GRE or the Graduation Record Examination is a test of a student’s quantitative, verbal, and analytical skills. The GRE scores are required for admission to master’s programs at the top universities of the world. Every year millions of students take the test to get into one of the most reputed institutes in the world. Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, etc., accept the GRE scores. The exam is conducted by the ETS(Educational Testing Services) throughout a calendar year on various dates and time slots.

What’s the need of taking the GRE?

Universities across the globe accept GRE scores. The test is made in such a way that it tells a student’s ability to pursue higher education at the top universities of the world. The GRE test is not solely restricted to MS programs. In fact, the test score is also needed for admission in Ph.D., MBA courses, certain law schools, etc. accept the scores to assess an applicant’s capability. Another factor that makes GRE a crucial test is its standardized exam structure that is uniform throughout the world. The test is kept independent of an individual’s place of education, and the syllabus remains the same for everyone, irrespective of the region. For detailed information on GRE, see the GRE Guide.

What is the type of exams at the GRE?

There are two types of exams conducted by the ETS in the GRE.

The first one is the General Test that assesses the overall preparedness of a student for the intended course. A student needs to hone their verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills for the general test. The ETS conducts the test throughout the year, and students can choose a test date and timing as per their convenience. This is something that gives this test its democratic nature.

The second one is the Subject Test that tests students’ subject-specific knowledge. Some universities require the test as they want to test the subject knowledge of an applicant.

What’s the eligibility for taking the GRE exam?

Eligibility criteria are among the factors that make the GRE so compatible with students across the globe. There is no eligibility per se except for a graduation degree. That’s it, one needs to be a graduate, and there is no bar on age or number of attempts. The tests are crafted in a way that it doesn’t want you to be a subject topper to get good scores. However, it shouldn’t be confused with the eligibility criteria put forward by individual institutions. In fact, most of the top colleges have some criteria pertaining to GPAs, academic records, etc., but these criteria vary from one university to another. Some courses in the same university might have special criteria, while there might not be one for other courses. 

What’s the exam fee for GRE?

The cost to take the GRE is the same for all the countries except China and India. The GRE fee is $213 for India, while for the rest of the world, it’s $205. The cost of the GRE Subject Test is $150. The fees mentioned here are only the exam fee, and there could be other charges too. 

  • The cost of rescheduling the exam is $50(for those who want to change the date of the exam).
  • The cost of changing the test center is $50.
  • For Additional Score Reports (ASR) — per recipient, the cost is $27
  • For Score Review for Analytical Writing measure, the cost is $60
  • The cost of a score reinstatement fee is $50 

The costs mentioned above are optional, and a student may or may not need to pay these charges. However, the exam fee has to be paid, and it isn’t waived, and there is no provision for a refund of the exam fee. 

What’s the test pattern of the GRE exam?

Quantitative Reasoning2 section- 40 questions70 minutes
Verbal Reasoning2 section- 40 questions60 minutes
Analytical Writing1 section- two tasks60 minutes

Computer-based Test

The computer-based test needs a lot of practice since one needs to get decent marks to get a good score. The test has verbal, qualitative, analytical sections that assess a student’s understanding in each section. One of the most important things is time management since there is limited time for each section. So practice becomes very important for the test-takers, and there is no shortcut to it.

What should be the strategy for GRE test takers?

One of the most important parts of GRE preparation is the selection of the right resources for preparation. No matter how much time management one does or whatever guidance is taken, all efforts will go in vain if the preparation isn’t started with the right resources. 

Some must-do for GRE test takers:

  • Choose the right resources seeing your current level of understanding of the subjects. 
  • Choosing a date on which the preparation is expected to be completed and then selecting the exam dates accordingly. 
  • Booking the test date beforehand since they get booked fast in certain months.
  • Take help from free resources available at the GRE website. 
  • If possible, do take help from expert help available online.
  • Take free online tests available at different preparation websites.

The pointers mentioned above will help you in chalking out the right strategy, and it is not exhaustive. One can make amends to these based on their current level of preparation. Students should take special care of the test centers, and they should always be near the place of residence.

How to select the books for GRE preparation?

Selecting the right set of books and complimenting it with online resources can substantially increment the score. Choosing the right should be done by taking all the time and then one should buy the book. There are several instances wherein students buy books that they themselves can’t understand. So it’s important to buy such books that can help strengthen the weaker areas. If one isn’t good at quantitative aptitude, then such books should be select with more problems with detailed solutions.

Experts and toppers interviews are also available online about the books one should study for GRE preparation. 

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section-  GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics by Vibrant Publishers

Quantitative Reasoning section- Manhattan Prep- GRE Math Strategies, Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions by ETS

GRE Verbal Section- Barron’s Verbal Workbook, Manhattan Word Problems GRE Strategy Guide, The Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice by ETS.

What’s the update on COVID-19?

The test centers have started reopening, and one can check the available test centers and test dates at the ETS website. The decision of reopening physical test centers rests with the local authorities. For now, one can take the test in the comfort of their homes, and a proctor will be monitoring the entire test. So one doesn’t have to worry about the COVID-19 situation as a test from home is the same as taking the test from the test center. For those going to the physical test center, everyone has to follow the COVID protocols.

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