All About the GRE Examination



The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a test taken by anyone who wants to enter graduate school. Similar to the SAT for those entering an undergraduate program, the GRE is the most widely accepted graduate admissions test in the world. The newest versions of the GRE are designed to be test-taker friendly, and unlike the SAT, the majority of GRE exams are taken on the computer.

The GRE is comprised of three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. In the verbal reasoning section, students are tested on their ability to evaluate and understand written material. They must analyze the relationships between components of sentences, as well as the relationships between single words and concepts. In the quantitative reasoning section, test-takers are given arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis problems in an effort to test their problem-solving ability. The writing section of the GRE tests the ability to think and write critically. Students must be able to effectively articulate complex ideas.

Applicants for the GRE test come from various backgrounds from around the world, but anyone entering graduate or business school must take it. Scores on the GRE range from 0-1600, and graduate schools weigh the results of the test heavily into their admissions decisions. The test is so useful because it provides a common tool to compare prospective students.

There are more than 700 test centers in the world that offer computer-based versions of the GRE on an ongoing basis. In addition to the standard GRE test, students can also take subject-specific GRE tests. These tests are taken by prospective students to display their knowledge on a particular topic. These are usually taken in addition to the standard GRE. Common subject-specific GRE tests include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology. Although the tests are usually not required by graduate schools, they can separate one student from another. Unlike the standard test, subject-specific GRE tests are only provided three times per year. Students can take the tests in either October, November, or April, and almost all graduate programs accept the scores from the tests if they are submitted to them.