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GRE vs GATE - Know The Differences and Details

gre vs gate

Are you at a crossroads, weighing the merits of GRE and GATE exams for your academic or career pursuits? The choice between GRE vs GATE isn't just a decision; it's a pivotal moment that can shape your future profoundly. To help navigate this critical choice, let's embark on a journey through the nuances, intricacies, and implications of these standardised tests.

In this informative blog, we'll explore everything you need to know about GRE and GATE. From dissecting their components to understanding their advantages and disadvantages, we'll leave no stone unturned. Whether you're eyeing international universities or prestigious institutions in India, this blog aims to demystify the GRE vs GATE conundrum, empowering you to make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your ambitions. Let's dive in and unravel the GRE vs GATE together.

A Brief About GRE Exam


GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a competitive exam written by students to get into a university abroad. These types of exams have become mandatory to get admission to an international university. GRE exam tests your analytical and quantitative skills and also your English proficiency. It also tests one’s ability to understand and apply basic thoughts. Preparing for the GRE is not an easy task due to its computer-adaptive nature.

ETS, the abbreviation for Educational Testing Services, conducts this exam worldwide at different examination centres. GRE has become the most written exam as more students aim to pursue their higher studies abroad, and cracking this paper would help them achieve their goals.

Components of GRE:

The GRE vs GATE comparison underscores the differing focus areas, with the former being more generalized and applicable to a wide array of fields. In this discussion, we delve into the key components comprising the GRE, shedding light on its structure, significance, and implications for prospective graduate students.

Component Time Required Minimum Marks Maximum Marks
Analytical Writing 30 minutes 0 6
Verbal Reasoning

Section 1: 18 minutes | Section 2: 23 minutes

130 170
Quantitative Reasoning

Section 1: 21 minutes | Section 2: 26 minutes

130 170

Analytical Writing:

This section includes and considers how you analyze and react to a particular situation or issue. The analytical writing section has both an “issue” and an “argument” where we need to analyze both of them to score good grades. Issue tasks are usually based on general statements and should be analyzed. These have separate times each - 30 minutes to analyze and write about it.

Verbal Reasoning:

This section tests your English proficiency and includes sections like reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence. The total time for this section is 41 minutes, and the marks range from 130 to 170. Text completion is all about filling in the blanks in a given paragraph with a suitable option.

Sentence equivalence is where you choose a sentence closest to the meaning of the previous sentence. Reading comprehension is where a paragraph or a set of paragraphs is given, and questions related to them should be answered. These questions might not be directly from the paragraph and test your understanding of the author.

Quantitative Reasoning:

This section includes problems from algebra, statistics, data analysis, geometry, etc. Quantitative Reasoning has a time limit of 47 minutes. A quantitative comparison is where you compare two quantities based on the relationship given in the question. Problem-solving questions mostly include mathematics and have sections like “more than one correct answer”, “numeric entry”, etc.

Brief About GATE Exam


GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is an exam written by Indians to get into universities like IIT, IISC, etc., for studies after their UG. This exam is conducted separately for separate courses by the Indian Institutes of Technology. This exam tests the grip of the candidate on the basics and also the analysis of the questions.

Components of GATE:

Paper Code General Aptitude (GA) Marks Compulsory Section Subject Marks Total Marks Total Time* (Minutes)
AE, AG, BM, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, ES, IN, ME, MN, MT, NM, PE, PI, TF 15 -- 85 100 180
CY, DA, EY, MA, PH, ST 15 -- 85 100 180
AR [Part A - Compulsory); Optional: B1: Architecture or B2: Planning] 15 60 25 100 180
GE [Part A - Compulsory); Optional: 
B1 - Surveying and Mapping or B2 -Image Processing and Analysis.
15 55 30 100 180
GG [Part A - Compulsory); Optional: Geology (B1) or Geophysics (B2) 15 25 60 100 180
XE [Section A (Engineering Mathematics - Compulsory); TWO additional Sections during the Exam 15 15 2*35 100 180
XH [Section B1 (Reasoning and Comprehension) (Compulsory); ONE additional Section at the time of Application 15 25 60 100 180
XL [Section P (Chemistry) (Compulsory); TWO additional Sections during the Exam 15 25 2*30 100 180

Differences Between GRE vs GATE

Exploring the disparities between GRE and GATE illuminates key distinctions that shape academic and career pathways. From their respective purposes to the intricacies of scoring systems, understanding these differences is crucial for individuals navigating the terrain of higher education and professional aspirations.

Difference GRE GATE
Purpose Admission to foreign universities Admission to Indian institutions
Validity of Score Valid for 5 years Valid for 3 years
Maximum Score 340 100
Negative Marking No Yes

GRE vs GATE Advantages & Disadvantages


Coming to GATE has advantages the GATE score can be a basis for hiring in the PSU or Public Sector Undertakings like Oil and Natural Gas Company Limited, Bharat Heavy Electronics, etc.

