GRE > The GRE Test (an overview)

More Than A Formality
Your GRE score is more than a formality in the admissions process. No matter where you apply, your score can have great impact on the strength of your application. In fact, a high score can benefit you in several ways. Most importantly, it increases the likelihood of your getting into the graduate program of your choice. The GRE has been recently revised for the year 2011, therefore, this article will describe the revised version of the test.

In addition to an admission criterion, schools often use scores to determine eligibility for merit-based grants and fellowships, as well as teaching and research assistantships. Many programs establish cutoff points for GRE scores to limit the application pool, while others use GRE scores to directly determine how much financial support you receive.

Investing your time and effort in preparing for the GRE today can get you into grad school and increase your chances of getting financial assistance.

Taking The GRE
The Graduate Record Examination General Test, or GRE, is designed to test fundamental verbal, mathematical and logical skills that a student is expected to have assimilated in the course of his or her college education. The vast majority of graduate programs require that prospective students submit GRE scores in order to be considered for admission.

The GRE is administered in a computer format, paper-pencil format (in countries where computers may be unavailable) or a split-test format. The split-test has a computer section and a handwritten section. The handwritten section is the Analytical Writing portion of the test. For those who do not chose the split-test format, they are still required to complete the Analytical Writing portion on the computer and it is the first section administered.

The new computer version of the test allows you to mark and or skip particular questions so you can come back to them. Now you can go back in the test without losing any answers! You can also edit or change your answers to questions you have already done. The Quantitative Reasoning section even has an on-screen calculator for ease of computations. The 3 sections of the test follow:

Verbal Reasoning Section: 40 questions in 60 minutes (separated in 2 sections):

  • Text Completion
  • Sentence Equivalence
  • Reading Comprehension

Quantitative Reasoning Section: 40 questions in 70 minutes (separated in 2 sections):

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions
  • Multiple Choice Single Answer Questions
  • Multiple Choice Questions More Than 1 Answer
  • Data Entry

Analytical Section: 2 essary in 60 minutes:

  • 1 Issue Question
  • 1 Argument Question

In addition, the GRE includes one unscored experimental section no matter what format of the test is taken. This section is used by the test maker to try out questions for future use. It could be a Verbal, Quantitative or Analytical section. It will look exactly like a scored section of the same type, so don't spend time trying to figure out which section is experimental.

There are important changes that have been made to the scoring of the GRE. The GRE score report will contain three scaled scores, one each for each of the scored sections. The Verbal and Quantitative sections have a score reported according to a 130-170 scale (given in 1 point increments). The Analytical Writing Score is reported on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments. You can find out more specifics about these scores in each individual section.