What is GRE?
GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination
GRE was revised on 1st Aug. 2011 and is popularly known as the New GRE.
GRE is administered by : ETS (Educational Testing Service)
GRE is required for / Who takes the GRE test?: GRE is taken by students who are planning to pursue their Master of Science (MS) or postgraduate degree, especially in the US. Several Universities in Canada and some top schools in the UK (eg. LSE) or Singapore may ask for a GRE for specific programmes
How many types of GRE tests are there?
GRE may be of two types:
The General Test takes into account verbal reasoning, quantitative ability, and analytical writing skills. Almost all the universities accept the General test score and usually everyone opts for this test. It takes place round the year and you can choose your date according to your convenience.
Test measures the achievement in a particular subject area or extensive background in that discipline. These tests are in the following areas: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature (English), Physics and Psychology. It is conducted on a fixed date for everyone, more on the terms of an entrance exam. Mostly none of the engineers go for this.
Validity of GRE score :
The GRE score is generally valid for 5 years
GRE Score Reporting:
The score is sent to 4 universities free of cost at the time of GRE exam. Student can select the list of these Universities. ETS charges a fee (USD 23 per recipient) for scores sent to universities later
Registration for GRE test can be done by Web, Phone, Fax, and Mail.
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Ninefold Consultancy can help you register for your GRE test. The service to help you with your GRE registration is free for you. Call us at +91 9820864001
Forms for GRE:
No paper forms for GRE registration are available. Registration has to be done online by using â€˜My GRE Accountâ€™ on ETS website
Requirements for Web/Phone, Fax and Mail Registration or Requirements for Registration:
There are four ways you can register for the computer-based General Test.
Online Registration can be done only via International Credit card. International Credit cards that can be used are American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA card. Debit card cannot be used for online registration in India.
- One can register over the phone by using an American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or a VISA International Credit card
- Post that, students need to call the appropriate RRC [Regional Registration Center]. A confirmation number, reporting time, and the test center address will be given to you when you call
- One needs to register using American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or VISA International Credit Card and then fax the International Test Scheduling Form (PDF) to the appropriate RRC [Regional Registration Center]
- The form must be received at least 7 days before your first-choice test date
- A confirmation number, reporting time and the test center address will be faxed or mailed to you. If you do not receive a confirmation of your appointment, call the appropriate RRC at least 3 business days before your first-choice test date
- If your requested date(s) cannot be accommodated, you will be scheduled for the next available test date. If your assigned test date does not meet your needs, call the appropriate RRC within 24hours of receipt of your registration confirmation
Quick Pay Instructions:
- Locate an agent in your country
- When completing the payment services or blue form, please use the following codes under the “Pay To” section:
- Company Name: Educational Testing Service
- Company Code: GREPROGRAM NJ
- Country: USA
- The form must be received at least three weeks before your first-choice test date
- A confirmation number, reporting time, and the test center address will be faxed or mailed to you
- If you do not receive a confirmation, call the appropriate RRC at least 3 business days before your first-choice test date. If you miss your appointment and did not call the RRC, your test fee will not be refunded. If you provide an e-mail address, you may receive a confirmation by e-mail
- Mail the International Test Scheduling Form (PDF) to the appropriate RRC with appropriate payment, (at least 3 weeks prior to intended date)
- ETS now accepts payments via the Western Union Quick Pay service for computer-based testing administrations. Only original receipts will be accepted by Prometric
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- A registration no is given as terms of confirmation
- A confirmation number, reporting time, and the test center address will be given to you when you call
By Fax or Mail
A confirmation number, reporting time and the test center address will be faxed or mailed to you.
General GRE Fee: $190
Rescheduling or Canceling a Test Appointment:
- Contact the appropriate registration center no later than 3 full days before your test date (not including the day of your test or the day of your request)
- The General Test rescheduling fee is $50
- You cannot reschedule between sites served by different Regional Registration Centers (RRCs)
The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are section-level adaptive, meaning that the first section of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures span a range of difficulty levels, from easy to difficult. The first section is assembled such that, overall, the first section is of average difficulty. The second section of each of the measures is administered based on a test taker’s overall performance on the first section.
