Exams Know-how

Is GRE Tough: Know How Tough is GRE to Crack

Vineel Chandra
Is GRE Tough: Know How Tough is GRE to Crack Image

The Graduate Record Examinations or GRE is a standardised test taken by graduate students willing to get admission to master's programs abroad. There are more than just simple explanations of what the GRE is all about. Getting familiar with the test and its specifications will help you to better prepare for it. This will also assist you in seeking the answer to the most asked question - "Is GRE tough?"

Yocket GRE Prep

Students are required to have a decent GRE score to crack the test. But how hard is the GRE exam to score good marks? To help you understand this better, here we have discussed all the essential information related to the difficulty level of the test, its difficulty in comparison with the other tests and much more.

  Table of Contents:

  1. Overview of GRE Exam and Difficulty Level
  2. How Tough is the GRE Exam?
  3. Toughness of GRE As Compared to Other Exams
  4. What Makes the GRE Hard?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Is GRE Tough

Overview of GRE Exam and Difficulty Level

The GRE exam is one of the popular tests for admission to a master's program at the top universities abroad. The GRE scores have been widely accepted in over 160 countries in more than 1,300 study institutions worldwide. 

Well, if you are thinking, how tough is GRE to score?. The answer is quite not easy as the GRE is not exactly difficult but a bit challenging. You might need a lot of dedicated hours to score good marks to make it to the top MS colleges abroad. 

How Tough is the GRE Exam?

GRE is typically considered more complex than other tests like SAT or ACT. The reason being its more challenging vocabulary and reading sections.

Most of the questions asked in the test require you to have a higher level of reasoning skills. For example, the mathematical sections have higher-order reasoning with more complicated wordings. These problems check your critical thinking ability more than the actual arithmetic skills. 

Suggested: GRE exam structure and syllabus

Toughness of GRE As Compared to Other Exams

Is the GRE exam tough in comparison to other standardised tests like SAT, GMAT etc? Every aspirant has this most common question while preparing for the exam. Although the difficulty level of an exam depends on its various factors, here we have compared the GRE test with others in terms of its syllabus.


In terms of SAT vs GRE, the types of questions asked in GRE are more logic-oriented, whereas the SAT are mostly calculation based. GRE paper has a little bit tougher structure than the SAT. The GRE contains many tricky questions that check the student's critical thinking skills, whereas the SAT is somewhat more straightforward.


Between IELTS vs GRE, IELTS is perceived to be easier if you are an English aspirant, but it doesn't assure you will ace the test. A dedicated practice and preparation are required to qualify for the IELTS test. The GRE, on the other hand is comparatively difficult as it requires you to have a higher level of reasoning skills with a strong vocabulary.


If we talk about the comparison between TOEFL and GRE, the GRE is considered as much harder than TOEFL as it has more difficult questions of quantitative and reading passages with sophisticated wordings. The mathematics part of the GMAT is also of a lower level compared to other exams.


To talk of GMAT vs GRE, both are quite similar in major aspects from the syllabus to their acceptance. But the GMAT test comes with an extra section of integrated reasoning, whereas GRE has no such section.

The quantitative reasoning questions asked in the GMAT are harder than the GRE test for most of the applicants. GMAT has more challenging and tricky questions in comparison to the GRE test. If you are an aspirant with more expertise in solving logical questions, then the GMAT test suits you the most. It is because the GRE paper contains a lot of geometrical questions. 

Hence, if you are asking, is GRE exam tough in comparison to other tests? The answer is GRE is harder than tests such as SAT, TOEFL, or IELTS but not as difficult as GMAT. 

Suggested: GRE vs IELTS

What Makes the GRE Hard?

How hard is the GRE test? The most popular query for every graduate student looking to get into the top universities. To answer your question, here we have listed some of the GRE test components which make it difficult among the aspirants. 

