Table of Content

    GRE Exam Guide 2024: Dates, Eligibility, Syllabus & Sample Papers

    Did you know only around 250,000 students take the GMAT test as compared to 650,000 students for the GRE exam? And that slowly and steadily top business schools around the world are substituting the GMAT for GRE? 

    One of the most competitive admission tests across the world, the Graduate Record Examination is used to screen study abroad applicants for their analytical and English language abilities. Admission departments at some top universities tell us that the GRE is as important as Letters of Recommendation, less important than GPAs, and more important than other admission requirements. 

    And, oh boy! Having a high GRE score can even help you fetch a scholarship, make up for your weak and low academic credentials, help you with TA/RAs and what-not! Want to know how? 

    Join us as we delve into the insights of the GRE exam, and how we at Yocket are determined to change your fate through our result-driven product! Keep reading till we sweep you off your feet!

    What is GRE? 

    The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a standardised exam used to assess an applicant’s mathematical and English language aptitude. Usually taken by applicants willing to pursue graduate admissions, the GRE is offered in both paper-based and computer-based formats. 

    Overview of the GRE Exam 

    The GRE is conducted every year and is governed by the ETS (Educational Testing Service). Currently the exam is accepted in over 160 countries and at more than 1,300 B-schools, and universities across the globe! 

    What is it that increased the Indian GRE test taker population from 3.1% in 2020-2021 to 68% in 2021-2023? Here are some facts about the GRE exam that you might want to know about, before joining the “GRE test-takers club”: 

    • The GRE exam tests candidates through 3 main sections- Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Stay with us till the end to know more about these sections!
    • The GRE is also offered through 2 modes- computer based and paper based modes. The former being more common! 
    • Best known to “weed out” ineligible applicants, the GRE computer-based exam functions through a section-adaptive policy. Meaning that the sections keep on getting tougher as you progress in the exam. So, if you start answering more questions initially, you’ll start receiving harder questions in the next section. Now, if you are giving the GRE exam, and start receiving harder questions, you should know you’re on the right track! 

    For instance- the first Verbal and Quantitative sections of your GRE test will be of average difficulty, and will have both easy and difficult questions. The level of your next section will be decided on the basis of your previous performance. If you perform well, your second section will have difficult questions, and you will be given the chance to earn a better and higher score. Those who are not able to score well on their first section will eventually get a penalty. Fascinating, right?

    • The ETS recommends universities and B-schools to assess each section of the GRE individually. 
    • The ETS also recommends that everyone take the GRE test (not for them to make money obviously, since it’s a non-profit organisation!)- as a diagnostic tool and to assess their professional aspirations. 

    Well, talking about diagnostic tools, we also have a FREE diagnostic tool that you might want to try to assess your strengths and weaknesses! This 30-minutes FREE test will give you a real GRE exam feel with instant answers. The test will also present you with a detailed analysis and personalised solutions! Cool? Cool.    

    GRE Exam Eligibility 

    First things first, let us talk about the GRE exam eligibility. So basically, if you wish to pursue a masters degree abroad, you are all set to register for the GRE exam. The GRE eligibility also depends on the university that you are applying to. 

    There is no specific GRE eligibility, only  a valid, unexpired government verified ID proof is required to apply for the GRE exam (preferably a passport). 

    The ETS accepts expired IDs up to 90 days past the expiration date, as per their January 1, 2023 update

    GRE Slot Booking 

    It just takes 15 minutes, yes! 

    One of the most paramount steps to start with your GRE exam is booking your GRE slot. It has been observed many times that students often have to let go of their chosen slot because of sparse availability. 

    And so, although you can have a 2-months window to book your GRE slot,  it is advisable to book it as soon as you are ready to take your exam. Also, choosing your GRE slot beforehand will help you get a GRE exam centre near your place, and according to your choice! 

    GRE Registration 

    Moving on, the next step required to take the GRE exam is to register for the same. You can register for your GRE test through 3 ways- through mail, phone and the highly chosen online portal. 

    Suggested: GRE Test Day Checklist 

    GRE Exam Pattern & Format 

    To know about the GRE paper pattern it is essential that you know that there are two types of GRE exams conducted- the GRE General Test, and the GRE Subject Test. Further, the GRE General Test is offered as a Computer-based test and a Paper-based test. The GRE Subject test, on the other hand, is only offered as a Paper-based test. 

