is computer adaptive, i.e. the next question presented to you is based on your performance in the previous question. The hard questions are worth more points than the easier ones, but the only way to get to the hard questions is answer the first few questions right. It is very important to spend more time on the first few questions and answer them correctly so that you have a chance to answer the more difficult questions that are worth more points.
The GRE General test is also available in paper based format in some countrieswhere computer-based testing is not available.
The Computer based GRE General Test is of approximately 3.5 hours long and comprised of three sections:
This section contains 30 multiple choice questions to be answered in 30 minutes.
The section tests your vocabulary (in the form of Antonyms questions), your ability to understand a sentence's intended meaning (in the form of Sentence Completion questions), and ability to analyze the relationships between two words in a pair (Analogies) and to draw reasonable inferences from the material in a reading passage (in the form of Reading Comprehension Passages).
The verbal section includes approximately:
6 Sentence Completion questions;
9 questions on Antonyms;
7 Analogies questions;
8 questions on Reading Comprehension
You will be allotted 45 minutes to answer 28 multiple choice questions that test your mathematical skill. The questions are taken from the topics which you have already studied in high school, like percentages, fractions & decimals, algebra, geometry, ratio & proportion, area & volume, probability,etc.
It's not tough to crack this section, especially for students with science or math background. You can easily score a perfect 800 with little concentration….whew!!!
The quantitative section contains the following types of questions:
Analytical Writing Section
This section contains two subsections (Present Your Perspective on an Issue and Analysis of an argument), each requiring you to write a short essay.
Present Your Perspective on an Issue
You will be presented with two topics and will have 45 minutes to write your perspective on one of the topics presented
Analysis of an Argument
You will have 30 minutes to plan and write a critique of an argument presented in the form of a short passage. You are asked to gauge the logical soundness of the argument rather than to agree or disagree with the view it presents. You are not given a choice in topic for this question.
In addition to the above sections, there will be one experimental section which will be either verbal, quantitative or analytical section. The experimental section score does not count towards your actual score and contains questions that ETS considers for future test editions. However, since there is no way of identifying an experimental section, the test taker has no option but to complete it as if it's an actual test.
The test may also have an additional research section that appears at the end of the test. This section will be clearly marked unlike the experimental section. This section will not count towards the score and is completing this section of the test is optional.
GRE subject tests are paper based tests used by admissions or fellowship panels to gauge the abilities of students pertaining to particular subjects. This test is not required by all graduate programs. There are very few universities that require GRE subject test score for admission to graduate programs, however, it may be required if you're applying to a program outside of your undergraduate major. The Subject Tests are offered in the following eight subjects:
Testing time is 2 hours and 50 minutes.
The Subject Tests are only paper based and can be taken on set dates thrice a year in October, November and April. The Computer Based General test can be taken year-round.