GRE Test Detailed Guide

If you plan to get a higher education abroad, then you will have to meet certain criteria for applicants. One of them is passing exams like GRE. Why is it needed? Gre is a standardized test that will help you overcome the entrance tests at your chosen university and realize your career plans.

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in a master’s degree, a doctor, or an MBA. GRE for international students will still increase the attractiveness of your package of documents, emphasize the existing advantages and facilitate the admission process.

Do not think that this test is required only in the United States or Canada. It is accepted on all continents and in many countries of the world like the United Kingdom or Germany. You’ve already wondered where you can take it? Yes, almost everywhere – there are more than 1000 official testing centers!

What is the GRE exam?

GRE (Graduate Records Examination) is a standardized test for applicants to universities and business schools. It appeared in 1936 thanks to the Carnegie Endowment for The Advancement of Teaching, and now it is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The test assesses the abilities of a potential student in the field of quantitative and verbal thinking, as well as analytical writing. Its results remain relevant for 5 years. Gre General Test attracts foreign students with its flexibility: after passing the test, you decide for yourself which grades to send to the schools you are interested in, and which are not. Thanks to the ScoreSelect option, the exam can be retaken and then choose the best of the results obtained.

The GRE test supports and promotes diversity because it is available to candidates from all over the world, regardless of their gender, nationality, cultural or educational level. Moreover, it advocates for equality in education and helps candidates with disabilities and special needs.

Where can I take the GRE test?

To register for the exam, you need to create an account on the ETS, and then select the version that you need to pass – General or Subject. You can take the test both at your home computer and in one of the 1000+ centers.

This test is popular not only among American students. It is a universal exam, which is taken by thousands of foreign applicants in 160+ countries. According to information about the demand for General Test over the past decade, it is accepted in most countries scattered around the world.

If there is no physical testing center in your place of residence, or you cannot take the exam on a computer in the selected office, then you always have the opportunity to take the GRE directly from home from your PC.

This version of the exam is identical to the official test in format and duration. The only difference is that you will have to use your own computer or laptop, and you will be monitored by a live observer using ProctorU. Do not forget that the home test is available 7 days a week, and you can choose a convenient time within 24 hours after registration.

Average GRE Test Cost

If we talk about the total cost of the test, then in most regions of the world it is $ 205. But there are also local exceptions: in India you will have to pay $ 213, in China and Australia – $ 231, and in Nigeria – $ 226. In Turkey, the price is still slightly higher – $ 255.

Those who meet certain criteria can count on discounts. If you want to postpone your delivery to another date or change the testing center, be prepared to pay another $ 50.

GRE Exam Contents

Testing takes place on the computer. But if this option is not available, then a paper exam is held. The test consists of questions affecting the skills necessary for admission to the university and success in the modern business world. In total, gre lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes (including a 10-minute break).

The test format is intuitive and flexible: within the section, you can skip the question, return to it and change the answer at any time. Moreover, it is even allowed to choose which task to solve first. The test includes the following steps:

Analytical Writing

This section tests whether you are able to support ideas with sound arguments, validate statements, support well-articulated statements, and clearly express complex ideas and concepts. It is this section that allows candidates to demonstrate their skills in the field of drafting texts in English. The goal is to provide the most accurate answers based on data from the jobs. The Analytical Writing stage consists of two parts, each of which is given a certain time to work with: problem analysis and statement analysis.

  1. Analyze an issue evaluates critical thinking abilities within a specific topic of general interest. You need to give an answer by expressing your own opinion on this issue. Since each topic can be viewed from very different points of view, the task contains a set of instructions that allow you to specify the answer – read them carefully, this will save you from unnecessary mistakes.
  2. Analyze an argument evaluates your ability to critically address a particular topic of general interest. You will be offered a fragment of a written work, where the author speaks about a certain problem or event. You need to analyze and critically consider how justified his statements are, again relying on the instructions received during the exam.

The entire section is given 60 minutes, 30 minutes for each task.

Verbal Reasoning

The second section consists of two parts of 20 questions each. The task of Verbal Reasoning is to assess the student’s willingness to choose the most important points from the text by taking notes, understanding the meaning of words, sentences and paragraphs, as well as identifying the relationships between them.

The focus is on comprehending the versatility of the statement for the sake of identifying the author’s intention. Within the framework of this section, you can meet with tasks of three types: text completion, sentences-equivalents and perception of what has been read. The latter type is relevant for a series of questions, and the first two are relevant for individual tasks.

