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WHAT IS GRE EXAM?

what-is-gre-exam-intro

The Education Testing Service conducts the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) throughout the year. It is a standardized test that most universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada need admission to graduate school programs.

The exam lasts for three hours and forty-five minutes, and students have the option to take a paper-based or computer-based exam. Top universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UCLA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and others accept GRE exam scores for economics, English, Computer Science, Physics, and other subjects.

The GRE exam quickly gains popularity among students because of its versatility; it enables students to apply to various fields instead of limiting them to the business domain. You should know about the various sections in the exam, such as data analysis, etc. to score well.

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GRE Eligibility

The GRE exam does not have any specific eligibility requirements. The exam is open to graduates and undergraduates pursuing science, arts, commerce, engineering, medicine, and law courses. There is no minimum qualification, age or work experience required for taking the GRE exam. However, an applicant must have some legal document for identity verification (a passport for Indian applicants) to register. The GRE Exams are one of the main eligibility criteria to get admission in all the graduate schools.

GRE exam dates

Students can book their preferred slot based on availability and their regional test center location, as the GRE exam is conducted every 21 days. There are no fixed dates to take the exam, giving students the flexibility to schedule the exam according to their application deadlines. However, it is suggested that they take the exam at least two to three months before the deadline to have enough time to retake it if necessary. Due to the Pandemic, the number of tests held at the center has decreased; students can check the official website for the latest GRE exam dates and seat availability.

Recent Updates in GRE 

The Education Testing Service has come up with a solution for students to take the GRE Exam at home due to the Pandemic. It uses the leading proctoring service, ProctorU, to monitor the test using artificial intelligence and live remote proctors. Students may also take the test at one of the official test centres, reopening and taking precautionary steps to ensure their safety.

Best time to take GRE

Even though GRE Exam scores are valid for five years, it is always good to schedule the exam according to the university’s due dates. Most universities around the world have two intakes: spring and fall. If the candidate targets the fall intake, it is ideal for taking the GRE Exam in June or earlier. If the candidate is targeting a spring intake, they can take the GRE by December so that there is ample time to focus on developing a good application. Most applicants expect to take the GRE Exam three to four months before the application process begins, so it’s good to register 2-3 months ahead of time to get your preferred test date and location.

GRE exam centers in India

GRE Exam is held in all major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Allahabad, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gandhinagar, Gurgaon, Gwalior, Indore, Nasik, Vijayawada, Vadodara, Trivandrum, and Mysore. Applicants can see what dates are available in their preferred location and the mode of examination by entering the city’s name or pin code. 

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GRE registration

Registering for this exam is a simple process; you have to create an online account on the GRE registration homepage as the first step. After that, you can choose your test date and location and confirm your personal information. To validate your registration, you must make a $213 payment as the final step. For the GRE General Test, candidates can also enrol through phone, mail, fax, or online. Registration for the GRE Subjective test is available online or by mail. 

GRE Cancellation Fee/GRE Rescheduling Fee

If an applicant decides to cancel their GRE test, they will not receive a full refund. However, they will be eligible to receive 50% of the fee if they cancel at least four days before the exam. If the candidates choose to reschedule instead, they can pay an additional fee of $50. In addition, if you cannot sit for the exam due to illness, you may be eligible for an exam waiver that allows you to retake the exam later at no extra expense.

GRE Score

The GRE scores are officially declared 10-15 days after the exam date, and a candidate’s score is calculated as follows:

  • Verbal reasoning: on a scale of 130-170 
  • Quantitative reasoning: on a scale of 130-170 
  • Analytical reasoning: on a scale of 0-6 (with half-point increments)

The GRE score ranges from 260 to 340, and the university requirements determine optimal GRE score. A score of 320 or higher is generally considered decent and enables an applicant to apply to top-ranked institutions.

GRE Exam Fees 

To apply for the GRE test, an applicant must pay a one-time fee of $213 (approximately INR 15,644). The Education Testing Service (ETS) offers a fee-reduction program for underrepresented students to prove their financial needs.

How long is GRE Score valid for?

The GRE Exam score lasts for about five years after taking the exam. Exactly after five years, ETS will delete your GRE score, and you won’t be able to access your account anymore. Students are suggested to take the test during the same year that they aim to apply abroad, or one year before that at the most.

GRE Test Syllabus

The latest GRE syllabus is different for the general and subjective test. The General Test assesses a candidate’s GRE verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections skills. Therefore, you should have great analytical writing skills to do well in your GRE Exams. In comparison, the GRE Subjective Test assesses a candidate’s expertise in eight particular fields. Thus, possessing analytical writing skills becomes very important.  

GRE exam test syllabus

GRE Pattern

The GRE question pattern is divided into three sections:

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • GRE Analytical writing sections

GRE Verbal reasoning:

The GRE verbal reasoning section tests the candidate’s understanding of the given text and their ability to deconstruct and identify different perspectives. GRE Verbal Reasoning test is divided into two sections consisting of 20 questions each and a maximum time limit of thirty minutes for each section. This section consists of questions related to idioms, sentence equivalence, text completion, and parallelism. Thus, making it very important to prepare for the GRE Verbal reasoning test. 

