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The GRE has experienced considerable alterations in recent years, owing mostly to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most notable changes is that the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the conducting body for the GRE test, now provides the GRE at home. Students who were unable to go to a test centre now take the GRE from their homes. 

As a result of these modifications, the number of students taking the GRE in India has increased. In the last ten years, the number of GRE test-takers has doubled with over 100,000 students in India taking the GRE in the 2021-2022 academic year. 

 In this blog: 

  1. How has the GRE test delivery changed?
  2. Changes to the GRE framework
  3. What are the changes on the GRE?
  4. Changes in admission policies for GRE
  5. Bottom Line

How has the GRE test delivery changed?

The GRE was exclusively available at test centres around the world prior to the pandemic. In March 2020, ETS stated that it would provide the GRE online. This was a significant shift because it made the GRE more accessible to students who could not travel to a test centre.

Checkout: Free GRE prep resources

The at-home GRE is a proctored exam, which means that students are observed during the exam by a remote proctor. The proctor ensures that students follow the regulations and that no cheating occurs.

Changes to the GRE framework

In a bid to enhance the GRE experience and alleviate test-taker fatigue, the ETS is enacting significant modifications, leading to a notable reduction in the length of the exam. According to their official statement, the GRE, currently spanning around four hours, is set to undergo a transformation that will condense the testing time to under two hours – approximately half the duration of the present test. 

Also read: 10 New GRE Practice Questions with Solutions

This strategic move is propelled by multiple factors. Foremost, ETS is motivated by the ambition to provide candidates with an improved testing experience, one that respects their time, and curbs the presence of anxiety and stress. 

The second primary rationale is to speed up the process of scoring. The impending alterations will culminate in a noteworthy reduction in the scoring period, condensing the turnaround time from a span of 10 to 15 days to a more streamlined 8 to 10 days. This accelerated scoring mechanism will help students in swiftly finalising and submitting their graduate applications, increasing the efficiency of the application process.

What are the changes on the GRE?

Now, you might be wondering about the impact of this new objective on the GRE test structure. After all, cutting down the test duration by almost half surely comes with some sort of trade-off.

To begin, the number of questions in both the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections is undergoing a reduction of 46 questions combined. Additionally, the Analyze an Argument task within the writing section is being eliminated, making way for only one essay instead of two. Now, the GRE will only test you for Analyze an Issue task.

However, don’t let the reduced question count deceive you. The test’s core aim remains unwavering – to equip graduate admissions offices with the tools they need to effectively evaluate the cognitive abilities of applicants.

Read about the new GRE Enhance exam here

Changes in admission policies for GRE

Amidst the pandemic, numerous grad schools opted to evaluate applicants based on their academic records, allowing for the submission of GRE test scores to be optional. In certain instances, universities even temporarily eliminated the GRE requirement altogether. 

However, as the situation gradually returned to its pre-pandemic state, the grad schools reverted to their old admission protocols, reinstating the GRE as an important requisite for admission to Master’s and Ph.D. degree programs. Read about the GRE exam eligibility here.

Bottom Line 

The noteworthy aspect here is that while the test structure itself is undergoing alterations, the actual questions remain unaltered. This translates to a reassuring message for those currently engaged in GRE preparation – your diligent efforts are still relevant and effective for the condensed test format. In essence, if you’re a student diligently gearing up for the GRE, maintaining your current study regimen is the key to success.


The GRE exam registration is already open. All you need to do is select a test date following the implementation of these changes on September 22, 2023. If you are also planning to take the GRE, seek assistance from Jamboree experts. Book your session now! 

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