GRE FAQ

 

1. What is the GRE?

The GRE is a 3-hour and 45-minute test required for admission to graduate school.

The GRE includes 3 sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

  • The Analytical Writing portion of the GRE consists of a written 30-minute Argument Task and a 30-minute Issue Task.
  • The Verbal portion contains two 35-minute sections with 20 questions in each.
  • The Quantitative portion contains two 30-minute sections,with 20 questions in each.

2. How important are my GRE scores?

The importance of the GRE varies from school to school. Some schools place tremendous emphasis on the GRE and will not consider applicants who don’t meet certain score minimums. Other schools require the GRE as more of a formality. Furthermore, some graduate programs place more emphasis on either the Quantitative or Verbal section.

Your Sentia tutor will help you target your test-prep to meet the specific requirements and priorities of your top-choice schools.

3. What is considered a “good score” on the GRE?

The answer to this question really depends on the specific programs you are applying to. An aspiring chemist will need extremely high Quantitative scores, but her Verbal scores will not matter so much. On the other hand, those applying to study the humanities will be expected to present excellent Verbal Reasoning scores.

The average score for both the Verbal and Quantitative sections is 150 and the average score for Analytical Writing is 4. While anything above 155 Verbal and 160 Quantitative is typically considered “good,” you will aim higher than this if you wish for acceptance to the most prestigious graduate programs.

4. Can I take the GRE multiple times?

You can take the GRE up to five times in one calendar year. In addition, you are only permitted to take the GRE once per month—even if you cancelled your scores from that month’s administration.

Keep in mind that schools have different policies when it comes to considering scores from multiple GRE administrations. Whereas some schools will consider only your highest composite score, others will consider your highest section scores across multiple administrations. Still more programs will consider the average of all reported GRE scores.

GRE scores are valid for 5 years; thus, all scores from the past 5 years will be included in your official score report.

5. I heard the GRE is a “computer adaptive test.” What does this mean?

For the revised GRE, this means that your performance on the first Verbal or Quantitative section will determine the difficulty of your next Verbal or Quantitative section. If you do very well on your first Quantitative section, your next Quantitative section will be more difficult. If you do not do well on your first Quantitative section, your next Quantitative section will be easier.

6. How is the GRE scored?

The GRE includes 3 sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are each scored on a scale of 130 to 170, making the highest possible score 340. The Analytical Writing section—scored on a scale of 0 to 6 –does not affect the overall score out of 340.

7. Can I cancel my GRE scores?

You are permitted to cancel your GRE scores immediately after you finish the exam, but before you see your scores. There is no way to cancel your GRE scores once they have been reported to you. In addition, the fact that you cancelled your GRE scores will be noted on the official score report sent to schools.

8. What types of questions are on the GRE?

The GRE tests verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills.

On the Verbal Reasoning section, students will encounter:

  • Reading Comprehension Questions – These questions test your ability to understand and draw inferences from graduate level texts.
  • Text Completion Questions – These questions require you to select the word(s) that best complete the given sentence or paragraph.
  • Sentence Equivalence Questions – These questions consist of a single sentence with one blank. Your task is to choose two words that fit this blank and complete the sentence. In addition, both completed sentences must be identical in meaning.

On the Quantitative Reasoning section, students will encounter:

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions – These questions ask you to describe the relationship between two quantities. Which one is greater? Are they equal? Or is there too little information to make this comparison?
  • Multiple Choice (Select One) Questions – These are multiple choice questions that ask you to select only one answer from a bank of five choices.
  • Multiple Choice (Select One or More) Questions – These are multiple choice questions that ask you to select one or more answers from a bank of five choices.
  • Numeric Entry Questions – These are open-ended questions; there are no answer choices.
  • Data Interpretation Questions – These questions test your ability to read and interpret a table, graph, or other data presentation.

9. How do I register for the GRE?

You can register online, by phone (800-GRE-CALL) or by mail.

To register by mail, download and complete the Authorization Voucher Request Form.
Mail this form to:
ETS-CBT/GRE
Box 371859
Pittsburgh, PA 15250

10. What fees are associated with the GRE?

It costs $160.00 to take the GRE in the United States, some U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico. To take the test almost anywhere else, students must pay $190.00.

11. What are the GRE Subject Tests?

Remember SAT IIs? The GRE Subject Tests are kind of similar; they are tests designed to measure your grasp of a specific subject. Currently, GRE subject tests are available in biochemistry; cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; literature; mathematics; physics; and psychology.

GRE Subject Tests are given in paper form, three times per year.