Number of tests:
Only 1 GRE test can be given in one calendar month. A total of 5 GRE tests can be given in a year
Score: GREÂ® revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011)
Measure: Scores Reported*
Verbal Reasoning: 130 â€“ 170, in 1 point increments
Quantitative Reasoning: 130 â€“ 170, in 1 point increments
Analytical Writing: 0 â€“ 6, in half point increments
|Structure of the Computer-based Test- approx 3hrs 45 mts.|
|There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.|
|Measure||Number of Questions||Allotted Time|
|(One section with two separately timed tasks)||One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task||30 minutes per task|
|(Two sections)||Approximately 20 questions per section||30 minutes per section|
|(Two sections)||Approximately 20 questions per section||35 minutes per section|
(B) SUBJECT GRE Fee: $160
Mode: Subject test is a paper based test
Number of tests: The test can be given as often as they are offered. The test is held three times a year
Subject Offered (GRE subject test): Biochemistry Cell & Molecular Biology, Biology, Computer Science, Psychology, English Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics
Benefits of a High GRE Score:
- A high score will increase the chances of admission in top ranked Universities
- Chances of getting Scholarships / Financial Aid are bright with a high GRE score
- Visa Officers also give more importance to high GRE scores while considering Visa applications
- GRE score is valid for 4 years. Hence, you can take the test much earlier than when you have decided to study abroad. If your plans of studying abroad cancel, then you can use the same GRE score for the proceeding years
Super useful information on your GRE test:
Examination: Formally, GRE used to be a standardized computer adaptive test. The difficulty of your next question would depend on the answer of your current question eg. If the first question was of a moderate level and if answered correctly the next question would be of a higher level. The moment a question was wrongly answered the level of the questions was decreased
Post July 2011, the GRE pattern has changed and the exam is no longer a computer adaptive test.
Note: If a difficult question is answered correctly, the scores shoot up by a considerable margin and if a simple question is answered incorrectly, the scores fall by a similar margin
Are you making a mistake?: The first few questions should be solved taking as much time so that you definitely get them correct. This is not true. It should really depend on the level of questions. This logic is if you take too much time in the beginning, you may not have enough time in the end to complete the test. That would be a disaster.
Must do: You MUST attempt all the questions even if you are not confident of the answer being correct. An incomplete paper can cost you a loss of significant points
Structure of the GRE:
The computer-based General Test is comprised of 3 sections:
- Verbal Reasoning (English)
- Quantitative Reasoning (Math)
- Analytical Writing sections (Essays)
|Sections||Revised Patteren & Content||Changes from Previous Patteren|
|Quantitative||– Data Sufficiency
– Data Interpretation & Statistics
– Problem Solving
– 2 Sections (20 Q’s/35 Minutes per section)
|– Calculator Allowed
– No Choice for Problem Solving
– Statistics part of new pattern
– 2 Sections instead of 1 but less time
|Verbal||– Reading Comprehension
– Sentence Correction
– 2 Sections (20 Q’s/30 Minutes per section)
|– Stress on Comprehension and Less on Etymology
– 2 Sections instead of 1
– Less Questions but more time as it involves RC
|AWA||– Issue essay: 30 minutes*
– Argument Essay: 30 Minutes**
|Time reduced for Issue essay by 15 minutes|
|Test Format||– No Computer Adaptive Test
– Skipping Questions Permitted
|– Skipping questions are NOW ALLOWED
– Scores not based on solving the first few questions correctly
|Scoring Scale||130 -170 with 1 point Increment.||Earlier it was 200-800 with 10 point increment|
|Score reporting to University||5 Years Validity||No change|
* For the Issue task – two essay topics will be presented and you will have to choose one. In this essay, you usually agree and disagree with the author. There is no need to take a stand. You can state the pros and cons of the topic.
** The Argument task – does not present a choice of topics; instead, one topic will be presented. In this type of essay, you should disagree with the author. As the name suggests, you should argue with the authorâ€™s views.
After all the verbal and quant sections, a research section follows. This section is writing an essay on a topic presented to you. However, it is NOT evaluated towards the final score. Hence, a lot of people skip this section and proceed to the final part of checking their score.
