GRE stands for Graduate Record Examinations. It is a standardised aptitude exam with a pre-defined syllabus. It is one of the most widely accepted admissions tests for graduate and business school programs, and is used for admissions decisions for MBA, specialized master’s in business and doctoral programs.
GRE is divided into two categories. The GRE General Test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills – the types of skills required for success in today’s demanding graduate and business school programs – and the GRE Subject Tests that measures knowledge of a particular field of study helping students stand out from other applicants by emphasizing their knowledge and skill level in a specific area.
Preparation is key to getting a good score in the GRE. Investing time and effort in preparing for the exam is a critical element in the test taking strategy.
The GRE is a multiple-choice, multi-stage test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. It has been designed in a way so as to calculate the student’s intellectual and logical abilities, adapting to performance of students based on previous quantitative/ verbal ability sections. The test allows its takers to skip questions within a section, go back and change answers and have the flexibility to choose which questions within a section they want to answer first.
The GRE question types are designed to closely reflect the kind of thinking that students will be expected to do in graduate or business school and are based upon the following skills:
Verbal Reasoning – This section measures a student’s ability to analyze and evaluate written material and to synthesize information obtained from it. It measures the ability to analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among concepts and words.
Quantitative Reasoning – This section measures a student’s problem-solving ability and focusses on basic concepts of algebra, arithmetic, data analysis and geometry.
Analytical Writing – This section measures analytical writing skills and critical thinking. It specifically measure’s a student’s ability to articulate and support ideas that are complex in nature both clearly and effectively.
The Chopras 10 key insights into the GRE:
The GRE selects questions in groups, or stages meaning that it is critical to perform well section by section rather than question by question.
The difficulty of questions is governed by performance in the preceding section. Difficulty levels therefore alter in accordance with the student’s answers as they progress through the later section of the test.
The first section is reflective of an ‘average’ difficulty level.
The student has the provision to skip, navigate and return, and change their responses within a section. However, once they finish with a section, they cannot return to it.
There is a ‘mark and review’ feature to mark questions the student may want to review later.
The student will be scored on the basis of the number of questions answered, the number of correct answers and the difficulty level of the sections.
The GRE can be taken once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous 12-month period (365 days)
Scores are valid for five years after the test date in which a student was tested.
There is an on-screen calculator for use in the Quantitative Reasoning section to reduce the emphasis on computation and to ensure that the student focuses more attention on reasoning skills.
There is emphasis within the test on the student’s knowledge of vocabulary through reading.
Fees and Costs
The cost to take the GRE is US$205
You can reschedule or cancel your registration at any time. To avoid forfeiting your test fee, you must do so no later than four days before your test date (10 days in Mainland China).
The GRE score can be reported to four schools of the applicant’s choice for free.