Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is administered by ETS. This exam evaluates the verbal, analytical and mathematical skills of the candidates. It is required to be taken by students seeking admission in graduate schools.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised test that is required to be taken by students seeking admission in graduate schools. GRE conducting body is Educational Testing Services (ETS). The exam has been developed to evaluate the verbal, analytical and mathematical skills of the candidates. Individuals applying to graduate schools in order to pursue a Masters in Arts (MA) or Masters in Science (MS) are required to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). GRE is a computer-based test and has a user-friendly design.

GRE is accepted across universities in US and Canada, along with many colleges and technical institutions worldwide.

Visit Learning Wizards and find best GRE coaching institutes in Chandigarh.

Types of GRE

GRE exam is of two types:

GRE General Test – The General Test takes into account verbal reasoning, quantitative ability, and analytical writing skills. Most universities accept the general test score and usually majority of students opt for this test. It takes place round the year and you can choose your date according to your convenience.

GRE Subject Test – The GRE Subject Test measures the candidate’s achievement in a particular subject area. 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 like an entrance exam. This test is required for specialised courses.

GRE Eligibility

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for seeking admission in any master’s program.  Therefore, it is an essential qualification for taking GRE. Also, the candidate must be over 18 years of age.

GRE registration

There are four ways you can register for GRE exam in India.

  1. Online Registration –Exam registration is done online and you need an account for the same. Click here to create a new account. Once the candidate has logged on to the GRE official website, s/he will have to fill in the required basic information like name, address etc. Payment can be made by credit/debit card only. After the completion of these steps, the candidate can log in and select the date and place to take the exam.
    Note: Online registration is not available for test takers with disabilities or health-related issues.
  2. Mail Registration –Print and complete this Form, and send it to the following address along with the appropriate fee –
    2nd floor, DLF Infinity Tower–A
    Sector 25, Phase II,
    DLF City, Gurgaon,
    Haryana – 122002
    The form must be received at least three weeks before your choice of the earliest GRE test date. A confirmation number, reporting time and the test centre address will be emailed, faxed or mailed to you.
  3. Phone Registration –Call the Regional Registration Center (RRC), which is ‘Prometric’ located in Gurgaon, Haryana. The phone number is 91-124-4147700. The call must be made at least two business days before your preferred test date. A confirmation number, reporting time and the test centre address
  4. Fax Registration –Print and complete this Form, and send it to 91-124-4147773 with the appropriate fee. The form must be received at least seven days before your first choice of test date.

GRE exam fee

The application fee for GRE is $195, which would roughly translate to Rs 11,000 to Rs 12,000 approximately.

GRE Test centres

The GRE exam is conducted at the following test centres in India

Ahmedabad Allahabad Bangalore Kolkata Chennai
Gurgaon Hyderabad Mumbai New Delhi Trivandrum

Admit card

Candidate can download the admit card from the official website. Candidate must produce the admit card while appearing for the exam. When you receive your admission ticket, check it carefully to make sure your identifying information, address and score recipients are correct.

Exam pattern

GRE exam pattern is as follow- three sections, namely, Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The Analytical Writing section will always be the first, whereas, the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unscored sections may appear in any order. The writing section has two tasks and you have 30 minutes to complete each task, making the total time for this section to be one hour. Verbal section has to be completed within one hour as well as both the two sections require 30 minutes each. Same goes for quantitative section, where you get 35 minutes for the two sections. Here we cover the GRE General test

 Skills Measured  Number of Questions  Allotted Time
Analytical Writing (One section with two separately timed tasks) One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task 20 questions per section
Verbal Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section

Scoring in GRE

Here is how GRE score is calculated.
Verbal Reasoning score:  On a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
Quantitative Reasoning score:  On a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
Analytical Writing score: On a 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments
GRE total score: On a 260–340 score scale

GRE Score Validity – The total scores are valid for five years after the year in which you took the exam.

