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Everything You Should Know About GRE Test

“Taking the GRE test for business school is a smart choice,” this is how ETS describes its test. This test measures reasoning, thinking, and analytical writing skills developed over a long time.

Many graduate (business and doctoral) programs and business schools in the United States and other countries ask you to submit your GRE test score in the application process.

The GRE test is typically considered more difficult compared to other similar exams. But you can find some tips and also great resources to conquer GRE in this article. So let’s get to it:


School of Business

What Exactly is the GRE Test?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test called ETS (Educational Testing Service). ETS is the world’s most extensive private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization based in the United States.

There are two types of GRE test, General and Subject. The main exam is the general test, and the subject test is a side one. In the article, wherever we refer to the GRE test or exam, we mean the GRE general test.

The GRE test consists of six sections and takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete. In these six sections, you will encounter verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing questions.

Most reputable business schools accept the GRE and the GMAT for admission, but some business schools still do not take the GRE, although their number is tending to zero.

The GRE test is not a language test but a logic test and has nothing to do with the IELTS and TOEFL tests. So why is this test important?

Because it is the only tool that allows people on the Admissions Committee to join you with all the other applicants from around the world, such as India, China, Korea, Greece, etc., and apply for admission.

What is the Difference Between the GRE test and IELTS, TOEFL, and GMAT tests?

Like the IELTS and the TOEFL, some people think that the GRE test is a language test. This is a misconception, and if it were, the same tests would have been enough, and the GRE test would have been considered extra.

The GRE test is a logic test that tests your analytical skills. What is the significance of this work?

First of all, a person who intends to enter a master’s and a doctoral degree is expected to acquire a series of logical abilities and to be able to formulate various arguments, remove its objections, and write a critical text on any scientific subject. The GRE test assesses these abilities before entering the Graduate School and Business Schools.

But what does the GRE measure? Your ability to meet the GRE test. It sounds weird, but it does mean you have to pass the GRE well. It would help if you learned the right strategies to deal with each question and answer each one well.

But if you want to apply for Business Schools, you are faced with the question of which one is better for this job? GRE or GMAT?

Both tests have verbal and quantum sections, with the difference that the GMAT verbal section focuses on grammar, and the GRE focuses on vocabulary.

It used to be said that the GMAT quantum part was more complicated than the GRE, but in recent years the GRE has made it more difficult to raise its standard and gain GMAT market share, and there is virtually no difference between the two tests in this part.

What are the Different Types of GRE Exam?

As we said, the GRE test itself is divided into two types, Subject and General.

GRE General Test

The primary test, which we know as the GRE test, is the GRE General Test. They hold this test every week in different centers worldwide. The participants are free to choose the right time and place and can take enough time to prepare before the test.

GRE Subject Test

The GRE Subject consists of specialized courses in specific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, English literature, mathematics, physics, and psychology. This test helps the candidates in these fields to differentiate themselves more than before.

If you are studying in these fields, you should check the desired faculty website to be informed about the necessity of taking this exam. Top universities such as Yale, Stanford, and NYU require this test from the candidate.

What is the Structure of the GRE Exam?

The GRE test will test you on three topics: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA).

This test is very time-consuming. You will be involved in more than 4 hours with the whole exam process from authentication to polls and choosing universities to report the score.

Let’s take a closer look:

Analytical Writing Assessment

In the Writing or Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GRE test, they want you to write two essays. In the first one, you express your opinion on a controversial issue and give reasons and examples to defend your opinion.

In the second writing, which is called an argument, you object to a text written by someone else and criticize it.

Verbal Reasoning

The verbal part of the GRE test is what students know as the language test, and it assesses a person’s oral analysis skills.

The verbal reasoning section consists of two parts: ignorance questions and text. The direct vocabulary questions section includes two types of questions called text completion and sentence equivalence.

The text or reading section has two sub-sections: reading comprehension and paragraph argument or logical questions.

Therefore, you have two sets of 20 questions or sections, each of which has 30 minutes to answer.

Quantitative Reasoning

The quantum section of the GRE test assesses a person’s ability to analyze quantitatively or mathematically. Quantitative reasoning questions are at the high school math level and include algebra, geometry, statistics and probability, and more.

Difficult topics such as trigonometry and differential are not present in this test, and you do not need to memorize sines and cosines or know derivatives and integrals.

The GRE test quantum consists of three categories of questions: quantitative reasoning (QC), problem-solving, and numeric entry. QC questions ask you to compare two quantities and say which is more extensive, equal, or indistinguishable.

The other two parts also involve solving problems, and in the end, they differ only in whether you choose the answer from the options or enter it numerically.

There is another type of question in the problems section, which is called multiple answers, and you have to choose all the correct statements from the written ones, and any combination may be right. You have two sets of 20 questions or sections, each with 35 minutes to answer.

The whole GRE test takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is very long! The different sections each have their own time, and you can not transfer one section’s time to another.

How do They Score GRE Test?

Scoring for each of the parts of verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning separately is 130 to 170 with a distance of one point. This means that if you answer all the questions incorrectly, your score will be 130.

The scoring of the writing section is different and is from 0 to 6 in half-score intervals. This means that you may get a score of 3.5, 4, or 4.5.

How to calculate the GRE score is not precisely known and is based on algorithms that are not accessible. Note that the GRE test is computer-adaptive; The answer you give to the first section of each part (verbal and quantum) determines the second section’s difficulty.

Of course, this is relative difficulty and ease, and it means the average difficulty of the questions; that is, there are easy questions under challenging sections, but there are fewer of them.

Green letters forming the word resourceWhat are the Resources for the GRE Exam?

These books are some of the best resources for GRE test different parts, and students can use these or use other available resources according to their tastes:

  • Kaplan GRE Prep Plus 2020,
  • Official GRE Super Power Pack,
  • GRE Prep by Magoosh,
  • Cracking the GRE Premium Edition,
  • McGraw-Hill Education Conquering GRE Math,
  • Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides,
  • 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems.

These are just some resources. You can search on the Internet to get a complete list of GRE test books published by reputable publishing companies.


The GRE test is not a language test but a logic test. There are two types of GRE test, General and Subject. The main exam is the general test, and the subject test is a side one.

The GRE test will test you on three topics: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), which we covered in this article. We also explained the exam’s scoring and introduced some guaranteed resources to get ready for the GRE.

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