GRE Quantitative reasoning:

GRE Quantitative reasoning segment tests the candidate’s ability to comprehend quantitative data analysis and is divided into two sections with a time limit of thirty-five minutes. The data analysis section should be done with patience as it will dictate how well you will do in your test. In the GRE quantitative reasoning section, candidates have to solve complex problems with the help of mathematical concepts. The Computer-based tests have on-screen calculators that enable the candidates to solve numerical problems quickly and with ease. The GRE quantitative reasoning test requires a lot of practice and needs to be prepared by the candidate who wants to do well. GRE quantitative reasoning might be a bit harder as, unlike other sections, GRE quantitative reasoning tests the reasoning capabilities of a person.

 GRE Analytical writing sections:

The analytical writing sections segment tests the candidate’s ability to interpret and evaluate complex texts. Analytical writing sections consist of two separately timed tasks where candidates have to analyze an issue and an argument with 30 minutes allotted for each task. It also targets data analysis in its writing sections, the data analysis an important part of analytical writing and should be done very carefully. As data analysis is going to dictate how well you are going to score in your exams. You should also possess great analytical writing skills to do well in this section, as the analytical writing skills dictate your capability to score and perform in the test. Hence, making it very important to prepare for the analytical writing sections to gain all the experience to develop all the analytical writing skills. Possessing analytical writing skills will surely cut down the hassle while going through this section.

GRE exam pattern

You should go over the instructions for each section thoroughly and get a sense of the type of questions when studying for the GRE Exam. By doing this, you’ll save a lot of time on the exam as you will have to skim through the directions. GRE 2021 Preparation Tips

Preparing for the GRE might seem overwhelming at first, students can use the below-mentioned tips to help them achieve a good score: 

1. Attempt all the questions

Attempting all the questions in the GRE Exam is essential since there is no negative marking. However, if you are confused, don’t waste a lot of time and choose the closest option with the help of the elimination method.

2. Highlight keywords in reading comprehension 

When skimming the comprehension passage, you must highlight the keywords to retain some details while answering the questions, so you don’t have to reread the passage.

3. Tackle the easy questions first 

To get a good grade, you must effectively manage your time during the test. It’s best to start with the simple questions, the ones you know the answers to, rather than wasting time on the more challenging ones.

4. Pay close attention to the instructions

You should go over the instructions for each section thoroughly and get a sense of the type of questions when studying for the GRE Exam. By doing this, you’ll save a lot of time on the exam as you will have to skim through the directions.  

GRE vs GMAT

The GMAT exam is for applicants who choose to undertake management programs at prestigious business schools worldwide. Most schools accept both GMAT and GRE Exams, but certain business schools still prefer the former. The GRE is for students who want to obtain a master’s degree from abroad, regardless of their field of study. Taking the GRE opens up a world of possibilities for students, allowing them to choose various master’s programs, including MBA programs.

GRE vs CAT

The GRE Exam is an international level test used to gain admission to prestigious master’s programmes worldwide, including reputed business schools. On the other hand, the Common Admission Test is a graduate school level entrance exam aimed at candidates seeking admission to India’s top business schools such as IIM, ISB, and Xaviers. However, foreign universities do not recognise CAT, and only a few Indian universities consider the GRE.

GRE vs GATE 

The cost of pursuing a masters’ degree can be extremely high, depending on the program’s country of choice and duration. However, a good GRE Exam score coupled with a solid academic record will help you get various scholarships to ease the financial pressure of pursuing further studies. Here are two types of scholarships that you can avail yourself through a high GRE scoreThe Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) test is designed to assess prospective master’s students’ knowledge of fundamental engineering subjects. The exam score is valid for three years and is only accepted by Indian universities for candidates focusing on pursuing their masters from a reputed Indian University. Both GRE and GATE have advantages and disadvantages, but the GRE would undoubtedly provide you with more exposure to international universities. If you want to work in the public sector and study at an Indian university, GATE is the better choice. 

GRE Scholarships

The cost of pursuing a masters’ degree can be extremely high, depending on the program’s country of choice and duration. A good GRE score coupled with a solid academic record will help you get various scholarships to ease the financial pressure of pursuing further studies. Here are two types of scholarships that you can avail through a high GRE score:

1. School-based scholarships

Universities directly offer school-based scholarships to prospective students. The university considers the GRE score of the applicant, their past academic performance and the English language proficiency test score.

2. Organization-based scholarship

Scholarships offered by particular organizations have more stringent eligibility criteria like race, gender and ethnicity. Candidates who qualify for organization-based scholarships can direct their funds to any university as long as they fulfil the eligibility requirements.

Conclusion

Owing to the competitive nature of the GRE test, students must take a structured approach to study for it. You can kickstart your preparation by enrolling for one of the many online courses available and taking several practice tests before the exam to familiarise yourself with the format. We hope that this blog helped resolve all of your GRE questions and making your GRE preparation hassle-free. We would love to know how you did on the GRE, so let us know in the comments section. Best of luck!

GRE Tips

FAQs

Q1. What is the duration of the exam?

The GRE is three hours and forty-five minutes long.

Q2. How many times can the test be taken?

The students can appear for the test every 21 days, up to five times within one particular year. 

Q3. What are the specific subject tests?

Apart from the general GRE test, students can also take the test in specific subjects like Biology, Psychology, and Chemistry. 

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