Computer-based Test – Across all sections, all questions contribute equally to the total score. At the end of the test, a raw test score is computed. The raw test score is the number of questions you answered correctly. Through a process called equating, which takes into account the difficulty of the questions, the raw scores for both the sections are converted into scaled scores on the 130–170 scale.

Both the Verbal and the Quantitative portions of the exam are section adaptive, meaning that a student’s performance on the first section of a type determines how difficult the second section of that type will be. The better a student performs on the first section, the more difficult the second section will be. Answering difficult questions correctly increases the chances of a higher exam score.

Paper-based Test – For the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the paper-based GRE exam, a raw score is computed. The raw score is the number of questions answered correctly. The raw score is then converted into a scaled score through a process known as equating; the exam scores are converted on the scales of 130 – 170, in the manner similar to computer-based test.

GRE Result

Your official test scores will be available in your account on the GRE website. They will be sent to the universities of your choice within six weeks of your test date. You will receive an email from ETS that your official GRE result is available in your account.

Average GRE score differs for every subject. An engineering student will need higher marks in the Quantitative section and an arts and humanities student will need higher marks in the Verbal section. Before starting with a preparation strategy, you need to identify what is a good GRE score for your program. Here is a table which will give you a rough idea about good scores which are subject averages

 Subject  Quantitative Score  Verbal Score
Business 152 149.5
Education 147.3 150.8
Engineering 158.9 148.7
Humanities and Arts 149.2 156.5
Natural Sciences 153.1 150.8
Social Sciences 150.1 152.9
Other Fields 148.9 149.7
Total 145.8 150.8

The total number of Indian students registered to take the GRE exam for the year 2014 was 84,841. Similarly, Indian students scored the following average scores across all sections: 

Verbal: 143.9
Quant: 153.5
AWA: 2.9

Important dates

GRE dates

The most important question that anyone preparing for TOEFL faces is when to start preparing for GRE? There are no fixed official GRE dates, you can choose any date according to your convenience and availability. The exam date that you choose should be at least two months before your first application deadline. This will give you plenty of time to work on your applications, and in case you need to retake the GRE exam you can do so after the calendar month of the first attempt is over.

So if the deadline for your application is November, you should choose a test date for September. If you feel the need to retake GRE exam, you can take it in October again.

You can take or re-take the GRE exam after the calendar month is over after your first attempt. You can appear for the exam a maximum of five times in 12 months.

Refer to this table for help on deciding when to register for GRE:

 Admission deadline  First attempt  Second attempt (if required)  When to register for GRE (ideally)*
October August September May-June
November September October June-July
December October November July-August
January November December August-September

*Ideally you are recommended to register yourself two to three months before the exam date. If you register online or by phone, you can get yourself registered as late as 24 hours before the exam date. But it is safer to stick to early registration as you will then have a set schedule to prepare for the exam accordingly. Even the coaching institutes recommend you register at the earliest available date so that you have a wide window of time to prepare. 

GRE Syllabus

GRE exam has two test formats – GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. The GRE syllabus is different for each. General Test is the standard exam that tests students’ verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills. For more specific courses a Subject Test might be required by the college, as Subject Test focuses on judging the candidate’s expertise in specific fields.

Here is the GRE exam syllabus covering writing syllabus, verbal reasoning syllabus and maths syllabus –

Analytical Writing – The analytical writing section aims to measure the test taker’s ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, examine claims and accompanying evidence, sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion and control the elements of standard written English

Verbal Reasoning – The verbal reasoning section aims to measure the test taker’s ability to analyse and draw conclusions from discourse, reason from incomplete data, identify author’s assumptions and/or perspective, select important points, distinguish major from minor or relevant points, summarise text, understand the structure of a text, understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts and understand relationships among words and concepts.

Quantitative Reasoning – The quantitative reasoning section aims to measure the test taker’s ability to understand quantitative information, interpret and analyse quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical models, and apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics.

GRE Subject Test has separate exam for these following subjects.

  • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology