Securing admission to the top graduate programs around the world can be a game changer for your career. It can open up the gates to better jobs, better pay scales, and a better career trajectory. But the competitive landscape, with thousands of students competing for a few seats, requires students to strengthen their profiles with the right steps. And taking the GRE test or Graduate Record Exam is the most important step of all – it is a great opportunity for you to build academic credibility and showcase the skills, abilities, and knowledge required to succeed in a rigorous graduate program in the US, the UK, and many other countries.
What is the GRE?
The GRE exam is a multiple-choice, computer-based, standardised test that is used by thousands of graduate and business programs around the world to assess the potential of the applicants. It is a crucial step to building a holistic college application that selectors and professors will love alike.
General details about the GRE test
- Score validity – The GRE score is valid for five years from the day of the exam.
- Discounts and fee waivers – There are no GRE fee waivers available for international students.
- Student ID requirements – Candidates need to keep their passport with them for ID verification. But according to recent updates, Indian students can also use their Aadhar cards as proof of ID if they don’t have passports.
- Frequency of exam – The exam is conducted several times a year. Students can choose to give the test upto 5 times in a rolling 12 months cycle as long as consecutive tests are at least 21 days apart.
What are the two types of GRE tests?
One of the many questions students have about the GRE is regarding the two different GRE tests – the General test and the subject tests.
GRE General Test
The GRE General Test is a standardised test that assesses the general scholastic abilities of students, making it a prime indicator of future academic success. Divided into three parts, it comprehensively measures skills in analytical writing, quantitative ability, and verbal reasoning and requires significant preparation to ace. It is 3 hours and 45 minutes long.
Students can opt between the computer-based general test and the GRE at Home test.
- GRE Computer-based test – Students can sign up to give their test at a registered centre.
- GRE at Home test – This version was launched during the pandemic to facilitate test-taking while keeping the students safe. Students choosing this format need to check if their computers and workspaces meet the stringent requirements of ETS, the test-conducting body.
GRE Subject Tests
The GRE Subject tests, designed to evaluate the subject-specific skillset of the candidates, are available in four subjects – Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology. These tests add immense value to applications and help students display superior prowess in their core subjects.
Many universities offering specialities require students to take this test compulsorily, while many others accept scores but don’t have a strict requirement.
It is a paper-delivered test that is held thrice a year in September, October, and April. Candidates have 2 hours and 50 minutes to attempt all the questions. The pattern, syllabus, and strategy varies for each subject.
What is the GRE eligibility criteria?
ETS has long focused on improving equitability and student-access to the GRE test. This philosophy has translated into an approach that allows everyone to sign up for the test, regardless of their academic qualifications or age. But since GRE is meant for graduate courses, applicants are expected to have a valid undergraduate degree from a registered institution.
There are very few cases that might render the candidate ineligible. Those include not meeting the workspace or system requirements for the test during the GRE at Home test, having exhausted all 5 annually allowed attempts, or not carrying valid ID to the centre.
What are the GRE registration fees in India?
The registration fee for the GRE General Test is $228 or nearly Rs. 19,000 while the GRE subject test costs $150 or nearly Rs. 12,500 for all subjects.
Students who are unable to give the test on their registered date, can either cancel or reschedule their test. ETS refunds 50% of the registration amount if they cancel four days before the actual date and it costs $50 to reschedule to another suitable date.
You can visit ETS.org/gre and fill out all the relevant details to sign up for the test.
What is the GRE test structure?
The GRE General Test exam pattern consists of three sections:
- Analytical Writing – This section has just one section with two tasks to be done within 60 minutes.
- Verbal Reasoning – It has two sections for a total of 40 questions that you need to answer in 60 minutes.
- Quantitative Reasoning – You need to answer 40 questions split across two sections in 70 minutes.
Students are scored out of a total of 340 – 170 each for the verbal and quant sections – along with a single digit score between 0 and 6 for the analytical writing section.
While most universities do not specify a minimum GRE score requirement, a competitive score ranges between 315 and 340.
All the major graduate schools accept GRE scores. Business colleges have also begun to view GRE scores at par with GMAT scores. And new developments suggest that even some law schools in the US are considering GRE scores as an ideal replacement for the LSATs. Scoring well on the GRE can enable you to be a part of great schools, learn from academic dignitaries, access world-class research facilities, and give your career the direction it needs. At IMS, we have built up a rigorous programme with specialised resources to help you ace this test. Talk to our consultants today to see how IMS’s intensive 51+ hours programme will get you past the 320+ score barrier and into your dream college.