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GRE: A Complete Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). Whether you’re aiming to pursue an MSBA program or any other graduate degree, the GRE is an important step in your journey.

The GRE exam is generally relevant for degrees such as master’s programs in fields including business, engineering, social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and education. Ph.D. programs in sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and education often require or strongly recommend GRE exam scores. 

In this blog, we will provide you with valuable insights, expert tips, and essential resources to help you prepare effectively and achieve your best score on the GRE. Let’s dive in!

What is the GRE exam?

The GRE, which stands for Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test commonly used for graduate school admissions, including MBA and MSBA programs. It is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and measures the readiness of students for graduate-level study.

Most MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs, particularly in the United States, typically require GRE or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores. Some law schools accept GRE scores instead of the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) for admission to Juris Doctor (J.D.) programs, though it’s important to verify individual institutions’ requirements.


This section talks about the GRE exam pattern and GRE exam syllabus. GRE also known as Graduate Record Examination tests the candidates knowledge about verbal, quantitative and analytical skills. Here is the in depth information about GRE exam pattern and GRE syllabus.

The GRE exam consists of three main sections:

  1. Verbal Reasoning: This section assesses your ability to analyze and evaluate written material, understand and draw conclusions from it, and recognize relationships between words and concepts.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning: This section tests your mathematical skills, including problem-solving, data interpretation, and quantitative comparison. It covers topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
  3. Analytical Writing: In this section, you are required to write essays that analyze complex issues, present a clear argument, and support your ideas with relevant examples and evidence.

Test Overview : Here’s what to expect from GRE test pattern starting from 22 September 2023 



Estimated Timing

Estimated Timing

1 section, 1 essay task

30 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

2 sections, 27 questions total

47 minutes

Verbal Reasoning

2 sections, 27 questions total

41 minutes

Estimated time: 1 hour, 58 minutes approximately 


What is the GRE General Test?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test is a standardized test commonly used for admissions into graduate programs worldwide. It assesses the skills and knowledge necessary for success in graduate-level education.

The GRE General Test consists of three main sections:

  1. Verbal Reasoning: This section evaluates your ability to understand and analyze written material, as well as your ability to draw conclusions and make inferences. It includes reading comprehension passages, sentence equivalence questions, and text completion questions.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning: This section measures your quantitative reasoning skills and problem-solving abilities in areas such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. It includes multiple-choice questions, numeric entry questions, and quantitative comparison questions.
  3. Analytical Writing: This section assesses your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. It includes two essay tasks: the Issue task, in which you present and support your perspective on a given topic, and the Argument task, in which you critique and analyze an argument.

What is the GRE Subject Test?

The GRE Subject Tests are specialized exams that assess the knowledge and understanding of specific subject areas. Unlike the GRE General Test, which evaluates general skills and abilities, the GRE Subject Tests focus on specific academic disciplines. 

Currently, the GRE Subject Tests are available in the following areas:

  1. Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
  2. Biology
  3. Chemistry
  4. Literature in English
  5. Mathematics
  6. Physics
  7. Psychology

These subject-specific tests are typically used by graduate programs to assess an applicant’s expertise and readiness in a particular field of study. They can provide additional insights into an applicant’s knowledge and abilities beyond what is covered in the GRE General Test.

GRE: Scores and Markings

The GRE is administered year-round at authorised testing centres. GRE or graduate record examination’s scores generally vary university to university. However,here is a brief summary of GRE scores and markings.

  • GRE Scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections range from 130 to 170 in one-point increments, 
  • The Analytical Writing section of the GRE exam is scored from 0 to 6 in half-point increments.
  • GRE scores can be used for graduate school admissions for up to five years after the date of your exam.


However, it’s important to check the specific admission requirements of the programs you are interested in, as some may accept alternative tests like the GMAT. Adequate preparation and a strong GRE score can enhance your chances of admission to the MSBA program of your choice.

Why should you take the GRE Exam? 

