GRE Test Overview


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a 3 hour and 45 minutes, multiple-choice, a multi-stage test required by most graduate schools. The GRE Board oversees GRE tests, services, and research and establishes all policies for the GRE Program, which is administered by ETS.

Schools differ in how they use your GRE score. Some consider it very important, while others view it as a formality. We recommend asking your prospective programs — most will be quite willing to tell you what part the test plays in their admissions decisions.


The GRE is a multi-stage test. This means that the computer will use your performance in one section to determine the difficulty level of the next section. Within a section, however, the question selection is static and you can skip around. If you do very well on your first verbal section, for example, the second verbal section you will see will be much more difficult. This is a good thing, however, because you must get to and successfully tackle the hardest questions to get to the highest possible scores.

You will receive separate GRE Verbal and Quantitative Scores; these are reported on a scale from 130 to 170 in one-point increments. The Analytical Writing section is listed separately and is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in half-point increments.


The GRE Subject Tests, test your knowledge of a particular subject like chemistry or literature. Not every school requires a GRE subject test, but many of the most competitive programs do. ETS offers the tests three times a year.

Contact our counselors to know more about the GRE and take a free diagnostic test to get started on your GRE preparation.