  1. Text completion tasks are passages consisting of 1-5 sentences in which there are spaces. For each pass, 3+ options for filling are offered, and you need to choose the right answer that corresponds to the meaning of the statement.
  2. Reading comprehension questions are divided into 3 smaller varieties: test tasks with one correct answer, test tasks with one or more correct options and “find in the text”. In the first two cases, you should simply select the answer or answers you want. But in the tasks from the third category, you will have to find in the source text a sentence that corresponds to a certain description. This is done simply – by selecting the area with the mouse or keyboard buttons. The larger the text, the more detailed the instructions will be designed to narrow the range of searches. An excerpt can contain up to 5 paragraphs and deal with various topics related to business, natural sciences or humanities.
  3. Select-in-passage tasks consist of one pass phrase and six answer choices. Be careful: there are 2 correct answers, not 1, and points are not awarded for a partial solution of the problem.

At the end of the test, there is sometimes an explicitly dedicated research section, and after Analytical Writing, an unappreciated section may also appear. Both of these fragments are not taken into account when setting a mark. The duration of work on Verbal Reasoning is 60 minutes – half an hour for each of the stages.

Quantitative Reasoning

Finally, this section determines whether the candidate is able to interpret and analyze quantitative data. Plus, it assesses the student’s knowledge in the field of algebra, geometry, data analysis and his skills in solving problems using mathematical models.

During the exam, there is a calculator panel on the screen. This section consists of four subsections: comparison of values, test questions with one or more correct options, tasks for independent search for an answer and complexes of questions for the interpretation of information. The data in this section can be presented in the form of tables, graphs, etc.

  1. In quantitative comparison tasks , you need to compare two values called A and B. After reviewing the four statements, you need to decide which one correctly describes the relationship between these elements.
  2. As with the perception of what you read, in multiple-choice test tasks with several options, you must specify the correct answer or answers. There are 5 offers to choose from.
  3. In numeric entry problems, you will have to give an answer in the form of an integer or decimal fraction, placing them in one or two special fields. When you go through the computer version of GRE, you can do this using the keyboard and mouse.
  4. Data interpretation questions are in most cases grouped in one place and relate to specific tables or graphs. As part of such tasks, you need to analyze or process information, and the questions themselves can be very different: both test and requiring self-input of answers.

The Quantitative Reasoning section is designed for 70 minutes – 35 minutes for each of the parts.

GRE Test: Everything You Need to Know About Grades

After taking the exam, you will receive a GRE Score Report. This report contains all the necessary information: contact details, date of birth, gender, dates of passing the tests, the specialty of the future graduate, the results of the test with percentiles, as well as a complete list of recipients of the results or corporate guarantors.

In addition, official performance reports are sent to the institutions you have selected and contain your personal information, specialty data and individual scores for specific sections. Speaking of the last point: GRE offers the Score Select option, which allows you to decide which results you are willing to share with selected universities and which are not. This applies to both the General and Subject versions of the test.

Thanks to this option, you, depending on your performance, can mark those points that, in your opinion, contribute to an increase in the chances of passing the entrance tests. Marks retain their relevance for 5 years. Delivery of results in online format to your personal account on ETS takes about two weeks.

After passing the general test, you will receive the following grades:

  • for Verbal Reasoning: from 130 to 170 points in increments of 1 point;
  • for Quantitative Reasoning: similar;
  • for Analytical Writing: from 0 to 6 points in increments of half a point.

If all questions are unanswered in the section, a No Score (NS) entry will appear in the report.

The Verbal and Quantitative stages are partially adaptive. In other words, the computer adapts the second section based on the results demonstrated by the candidate when working on the first. The value of all tasks is the same within the section, the preliminary assessment is equal to the number of correct answers.

As for the Analytical Writing part, essays are rated by at least one experienced examiner on a 6-point scale. In addition, texts are studied by a computerized system – e-rater. Both results are equally significant for the final score.

GRE Search Service

After creating an account on ETS, you can add your profile to the GRE Search Service database, supplementing it with information about education, personal data and preferences in the field of universities. This resource is used by recruiters of business schools and institutes around the world to find potentially successful students. If it turns out that you meet their requirements, you will have access to valuable information and the opportunity to make excellent connections. And yes, if you didn’t know: this service is provided for free!

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