The GRE General Test & Subject Test – What is GRE?
What is GRE?
If you are a graduate student and looking for post-graduate admission, you might have seen the phrase “GRE required” in most of the university admission criteria. So, what is the GRE, how to prepare and how can we get a good GRE score, we will go through these questions and many more.
The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is a significant step in the application process for graduate school or business school for postgraduate admissions. The GRE is a standardized multiple-choice, computer-based test that is usually required for entrance to graduate schools and MBA programs around the world.
ETS, the test-maker, created and administered the GRE to give graduate and business schools standardized metrics to compare the qualifications and readiness of applicants for graduate-level academic work. Your GRE score, as well as your academic record and supporting papers, are used by graduate school and business school admissions committees to judge your preparation for the challenges of graduate study.
What is GRE Test?
The GRE assesses your ability to perform fundamental arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis, as well as your knowledge of university-level vocabulary. More significantly, it assesses your ability to read, evaluate, and analyze written information, and it also examines critically thinking and problem-solving ability.
The GRE has three portions in total – Analytical writing, Verbal reasoning (verbal), and Quantitative reasoning – with an unscored experimental or research section for certain test takers. On the GRE, students have to take 80 scored questions and 2 scored Analytical Writing essays. If your GRE test date includes research or experimental component, you may be required to complete 20 additional questions that will have no impact on your overall score. The total fee for the GRE test is $205.
The GRE analytical writing section consists of two different timed writing essays. When taking the GRE, first you have to write these two essays, before any verbal and quantitative assessments.
The two essays are:
Analysis of an issue
Analysis of an argument
When you’re writing the essays, start with your thesis statement. Excessive descriptions and irrelevant information should not be used to frame your argument. Instead, focus on a compelling and natural evolution of ideas.
Remember that the GRE essay assessor is not concerned about how poetically you have written the thesis statement. Extraneous words won’t help you get any extra points, as they are looking for a logical essay, but not creative. So, try to explain your thesis in the first phrase or two.
For each analytical writing essay, you will get 30 minutes to complete, there won’t be any extra time for brainstorming, planning, or editing. With such a short time to produce a good essay, having a thorough understanding of essays and practice is essential.
Questions in the GRE Verbal portion are divided into three categories: reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, and text completion. In 60 minutes, you’ll have to finish around 20 questions, allowing you between 1 and 4 minutes for each question, depending on the questions types. Each Verbal section will begin with Text Completions, followed by a block of 4–5 Reading Comprehension questions, a block of Sentence Equivalence questions, and a final block of Reading Comprehension questions.
Quantitative Reasoning (math section)
Quantitative Comparison, Problem Solving, and Data Interpretation questions make up the GRE Quantitative reasoning (or Math) portions. Each section of Quantitative Reasoning will take 35 minutes to complete. You’ll have between 1.5 and 2 minutes to answer each of the 20 questions in each part, which will include a mix of Quantitative Comparison, Problem Solving, and Data Interpretation tasks. The questions types, on the other hand, are not evenly distributed. All quantitative comparison questions will appear first, followed by Problem Solving questions. You will have to attempt the Data Interpretation questions at the end of the Problem-Solving problems.
Unscored GRE Sections
The Research section and the unscored “Experimental” section have no impact on the overall score. On the test, you may observe either, but not both. Let’s take a look at each one independently. If your test has one of these sections, the unscored section will appear among the scored sections randomly. It will be impossible to distinguish it from the scored portion. So, as a candidate, what does this mean for you? All of the Quantitative and Verbal parts should be completed to the best of your ability. The Research part is a bit different from the rest of the sections. It will appear at the end of the test and will be marked as an ungraded/unscored part.
|SECTION||NUMBER OF QUESTIONS||TIME ALLOWED||SCORE RANGE|
|Analytical Writing||1 argument task||30 minutes for each task||0 to 6|
|1 issue task||60 minutes total|
|Verbal Reasoning (Verbal)||Text completion 6||two 30-minute sections||130 to 170|
|Sentence equivalence 4||60 minutes total|
|Reading comprehension 10|
|Total questions 20|
|Quantitative Reasoning (Quant)||Quantitative comparison 7-8||35-minute two sections;||130 to 170|
|Problem solving 12-13||70 minutes total|
|Total questions 20|
How to prepare for GRE
As there is an old saying, practice makes a man perfect. If you want to score high on the GRE test you need to practice a lot, but practicing the wrong thing won’t guarantee a good score. Therefore, it is very important first to understand what the GRE demands from you. For that purpose, you can either look at the GRE guideline book or can join GRE preparation classes. Here are a few steps to guide you.
Determine where you stand
The score you’d get if you take the GRE today is your baseline score. Take a full-length GRE practice test in the same setting as the real GRE test before making a study plan. The findings will help you make a plan for the preparation by showing which areas you should focus on. And set a target score that you want to achieve.
Make a plan
Whether you opt for test preparation classes or a test prep book, you’ll need a sensible strategy to stay on track and achieve the results you want. Divide your time per section and at the end of each section see if you have achieved your goals or not.
Practice learning the techniques, while completing practice tests, concentrate on how you approach each question. If you focus only on the scores, you will only reinforce the manner you are now taking the test. The techniques you apply and the way you approach a problem will help you improve your GRE scores.
Take demo tests
Try to mimic the environment of the GRE test while taking practice tests, this will help you acclimatize with the conditions. After taking the demo test, analyze your results, the results will tell you about your preparedness. Identify areas in which you are struggling and revisit your plan to have a greater focus on these areas. This is an ongoing process that allows you to fine-tune yourself for the test and secure a high score.
The GRE Verbal sections include a significant amount of vocabulary. Many of the vocabularies that will appear on the GRE can be learned by reading publications such as academic journals or magazines and newspapers. Add additional words to your collection as you come across them during your practice. Make flashcards and hold them by yourself, you can go through them while waiting for food in the café, before class starts, on a bus, or whenever you have some time. This will help you memorize GRE vocabulary effectively.
What is a good GRE score?
A score of less than 300 will not be considered good. Because the average score for graduate schools is above 303, it will not be an acceptable result for highly competitive programs. As a result, a score of 318 or more is considered good, while a score of 329 and above is considered excellent. A score of 300 or more is regarded as average, while a score of 292 is deemed poor. Therefore, one must target at least a 300 plus score.