Updated on Aug 20, 2021
As you set your foot in a highly skilled pool of Engineers and Business Experts, you are needed to be a master of your own trade. To achieve that, taking the GRE test and ceasing the opportunity is one of the best options to pursue your dreams.
The GRE exam pattern and syllabus are devised to assess your smartly skilled brain and logical personality. Thus, to conquer the test it’s best to understand the nuances of the GRE paper pattern.
To understand the GRE test format thoroughly, we will closely look at the different types of test patterns, how the GRE is structured, GRE test syllabus and cover various question types present in each section.
So, to begin with, let's look at the cleverly curated GRE Exam Structure.
The Globally accepted GRE test format is curated to check your overall knowledge of mathematics, language comprehension, finesse of English essay writing and your sense of logical reasoning.
To successfully test the abilities of a student the GRE test structure has three sections, namely-
Quantitative Reasoning: Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE portion consists of problems based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis. You are supposed to strategize and solve different kinds of mathematical questions to arrive at the answer at the fastest possible speed. This is to ensure that you are able to apply logic efficiently wherever necessary.
By testing students over the Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical fronts, Universities abroad can confidently pick their Postgraduate and Graduate students. This well defined examination and the inclusive GRE exam structure ensures that the brightest of minds are Globally recognised.
Aiming to provide equal opportunity to all, ETS caters to the mass population of test takers by conducting computer-based GRE tests, paper-delivered GRE tests and now, the recently launched GRE Home Edition.
Despite the different modes of taking the GRE test, the structure and syllabus of GRE exam remain the same. However, the GRE paper pattern, duration and scoring differ based on the type of GRE test you are attending.
Fancying the computer-based test, 98% of the applicants cater to the GRE exam online. Test-takers attend the GRE test either at a test center or at home via a computer. The overall experience of taking the test marks an interesting approach for the students. Let’s take a look at the GRE computer-based test pattern.
The computer-based GRE test is the most opted foreign University eligibility test across the world. To examine students, the question paper pattern followed by GRE has -
6 sections in the paper
1 section of 2 tasks of Analytical Writing
2 sections of 20 questions each of Verbal Reasoning
2 sections of 20 questions each of Quantitative Reasoning
The computer-based GRE tests work on the mindful section-based adaptability system. Questions change based on the correctness of answers and the speed at which they are answered. Although, the GRE test pattern remains the same.
The GRE paper has six sections, of which the Analytical Writing is always the first section in the paper. You are given about 30 mins each to complete two tasks of Analytical Writing. This section is followed by a shuffle of two sections each of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning in any order. You have about 30-35min per section of the paper. You also get a 10mins break after attending to the first three sections of the paper.
Apart from the above mentioned 5 sections of the test, GRE has an additional unscored section or a research section to gauge the students abilities. This is to ensure the consistency of the candidate. This unscored section might appear in any phase of the test making it unidentifiable. So, it is suggested to treat every section like a scored section to achieve a high score. Whereas, the research section of the paper is always marked and so is optional.
The paper-delivered GRE test is conducted twice a year. Since the exam is on paper, definite questions of a set difficulty level are posed to the students. This paper is lengthier than the computer-based GRE test.
The paper-based test pattern for GRE is as follows:
1 section of 2 tasks of Analytical Writing
2 sections of 50 Verbal Reasoning questions
2 sections of 50 Quantitative Reasoning questions
GRE from home is hosted on your own computer. Thus, the test follows the same test pattern as the GRE computer-based test. GRE at home resembles the environment of GRE taken at the center. You can expect the same three sections of the paper along with an unscored/research section.
Clearing the air about the GRE exam pattern and structure, the only business left is to get to the GRE exam syllabus. Since students opting for their higher studies belong to graduate or postgraduate levels, the GRE syllabus is limited to the knowledge of a higher secondary student.
GRE scores help universities decide whether or not the student is fit to pursue the respective course in their college. The objective of GRE is to test your smartness! This involves testing your logical reasoning and command over language. In order to make that decision, questions from the undergrad level are put to test. As the GRE pattern suggests 3 sections, let’s look at the GRE exam syllabus for each section.
The language test can be aced by intensive nonfiction reading, regular grammar exercises and by expanding your personal vocabulary. The Verbal Reasoning section holds three types of questions that assess your english comprehension, vocabulary and grammatical sensibility.
Types of questions asked in GRE Verbal Reasoning section are:
Topics you must cover in GRE Verbal Reasoning section:
The following topics form a part of the GRE exam syllabus for the Verbal Reasoning section:
Modifiers and Parallelism
Idioms and Idiomatic expressions
Nouns, Adjectives, Pronouns
Synonyms and Antonyms
Quantitative Reasoning section tests your logical reasoning skills using mathematical questions. Questions from various subsections of undergraduate mathematics are posed either as blanks, numeric entry questions or word problems. You can score good points with rigorous practice in this section of the GRE.
Types of questions in GRE Quantitative Reasoning section:
The questions asked are prepared from the undergrad math portion of Arithmetic, Geometry, Data Analysis and Algebra. The following table highlights important topics that form a part of the GRE exam syllabus for the Quantitative Reasoning section:
GRE Exam portion for Quantitative Reasoning section
The Analytical Writing section requires you to contest two essays, one is an issue-based essay and the other is an argumentative essay. Despite its small score value, the essay strengthens your paper and reflects your presentation skills.
The examiner checks on your structured writing and argumentative skills. To achieve a good score in the Analytical Writing section, it is recommended to vicariously read articles, debates and news.
Types of questions in GRE analytical writing:
An argumentative essay
An issue-based essay
Note: You might have a choice to choose a stance or would be provided with an opinion to defend and justify. Read the question correctly and answer.
Achieving a good score on your GRE test is a doable task. All you have to do is focus on the GRE test pattern, understand the scoring pattern, and study accordingly. The structure of the paper is well planned, making it widely relatable for all the students who take the test. All you need to do to find your roadmap to success in GRE is stay focused and prepare thoroughly.
Learning about the syllabus and pattern of GRE exam is a fruitful way to start your preparation. Tackling your weaknesses and preparing for the exam is the next effective step. Refer to the ‘How to prepare for GRE’ to get a grip on how you can conquer your weaknesses and master the GRE paper.
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