GRE Test Pattern 2019
Ranjini Basu, 29 Jan 2019, #GRE

GRE Test Pattern 2019 - ETS®- Educational Testing Service, GRE®exam conducting body has prescribed the test pattern of GRE 2019. GRE exam is conducted in two different formats, namely GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. The GRE test pattern 2019 helps to evaluate a candidate’s verbal, quantitative, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. The GRE General Test measures the overall aptitude in terms of academic skills of an aspirant. The skills are catagorised into three sections, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. However, as per the GRE 2019 test pattern, the GRE Subject Test evaluates a candidate’s knowledge in specific fields like Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Careers360, in this article, projects the GRE test pattern 2019 so that the candidates can check the same; plan and prepare accordingly.

As per the GRE 2019 test pattern, The GRE 2019 is delivered in two formats: Computer-based test and Paper-based test. Candidates can opt for any one of the formats they wish to appear for and the mention of the same must be made during the GRE registration. The GRE test pattern 2019 of both the formats are quite similar. According to ETS, candidates can take the online GRE revised General Test once in every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. The GRE 2019 test pattern in both the formats vary along with accordance to the GRE Syllabus.

Understanding the test pattern of General GRE 2019

As per the GRE test pattern 2019, the total duration of the Computer-delivered GRE General test is 3 hours 45 minutes.

There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section. According to the GRE Test pattern 2019, the Unscored and the Research section do not count toward the actual GRE 2019 score. Research section may be included in place of the Unscored section. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored on 130–170 scales.

The Sections

Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing

One "Analyse an Issue" task and one "Analyse an Argument" task

30 minutes per task

Verbal Reasoning

(2 Sections)

20 questions per section

30 minutes per section

Quantitative Reasoning

(2 Sections)

20 questions per section

35 minutes per section


Will vary

Will vary


Will vary

Will vary

The detailed study of the three sections of the GRE General test in accordance with the GRE Test pattern 2019 are stated below:

GRE 2019 Test Pattern - Verbal Reasoning

This section evaluates candidates’ proficiency level with English text and grammar. The Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE Test Pattern 2019 covers three areas:

  • Analyse and evaluate content information

  • Assess the candidates’ ability to analyse relationships between different parts of sentences

  • Distinguish between concepts and words and their relationships

Prospective test takers can check the sample questions of the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE 2019 Test Pattern here:

Download Verbal Reasoning Sample paper from here

GRE Test Pattern 2019 - Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section tests candidates’ ability to analyse the quantitative information and apply mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts pertaining to Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Interpretation.

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE Test consists of four types of questions:

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions

  • Multiple-choice Questions- Select One Answer Choice

  • Multiple-choice Questions- Select One or More Answer Choices

  • Numeric Entry Questions

The calculators are made available to the test takers when they are attempting the Quantitative Reasoning section. Computer-based test candidates get an on-screen calculator and paper-based candidates are provided one by the test centre.

Aspiring candidates can check the sample questions of the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE Test Pattern 2019 here:

Download Quantitative Reasoning Sample paper from here

GRE 2019 Test Pattern- Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing section evaluates candidates’ ability to:

  • Articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively

  • Provide relevant reasons and instances to support the stated views on specific ideas

  • Analyse claims and information provided

  • Coherently, effectively, and logically discuss a topic in English

According to the test pattern of GRE 2019, the Analytical Writing section of the GRE Test has two separately timed analytical writing tasks:

  • Analyse an Issue task: This task evaluates candidates' ability to think critically about a topic and express their thoughts in writing.

  • Analyse an Argument task: This task assesses candidates' ability to understand, analyse and evaluate arguments and convey their evaluation in writing.

Aspiring candidates will be able to check the sample questions of the Analytical Writing section of the GRE Test Pattern 2019 here.

Download Analytical Writing Sample paper from here

GRE 2019 Subject Test - GRE test pattern 2019 

Biology Test: 

This test consists of approximately 190 five-choice questions, based on descriptions of laboratory and field situations, diagrams or experimental results. The content is organised into three areas: cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology and ecology and evolution. Equal weight is given to each of these three areas. In addition to the total score, a SubScore in each of these subfield areas is reported.

Chemistry Test:

The test consists of 130 multiple-choice questions. A periodic table is printed in the test booklet as well as a table of information presenting various physical constants and a few conversion factors among SI units.

Literature in English Test: 

This test consists of 230 questions on poetry, drama, biography, the essay, the short story, the novel, criticism, literary theory and the history of the language. Some questions are based on short works reprinted in their entirety, others on excerpts from longer works. The test draws on literature in English from the British Isles, the United States and other parts of the world.

Mathematics Test: 

As per the GRE test pattern 2019, this test consists of 66 multiple-choice questions drawn from courses commonly offered at the undergraduate level. Approximately 50 per cent of the questions involves calculus and its applications. About 25 per cent of the questions in the test are in elementary Algebra, Linear Algebra, Abstract.

Physics Test:

This test consists of 100 five-choice questions, based on diagrams, graphs, experimental data and descriptions of physical situations. The aim of the test is to determine the extent of the examinees' grasp of fundamental principles and their ability to apply these principles to solve problems.

Psychology Test:

The test consists of approximately 205 multiple-choice questions as per the GRE test pattern 2019. Each question has five options from which the examinee has to select the correct option or best answer. Stimulus materials, such as a description of an experiment or a graph, may serve as the basis for several questions.

Candidates kindly note-

The Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test GRE Subject test is no longer available. Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology test has been discontinued since December 2016. For candidates who have taken this test in 2015-2016, the scores of this test can be reported for the next five years. Also, The GRE Computer Science Test was discontinued following the April 2013 test administration.

Download free sample papers of GRE from here

GRE is conducted round the year at more than 1,000 GRE 2019 test centres and in more than 160 countries. The GRE scores are used as one of the selection parameters for many graduate schools worldwide. Aspirants can take the test once every 21 days and GRE test dates can be chosen by the candidates. What makes the exam so flexible is that there are no specific eligibility criteria of GRE 2019 Test. Aspirants can apply for the test irrespective of age and qualification. However, since the test is taken for admission to Graduate programmes, it is generally taken by students who have completed or will be completing their undergraduate programme at the time of final admission.

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