GRE Test Overview

GRE Section Comparisons

Section Questions Section Time Section Topics Scoring
GRE Analytical Writing Assessment 2 separately timed writing tasks 30 min per task 1 30-minute essay: Analysis of an Argument; 1 30-minute essay: Analysis of an Issue; 2 Essays in total 0-6, half-point increments
GRE Verbal Reasoning About 20 questions per section 30 min per section Reading Comprehension; Text Completion; Sentence Equivalence; 2 Sections in total 130-170 score scale, 1-point increments
GRE Quantitative Reasoning About 20 questions per section 35 min per section Quantitative Comparisons; Multiple-choice questions (select 1 answer choice); Multiple-choice questions (select 1 or more answer choices); Numeric entry questions; 2 Sections in total 130-170 score scale, 1-point increments
Experimental (Unscored) About 20 questions 30-35 min section An unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section may be included and appear in ANY order after the AWA section. Not counted as part of the score Not Counted
Research Varies Varies An unidentified section may be there at the end of the test. Not counted as part of the score Not Counted
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes (including unscored section) 260 - 340 total; Analytical writing from 0-6.

GRE Verbal Section

The Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE lasts 30 minutes and has 30 questions. It tests your capacity to comprehend material laid out before you and your ability to use logic to arrive at conclusions not offered in the passage.

This Section Tests:

•English usage/mechanics

•Rhetorical skills

•Analyze and make conclusions based on written material

•Compare and contrast the relationships between words and concepts

GRE Math Section

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE lasts 45 minutes and has 28 questions. It emphasizes basic mathematical concepts and your ability to analyze data by incorporating hypothetical situations. By using these scenarios, the Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to utilize these concepts in daily life.

This Section Tests

  • Mathematical Concepts

  • Arithmetic

  • Algebra

  • Geometry

  • Trigonometry

  • Data Interpretation

  • Graphs and Tables

GRE Writing Section

The writing section of the GRE, which is always administered at the very beginning of the test, is 75 minutes long. It consists of two writing topics. You are instructed to write concise responses to open-ended questions.

Two trained readers trained by ETS assign each essay a score between 1 and 6, where a score of 0 is reserved for essays that are blank, off-topic, or non-English. The readers will grade the essay as a whole, taking into account its organization, succinctness and the general quality of argument put forth by the writer.

High scores result from an answer that is well-organized, logical and strategic in the manner that the question is addressed. If the scores are within one point of one another, they are averaged to produce a final score from 0 to 6. If the two readers' scores differ by more than one point, then a senior third reader decides. Scorers prefer responses that directly answer the question, and note carefully any wavering, deviating or rambling in the response.

This section tests:

  • Grammar
  • Argument Formulation
  • Writing Ability
  • English Usage
  • Examples chosen to support an argument
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