Graduate Record Examination [GRE]: A Complete Guide

Graduate Record Examination [GRE]: A Complete Guide

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

Last updated Mar 29, 2021

Exams, exams and exams! If you wish to study abroad, then you will need to make your peace with exams. Acing an entrance exam is your ticket to your dream university. Hey, don’t feel discouraged! Just follow my Graduate Record Examination [GRE]: A Complete Guide and you will be fine. So, let’s get started! 

What Is The Graduate Record Examination [GRE] Test?

The Graduate Record Examination [GRE] is one of the largest graduate school entrance exams in the world. It is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Every year, more than 5,00,000 students from 160 countries take the GRE test across 1,000+ test centres. GRE scores are accepted by thousands of international graduate programmes, including masters and doctorate degrees. So, if you want to study abroad, then there’s a big chance that you will need to take the GRE.

Graduate Record Examination [GRE] Paper Pattern 

The GRE paper-based exam is held twice a year (November and February) whereas the computer-based exam can be taken anytime in a year. However, for the computer-based exam, students can only appear up to five times in a year.

Paper-based Exam – 

Analytical Writing – 2 sections- 2 tasks, 60 minutes.

Verbal Reasoning – 2 sections- 50 questions, 70 minutes.

Quantitative Reasoning – 2 sections- 50 questions, 80 minutes.

Computer-based Exam – 

Analytical Writing – 1 section- two tasks, 60 minutes.

Verbal Reasoning – 2 section- 40 questions, 60 minutes.

Quantitative Reasoning – 2 sections- 40 questions, 70 minutes.

How Do I Go About With The Graduate Record Examination [GRE] Registration?

Graduate Record Examination [GRE]: A Complete Guide

The GRE is held every year by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is a standardized exam taken by students who wish to seek admission to graduate courses like MS, MSc, MBA, etc. at universities abroad.

Read on to find out the registration process for Graduate Record Examination [GRE] – 

Step 1: Candidates need to create a new account or log in to an already existing account on the official website.

Step 2: Build your profile. Students need to carefully flesh out their profile by providing their academic details on the website. 

Step 3: Select the test centre and exam date. After adding the required details, students will be asked to select their GRE Test Centre/Exam Date that is most convenient to them. 

Step 4: Pay the fees. The last part of the registration process is the payment of fees. Students will be redirected to the payment gateway page and would be required to pay the GRE test fee as mentioned. Make sure you take a print out of the acknowledgment receipt.

What Is The Graduate Record Examination [GRE] Fee?

The Graduate Record Examination [GRE] exam fee is $205 in all countries except five, which are India, Turkey, China, Australia, and Nigeria. Here is a concise list of the GRE fees 2021 – 

Location Fee
Turkey$255
China$231.30
Australia$230
Nigeria$226
India$213
Rest of the world$205

What Is The Best Graduate Record Examination [GRE] Preparation Strategy?

Having a good preparation strategy is half the battle won. If you search for ‘GRE tips’ on the internet, you will be swamped with a sea of advice. Some of it may be good, some of it bad, and some of it is just plain trash.

I’ve narrowed it down to a list of my 8 top tips and tricks that you can employ in your Graduate Record Examination [GRE]. 

1. Start studying vocabulary

The GRE Verbal section is extremely vocab heavy. You need to score well in this section especially if you’re applying to humanities or social science programmes. The only way you can improve your vocabulary is by reading voraciously. Be warned that the GRE Verbal section is several notches above SAT/ACT-level vocabulary.

2. Focus on your subject

What we mean by this is that if you are applying to an English graduate program, your Quant score will have little bearing on your application. Similarly, Engineering admissions committees won’t care too much about your English scores.

3. Don’t ignore the other subject

I know it sounds contradictory but you shouldn’t ignore the other areas of the exam completely. If you score extremely low on a part of the test, even if it’s not directly relevant to the graduate programme, it might raise red flags for the admissions committee. So do put some work in. 

4. Use good study materials 

Having reliable study materials is essential in having a good GRE preparation strategy. The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test, Second Edition, The Official GRE Guide app and Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions, Volume One are some of the best study materials I can recommend.  

5. Take plenty of mock tests

Many students think that simply taking/reading lessons and doing practice sets is sufficient to ace the GRE. However, this is not the case. The GRE is a marathon, and staying alert for almost four hours takes practice. Take at least one practice test a week and aim for a total of 10 practice tests. 

6. Know question types

As you take more and more practice tests, you will get accustomed to the question types typically asked in the GRE. Pay attention to the question types you consistently ace and those you get wrong, and make sure you come up with approaches that work for you for each problem type.

7. Keep an error log

Taking multiple mock tests will reveal your weak areas. If you’re aiming to ace the GRE then you will need to excel in all the sections of the Graduate Record Examination [GRE]. One way to do this is to record your mistakes, and subsequently correct the answers. 

8. Plan on taking the exam twice

Most students tend to get better scores on the GRE by taking it twice. As per the rules of GRE, the two tests have to be at least 21 days apart, so make sure you plan in advance. You may be happy with your score on the first exam but just imagine how much pressure will be taken off your shoulders during that test, simply by knowing that you’ll have a chance to retake the exam if necessary.

I believe that a 30-day study plan will work out great for you, as long as you study dedicatedly at least 2-3 hours a day on average. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on ‘Graduate Record Examination [GRE]: A Complete Guide. If you wish to read more blogs like this, here are some blogs that we think you will enjoy reading – 

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