    GRE General Test Format

    You might often hear or read that the GRE General test is formatted to assess applicants through a holistic approach. But, what exactly is that holistic approach? To put it in simple words- GRE will assess your English language skills, analytical skills as well as your mathematical aptitude.  

    The GRE General exam is offered in 3 major categories- 2 Verbal Reasoning sections, 2 Quantitative Reasoning sections, and 2 Analytical Writing Assessment sections. Apart from these sections, there are also 2 more sections- Unscored and Research

    All of these sections help admission departments know applicants in and out, lets see how: 

    GRE General Test Sections  Description 
    GRE Verbal Reasoning One of the most competitive sections, VR, deals with your understanding of complex English.
    GRE Quantitative Reasoning Checks your mathematical aptitude, how you measure & analyse critical problems 
    GRE Analytical Writing Assessment This particular section carves out your personality traits in terms of your written and verbal communication.
    Unscored & Research Sections  Both of these sections are experimental sections and are not scored. These sections are mixed in between scored sections, and are put as an experiment designed to understand the test-taker’s ability. 

    Difference between GRE Paper Based and GRE Computer Based Exam

    Yes- we know that you are really keen to know how the GRE computer based exam is different from the GRE paper based exam. Let us storm your brains with this quintessential piece of information: 

    GRE-Computer Based Exam
    Sections  Duration  No. of Sections  No. of Questions 
    Verbal Reasoning  30 minutes  2 20
    Analytical Writing  60 minutes  1 2
    Quantitative Reasoning  35 minutes  2 20
    Research  Variable  1 Variable 
    Unscored  Variable  1 Variable 
    Total  3 hours 45 minutes 7 82 

    GRE-Paper Based Exam
    Sections  Duration  No. of Sections  No. of Questions 
    Verbal Reasoning  35 minutes  2 25
    Analytical Writing  40 minutes  2 2
    Quantitative Reasoning  30 minutes  2 25
    Total  3 hours 30 minutes 6 102 

    GRE Subject Test Format 

    Now if you wish to “wow” universities by demonstrating your expertise in a particular subject area, the GRE subject test might be your guardian angel! The GRE subject test, though not very common as compared to the GRE General test; measures an applicant’s capabilities in certain fields of study. This particular test is taken along with the GRE General test, and not instead of it. Again, like the GRE General test, students willing to study graduate programs take the GRE subject test.  

    The GRE Subject Exam is offered only through the paper-based medium in four disciplines: 

    The 2 hours and 50 minutes long GRE-subject test will give you a great opportunity to showcase excellence in a specific subject. Let us help you with the details of each through a tabulated form: 

    GRE Subject Test 2024
    Discipline  No. of Questions  Top Content Picks 
    Mathematics  86 Algebra Calculus Number Theory Probability and Statistics Discrete Mathematics Real Analysis
    Chemistry  130 Physical Chemistry Organic Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry
    Physics  100 Classical and Quantum Mechanics Electromagnetism Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Special Relativity Atomic Physics
    GRE Psychology  205 Biological Cognitive Social Clinical Developmental Methodologies/Measurement

    Suggested: GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test 

    GRE Syllabus 

    Designed to help the umpteenth number of colleges, and universities choose the “creme de la creme”, the GRE syllabus is not as complicated as it might seem. It is just your high school mathematics, and some basic English Communication &  Grammar!

    GRE General Test Syllabus 

    Here’s a quick glimpse of how the GRE General test syllabus looks like: 

    GRE Verbal Reasoning Syllabus 
    Topics Covered  Types of Questions  Analyses 
    Basic sentence structureIdioms Subject-verb agreement Pronoun agreement Verb tense Modifiers  Reading Comprehension Text Completion Sentence Equivalence  The way you analyse sentence relationships, your word-play, understand text structure, author's assumptions and perspectives 
    GRE Quantitative Reasoning Syllabus 
    Topics Covered  Types of Questions  Analyses 
    Arithmetic- percentage, ratio, decimal representation Algebra- intercepts, slopes of lines, coordinate geometry, equationsGeometry- parallel and perpendicular lines, polygons, triangles, circlesData analysis- line and bar graphs, scatter plots, permutations & combinations, venn diagram Quantitative comparison questionsNumeric entry MCQs The way you analyse quantitative situations, also checks your mathematical aptitude 

    GRE Analytical Writing Assessment Syllabus 
    Topics Covered  Types of Questions  Analyses 
    Argument analysis Sustain coherent discussions General topics Grammar  Analyse an issue Analyse an argument  The way you construct and evaluate arguments, tests your critical thinking

