- Why did you drop "revised" from the name of the GRE® General Test?
In August 2011, the word "revised" was added to help distinguish the current test from the test that was administered prior to that date. Now that scores from the prior test are no longer reported, we no longer need "revised."
- If I have test prep for the GRE® revised General Test, can I use it to help students prepare for the GRE General Test?
Yes, you can continue to use test prep materials that contain the word "revised." It will take some time to see the name change everywhere so don’t be concerned if the published test prep materials or advice you get still references "revised." We recommend that you use official test preparation materials from ETS, the maker of the test. See available Preparation Materials.
- Where can I sign up to become a GRE score user?
To begin receiving GRE score reports, sign up for a GRE institution code. Once you have the code, distribute it to your applicants through your usual means of communication. See Become a GRE Score User.
- Where can I find the latest information and resources to help me and my colleagues learn more about the GRE General Test?
- Who can I contact to get the additional information I need before deciding to become a GRE score user?
You can contact a GRE advisor by email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-609-683-2002.
- What information should I be sharing with prospective applicants?
The official GRE Advisor Kit is a one-stop place where you can view, download and print important information about the GRE tests for sharing with aspiring graduate and business school students, including everything they need to know about test registration, preparation, sending scores and more. You can also direct prospective applicants to our student website, TakeTheGRE.com, and encourage them to join our GRE communities on Facebook® or Weibo® and LinkedIn®.
- What is the price of the GRE General Test?
- What is the price of the GRE® Subject Tests?
- What skills does the GRE General Test measure?
The GRE General Test focuses on the types of skills that have been identified as critical for success at the graduate level — verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing — regardless of a student's field of study. Learn more about the skills measured by the GRE General Test.
- How long is the computer-delivered GRE General Test?
The total testing time for the computer-delivered GRE General test is about 3 hours and 45 minutes, plus short breaks. There are six sections to the test:
- One Analytical Writing section with two separately timed writing tasks
- Two Verbal Reasoning sections
- Two Quantitative Reasoning sections
- One unscored section, typically a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, that may appear at any point in the test
- How long is the paper-delivered GRE General Test?
The total testing time for the paper-delivered GRE General Test is about 3 hours and 30 minutes, plus short breaks. There are six sections to the test:
- Two Analytical Writing sections with one timed writing task per section
- Two Verbal Reasoning sections
- Two Quantitative Reasoning sections
- How is the Analytical Writing measure administered?
The Analytical Writing measure includes two separately timed writing tasks: a 30-minute "Analyze an Issue" task and a 30-minute "Analyze an Argument" task.
The "Issue" task presents an opinion on an issue of general interest followed by specific instructions on how to respond to that issue. Test takers are required to evaluate the issue, consider its complexities and develop an argument with supporting reasons and examples.
The "Argument" task requires test takers to evaluate a given argument according to specific instructions. They will need to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than agree or disagree with the position it presents.
The two tasks are complementary in that one requires the test taker to construct an argument by taking a position and providing supporting evidence of their views on an issue, and the other requires the test taker to evaluate someone else's argument by assessing its claims and evaluating the evidence it provides.
- How does the Analytical Writing measure differ from the Verbal Reasoning measure of the GRE General Test?
Because the Analytical Writing measure is a performance test, test takers must articulate and support their own ideas as they discuss a complex issue as well as construct and evaluate arguments and sustain a focused and coherent discussion.
The Verbal Reasoning measure of the GRE General Test assesses the ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.
Whereas the Verbal section measures a test taker's ability to understand complex ideas expressed in written passages and to recognize relationships among words and concepts, the Analytical Writing section measures the ability to articulate and support ideas and to analyze arguments.
- How does the Analytical Writing measure differ from the Writing section of the TOEFL iBT® test?
The Writing section of the TOEFL iBT test and the GRE Analytical Writing measure are intended to measure different sets of skills. The TOEFL® Writing section contains two writing tasks: an independent task that asks test takers to support an opinion in writing, and an integrated task that asks test takers to write responses that integrate and organize information from a reading passage and a lecture. These writing tasks are not designed to measure higher levels of critical thinking and analytical writing, but center instead on candidates' composition skills and command of English vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and syntax with some analysis and synthesis of material. Therefore, scores on the two tests are not comparable.
Because the TOEFL test emphasizes fundamental writing and comprehension skills, the TOEFL score can supplement an Analytical Writing score by helping faculty determine whether a low score on the GRE Analytical Writing measure is due to lack of familiarity with English or lack of ability to produce and analyze logical arguments.
