Test Content and Structure

The GRE® revised General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today's demanding graduate and business school programs. The test-taker friendly design lets you skip questions within a section, go back and change answers and have the flexibility to choose which questions within a section you want to answer first. Get a look at the structure of the computer-delivered or paper-delivered GRE revised General Test.

The GRE revised General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills — skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study but are important for all. Here's a look at content covered in the three test sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:

  • 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

Get a quick view of the Verbal Reasoning Question types.

Take a closer look at the Verbal Reasoning section, including sample questions with rationales, tips and more.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:

  • understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • solve problems using mathematical models
  • apply basic skills and elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data interpretation

The Quantitative Reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator. If you are taking the paper-delivered test, a calculator will be provided at the test center.

Get a quick view of the Quantitative Reasoning Question types.

Take a closer look at the Quantitative Reasoning section, including sample questions with rationales, tips and more.

Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to:

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English

The Analytical Writing section requires you to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented, so you can accurately demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task.

Get a quick view of the Analytical Writing Question types.

Take a closer look at the Analytical Writing section, including sample questions, scored sample essay responses, reader commentary, tips and more.

Modified Versions of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Questions

The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on the test. Some modifications are substantial; others are less apparent.

Even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be different and have a different answer. Pay careful attention to the wording of each question.

See also:


Register for the GRE revised General Test

Register Now >

Send only your best scores.

Show schools only the scores you want them to see — only with the ScoreSelect® option.

Start Preparing Today!

Check out our FREE Official test prep then browse the ETS Store for our $7 prep videos, Official Practice Question Guides and more.

Try the GRE revised General Test for FREE!

The official POWERPREP® II software is as close to the actual test as you can get and it includes two practice tests. Download it today for Mac® and PC use!