GRE Exam Pattern with Eligibility Requirement

11 mins

If you want to pursue a post-graduate degree at an institution in another country, completing your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a common initial step. GRE scores are one of the primary selection factors at many colleges in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other educational destinations.

With the advent of the Revised GRE Exam Pattern in August 2011, the GRE syllabus experienced a significant modification. It is regarded as the most important modification to the design since its beginnings.

The GRE General Test is a computer-based exam with question patterns that closely mirror the sort of thinking you'll do — and the abilities you'll need to succeed — in today's rigorous graduate school programs, such as business and law.

The test-taker-friendly design allows you to bypass problems within a section, come back and alter answers, and pick whichever questions within a section to answer first.

The GRE General Test assesses your verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing abilities – abilities that have been honed through time and are not particular to any field of study but are essential for all.

The GRE format for the general test consists of three sections: quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing evaluation. GRE patterns change between general and topic examinations. Candidates will be able to do the GRE general test on either a computer or a paper-based system.

There are a total of 82 questions (80 MCQs and 2 descriptives). Candidates will have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete these questions. The GRE general test syllabus differs from the subject test syllabus.

The GRE topic test comprises entirely of MCQs. The GRE topic test has 66-230 questions and takes 2 hours and 50 minutes to complete.

Given the breadth and complexity of the GRE schedule, taking the GRE test might be difficult. As a result, the idea is to begin your GRE study early to ace all portions of the GRE assessment.

In response to the continuing epidemic, COVID-19, ETS (Educational Testing Service) has established the GRE at Home service, which allows students to take the GRE from the comfort of their own homes.

Starting July 1, 2021, ETS will now enable applicants to also use the Aadhar Cards as part of the student ID throughout the GRE registration procedure.

GRE General Test

The GRE General Exam is available in both computer-based and paper-based forms. Despite many similarities, the GRE structure for both editions is distinct.

Furthermore, the paper-based exam is not available to everyone. It's available in places where computer-delivered GRE isn't. As a result, you cannot simply choose between a paper-based and a computer-based test. It is determined according to where you complete the exam.

GRE Computer Based vs GRE Paper-Based Pattern:

Candidates should note that while the GRE pattern is available in both GRE Computer-based mode and GRE Paper-based mode, however, candidates taking the GRE test from India can only appear from the GRE Computer-based module.

The GRE paper-based module is only applicable for places that have limitations to the use of computers. Now let us know how the GRE formats differ from one another.

Computer-based GRE Pattern

Each of these GRE sections is then split into two subsections for the computer-based GRE paper format, totaling forty questions (Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning).

Analytical Writing comprises only one phase, which consists of two one-hour activities. Aside from these main sections, the computer-based pattern test has two additional changeable sections.

There is a ten-minute break following the completion of the Quantitative Reasoning segment. Unscored and Research, on the other hand, are not included in final GRE scores.

Gre Pattern

The globally recognized GRE style is designed to assess your general understanding of mathematics, language comprehension, English essay writing skills, and sense of logical thinking.

The GRE format comprises three components to successfully measure a student's ability, namely-

Verbal Reasoning:

This section assesses your ability to grasp complicated English texts. The Verbal Reasoning element of the GRE design includes questions on reading and comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence.

This accounts for almost half of the GRE verbal reasoning component of the GRE General Test. The exam taker is given a text and must answer questions about it. The test consists of roughly ten sections, most of which are one paragraph long. The quotations are taken from books and journals on:

  • Sciences of matter
  • The biological sciences
  • The social sciences
  • Humanities and arts
  • Popular culture's everyday topics

This subsection evaluates the following abilities:

  • Understanding what words and phrases signify
  • Understanding the significance of longer chunks of text, such as paragraphs
  • Being the ability to distinguish between minor and significant points in a text
  • Capability to sum up a passage
  • Draw inferences from the text provided.
  • Managing partial data and inferring missing information
  • Identifying an author's underlying assumptions
  • Analyzing an argument to determine its strengths and shortcomings
  • Creating several explanations for a scenario

Text Completion

This component assesses the ability of the test taker to build a comprehensive image from the text supplied. If one understands the general impression that a piece provides, one can fill in keywords that have been missing from the passage. This section includes:

Passages with up to five phrases:

  • There may be up to 3 blanks in the passage.
  • For each blank, three or five possibilities are offered.
  • There is only one correct answer for each blank.
  • The answer to each blank is unrelated to the answer to the other blanks.

Keep in mind that the correct answers guarantee that the text sounds technical and logically and stylistically consistent.

Sentence Equivalence

This component also assesses the test taker's ability to develop conclusions about a passage based on limited information. In this scenario, the test taker is given a single statement with a single blank - the test taker must select two methods to finish the sentence that is both grammatically accurate and have the same meaning.

Six response options are provided for each blank. If just one of the two selected responses is accurate, no credit is granted.

Keep in mind that the right responses may not be the same terms. The meaning of the finished sentences is the same as that of the missing ones.

Quantitative Reasoning

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning part contains problems based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Data Analysis. You must strategize and solve various types of mathematical questions to arrive at an answer as quickly as possible. This is to guarantee that you can use logic effectively wherever it is required.

Analytical Writing

English writing is equally as crucial as numerical knowledge for each student since it helps you to communicate. Analytical Writing is a GRE section that assesses your arguments and articulation abilities. Your essay score assists the University in evaluating your language abilities as an indicator of how well you will interact during your course.

Analyze a Problem

The participant is stated on a popular topic in this part. The individual is supposed to analyze the topic highlighted in the statement and express her perspective. You are allowed to take a position that either agrees with or contradicts the original statement's point of view.

