Graduate Record Examination (GRE)- An Overview

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an important test that is required to be undertaken by anyone willing to take admission to the various graduate schools in the United States. It is conducted by the Educational Testing Services.

GRE score is also mandatory for a student to study graduate programmes in other counties like United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. It is an integral part of the whole admission process and therefore a candidate has to take this test very seriously.

GRE is of two types: (1) the general GRE test and (2) the subject GRE test. The general test is used to measure a candidate’s general aptitude in areas like analytical and critical thinking, quantitative skills and verbal proficiency.

The subject test on the other hand is conducted for various subjects in which a candidate wants to specialise in. These include Biology, Computer Science, Psychology, Mathematics, Literature in English, Physics, Chemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Structure of the test: The test is a computer based examination; however it is also conducted on paper in areas which do not have computer test facilities. It takes two and a half hours to complete the test. The test is divided in the following parts:

Analytical Writing- it consists of mainly 2 questions and the time allotted is 75 minutes to complete both. The first essay requires a candidate to build up his/her arguments against a topic in a rational manner.

In the second essay the candidate has to basically analyse an argument and find loopholes in the arguments put forward and deny the logic put forward by giving appropriate reasons for the same.

An impeccable hold on grammar and correct spelling is desired to score well in this section along with critical reasoning. The essays are marked between 0-6 scores.

The Quantitative Section consists of 28 questions which a candidate has to answer in 45 minutes. This section includes solving mathematical problems like simple equations, comparing two quantitative charts and data interpretation. This will check the candidate’s quantitative skills which he/she has acquired till date.

The Verbal Section consists of 30 questions and the time allotted is 30 minutes. It examines the candidates in different areas such as sentence completion, antonyms, comprehension reading and analogies which tests a candidate’s hold on the English language.