GRE Time Management: How to Manage Time in GRE Exam? Image
Exams Know-how

GRE Time Management: How to Manage Time in GRE Exam?

Yocket Editorial Team
4 mins read

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test taken by candidates globally to get accepted into graduate schools. Students pursuing a doctoral or master's degree abroad take this well-known admission test. 

It evaluates a candidate's academic ability based on analytical reading, critical thinking, logical reasoning, and verbal reasoning skills. However, keeping track of the time in the test is a bit difficult for most students. This article will cover tips and suggestions on how you can avoid missing out on your paper and planning better. 

  Table of Contents

  1. How to Manage Your Time Efficiently (Section-Wise) in the GRE?
  2. Tips for Managing Time in a GRE Exam
  3. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Time Management in GRE

Candidates should keep in mind that GRE is not just a test of general aptitude but also your time management skills. If you are a candidate struggling with how to manage time in the GRE exam, you have come to the right place. 

How to Manage your Time Efficiently in GRE?

GRE is divided into three major sections- Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The table below mentions a detailed pattern of the GRE, both computer and paper-based. GRE General test is three hours and 45 minutes long. 

GRE Sections



Analytical Writing

1 section – two tasks

(60 minutes)

Two sections – two tasks

(60 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

2 sections – 40 questions

(60 minutes)

2 sections – 50 questions

(70 minutes)

Quantitative Reasoning

2 sections – 40 questions

(70 minutes)

2 sections – 50 questions

(80 minutes)







GRE analytical Writing section consists of two essay tasks, the Argument task and the Issue task. This section is designed to measure your critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. 

  1. You should not spend more than one minute reading the statements. 
  2. Take 2-4 minutes to precisely plan your essay. Avoid brainstorming while writing. 
  3. Start with the essay's body and leave the introduction for last to make your writing more concise. It is recommended to finish the body in 10-15 minutes and the opening in 3-5 minutes.
  4. Use about 5 minutes to proofread and edit your essay. 

Suggested: GRE Preparation 2022: Get the Best Tips on How to Prepare for GRE

Next, the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section has two sections containing 20 questions each. 

  1. You have to answer 40 questions in an hour to spend 1.5 minutes on each problem. However, some questions are easier to comprehend than others. You should solve them in one or less than one minute. The time left will be used up while answering the three blank text completion questions and reading comprehension. 
  2. The following is a table providing a guideline for how to manage time in GRE verbal reasoning section. 

Sentence Equivalence

45 seconds

Text Completion

30-90 seconds

Reading Comprehension

1.5 minutes

Lastly, GRE Quantitative Reasoning section has a similar structure to the Verbal Reasoning section, with two sections consisting of 20 questions. It is the most extended section and will be answered within the largest duration, i.e., 70 minutes. 

  1. Each quantitative section consists of 20 questions that need to be answered in 35 minutes. This gives you roughly 1.75 minutes per problem. However, it would be best if you tried to complete each question in 1.5 or 1.25 minutes. 
  2. Questions are either discrete or in sets. You should allocate time to each type of question according to your skill. 

Tips for Managing Time in GRE Exam

Let us now have a look at some tips for GRE exam that you should keep in mind for performing accurately and quickly on the GRE.

  • Candidates make the common mistake of taking the simple questions lightly and simply skimming through them. It is advised to verify every answer for maximum accuracy. It is harmful to be quick without preciseness. 
  • Never leave a question unanswered. If you run out of time, it is safe to randomly guess an answer since there is no negative marking in the GRE. Something is better than nothing.
  • Use a timer while practising questions. Timing and testing yourself will increase your GRE time management. 
  • While it is recommended to verify easy questions and not move too quickly, you should also avoid wasting time on challenging problems. Flag the difficult questions and go back to them later. 
  • Do not waste time on any question if it takes you more than 20-30 seconds to comprehend the question. This is how to manage time in GRE Verbal Reasoning section. 
  • Focus more on performing within the time limit than hard work while practising. Make it a rule. You will only get your desired score by solving problems within the time limit. Hence it is important to know how to manage time in GRE exam.

GRE is a test that measures your eligibility through your time management skills. While preparing for GRE, you need to live by the clock and time your practice sessions very carefully. It is necessary to be mindful of what the examiners expect the candidate to do before you write the paper. A stopwatch is going to be your best friend throughout your preparation period. This makes it essential to learn how to manage time in GRE, especially how to manage time in GRE verbal reasoning section since it has three types of questions that vary from easy to hard. You can take a look at what tips other GRE candidates are using to manage their time for GRE exams and learn from their experiences at the Yocket Feed. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Management in GRE

Ques. How many hours a day should you study for the GRE?

Ans. Assuming you start your preparation a few months before the exam, studying twelve hours per week is recommended. Studying while timing yourself will prepare you for how to manage time in the GRE exam. 

Ques. What is the average GRE score? 

Ans. The average GRE score falls around 150-152. 

Ques. What is considered a good GRE score in 2022?

Ans. Ideally, a good score is above the 90 percentile brackets. You should aim to perform better than 90 percent of the GRE test-takers, around 162+ Verbal and 164+ Quant, in 2022.

Ques. How long should I study for the GRE?

Ans. It takes about 2-4 months to prepare for the GRE if you study consistently thoroughly.

Ques. How should you practice for a GRE test?

Ans. Your method should depend on where you stand. If you are very far from your goal, it is advisable to join a class. You can hire a private tutor or even study yourself if you are closer to your goal. 

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