GATE can also be a pathway to research fellowships, as R&D is a booming sector now. MNCs look for GATE scores during the placement drive and the university the student graduated from. So, with the right motivation, you might get into your dream company.

GATE also makes you eligible for graduation abroad through a student visa. It does not have any specific disadvantages, but the high fee for GATE coaching and the exam being highly competitive might be a tiring and stressful task for students.

GRE, on the other hand, also has advantages, such as broad exposure to industries, the culture outside India, diverse courses, etc. Also, during the preparation, English fluency drastically increases, which is helpful in communication later on.

You have the freedom to choose a university in any country of your choice, like an MBA degree abroad. Of course, depending on your scores, it also has higher competition for students aiming for higher studies abroad. In GRE vs GATE, the high tuition fee and GRE exam might be reasons for students not to choose GRE.

What to Choose: GRE vs GATE?

In GRE vs GATE, choosing the GRE would give you more exposure to foreign universities and the cut-throat competition in the world outside India. You can attempt either a PBT or IBT test. This score is also valid for 5 years and is a great study abroad opportunity for students who are willing to have work experience as well. English can be a major scoring point in the GRE, and most admissions abroad are taken through this portal.

Here is a detailed YouTube video on 5 US universities accepting the GRE for better comprehension. 

Choosing GATE would help you to get into your dream academy. This is cost-efficient when compared to the GRE. Also, PSU or Public Sector Undertakings are also done through GATE, i.e. companies like NHPC Limited and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited hire candidates based on these scores. Students who have written GATE can also apply for scholarships for their financial aid. 

You can even consult an expert in order to analyse your profile better and recommend the tests according to your target schools.

How to Prepare for GRE vs GATE?


Till now, you might have understood what the GRE and GATE exams are. So, when you choose to appear for any of these exams, you must ensure that you prepare an effective plan to study for the examination. Cramming doesn’t work for exams like GRE vs GATE, as achieving an impressive score is possible only through significant preparation.

Preparing for GRE

Being a computer-adaptive competitive exam, GRE is often considered an extremely challenging task. However, if you prepare well in advance, it becomes likely that you will score good marks.

We’ve listed the following ways you can use to prepare effectively for your GRE exam:

1. Read non-fiction:

Reading a good number of nonfiction books regularly can help you improve your vocabulary skills, which will help you ace the verbal reasoning section. In addition, try to read new topics instead of just reading your favourite genre repetitively. This will help you develop an understanding of different areas to perform well in the comprehension section, which includes diverse texts.

2. Divide the time:

This is an important step, as you must devote appropriate time to each section and focus on scoring an overall score. Start with the section that you find more difficult. Practice enough questions to understand the concepts, and then take mock tests.

3. Collect online or offline resources:

In today’s era, it’s easier for students to find plenty of study material online, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage to some extent. You must use resources that are valuable and add value to your knowledge instead of just repeating what you already know. Try to use different types of resources, such as video content, audio content, and written content.

Preparing for GATE

As GATE is a national-level exam, you should focus on becoming aware of all the rules and regulations before taking it. Exam patterns, syllabi, required study materials, guidance from experts, etc., can help you prepare efficiently.

Let’s look at some of the steps you can take to prepare well for your GATE exam:

1. Know the syllabus:

Before you start the preparation, know the syllabus and understand the fundamental concepts that will help you solve more questions easily. In addition, you can make notes for formulas, important concepts, questions, etc. To make the process interesting in the long run, you can try to use sticky notes, charts, etc., which will look good and keep you motivated to study.

2. Start Early:

Early bird advantage applies to the candidates preparing for GATE as well. If you start preparing early, you’ll have plenty of time to cover all the topics and do proper revision. Usually, people prepare a timetable which is very hard to follow due to the strict routines. This happens because they start preparing late and have less time in hand.

3. Proper Revision:

Students tend to focus so much on learning new topics that they forget to revise previous topics. Revision is as important as learning new concepts. It helps you polish your skills and knowledge and attempt your exam well.


GATE and GRE both require ample preparation time, but both can be cracked if you are persistent enough. Indians consider them to be the most written exams. Both exams are worth a try and would be a life-changing opportunity for students. So, to all students out there, remember to follow your dream and choose what’s right for you.

Is GRE harder than GATE?

Since GRE is a global competitive exam, it is designed to provide a fair examination pattern to students from different countries. If we talk about the difficulty level, it mainly depends on your goals. For instance, if you aim to be admitted to India’s top engineering college and you are confident about it, then the GATE exam will be good for you. However, if you wish to take admissions to universities abroad, then taking the GRE exam would be the best option for you. In fact, 10+ institutes in India also accept the GRE exam.