- What do the GRE Subject Tests measure?
GRE Subject Tests, which are available for Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Literature in English; Mathematics; Physics; and Psychology, measure achievement in particular fields of study.
Carefully developed by committees of examiners with expertise in particular disciplines, the tests assess knowledge of subject matter emphasized in many undergraduate programs as preparation for graduate study. Each GRE Subject Test is intended for students who have majored in or have extensive background in that specific area.
Every GRE Subject Test yields a total score. The Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; and Psychology Tests also yield subscores. Subscores enable assessment of strengths and weaknesses and can be used for guidance and placement purposes. For more details, see The GRE Subject Tests.
Test Fairness and Validity
- What efforts has the GRE Program made to ensure fairness for all test takers, including groups that are underrepresented in graduate school?
The GRE Program has long placed great importance on the issue of fairness. We've taken significant measures to ensure the test upholds the highest standards for fairness by incorporating reviews and checkpoints throughout the development process:
In the early concept phase, a variety of test question types were pilot-tested and any question types that tended to produce group differences in performance were eliminated from the test plan.
During the development phase and continuing today, test questions are further scrutinized by specially trained fairness reviewers to ensure they meet rigorous standards. After questions are pretested, each question is included in a statistical analysis to determine if there are any unfair group differences in the performance of individual test questions; if so, it's removed from the pool. Once questions pass this level of rigor, they are included in the test. Even then, statistical analyses will be repeated regularly to further ensure fairness.
- How do various groups of test takers perform on the GRE General Test (e.g., underrepresented groups, test takers whose native language is not English)?
Subgroup performance is monitored closely. Test takers whose native language is not English and whose reading comprehension skills are weak may find the Verbal Reasoning measure more challenging.
- Is there research that provides evidence that GRE scores are predictive of success in graduate and business school?
A meta-analysis, conducted by Nathan Kuncel and his colleagues (Kuncel, 2001), included over 80,000 students in over 1,700 independent validity studies. This research demonstrated that the GRE General Test has excellent predictive validity.
This meta-analysis study is important because these results apply across a range of intended academic majors, across native speakers of English and nonnative speakers of English, across traditional and nontraditional students and across master's and doctoral programs. Please see A Comprehensive Review of Published GRE® Validity Data.
In addition, in 2013, ETS commissioned a study of recent part-time and full-time MBA students who took the GRE General Test to determine how well their scores correlated with success in their graduate study. Student data was obtained from business school admissions and registrar offices, and the results confirm that GRE scores predict performance in MBA programs. See New data confirms GRE® scores are valid predictors of success in MBA programs.
Collecting validity evidence for the GRE General Test is an ongoing process. The GRE Program has previously supported both ETS and external researchers in their study of the predictive validity of the General Test, and we will continue to do so with future research. As newer research becomes available, we will post the results on the GRE Research website.
- How and where is the GRE General Test administered?
The test is administered in a secure testing environment on a continuous basis at computer-delivered test centers around the world.
In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, the GRE General Test is administered one to three times a month on a computer.
In areas of the world where the computer-delivered test cannot be administered, a paper-delivered test is administered up to three times per year (October 8, 2016, November 5, 2016, and February 4, 2017).
- How and where are the GRE Subject Tests administered?
Paper-delivered Subject Tests are offered at test centers worldwide up to three times per year (September 17, 2016, October 29, 2016, and April 8, 2017).
- Can you describe the on-screen calculator?
The on-screen calculator on the computer-delivered test has four functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and a square root. For paper-delivered tests, hand-held calculators with the same four functions listed above are provided to tests takers at the test center for use during the test.
- Can you describe the word processing software used in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test?
The GRE Program uses an elementary word processor developed by ETS so that individuals familiar with specific commercial word processing software do not have an advantage or disadvantage. Tools such as a spelling checker and grammar checker are not available in the ETS software. This is to maintain fairness with those examinees who write their essays by hand at paper-delivered test centers.
- What can you tell me about test security for the GRE General Test?
GRE scores have been a proven and reliable measure of graduate-level skills for over 65 years. The GRE Program uses some of the most extensive, proven techniques to ensure security in a large-scale, continuous delivery assessment environment. Our approach covers identity verification, surveillance in the test center, post-test analysis and additional measures to further enhance our already effective security measures.
Test security on the GRE General Test is greatly enhanced through the combination of the content, types of questions, design and delivery of the GRE General Test, including many of the proprietary methods that have been incorporated that further complement our already effective security methods. Learn more about test security.
