Want to study MS or MBA in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia? GRE is the right exam for you. People might say that GRE is a very tough test, but with the right mindset and the proper preparation schedule, anyone can crack it with ease in two months. Want to know some good preparation methods? Read below.
- What is GRE?
- Exam Dates
- How to prepare for GRE?
- Exam Pattern
- Admit Card
- Test Centers
- GRE Books
- GMAT vs GRE
- Related Exams
What is GRE?
GRE full form is the Graduate Record Examination. The exam is conducted by Education Test Services (ETS), an organization committed to advance equity and quality in education for all people worldwide. ETS does this by providing tools for assessment development, educational research, policy studies and for more.
GRE is one such service of ETS. GRE is an exam which tests candidates skills which are developed over time. Hence Universities use ETS GRE Score as one of the factors to analyze whether the candidate has necessary skills for their graduate program.
GRE Score: GRE Score is accepted in most of the graduate schools in English speaking countries like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Western Europe.
Popularity: ETS tries to test the skills of candidates who need a long period of learning to acquire. And these skills does not discriminate applicants based on what quality of education they had access to. As a result, ETS has provided a fair platform for candidates to test their skills. This is the reason why this exam stays widely accepted.
GRE Exam Pattern: The questions in the exams are objective type. In this exam, there is no negative marking. Candidates can keep in mind that there is no negative marking and attempt all the questions.
Frequency: GRE Exam is conducted by ETS throughout the year at multiple centres online and in selected centres offline.
GRE Exam Changes: Before August 2011 applicants didn’t have an opportunity to go back to a question once they have moved to the next question. This was inconvenient and didn’t let candidates perform their best. ETS which is aimed at testing candidates skills recognised this as a hindrance. And it changed GRE from question-to-question adaptive to section wise adaptive type.
|Conducting Authority||ETS (EducationTesting Service)|
|Courses Under GRE||MS, MBA, PhD|
|Exam Date||Throughout the year|
|Eligibility||Above 18 years|
|Fee||$205 or around INR 14,500|
|Exam Mode||Online and Offline|
|Score Validity||5 Years|
|Documents Needed||Valid Passport|
|Subject Papers||General, Psychology, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Literature in English|
|Sectional Papers For General Test||Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing|
|Score Range||Minimum score 130 Maximum score 170|
ETS GRE Exam is conducted throughout the year. Candidates can choose a GRE Exam Date according to their Convenience during the registration process.
First Come First Serve
To book a slot on GRE Exam Dates, candidates should remember that GRE Exam slots are scheduled on a first-come-first-serve basis. So. It is up to the applicant to decide the slot and GRE Exam Date of the GRE. But with such flexibility offered for GRE Exam slot and GRE Exam Date arises another problem. During the peak season of GRE (generally around August to December) it is hard to get an appointment at the desired centre according to one's comfort.
Candidates can reschedule or cancel their scheduled exam.
- Rescheduling: ETS, the conducting authority of the exam, understands candidates sometimes cannot attend the exam on the allotted date and needs to reschedule. Hence ETS has provided an option for candidates to reschedule their exam. But candidates have to reschedule 4-5 days before the scheduled GRE Exam Date. No appointments can be rescheduled beyond 1 year of the originally scheduled appointment.
- Cancellation: ETS even allows a candidate to cancel the scheduled exam. Candidates will only get 50% of the fees. But candidates should cancel the exam at least four days before the scheduled GRE Exam Date.
What is GRE Exam Eligibility?
ETS, the conducting authority has not set any GRE Eligibility or any age limit. But there is some generally implied eligibility. They are:
- Education: Since GRE Score is used to apply for a graduate degree, candidates are expected to have at least an undergraduate degree.
- Age Limit: There is no age limit set, but a candidate should at least have an Undergraduate Degree to apply for a graduate program. Hence candidate should be at least 18 years old.
