GRE Preparation


The Graduate Record Examination or popularly referred to as the GRE is a standardized test and is also the first step to your higher education dreams abroad. The GRE score is a mandatory criterion is almost all the US universities and is accepted by top universities across the globe. The GRE was founded and is conducted by ETS, the world’s largest non-profit educational testing and assessment organisation. Aspirants from more than 160 countries looking to pursue their PG degree, MS, MBA, PhD. take the GRE. On an average, about 2 lakh Indian students take the GRE score every year. The GRE score that you obtain is valid for 5 years. In addition to the to the General GRE test, there are also 6 specialised GRE subject tests that evaluate the applicants’ knowledge in the respective fields.

The subject GRE test is for students who have an undergraduate degree or an extensive background from the following fields,

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • English Literature
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Now that you have a fair understanding of what a GRE test is, you might want to know what the syllabus is and how the exam structure looks like. Here it is!

Structure & Syllabus

The GRE is 3 hours 45 minutes long test and is also section-wise adaptive, which means the next section will get tougher or easier depending on your performance in the current section.

What are these sections?

The 3 main sections of the GRE are:
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning and
  • Analytical Writing.

The Quant section basically covers your high school mathematics and spreads across the 4 main areas of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data analysis.

The Verbal section is basically your general high school English subdivided into Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion. To master the Verbal section the aspirants are required to familiarize themselves with 3500 GRE words given by ETS.

And finally, the Analytical Writing section requires you to write two essays – an Issue and an Argument essay.

Experimental Section - An unscored section which can either be Verbal or Quantitative.

The GRE is scored on a scale of 260 to 340, equally split into Quants and Verbal sections. The AWA section is scored separately on a scale of 0 to 6. This is score is not added to the total score.

What is a good GRE score?

A good GRE score mostly depends on the expectations of the student and the requirement of the universities they are targeting.

1) TOP SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 10% of the test takers and get you into the Top 20 US Universities.

2) GOOD SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 25% of the test takers and get you into excellent US Universities. And guess what? You still have a shot at Ivy League universities if you have a good and consistent profile.

3) MODEST SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 50% of the test takers. Though these scores won’t help your chances of getting into the Top US Universities, you will have a shot of many non-Ivy League universities. These are pretty decent scores and not at all bad. Though you might face some competition if you are applying for highly sought after programs. Make sure that you build up a strong profile.

4) AVERAGE SCORE – These scores will place you among the remaining 50% of the test takers. Though these scores would get you admissions in many universities, chances are high that these universities might not be regarded as Top Universities or Excellent Universities by conventional standards. These universities can still offer you unconventional programs and help you build your own niche. Or you can just retake the GRE and aim to boost your GRE scores for a shot at more popular universities.

Now that you know all about the GRE let’s move on the eligibility criteria.
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