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.


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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rajachanukyakumars picture
RajachanukyakumarLast Seen: 4 days 9 hours agoJoined on: 08-Apr-2016Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: In Graduation

I want to write gre matheematics subject only is it possible

Answers (2)


Shraya Singh 4 days ago

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Shraya SinghLast Seen: 3 days 12 hours agoJoined on: 29-Jun-2018Education Interest: Study AbroadEducation Level: Graduate & Above
Hello,If you want to give the GRE general test which comprises the quantitative (math), verbal and Analytical writing sections, then you will have to give all three sections as they are all constituen...Read More

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Anirban Hazra 9 days ago

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Anirban HazraLast Seen: 1 week 1 day agoJoined on: 12-Aug-2018Education Interest: Degree ProgrammesEducation Level: In Graduation

Can we Pursue M.Sc in radiology after giving the GRE examination in the United States?

I am currently doing my B.Sc Radiology from St. John's Medical College Bangalore.

Answer (1)


Gunjan verma 8 days ago

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Gunjan VermaLast Seen: 15 hours 2 min agoJoined on: 17-May-2018Education Interest: Media and JournalismEducation Level: In Graduation

Dear Anirban,

Yes, you can persue M.Sc in Radiology after clearing GRE in United States.

Hope it helps.
Good Luck.


Krishna sahu 9 days ago

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Krishna SahuLast Seen: 21 hours 59 min agoJoined on: 26-Jul-2018Education Interest: Study AbroadEducation Level: In Graduation

What are the exams we need to qualify for getting admissions in university of Germany

Is it important to give SAT or GRE

Answer (1)


parkhi Gupta 9 days ago

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Parkhi GuptaLast Seen: 4 days 13 hours agoJoined on: 18-May-2018Education Interest: Degree ProgrammesEducation Level: In Graduation
Dear student I would like to tell you that YES it is important for you to give SAT as it is the basix English proficiency test. GRE is definately the important one as it is the basic exam you nee...Read More

Meena kumari 9 days ago

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Meena KumariLast Seen: 1 week 2 days agoJoined on: 11-Aug-2018Education Interest: Study AbroadEducation Level: Graduate & Above

Sir is it easy to get good score in GRE ?

Answer (1)

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Zubin Mehta 9 days ago

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Zubin MehtaLast Seen: 8 hours 3 min agoJoined on: 13-Apr-2017Education Interest: MBAEducation Level: Graduate & Above
With great practice and mpck exams for sectional subjects you cn identify weaknesses and focus more on such areas. Books like Wod Power Made Easy and Kaplan arebezt for GRE Preparatory. Quantitative ...Read More

Nekram Gupta 9 days ago

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Nekram GuptaLast Seen: 1 week 2 days agoJoined on: 11-Aug-2018Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: In Graduation

Is there GRE test for biotechnology students ??

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yash raj 9 days ago

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Yash RajLast Seen: 1 day 7 hours agoJoined on: 18-Apr-2015Education Interest: MBAEducation Level: Graduate & Above

hello Nekram Gupta 

yes biotech students are allowed for GRE and it would be easy comparitively and the competition would be far less and the scope is quite high 

hope it helps

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