An Insider’s Guide to the GRE® General Test

Insider_guideThe GRE® General Test is the most preferred test for graduate programmes all over the world. Getting ready for the GRE® General Test? The smart test features help test takers do their best. Preparation happens to be the best strategy for any test. The more prepared candidates, feel more confident on test day. This overview of the test with tips and strategies is a good place to start.

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What’s on the GRE® General Test?

The GRE General Test assesses the required skills of an applicant to complete and succeed in academic programmes such as master’s, MBA, specialized master’s in business and doctoral programs. It includes the following sections:

  • Analytical Writing

The first section of the GRE exam is analytical writing. The two tasks of analytical writing intend to evaluate the critical thinking and the ability to articulate complex ideas of the candidates. The two tasks of 30 minutes duration each are:

  • Analyze an Issue

  • Analyze an Argument

Analyze Issue Example:

Should animals be used for scientific or commercial testing?

Discuss your views for or against. Do explain your position with reasons and examples.

Analyse Argument Example:

Technology has connected us with people across the seas and at the same time alienating with people next door. We are connected with our friends all the time on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and, texting. But, are our shiny smartphones actually hampering in real-life socializing? Could technology be making increasingly lonelier?

Discuss the specific evidence needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.


Verbal Reasoning

The test takers will be given two half an hour test sections on verbal reasoning. The section intends to evaluate the ability to understand what the content they read and apply their reasoning skills. This section has three types of questions:

  • Reading comprehension

  • Text completion

  • Sentence equivalence

Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section comprises of two 35-minute sections to evaluate the candidates’ skills of interpreting and analyzing quantitative information and solving math problems.


The GRE General Test also has an additional unscored section. The unscored section can appear randomly or as an identified research section at the end of the test.


Top Strategies for Preparing for the computer-delivered test:

The age-old adage about practice stands true for GRE General Test as well. Candidates should be prepared for the content type as well as the computer-delivered exam method. Hence, the more they practice, the better they will be able to perform.


Some of the most popular official resources to help the candidates get started are:

  • POWERPREP® Online

POWERPREP® Online gives a real test feel to the candidates. This free set includes an overview of each section. The format looks and works just like the real test. The questions are from the previously administered tests. Candidates can practice the “mark” and “review” features, the on-screen calculator to get a used to the timing. You can order the free tests at

  • The Official Guide to the GRE®General Test

    ETS offers an official GRE General Test guide from the website. The guide is packed with all the current information including the type of questions, answers, explanations, scoring, past questions as well as past tests for practice.

  • Math Review (PDF)

    The Math Review gives you an overview of all the basic concepts of Algebra, arithmetic, geometry, data analysis. The document comprises of all the concepts learned during school. To freshen up the memory get the Math Review PDF.


Where can students find additional support?

The GRE® social communities (FaceBook®, LinkedIn®) are full of advice and strategies. You can also connect with peers who are on the same path, and even ask questions of test experts there. Take a look:


Things to keep in mind along the way.

Some more tips to help candidates with their confidence before exam:

Ensure that the name used for registrations is exactly the same as the name that appears on the photo ID, a very important document that has to be carried to the test centre.


Candidates are not allowed to bring pens/pencils or rough paper. These are provided at the test centre.

First Published On : 06 Dec 2017 11:05 AM IST

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Vandana Gaur 18 hours ago

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Vandana GaurLast Seen: 17 hours 20 min agoJoined on: 20-May-2018Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: Graduate & Above

Without gre and toefel how one can get direct admission in foreign

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Nitika Agrawal 18 hours ago

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Nitika AgrawalLast Seen: 10 hours 47 min agoJoined on: 05-May-2018Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: Graduate & Above
Hi Vandana, to get admission in foreign, you need to qualify in any one of the english proficiency tests like TOEFL, IELTS and so on since the first language is not english. Also, you need to appear f...Read More

Geethika p 18 hours ago

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Geethika PLast Seen: 8 hours 22 min agoJoined on: 30-Mar-2018Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: Class 12

I completed my plus two now I am interested in betch .After my betch course iam interested to do MS ,so should I try to complete my GRE now.

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Debasmita Bariks picture
Debasmita BarikLast Seen: 7 hours 8 min agoJoined on: 18-Apr-2018Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: In Graduation
Hi Geethika,It is great that wish to do MS nad compete through GRE but this is a bit early to give the GRE Examinations. You can get admission into B.Tech and then start your preparations then after 2...Read More

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Bhargav Durga 2 days ago

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Bhargav DurgaLast Seen: 23 hours 49 min agoJoined on: 19-May-2018Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: Graduate & Above

Hi i have got 49% in my graduation am i eligible for GRE/GMAT Exam ?

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Gunjan verma 2 days ago

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Gunjan VermaLast Seen: 7 hours 30 min agoJoined on: 17-May-2018Education Interest: Media and JournalismEducation Level: In Graduation

Dear Bhargav,

There is no specific eligibility criteria for GRE or GMAT. However, you are required to have a UG degree from a recognised university.

Hope it helps.

Good Luck.

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katikireddy pramods picture
Katikireddy PramodLast Seen: 2 days 21 hours agoJoined on: 18-May-2018Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: In Graduation

Any gre exam centres in visakhapatnam in december 2018

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Shivani Bhatt 2 days ago

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Shivani BhattLast Seen: 2 days 11 hours agoJoined on: 01-Sep-2016Education Interest: Business and ManagementEducation Level: Graduate & Above
Dear Pramod,Exam dates are available for November in Vishakhapatnam.ANCONS International - Visakhapatnam - STN20110A 2.38 mi.503, Kamakshi Residency, Sheela Nagar Main Road, Opp. Vikas Junior Col...Read More

Saumya 6 days ago

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SaumyaLast Seen: 5 days 15 hours agoJoined on: 15-May-2018Education Interest: Study AbroadEducation Level: Class 12

What is GRE and how to prepare for it

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Zubin Mehta 6 days ago

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Zubin MehtaLast Seen: 8 hours 38 min agoJoined on: 13-Apr-2017Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: Graduate & Above
GRE alias Graduate Reseaech Examination is conducted for Masters across US And Canada. This exam is for Masters, MBA or PHd in foreign Universities across USA conducted by ETS. All information on el...Read More

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