Purpose: GRE results are used to determine a candidate’s knowledge across different study areas. Some schools require a general test which gauges an applicant’s ability to compose an analytical essay and follow through a test based on verbal and quantitative reasoning. Furthermore some departments require subject specific GRE scores which assess a student’s knowledge pertaining to a particular field.
Duration: Around three hours and 45 minutes (six sections with a 10-minute break after the third).
Test content: The general test comprises of 3 portions:
1. Analytical Writing: In an hour the students are asked to write two separately timed essays, one where the student relates his perspective on any given issue while the other asks him to critically analyse argument. The essay should be a clear depiction of the student’s ability to eloquently express his ideas, present suitable evidence to back up his opinions and usage of the English language correctly.
2. Verbal Reasoning: This portion comprises of two sets of 20 questions with 30 minutes being allotted to complete each set. It is based on MCQ’s devised to assess a candidate’s ability to interpret and appraise written material and synthesize information, assess the connection between component parts of sentences and perceive the relationship between words and concepts.
3. Quantitative Reasoning: This portion consists of two sets of questions, each set is to be completed within 35 minutes and includes 20 questions. It is to discern the candidate’s ability to comprehend basic concepts of Maths, algebra, geometry and data analysis. Therefore the questions are either MCQ’s or require an answer in numerical form as one needs to reason numerically in order to solve them.
Unscored sections: An unidentified section is also included which does not affect your GRE scores but is helpful for the test provider in developing new questions as well research purposes.
Scoring: Analytical writing is marked on a scale of 0-6(0.5 in increments), while the verbal and quantitative portions are scored on a scale of 130-170 with 1-point increments. Universities and departments expect their applicants to achieve a specific score, therefore if you are unhappy with your test results you may give a retest ( a maximum number of five times within a period of 12 months). You can choose up to for institutions to send your GRE scores to, for extra result cards you need to pay extra fee. Apart from this, you are also given the opportunity to decide whether you want to include your recent scores or all your scores from the previous five years while sending your score cards to departments.
Valid for: Five years
Points to note: GRE is delivered in English only. Paper based tests are available at centers where online testing is not possible and the students are allotted more time for verbal and quantitative reasoning sections as well.
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