    GRE Subject Test Syllabus

    Offered primarily in 4 subjects, here is what the GRE Subject test syllabus looks like: 

    Subject  GRE Subject Test Syllabus  No. of Questions 
    Chemistry  Analytical ChemistryInorganic Chemistry Organic Chemistry Physical Chemistry 130 MCQs 
    Physics  Classical Mechanics Electromagnetism Optics and Wave Phenomena Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Quantum Mechanics Atomic Physics Special Relativity Laboratory Methods Specialised Topics 100 Five choice questions 
    Mathematics  Algebra          CalculusAdditional Topics 66 MCQs
    Psychology  Biological Cognitive Developmental Social Clinical Measurement/Methodology 205 MCQs 

    GRE Exam Fees

    Upon finalising your GRE registration, you will be required to pay the GRE application fee. The GRE exam fee is 228 USD or the GRE fees in India is 18,854.80 INR. Apart from the GRE exam fee, there are also other GRE exam fees that you should know about: 

    GRE Services GRE Exam Fees (in USD)
    GRE Exam Fees 228
    GRE Rescheduling Fee 50
    Changing GRE Exam Centre Fee 50
    GRE Cancellation Fee (at least 4 days before the test date & 10 days for applicants in Mainland China) 50% of the Registration Fee is refunded
    Additional GRE Score Report 27 
    GRE Score Reinstatement Fee 50

    Note that the ETS also offers a GRE fee waiver for applicants with financial hardships. Known as the GRE Fee Reduction Programme, it offers applicants with 50% GRE exam fees waiver. 

    Suggested: All About GRE Scholarships

    GRE Scores 

    You might have often come across people saying that a perfect GRE score is a myth, and that GRE scores are a filtering mechanism. Well, we won’t debate on who is correct and who is not, we will simply put forward how the GRE average score varies with different sections. We will also give you the average accepted GRE scores at some top universities across the globe. 

    Starting with the GRE score averages for different sections: 

    GRE Scoring  Verbal Reasoning  Quantitative Reasoning  Analytical Writing 
    Best GRE Score  163-170 165-170 5.0-6.0
    Competitive GRE Score  158-162 159-164 4.5
    Good GRE Score  152-158 153-158 4.0

    Now, with the minimum score being 130, and the maximum score being 170 in each section; the total GRE total score is entirely dependent on the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. And therefore, the GRE exam score ranges from 260 to 340. 

    Want to get a taste of how the actual GRE exam looks? Want to know how you would score if you took the GRE today? Try taking this 30-minutes FREE diagnostic test to find out! 

    Moving on, the table below will help you get a wise understanding of GRE score ranges for a few top universities in the world. 

    Suggested: How to Score 330 in Your GRE? 

    How to Send GRE Scores to Universities?

    Upon receiving your GRE scorecard, you will have to send your scores to universities, duh. Now, how do you send your scores to your dream universities? Let us tell you. 

    • If you’ve given the computer-based test, you’ll get your unofficial GRE verbal and quantitative scores just after taking the test. The overall GRE score, including your analytical writing score, will appear 10 to 15 days later on your ETS Account.
    • On the other hand, if you’ve given the paper-based GRE test, your official score report will appear on your ETS account 5 weeks after taking the test. 

    Upon receiving your scores, you can straightaway send them to 5 of your dream universities free of cost through your ETS account itself. In case you wish to send your scores to more universities, you’ll have to pay 30 USD or 2,500 INR per additional GRE score report. 

    GRE Sample Paper & Practice Test

    The best part has arrived, and it is for you to know about how questions are asked on the GRE exam. 

    ALERT-It’s your time to solve some puzzles! 

    Answer this little quiz for us, and we shall give you an answer key at the end of this page!

    1. Upon visiting the Middle East in 1850, Gustave Flaubert was so_______belly dancing that he wrote, in a letter to his mother, that the dancers alone made his trip worthwhile.

    1. Overwhelmed by 
    2. Enamoured by 
    3. Taken aback by 
    4. Beseeched by 
    5. Flustered by

    Answer: B. enamoured by

    2. Possessed of an insatiable sweet tooth, Jim enjoyed all kinds of candy, but he had a special_______for gumdrops, his absolute favourite.

