Category GRE

Description for GRE

General Information

  • It’s about three-hours long and you can take it at any one of many test centers in the United States at any time, or even around the world up to five or six times a year– but you can only take it once a month, and up to five times per twelve-month period.
  • If you take it multiple times, all your scores will be evaluated by the admissions officers for your chosen programs.
  • Some programs will put greater weight on the higher score and be more impressed by a significant increase in score than two similar scores.
  • Other programs will choose to judge applicants by the highest scores in each section.
  • Averaging scores is uncommon.

Scoring and Registration 

  • The test is computer-adaptive, and leaving questions blank is very detrimental to your score.
  • You will score anywhere between 400 and 1600.
  • The national mean GRE score is about 462 in Verbal, 584 in Quantitative and 4 for the writing assessment.
  •  GRE registration occurs on a first-come, first-served basis at
  • Do expect to register at least a week in advance of your test date.
  • The GRE registration fee in the US is $160 as of January 1, 2010, and ETS will reduce this fee in special circumstances.
  • The fee is higher in China, Hong Kong, India and other non-US test locations.
  •  It has typically gone up $10 in price every year.

Bg Changes to the GRE

  • On August 1, 2011 drastic changes in scoring, design, and test content were implemented.
  • Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning will shift from a 200-800 score scale measured in 10-point increments, to a 130-170 score scale in 1-point increments.
  •  Why? Scores will be more accurate to the abilities of the test taker and no longer overstate small differences between examinees.
Technology Changes:
  • Recent technology changes which have an affect on the design of the test.
  •  New response formats such as increased data entry
  • A tag for review option which allows you to skip a difficult question and return to it later without affecting your score,
  • A preview and review capacity that enables you to scan ahead in the section you are working on, edit features so that you may change an answer after submitting it while working on the same section, and an on-screen calculator for the math portion of the test.

Content Changes

  • Here is some information into how the content of the three major sections of the GRE has changed.
  • The Verbal section will eliminate all questions on antonyms and analogies
  • The Quantitative section will place greater emphasis on computation and analysis of data that is likely to relate to real-life scenarios
  • The Analytical Writing will still have two parts, including a question for logical analysis and personal opinion, the questions themselves will be more focused, ultimately allowing the raters to know the answer wasn’t memorized, but was actually written in response to the question.


  • You must reschedule or cancel your test no later than three full days before your appointment (not including the day of your test or the day of your request) or your test fee will be forfeited.
  • If you cancel your test no later than three full days prior to your test date, you will receive a refund equivalent to half of the original test fee.  Otherwise, you will receive no refund.
  • If you wish to change your test center, contact the GRE® Program by the registration deadline.
  • The fee for changing your test center is $50.
  • Center changes cannot be guaranteed but will be made as space permits.
  • You cannot reschedule between sites served by different Regional Registration Centers.

Score Reports

  • Requested score reports are sent to schools within 10-15 days after the exam
  • All non-cancelled GRE testing administrations will be listed (and usable) in your ETS record for 5 years
  •  You cannot cancel reporting a score to ETS after viewing it. At the end of your GRE administration, you will report your scores to ETS, and you can choose to submit your scores directly to up to four institutions without additional cost
  • For any additional score reports, the cost is $23 per report.
  • You cannot send your multiple choice scores without the writing scores. You scores are valid for five years.

Posted on October 14, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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Posted on January 17, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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Looking to take the GRE in 2011?

Be mindful that the format and point system will be changing by this time next year.

According to The New York Times, the test will be revamped and even extended in length, with a new grading scale of 130 to 170.  The Educational Testing Service (“ETS”), which administers the GRE, claims the changes are the “largest revisions” in the GRE history.

So, what’s going to change?

While the exam will continue to include verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing – all three sections are being revamped.  In terms of the changes within each section, here is a breakdown of what to expect:

  • VERBAL: The verbal section will eliminate all questions on antonyms and analogies.
  • QUANTITATIVE: While there are several minor changes, there is an advantage to the quantitative section: an online calculator!
  • ANALYTICAL WRITING: While this section will still have two parts, including a question for logical analysis and personal opinion. The questions themselves will be more focused, ultimately allowing the raters to know the answer itself wasn’t memorized, but was actually written in response to the question.

The GRE is unique in that it’s “computer adaptive.”  What does that mean?  Well, when you answer one question correctly the test will then take you to a more difficult question.  Should you answer a question incorrectly, the test will take you to an easier question.  The new GRE. in 2011 will be three and a half hours in length.

Why the changes? It seems the G.R.E. is trying to keep up a presence with the GMAT, an increasingly popular test for graduate admission and business schools, in particular.  While there were announcements as early as 2005 to update the test and lengthen it to four hours, those plans were soon cancelled due to delays in setting up Internet-based test centers.  The plans were then cancelled altogether in 2007.

At this present time, the Internet version of the GRE lasts three hours, whereas the paper-based version lasts three hours and forty-five minutes.  According to the New York Times, over 600,000 students take the GRE annually.

Is the GMAT on a slow decline due to some heated competition from the GRE? There have been rumors floating around for several years now that the GMAT is declining in importance, not only because of a GRE alternative but also because it doesn’t focus on finance, accounting or business strategy. Could this be true? Let’s look at the facts.

Over 1,800 graduate business schools accept the GMAT and as a whole, it’s been the standard admissions tests for business schools for the past fifty years. The GRE, on the other hand, is taken by more than 600,000 students annually and it’s good for a five-year period. Let’s not forget cost: the GMAT costs $250.00 and the GRE significantly lower at a mere $150.00 (for the US only & effectively as of July 1, 2009).

Now, when compared back to back, the GMAT is the harder exam in terms of both the reading and math sections. For native English speakers, the GRE’s reading is slightly easier, although it could be cause for alarm for non-native English speakers due to the complexity of the vocabulary. As a whole, the GMAT is used for business schools and some economic schools while the GRE is used for more general graduate degree programs.

So with all this information laid out, one can’t help but wonder – where did the controversy come from?

ETS actually lost the rights to the GMAT in 2006, so since then they’ve encouraged schools to take the GRE instead. About 115 schools have complied, including Stanford, Johns Hopkins and MIT. The GRE seems to have added bonuses that the GMAT doesn’t. In fact, there is a new section on the GRE called the Personal Potential Index, where a mentor can fill out sections in regards to creativity, integrity and communication. Is the general consensus among graduate school professionals that the GRE is stamping out the GMAT?

Evidently not, according to David A. Wilson, head of the Graduate Management Admissions Council, who was quoted in a recent New York Times article on the topic. “Schools turn to the GMAT because it is a valid, trusted and robust assessment. One way to think about it is that you don’t want your dentist to buy drill bits at Home Depot.”

Where does that leave us on the subject? Our general advice is the following: know what schools you want to apply to before you go about preparing for standardized tests. Know which tests your universities prefer. Keep in mind, the MBA is still accepted by all major business and economic schools around the world. If you know you want an MBA, brush up on the GMAT. However, if you are leaning more towards a general graduate degree, the GRE is probably your best bet.

To read more on the detailed comparison between two tests, please subscribe to our free Manhattan Review email newsletter and read our GMAT vs GRE Part I and GMAT vs GRE Part II newsletters.

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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