This general understanding of GRE Exam Eligibility requires the aspirant to have a qualification, and other norms set by the desired educational institution. So the aspirants should be thorough with the selection process of universities or business school beforehand and make sure that they are eligible for the same.
It should be noted that the GRE or for that matter anyone from the ETS does not provide a scholarship of any kind. But there is a silver lining, universities consider GRE Score as one of the parameters for scholarships, research funds, and grants. This can easily cover the tuition fee and living expenses of candidates. One point that applicants need to note is that ETS the company that administers the GRE does not offer any scholarships or financial awards to top-scorers in the GRE.
100% of scholarships do exist and they are limited in number. To secure one, you need to be an exceptionally gifted student with a knock-out academic score throughout your studies from high school to graduation.
GRE Exam two formats and they are the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. ETS tests a candidate’s core skills that are developed over the years. And there is no prescribed GRE Exam Syllabus for the GRE General Test. But candidates can look at the structure of the test and prepare for the exam. Structural overview for General Test is given below.
- General Test contains three sectional papers viz, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.
- Candidates can concentrate on these areas, practice and prepare well for the exam.
For the syllabus for the GRE Subject Test is given in the table below.
|Biology||Cellular and Molecular Biology|
|Ecology and Evolution|
|Literature in English||Literary Analysis|
|Cultural and Historical Contexts|
|History and Theory of Literary Criticism|
|Probability and Statistics|
|Optics and Wave Phenomena|
|Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics|
|Specialized Topics like Nuclear and Particle Physics etc.|
How to prepare for GRE?
Your preparation for GRE can be over a year long or just 2 months, it doesn't matter. What does matter is the amount of commitment you have given to the cause. So, before starting the GRE preparation or any preparation for that matter, it is crucial that you set your mind to that goal. Every excruciating task you do you should bear in mind that the end result will make all of this worth it.
Now if you have fully committed yourself, follow the preparation steps given below for the next 2 months.
A sculptor cannot sculpt without his tools. The same concept goes with the preparation of GRE. You need to have all the possible materials that would help you understand and practice the questions from the exam. The materials for the GRE include reference books, sample question papers, educational videos, and GRE apps.
If you were able to secure all of these materials at the start you would know what all things you have to go through over the period of time you have allotted to yourself.
Construction of Custom Schedule
You are the only person that knows your strengths and weaknesses, so you need to prepare a good and disciplined schedule that clearly incorporates your way of preparation. After having ascertained what sections need works, prepare a plan that divides topics to be covered and time to allot to each topic.
But just creating a schedule for the sake of creating the schedule is of no use if you don't stick to it until you achieve your goal. So you need to make sure that you are strictly adhering your schedule.
Practice like the Exam is tomorrow
Sometimes you might get bored of constantly practicing the sample questions of the GRE Exam. Slowly you might stop taking the exam seriously. But the easiest way to avoid these things is to convince yourself that the next day is the exam and you are still a long way from learning all of those questions. This sense of urgency will automatically convert your mindset to put in more concentration into the practice.
There are some websites which offer GRE practice tests. You can use these sites to get familiar with this exam.
Section Wise Preparation
The sections that are in the GRE Exam are as follows
- Verbal Section: For any of the Indian Student this is the most crucial section. This section mainly concentrates on the candidate's vocabulary skills so you should be making sure that you learn as many new words as possible per day. Best way to do is creating an excel sheet and then daily adding new words to the list and at the end of the week test yourself to see how many words you were able to retain in your memory. Then, put in extra effort to remember those words you got wrong.
- Quantitative Section: This section assesses the basic high school level mathematical knowledge and reasoning skills. But don't let it fool you into thinking that this section might be easy. The only way you are allowed to think that this section is easy if you practice as many sample quant questions as you can lay your hands on.
- Analytical Writing Section: This section which consists of two essays tests the writing abilities of the candidate. So you need to practice writing essays based on arguments, descriptions etc. Makes sure that you maintain proper structure and vocabulary all to be done within the time frame.
