The GRE General Test and Training

Graduate Record English. The GRE is a standardized test for people planning on attending graduate school . The test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills — skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study but are important for all. Here’s a look at content covered in the three test sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to:

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English

The Analytical Writing section requires you to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented, so you can accurately demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:

  • analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author’s assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author’s intent
  • select important points; distinguish major from minor or irrelevant points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text
  • understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:

  • understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • solve problems using mathematical models
  • apply basic skills and elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis
  • The Quantitative Reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator.

GRE® General Test Structure

The overall testing time for the GRE® General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

MeasureNumber of QuestionsAllotted Time
Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)
One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions per section30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
20 questions per section35 minutes per section
Unscored¹VariesVaries
Research²VariesVaries
  1. An unidentified unscored section that does not count toward your score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the unscored section are being tried out either for possible use in future tests or to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores from earlier editions.
  2.  An identified research section that does not count toward your score may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for ETS research purposes.

The Analytical Writing section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order; therefore, you should treat each section as if it counts toward your score.

Test Design Features

The advanced adaptive design of the GRE General Test allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include:

  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • “Mark” and “Review” features to tag questions, so you can skip them and return later if you have time remaining in the section
  • The ability to change/edit answers within a section
  • An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section
Start date Time Duration Location
December 7, 2020 5.00pm-7.00pm 10 Days Online