Complete GRE Guide

  What is GRE GRE or Graduate Record Examination is a commercially-run standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools, in the United States, and in other English-speaking countries. GRE has been revised and is also known as GRE revised General Test. When you would be taking a test now, it will be GRE revised […]


What is GRE

GRE or Graduate Record Examination is a commercially-run standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools, in the United States, and in other English-speaking countries.

GRE has been revised and is also known as GRE revised General Test. When you would be taking a test now, it will be GRE revised General Test. The revised GRE is effective from 1 August 2011. One of the major changes in the revised GRE is the multistate design. It lest you skip question, come back and answer them later and even change your answers. That is the biggest advantage you can have over GRE tests.

The GRE score is valid for 5 years. However, it is recommended not to keep score older for more than 2 years. Old GRE ended in 2011 but your score is valid till 2016 .

Scores older than 2 years is considered with less importance by Universities. Hence, it is  best  to plan to take the test one  year before you plan to go for your Masters. It gives you sufficient time for application processes at various universities as well.Universities and colleges will be accepting the old GRE score without discrimination.

They use a standard to convert your old score to new.

GRE scores are used in admission by universities and colleges along with your undergraduate records or bachelor’s degree, recommendation letters and other qualifications.

GRE revised general test has two types of exam.

Computer based GRE test

The total test duration for computer based GRE is 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section

Detail of the Computer based GRE can be found at Structure of Computer Based GRE.

Paper based GRE test Paper_Based_GRE_Test

Paper based GRE is available only to very few countries. Most of the countries it is Computer based test. In this site , whenever we mention GRE, GRE test structure, it will be computer based GRE. Details of the Paper based GRE test can be found here:

The structure of both the tests is different. Depending on which country you are from, you will be either offered computer based exam or paper based exam.  Type of exam offered by your country can be found from IELTS site

When do you need a GRE?

When applying for admissions to universities, you will need a GRE or GMAT, depending upon what the college or university accepts.  For international students applying to US universities, you will need a TOEFL or IELTS along with GRE or GMAT score to apply for admissions.

Even if you have completed your bachelors in USA, are a US citizen or resident, you will need a GRE to get admissions for Masters or Graduation for most the colleges.

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Do all questions carry the same weightage in the revised GRE?

In a word – yes. Every question on the revised GRE – no matter what the type – carries the same weightage.



Fees for GRE exam

Fees for the GRE Revised General Test is $185 (worldwide) with effect from July,2013.

Rescheduling fees or to change your test center is additional $50.


Using a calculator in a GRE exam

When taking the paper based GRE exam, you will be provided with an ETS calculator to use during the Quantitative Reasoning section. You will not use your own calculator.

For online GRE exam, an on screen calculator is provided for the Quantitative Reasoning section


Students who want to pursue Masters education take the GRE. It is a preconceived notion that if you are going for Masters , you would take GRE and if you want to do MBA, you would take GMAT.

But GRE is not just for Masters course any more. There are hundreds of colleges which accept GRE scores for MBA admissions. One of the reasons for GRE scoring to move to a new system was that colleges should be able to easily plug into their system the GRE score and zero in on the candidate. Here is the list of the colleges that accept the GRE scores into their MBA programs.

Colleges which accept GRE for their MBA Programs

Even Harvard Business School accepts GRE scores for the admission to its MBA programs

Do you require TOEFL along with GRE

Depending on what course you are applying to, you would need a SAT, GMAT or GRE. TOEFL is required for all international students.

Undergraduate / BachelorsSATThis is a 4 year course you will do after finishing your high school
Graduate/mastersGREIf you want to do Masters or PhD, GRE will be required
MBAGRE/GMATGMAT is required for doing MBA although some MBA colleges accept GRE scores

For an international student, TOEFL is always a mandatory requirement. The terminologies on courses different in US as to what the international student might be used to. Please refer to this graduate courses in USA


TOEFL and IELTS are both English language proficiency tests for students coming in from non-English-speaking countries. US universities prefer TOEFL because it does a much better job of assessing a student’s proficiency in the English language. You could do your IELTS as well if you prefer. But admissions officers in US universities overwhelmingly prefer TOEFL scores.

Free Practice Test for GRE prep

If English is not your first language, prepping for your GRE can be daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be if you take it step by step and take full advantage of all the resources available to you – both paid and free, in the real world and the virtual. Look for classes close to you. If that’s not an option, then consider online GRE prep courses, as well as free practice test for GRE and books for GRE prep.

Free Practice Test for GRE

Online Resources for GRE prep

There is no dearth of resources when it comes to GRE prep. You’ll find several forums for GRE, iPhone apps for GRE prep,  Android apps for GRE prep, and even Facebook pages for GRE. Almost all these resources are free and offer extensive practice opportunities, which is crucial to hone your language skills.


Graduate Schools Based on GRE Scores

Your GRE score is just one of the many factors that will decide which universities you can get into. As we have already seen, some universities will require a certain minimum GRE score while it will not hold so much weight with others. If you already know the universities you want to get into, it is highly recommended that you check GRE score requirements directly with the university rather than refer to a third-party resource as the number may change over time. However, if you think you might just take your GRE test and then think about graduate schools, then look into choosing a university or college based on your GRE score.

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