ETS GRE is conducted throughout the year. But candidates have to plan ahead and take the exam so that the score reaches the recipient university on time. GRE Application Form Details along with process and documents required is given below.
How to apply for ETS GRE?
To begin the process of registration one has to start with creating an account on the official website. The predetermined universities and colleges to which the students want to send their GRE Score must be selected at this stage. Registration fee of $205 can be paid via Credit Card, Debit Card, Paypal or Money Order.
GRE Application Form Details
Candidates should be aware of the details of the GRE Application Form. These details are given below:
- ETS account: Candidates have to first create an ETS account. The username should match with the name on the identity card (excluding accents) that you will be producing on the exam.
- Modes of Test: The exam can be taken in 2 modes. It can be taken either through the Paper-delivered test or Computer-delivered test.
- Test Fees: Exam fee for General test is USD 205 and for Subject Test is USD 180.
- GRE Fee Reduction Program: ETS has a Fee Reduction Program for those candidates who demonstrate financial need. They will be offered a Fee Reduction Voucher. By applying the voucher code candidate has to only pay 50% of the fee.
- Reschedule and Cancellation Process details: If a candidate cannot attend the exam on the allotted date then they can reschedule or cancel their exam. Candidates have to reschedule or cancel their exam 4-5 days before the exam date.
- ID requirements: Candidate has to bring a valid ID Document. Name of the candidate on the ID Document should match the name provided during registration (excluding accents).
Documents required to apply for GRE
Candidate needs to have a valid ID Document. This is because the name on the ID document should be used as the username while creating an ETS Account.
Candidates should have Debit/Credit/net banking ready if they are making an online payment for GRE Exam. Otherwise, a candidate should have any other payment method at their disposal.
Candidates should have an idea of the GRE Exam Pattern in order to prepare well and ace it. These details are given below.
- Sections: According to GRE Exam Pattern, there are three sections, Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
- Analytical Paper: The analytical paper has one section divided into two tasks. Candidates are given 30 minutes to attend this section.
- Verbal Reasoning: This paper has a total of 40 questions under 2 segments. Duration for completing this section is 30 minutes.
- Quantitative reasoning: This paper has 40 questions under 2 separate segments and has a time duration of 70 minutes.
|Papers||Analytical Writing||Verbal Reasoning||
|Number of Sections||1||2||2|
|Number Questions||2 Tasks||20 Quetions*2=40||
|Time Allotted per Section||30 Minutes||30 Minutes||35 Minutes|
|Total Time Allotted||30 Minutes||60 Minutes||70 Minutes|
After completion of the GRE Registration form on the official website, the candidate will receive a confirmation email. This email will act as the GRE Exam Admit Card or the Hall Ticket. Candidates will have to carry a printed copy of their confirmation email to the exam centre on the day of the exam.
Along with the GRE Admit Card, the students have to carry the valid ID proof, which is usually the valid passport. Name on the ID Document should match the user name of ETS account (excluding accents).
ETS has given the candidates, flexibility to choose the GRE Test Centres which is close and convenient to them. The choice of these Prometric test centres can also be on the basis of availability of time slots. If students are opting for conventional offline exam mode then it is available only in selected cities and with limited time slots.
The test centres in India are listed in the table below.
|ETS General Test Centres in India|
|Council of American Education|
|CyberStation – CPS Global|
|Mumbai||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Grad-Dreams Education Consulting Pvt Ltd|
|Chennai||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Bangalore||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Hyderabad||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Kolkata||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Mysore||Exuberant Technologies Pvt Ltd|
|Trivandrum||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Ahmadabad||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|Chandigarh||Saint Kabir Public School|
|Gurgaon||Prometric Testing Private Ltd|
|ETS Onsite UAS Intl Production Lab|
GRE Result will be readily given to the students after completion of the test. The same will have to be sent to the students' choice of universities or business schools along with the other required documents. Since the admissions in the universities are purely based on merit, the student has to work hard for the GRE Results.
