The computer based GRE General Test comprises six sections that count to your GRE score and may also include one unscored section. The GRE exam pattern changed in August 2011 and the exam pattern of the revised GRE General Test is given below.
|Details||No. of Questions||Duration||Score|
|Analytical Writing||2 Essays||30 minutes per essay||0 to 6 in 0.5 point increments|
|Verbal Reasoning||Two sections. 20 questions each||30 minutes per section||130 to 170 points in 1 point increments|
|Quantitative Reasoning||Two sections. 20 questions each||35 minutes per section||130 to 170 points in 1 point increments|
|Unscored or Research||Varies||Varies||Does not count|
The GRE Analytical Writing section comprises two essays.
The duration for each task is 30 minutes.
The score in the GRE Analytical Writing Section is on a scale of 0 to 6 points in half point increments.
A score of 5 or more in the GRE General Test Writing section is a good score. The evaluation criteria takes into account both your critical thinking ability and writing skills. The number of words in the essay does not really matter. So, do not fret too much about writing a long essay.
An average test taker should invest a total of about 20 to 25 hours to get a score of 5 or more in this Analytical Writing. Ideally you should understand what is expected in each task and prepare notes for 10 issue topics and 10 argument topics. You should write an essay each for at least 5 issues topics and 5 argument topics.
Note: The points in the GRE Analytical Writing section does not count to your final score.
The GRE General Test comprises two verbal reasoning sections.
Number of questions: 20 questions per section
Duration: 30 minutes per section.
The GRE verbal section comprises the following types of questions
About half the number of questions in the verbal section of GRE test are reading comprehension questions. Passages are followed by three types of questions.
With reading comprehension account for about half the verbal reasoning section, it is imperative that your test prep should include and focus extensively on improving your reading ability. Your ability to understand what is given in the passage and analyse different answer options that may be close to arrive at the correct answer is a key skill that a graduate level student is expected to have. And this entrance exam tests it extensively.
Another important point to note is that the passages come from a wide gamut of subject areas - you could get a passage as much from geology as from molecular biology or physics or chemistry or sociology. Your test prep should include a reading habit that is wide in scope.
A sentence with a single blank and six answer options are given. You have to select two of the six options. The answer options you choose should be words will have similar meaning and will make the completed sentence meaningful.
The obvious question - How important is to study word list and improve your vocabulary to score well in Sentence Equivalence?
Your test prep necessarily will have to include learning new words using a high frequency word list to improve your vocabulary. Words tested include quite a few words that we do not use in our day to day life. Words such as ameliorate, exacerbate, and abominate appear in the GRE exam. Remember, it is not only knowing the meanings of these words, but also your ability to apply them in the given context that will help you ace this question type.
A passage comprising one to five sentences with one to three blanks. If the passage contains only one blank, you will be provided with 5 answer options. If the passage contains more than one blank, 3 answer options will be provided for each blank. There is only one correct option for a blank.
Note: You have to get the answer to all blanks right to earn credit. No partial credits.
Your vocabulary and the ability to apply your word power in a context plays a key role in acing this question type.
The GRE Verbal Reasoning Section is a Section Level Adaptive section.
What does it mean?
It has the following salient features
An average test taker will have to study for about 125 to 150 hours that includes improving your word power and reading skills. However, this does not include time needed to take GRE mock tests.
You have attempt two quantitative reasoning sections.
Number of Questions: 20 questions per section
Duration: 35 minutes per section
The Quantitative Reasoning section comprises the following types of questions. The revised GRE has enough variety in the types of questions that it tests in the quantitative reasoning section.
It will not be an over simplification to state the GRE quantitative reasoning syllabus is the same as high school mathematics syllabus.
Note, students from diverse backgrounds at the undergraduate level take the GRE. Though, engineers account for a large proportion of the test takers, undergraduate majors in biology, history, physiotherapy, fine arts take the GRE to pursue masters and doctoral programs in their respective field of study. The common denominator in mathematics is therefore, high school level math.
So, it's time to dust up those old books and start brushing concepts, formulas in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
If you plan to apply to an engineering or sciences program at the graduate level, your score in the quantitative reasoning section is going to one of the most important eligibility criteria in the admission process. A high final score in the GRE with a 167 or higher score in quant is likely to not only result in an admission to a top school, but also result in some form of scholarship.
All efforts invested in pouring over your study guide, solving hundreds of questions and taking mock tests and spend time to analyse those mocks tests will pay rich dividends in bolstering your graduate school or business school application.
The GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section is also a Section Level Adaptive section.
An average test taker needs to invest about 80 to 100 hours in building fundamentals, solve adequate practice questions, take chapter wise tests to consolidate and gain confidence in quantitative reasoning.
The revised GRE General Test will include an unidentified/unscored verbal or quantitative reasoning part. Because you do not know which of the 5 sections are not scored, you have to attempt all of them as though your performance in that part will count to your final score.
Alternatively, the test may include an identified research section and will always appear as the last section.
The total duration of the exam is 3 hours 45 minutes.
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