Note: The AWA section is always first, followed by two Verbal sections and two Quantitative sections, in any order. Basically, you will have two verbal sections and two quantitative sections and will contribute towards your final score. You will not be informed prior to or during the exam about which section will be taken into account and hence you must give cent percent effort in all the sections.
Even though the exam pattern has changed, most part of the preparation remains the same. Since Antonyms and Analogy are not a part of the new syllabus, memorizing the word is no more important. However it is always advised to have strong vocabulary as sections like Sentence Completion demand you to be extremely quick with the words and its meaning/connotation.
When to begin studying for GRE?
It varies with each and every individual on how fast he/she finishes studying for GRE and is set to take it. But in general, you need around 50 days, give or take a few. As per the old pattern – it starts with learning words from what you call ‘flash cards’ – the popular of the lot – which have around 4000 words. If you’re pretty consistent with reading newspapers, you definitely have an edge, considering youâ€™ve probably come across a handful of words already.
In short, be quick with the meanings and its use of the words.
The last month to your GRE:
Once you are done with a considerable number of words, start solving the BigBook. Borrow it from one of your friends who have already taken the GRE or you can download it from the internet. It is advisable to solve the big book on the screen as you have to take the exam on the computer.
Every test has two papers which follows the oldest pattern of GRE (38 questions in 30 mins for verbal; 30 questions in 30 mins for quant). Try solving the paper with the old pattern (rather than adding your own touch-ups and increasing time or other such weird experiments). This will definitely improve your speed. Overall, there are 27 tests (54 papers). Try solving at least 20 papers. Give a week to the BigBook and solve minimum 2 papers a day. You can always do more.
Along with the BigBook, solve BARRONS. It is a simple book but teaches you a lot. Solve the quant section completely. It is fun to solve and is useful. It has 5 papers with the new pattern. Solve them gradually.
Last 15 to 20 days to your GRE test:
In the last 20 days, start taking the adaptive exams on the computer. There are hundreds of tests if you search on the internet and one can’t solve them all. Hence, there are some standard tests one needs to solve. Cambridge, Princeton, Kaplan (very important) and PowerPrep (GRE level) are those.
Cambridge is an elementary test and it helps you get acquainted with the adaptive exams on the screen. You need a maximum of two days.
Next is Kaplan, the most important of all the above mentioned tests. It has 6 practice tests each for Verbal and Quant and 3 full length tests. Kaplan Quant is really important and helpful, so be serious with it. Make sure you evaluate all your tests properly. Taking a test is not a big deal; learning from it is definitely one.
Solve Princeton simultaneously along with Kaplan. Finish it off in a week or 10 days.
Last week to your GRE test:
Study for your AWA (essay) 4-5 days prior to your GRE test day. Read some essays from Barronâ€™s, the method to write it and take any topic from these tests and write it down. Exchange the essays amongst your friends so you’ll get an idea how well they write. Solve the PowerPrep tests completely along with the essays to get an idea of your patience level. Take our word, full test is quite long!
GRE Quick tips:
- Flash cards (GRE words) needs to be revised thoroughly
- Revising the Quant formulae
- Read Newspapers for an hour everyday to stay in touch with long Reading Comprehensions (RC)
- Stay relaxed. It is mind, over matter
When should I take the GRE?
GRE takes place round the year. It is not like any other exam where the dates will be announced in the newspaper or any official website. So, anytime you feel you are in a position to prepare well for about 3 months, book your test date then (for 3 months after). Start working towards that date.
In general, engineering students prefer to take GRE in their 3rd year either in March or August. GRE is an exam which requires you to be tension-free and relaxed. Most engineering students are relatively free during these months. Please choose your date wisely and carefully. Although you are allowed to postpone the date, you will only be losing $50 or an additional $190 if you reschedule it within 3 days of the exam.
Some quick tosses:
Appeared for GRE twice, which score will be considered?
The best score is taken into account by most Universities. Some Universities may want to consider the average score
What should you target as your GRE score?
315 and above (new GRE) should be a target. Above 325 would be lovely. Do not panic however. Anything above 285, we believe you will have a chance to go to a foreign University to study.