The GRE® General Test

You may notice that the GRE® revised General Test has been shortened to the GRE® General Test. Nothing else has changed, just the name.

Keep in mind that it may take some time to see this name change everywhere, including on the advisor kit and test preparation materials. Some research and reference documents may even permanently refer to "revised" but rest assured that

GRE General Test = GRE revised General Test.

It's that simple.

The GRE General test plays a vital role in the admissions process for graduate and business school programs around the world. The test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are required for success in graduate and business school. Test content is closely aligned with these skills, and test-taker friendly features, such as the ability to skip questions, go back and change answers, provide a flexible testing experience for prospective applicants helping them approach test day with more confidence.

Testing Around the World

The GRE General Test is administered in a secure testing environment at more than 1,000 ETS-authorized test centers in 160 plus countries.

  • In most regions of the world, the computer-delivered GRE General Test is administered on computer and available on a continuous basis throughout the year.
  • In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, the computer-delivered test is available up to three times per month.
  • In areas of the world where the computer-delivered test is not available, a paper-delivered test is given up to three times per year (October 8, 2016, November 5, 2016, and February 4, 2017).

Structure of the Computer-delivered GRE General Test

Test structure and length of the computer-delivered test
SectionNumber of QuestionsTime
Analytical Writing (One section with two separately timed tasks)
  • One "Analyze an Issue" task
  • One "Analyze an Argument" task
30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Unscored or Research Section* Varies Varies

*An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Additionally, an identified research section that is not scored may be included in place of the unscored section, and it is always at the end of the test.

Structure of the Paper-delivered GRE General Test

Test structure and length of the paper-delivered test
SectionNumber of QuestionsTime
Analytical Writing (Two sections)
  • Section 1: "Analyze an Issue" task
  • Section 2: "Analyze an Argument" task
30 minutes per section
Verbal Reasoning (Two sections) 25 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 25 questions per section 40 minutes per section

Skills Measured on the GRE General Test

The GRE General Test measures the test taker's ability to do the following:

Analytical Writing

  • Articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Examine claims and accompanying evidence.
  • Support ideas with relevant reasons and examples.
  • Sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion.
  • Control the elements of standard written English.

See Analytical Writing Sample Questions.

Verbal Reasoning

  • Analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author's assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning such as literal, figurative and author's intent.
  • Select important points; distinguish major from minor or relevant points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text.
  • Understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts.

See Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions.

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Understand quantitative information.
  • Interpret and analyze quantitative information.
  • Solve problems using mathematical models.
  • Apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.

See Quantitative Reasoning Sample Questions.

Additional Resources

To review a simulated version of the computer-delivered GRE General Test, download the FREE POWERPREP® II software that is available for test takers. For more information and resources about the GRE General Test, visit the GRE Information Center and view the Official GRE Advisor Kit.

See also:

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