For Business Schools
- Why should my MBA program accept GRE scores?
There are a number of reasons:
- You get more highly qualified, highly diverse applicants for your business school. Potential applicants come from a variety of backgrounds in terms of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age and undergraduate major. And you can reach GRE test takers directly using the GRE® Search Service.
- The GRE General Test measures the skills that business schools value — quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing. It also measures the same level of math knowledge as other leading graduate admissions tests, presents many questions in a business context and does not presume advanced knowledge in any specific content area, including business.
- As the world's leading educational measurement and research organization, ETS is committed to ensuring the trusted reliability, security and validity of our test scores. For more than 65 years GRE scores have been a proven measure of graduate-level skills and GRE tests are supported by ETS's ongoing commitment to validity research.
- When you accept GRE scores, it is also good news for your potential MBA program applicants. GRE test takers appreciate that the test:
- is test-taker friendly with features that allow them to skip questions and go back, and change answers. In fact, research shows most GRE test takers boosted scores when changing answers.
- provides the ScoreSelect® option, only available with GRE tests, so they can decide which GRE scores to send to schools. If they feel they didn't do their best on test day, they can retake the test and then send only their best scores.
- is accepted by thousands of graduate and business schools around the world, giving them even more advanced-degree options
- is offered at more locations than any other graduate admissions test — more than 1,000 test centers in 160+ countries
- is more affordable and includes FREE services such as test prep and a listing in the GRE Search Service
Accepting GRE scores can mean more applicants and more diversity for your business school.
- How many institutions that have MBA programs currently accept GRE scores?
Business schools around the world, including most top-ranked MBA programs, allow applicants to submit GRE General Test scores for admissions. View the most current list of business schools that accept the GRE General Test for their MBA programs.
- Where can I sign up to become a GRE score user?
To begin receiving GRE score reports, sign up for a GRE institution code. Once you have the code, distribute it to your applicants through your usual means of communicating with them about admissions requirements. Be sure your new GRE scores policy is reflected in all of your published communications and that staff and alumni who answer prospective applicant questions are informed.
- Who can I contact to get the additional information I need before deciding to become a GRE score user?
You can contact a GRE advisor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-609-683-2002.
- Is there research that provides evidence that GRE scores are predictive of success in business school?
In 2013, ETS commissioned a study of recent part-time and full-time MBA students who took the GRE General Test to determine how well their scores correlated with success in their graduate study. Student data was obtained from business school admissions and registrar offices, and the results confirm that GRE scores predict performance in MBA programs. See New data confirms GRE® scores are valid predictors of success in MBA programs.
- Does the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools work with both current and prior GRE score scales?
Yes, the easy-to-use GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools, which was designed to help newer GRE score users understand GRE scores in the context of GMAT® scores, allows users to enter GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on either the prior 200–800 score scale or the current 130–170 score scale.
- How was the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools developed?
The research used to create the GRE Comparison Tool included a study with data from individuals who took both the GRE General Test and the GMAT test under standard testing conditions — and tried their best on both tests. An enhanced version of the tool, introduced in July 2013, includes empirical data collected from test takers who took both the GRE General Test, which launched in August 2011, and the GMAT® exam. Please see GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools.
- What level of math content is included in the GRE General Test?
The GRE General Test uses the foundations of high school math (i.e., arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis) to test quantitative reasoning.
- Does the GRE General Test measure knowledge in any specific disciplines?
The GRE General Test does not measure knowledge in any specific disciplines. Questions on the Verbal Reasoning measure are drawn from many different disciplines, including the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and everyday topics, but in every case they can be answered on the basis of the information provided in the question. And, in all sections some questions are presented in a business context.
- Do business school accrediting bodies require a specific admission test for accreditation?
No. Business school accrediting bodies, such as the AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Association of MBAs (AMBA), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), do not require any specific admission test for accreditation.
- Does the GRE program offer any services to help GRE score users recruit prospective graduate and business school students?
Yes. The GRE Search Service can help you create a more powerful recruitment strategy because it provides a cost effective way to reach prospects who have demonstrated graduate-level readiness through their GRE test performance. Learn more about how the GRE Search Service can help you with your recruitment efforts.
In addition, you can promote your graduate recruitment events — for FREE — on the official GRE General Test page on Facebook and Weibo. It's a perfect way to reach hundreds of thousands of prospective graduate and business school prospects — and their friends! Simply submit your event information at least 45 days prior to your event date, and we’ll take it from there!