    1. Affinity 
    2. Container 
    3. Odium 
    4. Nature 
    5. Disregard 
    6. Predilection 

    Answer: B. and F. Container and Predilection 

    3. There is a glass jar containing 60 jelly beans. Out of these 60 jelly beans, 22 are black, 18 are blue, 11 are orange, 5 are maroon and 4 are violet. Assume that a single jelly bean has to be chosen at random. Then what is the probability that the jelly bean will be neither maroon nor violet?

    Select all that apply. 

    1. 0.09
    2. 0.15
    3. 0.54
    4. 0.85
    5. 0.91 

    Answer: D. 0.85 

    4. At a recent dog show, there were 5 finalists. One of the finalists was awarded "Best in Show" and another finalist was awarded "Honourable Mention." In how many different ways could the two awards be given out?

    Answer: 20

    5. Scandals are useful because they focus our attention on problems in ways that no speaker or reformer ever could.

    Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.

    Suggested: Best GRE Sample Papers & Questions

    Prepare for GRE with Yocket Prep

    Preparing for the GRE with Yocket is as simple as turning “tumse na ho payega” into “tumse hi ho payega”!

    Kudos to you if you have reached this section, for we cannot wait to “wow” with our GRE prep solutions! 

    As harsh as it may sound, the GRE uses the filtering mechanism to determine applicants having the most calibre for particular universities. And creating your very own GRE guide might be time consuming, and unstable because of fluctuating score targets. Or for that matter, you might stumble upon your GRE preparation because of not being able to choose your dream university!

    If that’s the case with you, here’s your path to your graduate school abroad: 

    Yocket Prep Yocket Prep+
    Free 30-minutes Diagnostic Test to assess section-wise strengths and weaknesses  Free 30-minutes Diagnostic Test to assess section-wise strengths and weaknesses + Priority Diagnostic Test
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    Instant score reports with performance analysis and solutions Instant score reports with performance analysis and solutions
    Access to only the diagnostic test 4-mixed topic and 3-full length GRE mock tests with timed/untimed modules & 40+ topic-wise personalised practice tests
    No access to planners  Custom priority-based planner 

    Whatever problems you are facing right now in terms of scheduling, planning, creating a target score, finalising universities, looking for practice tests, mock tests, getting to know about your strong and weak sections, finding solutions for your weaknesses, Yocket Study Abroad Experts have really got your back

    GRE Preparation Tips 

    Through this section we are determined to give you some GRE preparation tips that will turn you into a GRE aficionado! Here you go: 

    • Choose a target score, and revolve your GRE preparation strategy around it. 
    • After understanding the GRE syllabus, format and pattern thoroughly; start taking free practice tests. You already have the FREE diagnostic test from Yocket Prep to start with! 
    • Work on your strengths and weaknesses, and again develop a strategy to close the distance between your real and target score. 
    • Always look for free and paid books and resources, whatever sails your boat! 

    GRE Preparation Resources and Books

    Here are some books that we would suggest you to begin your GRE preparations: 

    1. The Official Guide To The GRE General Test, Third Edition
    2. Official GRE-Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions Volume 1, Second Edition
    3. Kaplan's GRE Prep Plus 2023
    4. Manhattan Prep- 5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems
    5. The Princeton Review's GRE Premium Prep, 2023
    6. GRE Prep by Magoosh
    7. Test Prep Books- GRE, 12TH Edition
    8. Barron's GRE Essential Words, 5th Edition

    Suggested: Top GRE Books & Resources

    Daunting or not, you have to choose your GRE exam date, choose your dream university, and set your target score. Your preparation should be equivalent to perfection, and for that you require a full-fledged preparation strategy suited to you and only YOU! And with Yocket Prep, you can have the best of all worlds! 

    Frequently Asked Questions about GRE Exam

    1. Who conducts the GRE exam? 

    Ans. The GRE exam is conducted by ETS or Educational Testing Service. 

    2. What is the purpose of GRE exam? 

    Ans. The purpose of GRE exam is to help universities shortlist potential students on the basis of their mathematical and English language aptitude. 

    3. What is GRE exam full form? 

    Ans. The full form of the GRE exam is Graduate Record Examination. 

    4. What is the GRE exam fee? 

    Ans. The GRE exam fee is 228 USD or 18,854.80 INR. 

    5. What are some good GRE books? 

    Ans. Some top GRE books are listed below: 

    1. The Princeton Review's GRE Premium Prep, 2023
    2. GRE Prep by Magoosh
    3. Test Prep Books- GRE, 12TH Edition
    4. Barron's GRE Essential Words, 5th Edition

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