Career Guru experts will work with you to ace the GRE. We have worked with thousands of students who have taken the exam and reached world’s ivy league institutions. Lets understand the test.
GRE is a standardized, computerised or pen and paper test, most widely taken (more than 1000 centres across 160+ countries) and required test for graduate admission in STEM field. GRE scores are admissible for a range of programs including Law, Business Studies, Specialized master’s in Business, MBA, J.D. degree, or doctoral degrees. Applicants vary significantly across geographies, educational background, marking pattern, and cultural dimensions. In this context, GRE provides admission, and scholarship committees with a common measure for comparing candidates in addition to your Undergraduate Scores, Letters of Recommendation and Statement of Purpose, which are all critical inputs for admission decision.
GRE is designed to broadly assess your critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills. There is a fair amount of Math tested, though a lower level than SAT and ACT, you may find it trickier and needs a better command of vocabulary and reading passages. You can write the GRE General Test once every three weeks – 21 days, up to a maximum of five times, within a year. GRE test can be taken anytime around the year but you must register for your choice of date and venue as soon as possible as slots can become full really quickly, like most other tests. See updated list of Test Centers and Dates.
GRE General Test is the most widely accepted test for admission at graduate schools. Find updated list of: institutions and fellowship sponsors approved to receive GRE scores. If you are taking GRE instead of GMAT for admission to a Business School of MBA program, make sure that the schools that you are interested in accept GRE scores as a substitute of GMAT. This is especially important for MBA programs. Career Guru can help you choose and decide which test to write, when and then prepare for it. Find an updated list of MBA Programs that Accept GRE® Scores.
What is a good GRE score?
Verbal and Quantitative area is scored between 130–170, average being around 150-152. Analytical Writing score ranges between 0 to 6 and is scored in half-point increments, average being 3.5.
See updated: 2019–20 GRE® Information Bulletin (PDF)
GRE General Test Design
Data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development highlights positive returns and externalities for education in terms of lifelong earnings and employment potential.
GRE General Test follows an advanced adaptive design and has a few unique features when compared to other tests like GMAT, SAT or ACT. It allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section, skip questions, mark, review, revisit, change answers, choose your order of sections (Analytical Writing is always the first section), take the test and report scores to your choice of universities if and only when you are satisfied that this was your best performance – ScoreSelect. It tests you on:
Verbal Reasoning — This section is designed to measure your ability to analyze and arrive at conclusions from discussion, reasoning from incomplete dataset, understand different contexts and authors intent, differentiate between levels of meaning, summarize, distinguish relative importance of points, understand and use words, sentences, phrases and comprehensions, and understand relationships among words and concepts. This highlights your ability in complex verbal reasoning skills.
Quantitative Reasoning — This section is designed to measure your ability to analyze, interpret, draw and report conclusions about quantitative information, solve mathematical models, and apply fundamental concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. This highlights your ability in quantitative reasoning skills. You will have access to onscreen calculator if you are taking the computerised version or will be provided a calculator by the test center if you are taking the paper version.
Analytical Writing — This section is designed to measure your ability in critical thinking and analytical writing. It tests articulation, understanding of complex ideas, analysis of claims and examining accompanying evidence.
Get a quick view of the Analytical Writing question types. Take a closer look at the Analytical Writing section, including sample questions, scored sample essay responses, rater commentary, tips and more.
Computerised GRE General Test Structure
There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section, to be completed in three hours and forty-five minutes.
Structure of the Computer-delivered Test
|Measure||Number of Questions||Allotted Time|
(1 section with two separately timed tasks). Always the first section.
||30 minutes for each task|
|20 questions per section||30 minutes per section|
|20 questions per section||35 minutes per section|
|Unscored & Research||Does not count towards score||Varies|
Paper-delivered GRE General Test Structure
There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the second section, to be completed in three hours and thirty minutes.
|Measure||Number of Questions||Allotted Time|
(2 sections). Always the first section.
||30 minutes per section|
|25 questions per section||35 minutes per section|
|25 questions per section||40 minutes per section|
Answers are directly reported in the test booklet and no separate answer sheet is provided. Calculator is provided by the test center. To understand test design and access a free paper-delivered test click here.