You may also want to view our official GRE Advisor Kit.
Scores and Score Reporting
- Where can I sign up to become a GRE score user?
To begin receiving official GRE score reports, sign up for a GRE institution code. Once you have the code, distribute it to your applicants through your usual means of communication. See Become a GRE Score User.
- How are the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures of the computer-delivered GRE General Test scored?
The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures are section-level adaptive. This means the computer selects the second section of a measure based on the performance on the first section. Within each section, all questions contribute equally to the final score. For each of the two measures, a raw score is computed. The raw score is the number of questions answered correctly.
The raw score is converted to a scaled score through a process known as equating. The equating process accounts for minor variations in difficulty among the different test editions as well as differences in difficulty among individuals' tests introduced by the section-level adaptation. Thus a given scaled score of a particular measure reflects the same level of performance regardless of which section was selected and when the test was taken.
Both the level of difficulty of the second section of each measure and the number of questions answered correctly across the two sections are factors that contribute to a test taker's final scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures.
- How are the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures of the paper-delivered GRE General Test scored?
Scoring of the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the paper-delivered General Test is a two-step process:
- First, a raw score is computed. The raw score is the number of questions the test taker answered correctly.
- The raw score is then converted to a scaled score through a process known as equating. Equating accounts for differences in difficulty among the different test editions. Thus, a given scaled score for a particular measure reflects the same level of ability regardless of the edition of the test that was taken.
- How is the Analytical Writing measure scored?
For the computer-delivered test, each essay receives a score from at least one trained reader, using a six-point holistic scale. In holistic scoring, readers are trained to assign scores on the basis of the overall quality of an essay in response to the assigned task. The essay score is then scored by e-rater®, a computerized program developed by ETS that is capable of identifying essay features related to writing proficiency. If the human and e-rater scores closely agree, the average of the two scores is used as the final score. If they disagree, a second human score is obtained, and the final score is the average of the two human scores.
The final scores on the two essays are then averaged and rounded to the nearest half-point interval on the 0–6 score scale. A single score is reported for the Analytical Writing measure. The primary emphasis in scoring the Analytical Writing section is on your critical thinking and analytical writing skills rather than on grammar and mechanics.
For the paper-delivered test, each essay receives a score from two trained readers using a six-point holistic scale. In holistic scoring, readers are trained to assign scores on the basis of the overall quality of an essay in response to the assigned task. If the two assigned scores differ by more than one point on the scale, the discrepancy is adjudicated by a third GRE reader. Otherwise, the two scores on each essay are averaged.
The final scores on the two essays are then averaged and rounded to the nearest half-point interval on the 0–6 score scale. A single score is reported for the Analytical Writing measure. The primary emphasis in scoring the Analytical Writing section is on critical thinking and analytical writing skills rather than on grammar and mechanics.
- What scores are reported for the GRE General Test?
Three scores are reported on the General Test:
- A Verbal Reasoning score reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
- A Quantitative Reasoning score reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
- An Analytical Writing score reported on a 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments.
If no questions at all are answered in a section (Verbal, Quantitative or Analytical Writing), that section is reported as a No Score (NS).
- When are GRE General Test scores reported after testing?
For those taking the computer-delivered GRE General Test, scores are available approximately 10–15 days after the test date. Scores for paper-delivered test administrations are available within six weeks after the test date.
- What is the ScoreSelect option?
The ScoreSelect option lets GRE test takers decide which scores to send to the institutions they designate; either the most recent scores, all scores or scores from a particular administration. Test takers can approach test day with more confidence knowing they can send the scores they feel reflect their personal best. The ScoreSelect option is available for both the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Tests and can be used by anyone with reportable scores from the last five years. Scores for a test administration must be reported in their entirety. Institutions will receive score reports that show the scores that test takers selected to send to them. Learn more about the ScoreSelect option.
- How long are scores reportable?
Scores are reportable for five testing years after the year in which a person tests.
- How should departments use GRE scores?
The GRE Board has developed Guidelines for the Use of GRE Scores, which summarizes the considerations for appropriate use of GRE test scores.
- Are test takers who use alternative ways of developing an argument scored fairly?
Test takers may use any one of a variety of strategies to structure their essays. Readers are explicitly trained to accept any strategy in an essay that meets the essential requirements of the essay task, that is, a response that provides the information required by the essay prompt.
- How is reader performance monitored?
Many different strategies are used to ensure that all readers use the same scoring standard. At the beginning of each scoring session, readers must score a calibration set of ten previously scored essays with 90 percent accuracy before being permitted to score operational essays.