Remember that the exam is not about the position you choose but about how well you can defend your position. Throughout the essay, your logic must be consistent. The purpose of this part is to see how effectively you capture critical opinions in writing.

Examine an Argument

The exam taker is provided with an argument in this part. He or she is supposed to rationally analyze the author's thesis and bring out its strengths and faults.

Remember that the exam does not inquire about the exam writer's perspective on the topic at hand but rather their ability to dissect an argument provided to them. One is expected to criticize and examine the original statement's point of view rather than load it with one's ideas on the matter.

The computer-based GRE includes an additional unscored component of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, or Research.

Universities overseas may securely choose their Postgraduate and Graduate students by examining individuals on the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical fronts. This well-defined examination, along with the comprehensive GRE framework, guarantees that the brightest brains are recognized globally.

In the GRE general test, according to the GRE question pattern:

  • There are a total of 80 MCQs.
  • There are a total of two descriptive questions.
  • The GRE verbal pattern consists of three types of questions, each having 3-5 response alternatives.
  • Each GRE verbal and GRE AWA task needs a strong vocabulary.
  • GRE quant focuses on mathematics, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis.
  • The only portion of the GRE featuring descriptive questions is analytical writing.

GRE format - Subject test

The GRE topic test is only available in paper-based format. There are no portions that are timed independently, and the overall testing duration is 2 hours and 50 minutes. Subject examinations are available in four disciplines: chemistry, mathematics, psychology, and physics.

Number and type of Questions

Each section has a defined number of questions and a specific syllabus. Sections of biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, and psychology have the following number of questions from the following areas of study.

  • The biology section has 190 questions from Cellular and Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Evolution.
  • The chemistry section has 130 questions from Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic chemistry, and Physical Chemistry.
  • The English section has 230 questions which are from Literary Analysis, Identification, Cultural and Historical Contexts, and History and Theory of Literary Criticism.
  • Mathematics has 66 questions, including Calculus, Algebra (Linear algebra, abstract algebra, elementary algebra, and number theory), Discrete Mathematics, Real Analysis, Probability and Statistics, and Additional Mathematics.
  • The physics section has 100 questions from Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Optics, and Wave Phenomena, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Atomic Physics, Special Relativity, Laboratory Methods, Specialized Topics like Nuclear and Particle Physics, etc.
  • The psychology section has 205 questions which include Biological, Cognitive, Social, Developmental, Clinical, Measurement/Methodology, and others.

As previously stated, the GRE subject test is conducted on paper, and there are no independently timed parts. The following is the exam schedule for the four disciplines:


The test consists of 130 multiple-choice questions designed to simplify mathematical computations. As a result, no tables or logarithmic computations are required. If the solution necessitates the use of logarithms, the values will be provided with the question.

The test's material is divided into four categories: analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Because of the interdependence of these disciplines, test takers may link a certain question with one of them.

Other test takers, on the other hand, may have encountered the same information in a different location. Some test takers, for example, may have learned the information required to answer some questions designated as testing organic chemistry in analytical chemistry classes.

Mathematics Test

There are around 66 multiple-choice problems collected from college courses. 50% of the questions are on calculus and its applications, and 25% are about linear algebra, abstract algebra, elementary algebra, and number theory. The remaining questions are about various topics of mathematics.

Physics Exam

There are around 100 multiple-choice questions. The purpose of the exam is to assess your understanding of fundamental concepts as well as your ability to use those ideas in problem-solving. The majority of exam questions may be answered with knowledge of the first three years of undergraduate physics.

The exam uses the International System of Units (SI). The exam book table of information represents several physical constants and a few conversion factors between SI units. Psychological Examination

There are around 205 multiple-choice questions in all. Each test question offers five possibilities from which the test taker must choose the one that is the appropriate or best response to the question.

Stimulus materials, like a graph or even a report of an experiment, can be used to solve a variety of issues. The questions are selected from the core of information most typically encountered in undergraduate courses in the broad discipline of psychology.

A question may necessitate the recollection of information, the analysis of relationships, the application of principles, the drawing of conclusions from data, and the evaluation of a study strategy.

GRE Preparation Tips

Many times, candidates are unable to reach their ideal GRE scores. Candidates can use GRE preparation ideas to better grasp GRE techniques and attain high GRE scores.

Candidates should keep in mind that one of the most important lessons here is time management, which can only be learned via rigorous practice using GRE sample papers and mock examinations. Even if you are familiar with the GRE Syllabus and know all of the answers, failing to manage time may result in an incomplete exam.

Paper Based GRE Exam Pattern

The paper-based test has two sub-sections for each of the three primary categories: analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The analytical writing section consists of two one-hour projects (60 mins).

Each portion of Verbal and Quantitative reasoning has two sections and 50 questions, with a maximum time restriction of 60 and 70 minutes, respectively. The paper-based test does not contain the variable components Unscored and Research.

While the GRE Pattern can alter from time to time, the core of the format stays the same. Here's a brief on how the paper-based test is different from computer-based.

Analytical Writing has 2 sections with 2 tasks and 60 minutes to answer the same. The Verbal Reasoning section has 2 sections and 50 questions while it gives you 70 minutes to answer them.

Quantitative Reasoning has 2 sections and 50 questions with 80 minutes to answer. Apart from these, there are no unscored questions or research-based questions.

Getting a good GRE score is a challenge that you can do. All you need to do is concentrate on the GRE pattern, comprehend the scoring structure, and prepare accordingly.

The paper's format is carefully thought out, making it easily applicable to all pupils that take the test. All you have to do to uncover your GRE roadmap is to remain focused and prepare adequately.

Learning about the GRE syllabus and schedule is a good place to start your preparation.

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