What is ScoreSelect
ScoreSelect allows you be the best you can be and to Send Only Your Best Scores!
GRE allows you to take the test upto 5 times in a year, each at an interval of 21 days, to ensure you score your best ever. Scores are valid for 5 years. Score sheet does not report how many times you have taken the test. However, it is important to remember that some schools that you are applying to may specifically ask you to report all test scores that you have taken or to report how many times you have taken the test. So, check with the school and Career Guru will guide you further on this. Try some free tests here.
GRE for Business & Law Schools
Many Business & Law schools accept GRE scores for MBA and other business programs & JD Law programs at graduate level. An advantage is that GRE gives you more options if you are unsure about what you want to do. See complete list of business schools that accept GRE scores for MBA program. Few prominent Law schools that accept GRE are:
- American University Washington College of Law
- Boston University School of Law
- Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
- Brooklyn Law School
- California Western School of Law
- Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Columbia Law School
- Cornell Law School
- Florida International University College of Law
- Florida State University College of Law
- George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
- Georgetown University Law Center
- Harvard Law School
- John Marshall Law School
- Kern County College of Law
- Massachusetts School of Law at Andover
- Monterey College of Law
- New York University School of Law
- Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
- Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
- Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law
- Pennsylvania State University — Penn State Law
- Pepperdine School of Law
- San Luis Obispo College of Law
- Seattle University School of Law
- Seton Hall University School of Law
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
- St. John’s University School of Law
- Suffolk University Law School
- Texas A&M University School of Law
- University of Akron School of Law
- University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
- University of Baltimore Law School
- University at Buffalo School of Law
- University of California, Davis, School of Law
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- University of California, Irvine School of Law
- University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
- University of Chicago Law School
- University of Dayton School of Law
- University of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law
- University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law
- University of New Hampshire School of Law
- University of Notre Dame Law School
- University of Pennsylvania Law School
- University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
- University of South Carolina School of Law
- University of Texas at Austin School of Law
- University of Virginia School of Law
- Wake Forest University School of Law
- Washington University School of Law
- Yale Law School
- Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
- Peking University School of Transnational Law
- Hamad Bin Khalifa Law School
GRE Score Report
Your official GRE score report, apart from your personal details, reports the test scores with associated percentile ranks and is sent to institutions that you have clearly identified. Scores up to 5 years old, can be reported. The report does not mention your other scores (unless instructed) and also does not report to the institution various other places where you have chosen to send your scores. It will take about 1 week to send GRE scores, so do plan accordingly. To see a sample GRE Score Report, click here
GRE General Test Scoring
|Verbal Reasoning||130–170, in 1 point increments|
|Quantitative Reasoning||130–170, in 1 point increments|
|Analytical Writing||0–6, in half point increments|
|No Score means you have not attempted any question in a section.|
Verbal Reasoning & Quantitative Reasoning are section-level adaptive implying that the computer will select the second section based on performance in the first section. All questions carry equal marks within a section and a raw score is reported basis number of correct responses, which is then converted to a scaled score through a process called equating to ensure comparable assessment.
For Analytical Writing, each essay is scored by one trained rater on a six-point holistic scale and then by e-rater, a computerized program to assess critical thinking and analytical writing proficiency resulting in a single reported score.
For Verbal Reasoning & Quantitative Reasoning a raw score is computed basis the number of correct answers, which is then converted to a scaled score through a process known as equating.
For Analytical Writing section, each essay is scored by two raters on a six-point holistic scale. A single final score is reported, which is the average of the two essays rounded to the nearest half-point interval on a 0–6 score scale. For more details on interpreting scores click here.
GRE Subject Tests
You can choose to take GRE Subject Tests to show proficiency in a subject you have studied at an undergraduate level, as a major, or if you have extensive background in a subject. Subject Tests are achievement tests that assess your expertise and knowledge in a specific field of study. They help you gain competitive advantage during admission process and emphasise your in-depth knowledge about a specific subject and your capability to develop next-order skills within that area. They are taken at paper-delivered test centers in September, October and April. Subject Tests can be taken in the following disciplines:
GRE Subject Test scores range between 200 to 990, in 10-point increments, but varies for different subjects, with subscores ranging from 20 to 99, in one-point increments.