The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a standardized test that is accepted by most universities across the globe for students applying for Master’s in Science (MS) or Ph.D. programs. The test consists of 3 parts- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Quantitative and Verbal. The AWA section has two essays for the duration of thirty minutes each where test takers have to write a response to an essay prompt using their analytical and writing skills. The two essays are averaged and scored on a scale of 1 to 6 points, with score increases in 0.5 range.

The Quantitative Ability or Quant portion has two 35 minute sections, each containing 20 MCQs. The level of content tested on this section is about mid-school to high school Math, with questions involving calculations that can be done with the help of an online calculator. The Quant section is scored on a range of 130 to 170 points.

The Verbal portion again includes two sections for 30 minutes each consisting 20 questions each. The questions can be broadly divided into vocabulary and reading comprehensions. Students need to familiarize themselves with and memorize lots of heavy duty vocabulary words that are not used often. The words are not directly tested in terms of their synonyms or antonyms but are tested in a context, which involves both knowledge of vocabulary and analytical skills. The Verbal section is scored on a range of 130 to 170 points.

In addition to the aforementioned sections, there is also 1 Experimental section, which could be either Math or Verbal. The experimental section is never announced to the students and is randomly placed.

The GRE is a four hour test that is section adaptive, implying that a student’s performance on one section decides the level of questions on the next section.


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