What is the GRE® General Test?
Graduate programs and business schools use GRE® scores to evaluate your readiness for graduate-level work. The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.
- Analytical Writing — Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically the test taker's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
- Verbal Reasoning — Measures reading comprehension skills and verbal and analogical reasoning skills, focusing on the test taker's ability to analyze and evaluate written material
- Quantitative Reasoning — Measures problem-solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
Who Takes It and Why?
Each year, about 675,000 prospective graduate school applicants from approximately 230 countries take the GRE® General Test. Applicants come from varying educational backgrounds and countries, and the GRE® General Test provides the only common measure for comparing their qualifications.
GRE scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for graduate study.
Prepare for the GRE
Starting August 1, 2011, the new GRE Revised General Test will take the place of the current GRE® General Test. The GRE Revised General Test has some key changes that will impact how you prepare for the test, how you take the test, and when you can expect your test scores to be sent to the institutions to which you are applying.
The test will still consist of 3 sections- Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. However, there will be changes in the types of questions asked in the Verbal and Quantitative Sections.
- Verbal Reasoning will no longer include vocabulary outside of the context of a sentence or paragraph, such as antonyms or analogies. Instead, you will be asked text completion questions and sentence equivalence questions. Click this link to see samples of the types of questions you will be asked to answer for the Verbal section of the GRE-Revised.
- Quantitative Reasoning will still cover the basic math concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. However, new multiple choice formats will include questions where there is more than one correct answer. Additionally, some questions will not provide multiple choices and instead ask you to enter the answer that you reach. An on-screen, 4 function calculator will be provided. Click this link to see samples of the new Quantitative questions.
- Analytical Writing will still ask you to write 2 essays- 1 in which you analyze an issue and 1 in which you analyze an argument. You will now be assigned one task or argument, instead of choosing from multiple tasks. Click this link to see samples of Analytical Writing questions.
More resources available through the GRE website.