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The GRE General Test enjoys wide popularity among students and universities alike because of its worldwide acceptance for admissions to Masters and Phd Programs. Before you immerse yourself in GRE preparations, let’s brush up on the exam’s structure.

GRE Exam Structure

Educational Testing Service or ETS administers and conducts the GRE General Test. It is a 3-hour and 45-minute long computer-adaptive test and has a total score of 340 marks.


1.    Sectional Breakup of GRE Test
2.    Section-level Adaptive GRE test
3.    Study Guide for GRE Test

Sectional Breakup of GRE Test

GRE consists of three sections: Analytical Writing (AW), Verbal Reasoning (VR), and Quantitative Reasoning (QR).

Besides these, two sections: unidentified unscored section and identified section may also form a part of the GRE General Test. The unscored section serves two purposes:

  • tests questions for possible use in the future GRE tests
  • make scores on future and past editions of the GRE more comparable.

The Analytical Writing section will always come first, and the remaining sections may appear, in any order, after it. The identified research section is included sometimes in place of the unscored section. ETS uses the questions in this section for research purposes only, but it is still essential to approach every section as if it counts towards your final score.

Section-level Adaptive GRE test

Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning further consists of two sections each. The difficulty level in these subsections varies because of GRE’s section-level adaptive nature. For instance, under the Verbal Reasoning section, your performance in the first section determines the difficulty level of your next section.

The first section is of average difficulty for both Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning. If you perform well in the first section, the questions in the second section will be more difficult. It should be noted that while scoring the QR and VR sections, the difficulty level of the GRE General Test and the total number of correctly answered questions are both considered.

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Let us look at the individual sections on the GRE General Test.

  1. Analytical Writing

This section consists of two essay-writing tasks: Argumentative Writing Task and Issue Writing Task. ETS comprehensively evaluates your essay tasks, so make sure to accommodate both quality and quantity. Additionally, the essays should be well-structured, efficient, and relevant.

The Analytical Writing section tests you on:

  • Clear and effective articulation of complex ideas
  • Presentation of a well-focused and coherent discussion
  • Ideas supported with relevant reasons and instances
  • Correct use of standard written English
  • Examination of claims and supporting evidence
Analytical Writing Section
  • 2 Essays
  • 60 minutes total
    • 30 minutes for the “Issue” essay
    • 30 minutes for the “Argument” essay
  1. Verbal Reasoning

This section consists of three types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence. The Reading Comprehension asks analytical questions to test your understanding of the passage. The difficulty level of the passage is high to match the challenging level of material you will be studying as a graduate student.

The remaining two types- Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence, are designed to test your vocab knowledge.

The Verbal Reasoning section tests your ability to:

  • Analyze sentences and comprehend passages
  • Understand basic vocabulary concepts
  • Creatively think around the questions
  • Understand sentence structure and formation
  • Read through multiple meanings
Verbal Reasoning Section
    • 2 Sections, each section 20 questions
    • 30 minutes per section
  1. Quantitative Reasoning

This section consists of four types of questions: Quantitative Comparison Questions, Numeric Entry, Multiple Choice (one answer), and Multiple choice (one or more answers). In the quantitative comparison section, you will have to compare the two given quantities. For Numeric Entry questions, you must enter your answer in the given text box. While attempting the Multiple Choice questions, separate the questions with a single answer from those with multiple answers.

The Quantitative Reasoning section design is to test your:

  • Understanding, interpretation, and analysis of quantitative data
  • Ability to use mathematical models to solve questions
  • Application of basic mathematical concepts
Quantitative Reasoning Section
    • 2 Sections, 20 questions each section
    • 35 minutes per section

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Study Guide for GRE Test

While diving into any test prep, it is important to follow a well-defined approach. Here is your official guide to the GRE General Test:

  1. Determine Your Target GRE Score

To determine the GRE score you should be targeting, look at the average GRE score of the previous year’s incoming class for the course and universities you have shortlisted. A clear vision of your goal will make reaching it easier.

  1. Take a GRE Practice Test

Taking the GRE Practice test will give you an idea of the test structure, the types of questions you’ll get, and where you stand in the various sections. The practice test will familiarize you with the GRE’s format and timing and help you build a sound study plan.

  1. Develop your Study Plan

The first step toward developing a sound study plan is to understand how to approach various questions. Students in Jamboree’s classes have effectively developed robust study plans and scored a complete 340 on their GRE General Test.

  1. Set your Study Schedule

Whether you are a student or a working professional, setting up an effective study schedule will help you ace the GRE test. We understand the time crunch & miss in regular practice; therefore, at Jamboree, we have the options of online, live, or private classes to choose from. Set your study schedule as per your convenience with Jamboree.

Do not delay your GRE prep any further. Get in touch with our expert counselor at Jamboree to learn more about GRE and its test prep.

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