GRE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When and where is the GRE held?

The GRE is held year-round at test centers around the world. The ETS website has a full list of testing centers. The test is computer-based, and paper-based where computer testing is unavailable. Paper-based testing is held three times per year.

How much does the GRE cost?

The GRE costs $205. You can register for the exam on the ETS website.

Who accepts the GRE?

The GRE is accepted by thousands of graduate schools and business schools. You should research specific graduate programs to learn what tests they require.

What is the structure of the test?

The GRE is split into 6 sections: first an Analytical Writing section consisting of a 30-minute Argument Task and a 30-minute Issue task; then 2 sections each of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, with a final "experimental" section that is either Verbal or Quantitative reasoning. After the Analytical Writing section, the remaining sections occur in random order. Some tests also have an optional "research" section after the conclusion of the exam.

How long is the GRE?

The GRE lasts for approximately 3 hours 45 minutes.

How long should I study for the GRE?

Ultimately, this is a question best answered by you, as it depends on your target score and your level of English and mathematics testing proficiency. We recommend that you take a practice test to evaluate your position, and then form a preparation strategy to reach your target score. Depending on your needs, Manhattan Review offers a variety of test-preparation resources and study programmes that may be useful as you plan your study schedule.

How much does my GRE score matter?

Depending on the student and graduate program, the GRE score can vary from a mere formality to a critical component of the application. Generally, graduate schools consider the GRE below undergraduate GPA, and about equally with letters of recommendation.

How is the GRE scored?

The GRE is scored on a scale of 130-170, in 1-point increments, for both the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6 in 0.5-point increments.

What changed in 2011?

Two major changes to the GRE were effected in 2011: the scoring system was revised from a scale of 200-800 in 10-point increments to 130-170 in 1-point increments, and the computer testing algorithm was changed from a question-adaptive to section-adaptive. Before 2011, students who answered a series of questions correctly would be faced with progressively more difficult questions. After 2011, the first Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are of average difficulty, and the difficulty of the second sections is determined by performance on the first sections. Students who perform well will "level up" to a more difficult second section. The difficulty level of the test is taken into account when the score is tabulated, a process known as "equating".

How does the computer algorithm work?

The computer-based GRE has an adaptive algorithm that adjusts the difficulty level of the test based on the student's performance. The first Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are of average difficulty, with a mixture of easy and difficult questions. The difficulty of the second sections is determined by performance on the first sections. Students who perform well will "level up" to a more difficult second section. The difficulty level of the test is taken into account when the score is tabulated, a process known as "equating".

How does the paper-based test work?

The paper-based test is given three times per year in locations where computer-based testing is unavailable. All answers, including both Analytical Writing tasks, are written in the test booklet. A handheld calculater is provided for the Quantitative Reasoning sections.

What are the subject tests?

The General GRE evaluates Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The subject tests evaluate proficiency in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Literature in English; Mathematics; Physics; and Psychology.

Who administers the GRE?

The Electronic Testing Service (ETS) designs, administers, validates, and continuously updates the GRE.

Can I Retake the GRE?

Yes, once every 21 days up to five times per year for the computer-based test. You may retake the paper-based test whenever it is offered (3 times per year where computer-based testing is unavailable).

How do I submit my scores?

At the conclusion of your test, you will have the option to submit your most recent score or all of your scores from the past five years. After the test you will have the option to send specific sets of test scores. You may control which scores are sent out, but you may only send complete sets of scores (ie, you cannot combine section scores from different exams, you must send scores for an entire exam, but you may choose which exams to send).