- Validity: Validity of the score is five years.
- Score Range: The overall score range is 130 to 170,
- Students can retake the exam but only after 21 days of the previous exam.
Although there is no process for GRE Counselling, the exam score is used as a parameter while applying for universities. But you might need other documents along with the score while applying for university.
- Documents needed along with GRE Score: You will need a Letter of Recommendation (LoR), Statement of Purpose (SOP) and your previous degree scorecard.
- Letter of Recommendation (LoR): You should provide an LoR from a close working associate or a renowned person will boost your resume.
- Statement of Purpose (SoP): You should provide an SoP expressing your interest in the course, why you want to study there and why you should be offered admission into the course. This gives you a platform to express your interest in a particular course.
- Qualifying/Qualified Degree Scorecard: You should provide your scorecard/marks sheet of the qualifying/qualified degree.
A great GRE Score, LoR and SoP along with good CGPA in your qualifying exam will make your application strong.
Along with ETS GRE books, there are other materials which candidates can refer and prepare for the exam. Some of the suggested materials are:
- Magoosh GRE Flashcards
- Online Mock Tests
- McGraw-Hill’s "Conquering the New GRE Math"
- Kaplan’s "New GRE Math Workbook"
GMAT vs GRE
GRE: GRE Score is required for most of the graduate and postgraduate courses offered in Business and technical schools.
GMAT: GMAT Score is used to get admission in most of the Business Schools.
When you are applying for a University, the university will demand either GRE or/and GMAT. Depending on the University requirements candidate can choose which exam to take.
Q. How much does it cost to take the GRE 2019?
Ans. The cost for this will vary depending on the number of recipients of score and services which you have purchased. In India, the basic fee for General Test is USD 205 and for Subject Test is USD 180.
Q. Is the GRE test Difficult?
Ans. ETS conducts this exam in order to test candidates skills which are developed over a long period of time. So if your skills are good enough the test will be relatively easier.
Q. How often is GRE offered?
Ans. This exam is offered throughout the year. You have to plan ahead and select an exam Date in such a way that it reaches applying for university on time.
Q. How do I get a GRE fee waiver?
Ans. ETS doesn’t offer Complete Fee Wavier, but it does offer Fee Reduction Voucher for those who are in Financial Need. Using this Voucher will give you 50% Fee Reduction.
Q. Do I have to take the GRE if I already have a masters?
Ans. GRE Exam is not conducted so that people can take it for no reasons. But it is conducted as a measuring tool so that universities can understand candidates caliber. If you are applying for PhD then you might need a score. That’s if the university which you are applying for has the GRE score as a requirement.
Q. Is GRE easy to Crack?
Ans. ETS tests the candidate's skills which are developed over a long period of time through GRE. If your skills are good enough, yes it is easy to crack.
Q. What is the GRE exam fee?
Ans. GRE has two tests. First, one is the General Test and costs 205 USD in India and Subject Test costs USD 180.
Q. How can I take GRE 2019?
Ans. You can apply for the exam by creating an ETS Account. Then you can register yourself for a GRE Exam Date which is convenient for you in the centre which is near you. Registration Process will be completed once the payment is done. Now prepare well and take the exam.
Q. Should I take the GRE?
Ans. If you are applying for a University and the University demands a GRE Score then you will have to take the exam. You might also need Letter of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose among other documents for applying for University.
Q. Do you get GRE scores immediately?
Ans. If you chose Score Reports, you can see your unofficial score at the test centre itself. But the official scores will be made available on the candidate's ETs Account. Also, the Official Score Report will be sent to the registered address in 10-15 days from taking the exam.
Q. How often can I retake the Exam?
Ans. The test can be taken every 21 days and only up to 5 times in a year. But the candidate can take the paper-based test as many times as it is offered.