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The GRE is coming out this September 2023 with a complete overhaul. Students seeking admissions to top graduate programs are flooding the internet with questions about this new GRE exam. With GMAC also rolling out the GMAT Focus Edition, the confusion has only amplified. This blog provides a clear picture of the new GRE exam format with section-wise breakup and the differences between the two new GMAT and GRE.

In this blog:

What are the changes in the new GRE exam?

The GRE General Test has undergone significant modifications, including a reduction in testing duration from nearly 4 hours to slightly under 2 hours. Despite retaining its focus on assessing verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills, each section is shortened. The unscored portion and scheduled break has been eliminated. Furthermore, delivery of official GRE scores has been accelerated, with anticipated results within 8-10 calendar days as opposed to the earlier time frame of 10-15 calendar days.

New GRE format 2023

Section Name Number of sections Number of questions Time allotted
Analytical Writing 1 section 1 essay task 30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 2 sections 27 questions 47 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 2 sections 27 questions 41 minutes
Total time 1 hour and 58 minutes

New GRE section-wise breakup

Section Name #tasks/question Time
Analytical Writing 1 essay task 30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Section 1 12 questions 21 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Section 2 15 questions 26 minutes
Verbal Reasoning Section 1 12 questions 18 minutes
Verbal Reasoning Section 2 15 questions 23 minutes
Total 55 questions 1 hour, 58 minutes

GMAT Focus vs Shorter GRE: questions and time

Sections Shorter GRE 


Shorter GRE
total time
GMAT Focus


GMAT Focus

total time

Analytical Writing 1 essay task 30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 27 questions 47 minutes 21 questions 45 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 27 questions 41 minutes 23 questions 45 minutes
Data Insights 20 questions 45 minutes
Total 1 hour, 58 minutes 2 hours, 15 minutes

How does shorter GRE compare with GMAT Focus?

The table below give a complete overview of the key differences between the shorter GRE and GMAT Focus Edition:

Shorter GRE vs GMAT Focus

Shorter GRE® General Test GMAT Focus Edition
Registration dates The shorter GRE will launch on September 22, 2023. Registration is open now for test dates on or after September 22. The GMAT Focus Edition will launch in Q4 2023 (between October and December). Registration opens August 29.
Content Three measures: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. Three measures: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Data Insights.
Test Length 1 hour, 58 minutes 2 hours, 15 minutes
Fees $220 in most locations, regardless of whether you test at a center or at home. Pricing varies by country but generally ranges from $250- $275 to test at a center and $275-$300 to test at home.
Number of Score Reports included with fees Four. Additional score reports are $30. Five. Additional score reports are $35.
Test Experience In each section, you have flexibility to move around, answer questions in the order of your choosing and change answers as many times as you would like. Questions must be answered in the order in which they are received. You can change up to three answers per section.
Question Format Mostly multiple choice with one essay so applicants can demonstrate their critical thinking and analytical writing skills. All multiple choice questions.
Calculator A calculator is provided during the Quantitative Reasoning sections, and you can use it as often as you like without penalization.  A calculator is not allowed during the Quantitative Reasoning section but is provided for use during the Data Insights section .
Test Format The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning measures are section-level adaptive, meaning the second section of Quant you receive will be easier or harder based on your performance on the first section of Quant. Same for Verbal. This test format allows you to move freely within each section and change as many answers as you’d like. The GMAT Focus Edition is question-level adaptive, meaning the program selects your next question based on your previous responses. This test format limits your ability to change your answers in each section.

Read: scores on the new GMAT Focus.

Score Penalty for Unanswered Questions No. There is no penalty for unanswered questions. Also, your score doesn’t decrease if you answer incorrectly, so it’s always in your best interest to guess.  Yes. There is a penalty for unanswered questions.
Unofficial Score Preview Yes; after completion of the test. Yes; after completion of the test.
Official Scores Typically within 8 calendar days, but may take up to 10 calendar days to process. Typically within 7 business days, but may take up to 20 business days to process.
Score Options if You Test More Than Once You can send scores to schools from Most Recent, All or Any specific test administration. The Official Score Report will include all exams you have taken in the past five years.

Suggested Reads: GMAT vs GRE: The right exam for your B-school


Which Analytical Writing essay task has been removed from the shorter GRE test?

The Analytical Writing section of the new shorter GRE will only have one essay task, the “Analyze an Issue” task. The “Analyze an Argument” task will be removed.

Until when can you take the current GRE?

The current GRE will be available until September 20, 2023. Test-takers who schedule an appointment on or after September 22, 2023 will have to take the shorter GRE.

Where can you take the shorter GRE?

You can take the shorter GRE at home or at a test center, as you prefer.

Is the study material available for the shorter GRE test?

Since ETS is only reducing the number of questions on the GRE exam and not changing the content of the test, you can still use the existing practice tests, study materials, and other free GRE prep resources. However, you no longer need to prepare for the “Analyze an Argument” task on the AWA.

Should you take the current GRE General Test or the Shorter GRE General Test?

When deciding which GRE exam to take, consider your college application deadline. The scores for the new GRE test will be delivered in 8-10 days. So, if your application deadlines are in the first week of October or before that, it’s recommended that you take the current GRE exam. But, if your application deadlines do not factor in right now, you can pick either of the two GREs based on your preference.

Also read: When, why and should you retake the GMAT exam?

Bottom Line

The new GRE exam changes have left a lot of test-takers in a conundrum, especially those in the middle of their test preparation. But, no matter where you are in your GRE journey, Jamboree is here to help. With a 30-year legacy of GRE high scores, we come prepared to help you ace the GRE exam. Book a free consultation with our counselor and find out the right GRE exam for you. Book a session here or call us at +919643133368.

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