During operational scoring, previously scored essays (monitor essays) are interspersed among unscored operational essays to monitor each reader's scoring accuracy; readers cannot distinguish between the two kinds of essays.
Scoring leaders (very experienced readers) also monitor readers' performance throughout the scoring session by reviewing readers' scores on operational essays, monitor essays and calibration essays and by monitoring score distributions. Scoring leaders also provide readers with ongoing support and guidance. Readers who deviate from the acceptable level of accuracy are retrained or dismissed. In the current operational test, 97 percent of scores are within one point of agreement with each other.
- Can I view scores online?
Yes, score recipients can view scores online through the ETS® Data Manager.
- What is the ETS Data Manager?
Score recipients can use the ETS Data Manager for easy, on-demand, secure access to score information and test-taker data free of charge. GRE scores, test-taker photos and GRE Analytical Writing responses are made available in the ETS Data Manager approximately twice a week via the Internet. Note: Institutions currently using Scorelink® Internet Delivery of Scores can use the ETS Data Manager to access scores without encryption software. Learn more about the ETS Data Manager.
- What information is available to assist graduate and business schools in using GRE scores?
There are a number of tools to help you use GRE scores, including:
- Paper and electronic score reports that include percentile ranks for all test takers
- Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning concordance tables
- Interpretive tables with percentile ranks that are used for score reporting
- GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools
- GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores
In addition, concordance tables are available to help you gain familiarity with the current 130–170 score scales. Each concordance table provides information about the prior score scale, the current 130–170 score scale and the corresponding percentile ranks. You can use the concordance tables to place all of your applicants' test scores on the current 130–170 score scales of the General Test and use the associated percentiles for decision-making purposes
Score reports also include percentile ranks for the scores each test taker receives. A percentile rank for a score indicates the percentage of examinees that took the test and received a lower score. Interpretive tables containing percentile ranks for each score point on the new score scales are also available.
The easy-to-use GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools, which was designed to help newer GRE score users understand GRE scores in the context of GMAT® scores, allows users to enter GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on either the prior 200–800 score scale or the current 130–170 score scale.
As you are using the 130–170 scale scores to compare candidates, it is important to consider the standard errors of measurement (SEMs) of the difference between scores. This statistic will help you understand whether or not the score differences between candidates are meaningfully different from one another. You can find the SEMs for the measures of the GRE General Test in the GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores.
- Why is it important to look at percentile ranks?
Percentile ranks are important to look at because they provide information about an applicant's performance in comparison to other applicants. A percentile rank for a score indicates the percentage of examinees that took the test and received a lower score. Regardless of when the reported scores were earned, the percentile ranks for General Test scores are based on the scores of all examinees who tested within a recent time period. The current reference group includes all individuals who tested between August 1, 2012 and June 30, 2015. Percentiles are reported on both paper and electronic score reports and are available on the GRE website.
- How do I know if a score difference is a small difference or a large difference?
When comparing candidates, the standard error of measurement (SEM) of the difference between scores should be taken into consideration to understand whether the differences observed between candidates are small or large. If the difference between the scores is less than the SEM of the difference between scores, the scores should not be considered different from one another. If the difference between the scores is equal to or higher than the SEM of the difference between scores, the scores should be considered different from one another. SEMs of the difference between scores are available in the GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores.
- Can the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores be combined with Analytical Writing scores?
No. The guidelines for appropriate score use state that the GRE General Test measures be considered as three separate and independent measures.
- How should we interpret Analytical Writing scores, particularly for test takers whose native language is not English?
As a performance assessment, the GRE Analytical Writing section provides a snapshot of a test taker's analytical writing ability before entry into graduate school. If test takers for whom English is a second language do not understand the task being posed to them, their performance on the Analytical Writing section and the Verbal section will be affected. Test users should consider a variety of pieces of information about applicants whose native language is not English, including TOEFL scores, to determine whether to admit these students.
- What research is available on the GRE General Test?
The GRE General Test is backed by decades of research. Many reports are available online. Please see GRE Research.
- What is The Research Foundation for the GRE General Test?
The Research Foundation for the GRE General Test: A Compendium of Studies is a comprehensive collection of the extensive research efforts and other activities that led to the successful launch of the GRE General Test in August 2011. Summaries of nearly a decade of research as well as previously unreleased information about the test cover a variety of topics, including the rationale for revising the test, the development process, test design, score scales, automated scoring, validity, fairness and accessibility.
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