The Pattern of GRE
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test required to be taken by foreign students who wish to secure admission in universities in the United States. The test is created and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and measures the students’ overall academic ability. GRE General Test is not related to any specific field of study, so most universities in USA demand international students to present their GRE Subject Test scores, regardless of the program they wish to join. GRE Subject Tests measure your knowledge of a particular field of study.
The total duration of the GRE General test is 3 hours 45 minutes. The pattern of GRE includes the following 3 sections:
1. Analytical Writing
Analytical Writing is the first section of the exam, followed by a 10 minute break. This section is meant to measure your analytical reasoning, organization, and analysis skills. You are expected to complete an issue-task essay and an argument-task essay, with 30 minutes for each. In the former you will be presented with a controversial topic for which you must present your perspective and use adequate examples to support your claims. In the latter, you will be given a snippet of an argument or an editorial. You must critically analyze if the provided statement is well reasoned.
This section measures your ability to convey complex ideas effectively, support your ideas with relevant reasons, examine claims, sustain a discussion, and demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task.
2. Verbal Reasoning
There are two sections in Verbal Reasoning, each with 20 questions. Each section needs to be completed within 30 minutes and includes a mix of reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence questions. Reading comprehension questions are either single/multiple choice answers, or based on passages that vary in length from one paragraph to several paragraphs. Text completion questions have one, two, or three blanks in a passage of one to five sentences. Sentence Equivalence questions consist of a single sentence with one blank. You must find two choices that lead to a complete, coherent sentence that means the same. This is one of the important parts of the pattern of GRE.
3. Quantitative Reasoning
There are two sections in Quantitative reasoning, each with 20 questions. You have 35 minutes for each section. Each of them contains multiple choice, quantitative analysis, and numeric entry questions that measure your ability to understand and apply mathematical skills and concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation.
An unidentified unscored section is included in the pattern of GRE, in any order after the Analytical Writing section. However, this is not counted as part of your score. This is an experimental section used by ETS to find out new questions for use in future exams.
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