  • Difficult Vocabulary
  • Tricky Wordings
  • Computer Adaptive
  • Time Factors
  • Two Essays
  • Content 

Suggested:  GRE Exam Eligibility

Difficult Vocabulary

The majority of the GRE difficulty may lie in its advanced vocabulary section. Its sophisticated words can be used not only for its language section but also in its sections and essay prompt. Most of the questions ask aspirants to fill up the words or sets in the blanks, challenge your sentence correction and critical thinking knowledge with a higher vocabulary.

This will require you to brush up your English language skills and become familiar with the vocabulary words used in previous tests.

Tricky Wordings

Although the vocabulary choices are tough, many of the questions are pretty harder. Out of which various questions require you to use your logical analysis skills to solve the questions. These may not only take your major time to solve but also use your multiple sections of the brain at once. 

To avoid this problem, you can solve as many GRE practice tests which help you to see through the GRE's trick in solving questions.

Tried Yocket’s GRE Prep feature yet? Sign in and access the latest GRE practice questions carefully curated by our experts to ace your GRE preparation 2022.

Computer Adaptive

Since the GRE is computer adaptive in nature which may increase its difficulty to score better. If you have completed any section correctly, then no one knows about the next section as sometimes the next section looks similar but has a higher difficulty level or vice versa. 

This shows that your GMAT score is based on the number of questions you have answered correctly and its difficulty level. The more difficult questions answered correctly, the higher score you get.

Suggested: Everything About GRE Scores and Results


Timing is also another aspect that makes the GRE test hard. You will get only 30 minutes to solve each essay part and an average time of one minute and 30 seconds for solving the verbal questions. And each quantitative part requires you to spend an average of one minute and 45 seconds.

How tough is GRE exam because of this time-bound? Even if you know every question, you won't get the highest score if you don't solve a lot of questions as you have run out of time. You need to work and practice daily on your speed to ace the GRE with the highest marks.

Suggested: Everything About GRE Exam Registration

Two Essays

The GRE test contains two essays compared to other tests. You must write both essays in an hour with no breaks between them. This can be extremely intimidating for some students, especially those with slow speed. 

So, to solve it in the given duration, try to sharpen your writing skills and learn to develop and be able to express your opinions in an hour.


Another factor that comes to everyone's mind if we look at how hard is the GRE exam interms of its contents? The content asked in the GMAT test is majorly based on the high school and undergraduate syllabus, i.e. algebra, higher geometry, data tables, and statistics of quantitative sections. While the verbal section includes modifiers, parallelism, agreement, grammar etc. 

Though, the syllabus seems easier but the type of questions framed from these are a bit tricky to solve. The GRE test questions always try to mislead or trick you into focusing on the wrong things, which may cost you a lot of valuable time in the test.

So these are some of the components of the GMAT test which make it hard to solve. 

Suggested: GRE to GMAT Score Conversion

Also, check out this video to know how you can ace your GRE preparations: 

With this, we say that creating a well-planned schedule to prepare for the GRE exam is very important. We hope you can prepare well for the test, clear the GRE with an outstanding score, and get a ticket to your dream university in your interested program. However, if you find any difficulty in the exam, you can connect with our Yocket Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions About Is GRE Tough

Ques. How hard is it to secure a 338 mark on the GRE?

Ans. Only a limited number of students of the full GMAT test takers can get a 330+ score. This doesn't show that the rest 90% cannot achieve 330+ marks. What it means is that not everyone who appears wants a 340 score. The majority of the students only need an average GRE score, which is between 160 to 220.

Ques. Is the GRE preparation easy to get admission to an abroad university?

Ans. The GRE exam preparation is not that easy, but it is definitely pursuable. Once you have covered all the concepts and plan the GRE study, you can have a higher chance to score good marks.

Ques. How much time is required to prepare for the GRE test?

Ans. With a consistent study of 3 hours daily, one can cover all the important sections of the GRE standardised test well within 10 to 12 weeks.

Ques. What is the syllabus of the GRE exam?

Ans. The GRE exam syllabus contains sections i.e quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and analytical writing assessment. 

Ques. How many essays are asked in the GRE?

Ans. Two different essays are required to solve the GRE test in under an hour. The time for solving each essay is only 30 minutes. 

Related Hashtags

Related Discussion

Articles you might like