For any kind of test, it is extremely important to practise with papers from previous years in order to be properly prepared and not get intimidated by the GRE question paper on the test day. The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is a test taken by students who are applying to universities abroad for Masters or PhD degrees.
In order to get a high score on your test, it is essential to be thoroughly acquainted with the different sections in the exam and what you need to study to be prepared for all the questions.
This blog will warm you up to the GRE test and test your current preparation level with the GRE previous year papers links in the end. Let’s analyse your performance!
GRE General test and GRE Subject test
There are two kinds of GRE tests. The General Test is the one that is usually required for admissions. Depending on the university you apply to, you will have to take their required GRE Subject Test (for example, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, etc.). Both of these have the same scoring scale and sections but Subject Test can only be taken in paper format. In this article, we will be discussing the General Test only.
Furthermore, you must be aware that the General Test has a slightly different pattern in the paper format and computer-based format.
Computer based GRE General Test: 20 Verbal reasoning questions, 20 Quantitative reasoning questions, and 2 Analytical reasoning questions.
Paper based GRE General Test: 25 Verbal reasoning questions, 25 Quantitative reasoning questions, and 2 Analytical reasoning questions.
Difficulty level of the questions in both these formats is the same. The difference is due to the fact that the paper based format has fewer reading comprehension questions.
GRE General Test sections
There are three sections in the GRE General Test. We will be looking at each section separately and discussing the kinds of questions to expect in each one.
Time allowed: 30 minutes
Score range: 130-170
There are three parts in the verbal reasoning section that test your ability to make logical reasoning through words and sentences.
- Reading comprehension- There is a passage about a general topic that has to be read carefully in order to answer the questions in the end. These questions are based on the conclusions you make about the passage. You will also be asked to summarise the content of the passage. So you see, this is all checking your understanding of the written word and the unspoken messages within the text.
- Sentence completion- The questions give a sentence with a blank space and six options to choose the best two answers. The options you choose show how well you can fit words in a sentence with partial context provided to you.
- Text completion- Instead of sentences, there will be a complete passage with blank spaces for you to fill by choosing the best options from the given ones. This is a section that requires regular practice.
Time allowed: 35 minutes
Score range: 130-170
This section tests your basic mathematical skills– Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Data Analysis. Your knowledge will be tested with four kinds of questions:
- MCQs (choose one option) – Equations, word problems, etc. are given and you have to choose the best answer from the options.
- MCQs (choose one or more options) – Mathematical problems are given but you might have to choose more than one correct answer so this becomes complicated and will require some previous papers practise to get yourself used to the process of choosing more than one correct answer.
- Quantitative comparison – This requires students to compare two quantities and answer a question about the comparison.
- Numeric entry – In this section, your answer will have to be entered in numeric form and not chosen from options.
Time allowed: 30 minutes per task
Score range: 0-6
This section tests your critical thinking skills and analytical writing ability by giving you two tasks that require you to construct logical arguments from the given argument or issue. Solving this section regularly is important to keep exercising your logical reasoning and get in the habit of questioning things.
How solving papers can help
Solving papers on your own can boost your confidence in the following ways:
Self evaluation: Solving papers on your own regularly gives you an honest idea of how much you don’t know and how much more practice you require to get to the level you want. The purpose is not to get a perfect score while solving the GRE mock test or previous years papers, it is just done to learn from your mistakes.
Time management: As you have seen in the sections above, there is limited time given for each section and will test your abilities in that restricted time. Even if you are good at something, you still need to be able to deliver in that given time so it is better to learn to manage your time by practising the GRE sample papers or previous years papers.
Get acquainted with the pattern: The kind of questions and topics given in the exams can only be figured out by looking at the previous years questions. Sometimes the pattern gets changed as well so you must keep yourself up-to-date with what is going to be tested.
Here are some GRE sample papers to start practising! To get more information about the test preparation and admissions related queries, book a session now with our mentors.