What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a test used for admission to graduate schools in the US. Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the exam is increasingly gaining more popularity than ever before. While it was more popular for MS and PhD programs before, even b-schools started accepting GRE scores for admissions in 2009. The exam is a good measure of the abilities of graduate students, regardless of their specialization.

The GRE consists of six sections. The first section of analytical writing requires the students to take two essays. The next five sections contain two quant, two verbal and an experimental section. This experimental section does not count towards the final score of the test taker.

The exam is not question adaptive like GMAT. It is section adaptive in nature. Your performance in the first quant and verbal sections determine the questions presented to you in the second sections of these two areas.

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As far as the scoring is concerned, both quant and verbal scores are reported on a 130-170 scale. Analytical Writing is reported on a 0-6 scale in half point increments. For a very good score, you need to score above 163 in each section and over 4.5 in writing.

Bear in mind that unlike, other standardized tests, absolute scores are not so important with GRE. Different programs look at the GRE scores differently. For instance, someone looking at an engineering program needs to score very well in the quant section but can do with a good enough score in the verbal section. In addition, schools also see GPA, recommendation letters and statement of purpose among other factors.

Students can take the GRE throughout the year. The exam duration is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The cost of taking the GRE is $195. GRE scores are valid for five years.

Planning to take the GRE? Create your study schedule based on your target score.

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