• The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and Canada.
  • The GRE is owned and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).
  • The test was established in 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Type - Computer-based or paper-based standardized test

Knowledge / skills tested -

  • Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning
  • Purpose - Admissions to master's and doctoral degree programs in various universities
  • Duration -About 3 hours and 45 minutes (includes 1-minute breaks after each section and a 10-minute break after third section)

Score / grade range-

  • Analytical writing: 0.0 to 6.0 (in 0.5-point increments),
  • Verbal reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1-point increments),
  • Quantitative reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1-point increments).
  • Score / grade - validity 5 years


  • Computer-based test: Multiple times a year (depends on availability of the test center)
  • Paper-based test: Up to 3 times a year in October, November and February

Restrictions on attempts -

  • Computer-based test: Can be taken only once after 21 days from the day of exam in every year. Maximum of 5 times a year. (Applies even if candidate cancels scores on a test taken previously.)

Paper-based test:

  • Can be taken as often as it is offered.
  • According to ETS, the GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, Financial Math, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning.
  • The content of the GRE consists of certain specific algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and vocabulary sections.
  • The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered at testing centers and institution owned or authorized by Prometric.
  • In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GRE scores varies widely between schools and departments within schools.
  • The importance of a GRE score can range from being a mere admission formality to an important selection factor.

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