What is GRE? (Graduate Record Examinations)?: A Comprehensive Overview

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Are you considering pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in the United States, Canada, or other select countries? If so, you’ve likely encountered the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examinations, commonly known as GRE, stands as a crucial standardized test for admissions to numerous graduate schools across the United States, Canada, and several other countries. Developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). GRE evaluates a candidate’s proficiency in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills acquired during their educational journey.

Structure of GRE Exam:


The GRE is offered in about 1,000 test centers in over 160 countries in different structures, and they are:

1.Computer-based General Test:

  • Analytical Writing (2 sections): Issue & Argument tasks (graded 0-6)
  • Verbal Reasoning (2 sections): Text completion, sentence equivalence, critical reading (130-170)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections): Quantitative comparisons, problem-solving, and data interpretation (130-170)

2. Paper-based General Test: 

  • Similar structure to CBT, but no experimental section.

3. GRE Subject Tests: 

  • Physics, Mathematics, Psychology (130-170)


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The test duration is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes, which includes 1-minute breaks after each section and a 10-minute break after the third section.


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  • Scores range from 130 to 170 for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning and 0 to 6 for Analytical Writing.
  • Each section is scored independently.
  • A minimum score may be required by specific universities or programs.

Purpose and Use in Admissions:

  • Admissions: Many graduate schools, especially those in STEM fields, require GRE scores as part of their application process.
  • Selection Factor: Scores can be a valuable tool for universities to compare applicants from diverse backgrounds and academic experiences.
  • Not the Sole Determinant: While important, GRE scores are not the only factor considered during admissions. GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statements also play a crucial role.

Overall, the GRE is a widely used tool for graduate school admissions, but its importance varies and it is not without its criticisms. Consider the specific requirements of your target schools and programs, and explore alternative ways to demonstrate your qualifications.

I hope this summary is helpful! Let us know if you have any other queries regarding the GRE.

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