Is GRE and GATE syllabus the same?

No, GRE and GATe have different syllabuses. In addition, the purpose of both exams is also different. GATE is only acceptable in India for admission to M.E. and M.Tech courses. On the other hand, GRE is conducted for admissions to foreign universities in post-graduate programs.

  1. GRE syllabus: The exam has four main sections that include Analytical Skills, Quantitative Skills, Verbal Reasoning, and Critical Thinking.
  2. GATE syllabus: The exam has a total of 65 questions for a total of 100 marks. The first 55 questions are based on the syllabus of your engineering degree. The last 10 questions are based on General Aptitude.
Is GRE tough for Indian students?

Whether it’s GRE vs GATE, if you prepare in an appropriate way, then you can definitely score well. As mentioned above GRE has four sections to assess your Analytical Skills, Quantitative Skills, Verbal Reasoning, and Critical Thinking Skills. Therefore, you must prepare for each section well in advance. However, several students tend to focus on one or two sections more than others, which reduces your score.

To prepare for GRE well, you can refer to the following points:

  • Know the right pattern and marking for each section
  • Devote enough practice time to each section, especially the ones you are weak in
  • Take practice tests and previous
  • Use qualitative online resources
  • Connect to a guide or professor
What is the GRE fee?

The GRE fee is between $150-$200 worldwide. This is the basic application fee for you to pay while applying for the exam. In addition to paying the registration fee, you also need to have several documents like the identification card. Also, if you wish to reschedule or cancel your GRE exam, then you might have to pay an extra $50 to do that.

Can I take the GRE anytime?

As you might already know, ETS is the administrator of the GRE. They allow candidates to take the test once every 21 days and only upto 5 times within 12 months. It’ll be better if you could prepare for the exam well in advance and follow the guidelines provided by the test centres. Each test centre has its own operating ways and scheduling. Therefore, you must verify the dates beforehand as the time slots fill up quickly, especially the weekend ones.

Is GRE easy for engineering students?

Since GRE is based on both quantitative and qualitative reasoning, having a technical background can make things easier for you. Your engineering syllabus and concepts can help you score better in the Analytical and Quantitative sections. So, you will need to pay more attention to the remaining two sections: Verbal and Critical Thinking. Still, you may practice all the sections well so that you can get a good overall score.

Can I prepare for both GRE and GATE?

Both GRE and GATE have different purposes. GRE assesses your quantitative and verbal skills, while the GATE assessment is based on your field of study. Choosing between GRE and GATE is not difficult when you’re aware of your aim. There are students who appear for both GRE vs GATE; however, it’s better if you prepare for one of these exams based on your future goals. This way, you will learn more and score better.

Is there any negative marking on GRE?

No, there is no negative marking in the GRE exam. Therefore, you can mark all the questions, even the ones you’re not sure about. There’s a possibility that you marked the right option between the two you were confused about. This way, both wrong and unanswered questions will have the same ‘zero’ score.

Can I waive off GRE and GATE?

Yes, GRE vs GATE can be waived off in some cases. However, this majorly depends upon the guidelines and regulations as shared by the university you’re applying to. For instance, you can request a GRE waiver if you graduated from a top school where you learned technical concepts. In addition, if your prior participation in extracurricular activities depicts your analytical and critical thinking ability, then getting a GRE waiver would be easier for you. Basically, you just need to show through your application that you already possess the skills that are assessed through the GRE exam otherwise.

Is GRE required in Canada?

Yes, like in other countries GRE is required for admission to master-level programs. Some universities need a higher GRE score as the fundamental requirement. Many programs like MIM, engineering, data science etc asks GRE test score. However, some universities also waive the GRE or might not even require it. Hence, you can pursue MBA or any master’s program with or without a GRE.

Know Your Author
Photo of Abhyank
Abhyank Srinet
Study Abroad Expert
Abhyank Srinet, the founder of, is a globally recognized expert in study abroad and admission consulting.His passion lies in helping students navigate the complex world of admissions and achieve their academic dreams. Having earned a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Europe, Abhyank's expertise in data-driven marketing strategies has driven growth for some of the most competitive industries. As the founder of, he has helped thousands of students get into top business schools with a strong emphasis on research, shortlisting, and applying to schools from a single platform. His dedication to education has also led him to create MentR-Me, a free-to-use social platform that simplifies the study abroad process for students, while providing universities with a powerful recruitment tool. As a leader in the field of admission consulting, he is constantly researching and implementing the latest strategies to ensure that his clients receive the best possible guidance. He leads the Business Development and Digital Marketing side of both companies, and has grown both ventures to 7 figure revenue.His unique insights, experience, and dedication to his clients make him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to advance their education or career.
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