The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the United States.

Created and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) , the exam aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered at Prometric testing centers.

In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GRE scores varies widely between schools and between departments within schools. The importance of a GRE score can range from being a mere admission formality to an important selection factor.

The GRE was significantly overhauled in August 2011, resulting in an exam that is not adaptive on a question-by-question basis, but rather by section, so that the performance on the first verbal and math sections determine the difficulty of the second sections presented. Overall, the test retained the sections and many of the question types from its predecessor, but the scoring scale was changed to a 130 to 170 scale (from a 200 to 800 scale). A minimum score of 260 is awarded on attempting the exam.

The cost to take the test is US$195,[although ETS will reduce the fee under certain circumstances.[6] They also promote financial aid to those GRE applicants who prove economic hardship.ETS does not release scores that are older than 5 years, although graduate program policies on the acceptance of scores older than 5 years will vary.

Graduate Record Examinations: Revised General Test
Acronym GRE
Type Computer-based or paper-based standardised test.
Developer / administrator Educational Testing Service
Knowledge/skill(s) tested Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning.
Purpose Admissions to masters and doctoral programs in various universities.
Year started 1949
Duration About 3 hours and 45 minutes (includes 1-minute breaks after each section and a 10-minute break after third section).
Score/grade range Analytical writing: 0.0 to 6.0 (in 0.5 point increments),
Verbal reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1 point increments),
Quantitative reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1 point increments).
Score/grade validity 5 years
Offered Computer-based test: Multiple times a year (depends on availability of the test center).

Paper-based test: Up to 3 times a year in October, November and February.[1]

Restriction(s) on attempts Computer-based test: Can be taken only once after 21 days from the day of exam in every year. (Applies even if candidate cancels scores on a test taken previously.)[2]

Paper-based test: Can be taken as often as it is offered.[2]

Country(ies) / region(s) About 700 test centers in more than 160 countries.[3]

(Paper-based test offered only in areas where computer-based testing is not available.)[1]

Language(s) English
Annual no. of test takers  Over 655,000 in 2012[4]
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria No official prerequisite. Intended for bachelors degree graduates and undergraduate students who are about to graduate. Fluency in Englishassumed.
Fee US$ 195[5]

(Limited offers of “Fee Reduction Program” for U.S. citizens or resident aliens who demonstrate financial need, and for national programs inUSA that work with underrepresented groups.[6])

Scores/grades used by Most graduate schools in USA, and some in other countries.


Taking the GRE for Admission to Business School

Did you know that a growing number of MBA programs now accept GRE General Test scores for admission? In fact, more than 700 MBA programs have signed on so far. And that translates into more options for you! So before you apply to business school, find out what admissions tests your schools will accept.

Admissions trends show that more and more undergrads are interested in business school. And business schools are looking for a diverse admission pool, not just candidates with a background in business.

Whether you take the GMAT or GRE, we can help you achieve your best score!

From private tutoring to classroom courses and other programs, our prep packages are designed with you in mind. No matter what your unique needs are, we have a program that’s right for you.

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