GRE - Frequently Asked Questions

The GRE revised General is a standardized test that is used by many graduate programs and business schools as part of the application process.  The test is administered by computer, but the GRE revised not computer adaptive.  The GRE measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

The GRE revised General is now the standard format of the “GRE”. As of August 1, 2011 the GRE revised General replaced the GRE General. The test may also be referred to as the “GRE” or “GRE General”.


Who should take the GRE?

The GRE is used by programs in a variety of areas of study, including most social sciences, education, and some business schools. Check with the programs you are considering and find out whether or not they require or accept the GRE.

The GRE revised is increasingly being accepted by business schools for entry into MBA and related programs.


Do I need to take the GRE General, or one of the GRE Subject tests?

Most programs require the GRE General. In addition to the GRE General, there are also subject-specific GRE exams.  These subject tests are used by specific areas of study. These tests are sometimes required IN ADDITION to the GRE General. These tests are intended for students that have extensive backgrounds in an area of study.  Tests include: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. We do not offer preparation for the subject-specific tests. Find out more information online at:


What is tested on the GRE?

Analytical Writing – 2 questions answered in essay format:
1 Analysis of an Issue
1 Analysis of an Argument

Verbal – Focuses on the your ability to analyze and evaluate written material
Reading Comprehension – read a short passage and answer questions
Multiple choice – select ONE correct answer
Multiple choice – select ONE OR MORE correct answers (multiple right answers)
Select in passage – select a portion of the passage that answers a certain question or meets a requested criteria.
Text Completion – fill in omitted words or phrases for given passages
Each sentence may have multiple blanks.
Sentence Equivalence – single sentence, select the 2 best answers that complete the sentence and are alike in meaning.

Quantitative - Tests problem-solving ability using general mathematics skills – arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
Quantitative Comparison – reason about relative sizes or perceive that not enough information is available
Problem Solving – Standard Multiple Choice questions – Select ONE answer choice
Multiple Choice Questions – Select ONE or MORE answer choices
Numeric Entry (Gridded Answer) Questions – Require completion by filling in a box instead of selecting a multiple-choice answer.
Data Interpretation – Given information you must interpret, usually using charts or graphs.


How is the GRE Revised scored?

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the exam are each scored on a scale of 130-170, in 1-point increments. This differs significantly from the old score scale of 200 to 800, with 10-point increments, but it basically achieves the same result for the test taker.  The reason for the change is primarily appearance.  ETS wants a small difference (one or two increments) to LOOK small (one or two points).


The Writing section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6.


The most important thing to know about the test scoring system is that it compares a test taker’s performance with everyone else who has taken the test.  It also means that schools are able to compare test results regardless of exam version.


Schools have been provided with a score comparison matrix to help them compare scores in the old format with scores in the current format.


What is a good score?

It depends.  A good score is defined as one that gets you into the program you want, not by a number.  Check with the programs you are considering, and ask them if they have a minimum and an average for everyone in the program to get a better idea of what a good score will be for you. A 150 on each section will be the 50th percentile.


How long are scores on the Current GRE Test good for?

All GRE scores are valid for 5 years.


How can I prepare for the GRE Revised?

ETC Test Prep offers GRE Prep Classes in Charlotte and online.  We also offer free online strategy workshops to answer all of your questions about the GRE.

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ETC Test Prep Charlotte

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