The New GRE

The GRE, also known as the Graduate Records Examination, is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and many other graduate programs worldwide. The GRE was created and is administered by the Educational Testing Service, or ETS.

The GRE is supposed to test your proficiency in tasks of general academic nature, regardless of your fields of specialization. The three hours and 45 minutes test measures your Writing, Verbal, and Quantitative skills.

Taking the GRE

The GRE is offered as a computer-based test that can be taken any time of the year. However, the GRE is also administered as a paper-based test in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available.

For the paper-based test, not all test centers are open on all test dates - make sure to check the testing schedule of the location before registering. You may take the test only once per calendar-month and no more than 5 times within a 12-month period.

About the New GRE

On August 1st, 2011, the new avatar of GRE (a.k.a. the "GRE Revised General Test") replaced the older GRE General Test. The new GRE has a brand new format that is test-taker friendly, but retains its original objective of measuring candidates' qualifications for graduate school. The new GRE has some notable changes:

  • A friendlier test-taking design allows you to edit, change, skip through and return to questions within a certain section. There is thus more freedom to use any personal test-taking strategy you may have.

  • There is an on-screen calculator to make computation less time-consuming.

  • There are changes in the Analytical Writing section:

    • There is one topic for each essay task, not several.

    • The essay scores are based on your critical thinking and your analytical writing rather than the examples themselves.

  • Changes in the Verbal Reasoning section:

    • There are no antonyms or analogies. The new GRE only tests vocabulary within the context of a passage or a sentence.

    • Revised Text Completion questions omit certain words in short passages and ask you to select the appropriate answer from a corresponding list.

    • Revised Sentence Equivalence questions ask you to come up with an appropriate conclusion to a sentence. But, you must recall the meaning of the entire sentence.

    • Reading Comprehension questions may have more than one correct answer. Select-in-passage questions are also new. To answer these questions, you highlight your answer in the passage itself.

  • Changes in the Quantitative Reasoning section:

    • Questions focus more on data-interpretation and real-life scenarios. For example, the question may ask you to analyze the percent change in a business' inventory over the last quarter based on the relevant information provided to you.

    • Some multiple-choice questions may have more than one correct answer choice.

    • Numeric Entry questions require you to type or write your answer into an on-screen box.

    • You will have access to an on-screen calculator.