Taking the GRE exam can offer several benefits and advantages for individuals considering graduate-level education. Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking it:

  1. Widely Accepted: The GRE is accepted by thousands of graduate programs worldwide, making it a standardized measure of academic readiness for admission. By taking the GRE, you can apply to a wide range of graduate programs, including MSBA programs, MBA programs, and various master’s and doctoral programs.
  2. Showcase Your Abilities: Scoring well on the GRE demonstrates your academic aptitude and readiness for advanced study. Admissions committees consider GRE scores alongside other application materials, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements, to assess your potential as a graduate student. A strong GRE score can help you stand out and showcase your intellectual capabilities.
  3. Scholarships and Financial Aid: Many graduate programs offer scholarships, grants, or financial aid based on merit. A high GRE score can enhance your eligibility for these opportunities, potentially reducing the financial impact of your graduate education. By performing well on the GRE, you can increase your chances of securing financial support to fund your studies.
  4. Transferable Scores: GRE scores are valid for five years, allowing you flexibility in your educational journey. If you decide to delay or change your graduate school plans, you can still use your GRE scores for future applications. This flexibility enables you to explore different academic and career paths without the need to retake the exam.

While the decision to take the GRE ultimately depends on your educational and career goals, the advantages it offers in terms of expanding opportunities, demonstrating abilities, and accessing financial support make it a valuable step in pursuing graduate studies. Research the requirements of your target programs and consider how the GRE aligns with your aspirations to make an informed decision.

Latest updates on GRE Exam 2023 – 22 September 2023

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced that the duration of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test will be shortened to two hours starting from September 2023. ETS has also notified changes in the number of questions, sections and declaration of results.

Changes in GRE are as follows: 

  • Removal of the “Analyse an Argument” task in the analytical writing section.
  • Number of questions reduced in the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections
  • Removal of the unscored section

Moreover, now candidates will get their GRE results in eight to ten days rather than 10–15 days after your test date. 

The shorter version of the GRE General Test, starting on 22 September, 2023, will have 26 fewer Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning questions and only one Analytical Writing essay helping reduce test-taking fatigue. This new change will make the GRE exam (now approximately 2 hours) shorter than the GMAT exam (3 hours 7 mins), GMAT Focus Edition (2 hours 15 mins) and LSAT (approximately 3 hours).

Can I attempt the GRE exam from home?

Yes, ETS (Educational Testing Service) does provide the option for taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) at home. This option is known as the GRE General Test at Home. It allows test takers to take the GRE from the comfort of their own homes using their own computer.

The GRE General Test at Home is administered online and follows the same format as the traditional computer-based GRE General Test. It includes the same sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The test is proctored remotely through the use of ETS-provided software and online monitoring tools to ensure test security and integrity.

To take the GRE at home, test takers need to meet certain technical and environmental requirements, including having a reliable internet connection, a compatible computer, and a quiet and well-lit testing environment. Test takers also need to follow specific guidelines and procedures, such as installing the ETS-provided software, completing a system check, and adhering to test day protocols.

6 Tips to Master GRE

To master the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), here are some tips that can help you prepare effectively:

  1. Understand the Format: Familiarize yourself with the structure, content, and timing of each section of the GRE. This will help you develop a study plan and allocate your time accordingly.
  2. Take Practice Tests: Practice tests are invaluable for getting acquainted with the GRE and identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Use official GRE practice materials to simulate the test-taking experience and assess your progress.


  3. Identify Weak Areas: Pay attention to the sections or question types where you struggle the most. Focus your study efforts on improving those specific areas to maximize your overall score.


  4. Strengthen Math Skills: Review fundamental mathematical concepts and practice solving quantitative problems. Refresh your knowledge of algebra, geometry, and data interpretation to excel in the Quantitative Reasoning section.


  5. Develop Analytical Writing Skills: Practice writing essays within the given time constraints and become familiar with the scoring criteria. Focus on organizing your thoughts, constructing well-structured arguments, and expressing ideas clearly and concisely.
  6. Use Reliable Study Materials: Utilize official GRE preparation materials, such as books, online resources, and sample questions, to ensure you are studying relevant and accurate content.

Boost your GRE score and explore international study options with AdmitX. Gain access to personalized test prep, expert guidance, and a network of prestigious universities worldwide. Take the first step towards your global academic adventure. Contact us now!

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