Frequently Asked Questions About the GRE® revised General Test
- Does the GRE® revised General Test measure knowledge in any specific disciplines?
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. The GRE revised General Test features question types that reflect the kind of thinking you'll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today's demanding graduate and business school programs
- What is the price of the GRE revised General Test?
- Which graduate and business school institutions accept GRE scores?
- See the complete list of institutions using GRE® scores and their official ETS code number.
- Which MBA programs accept GRE scores?
- Business schools worldwide accept GRE scores for their MBA, specialized master's and other doctoral business programs, including many top-ranked programs. View the most current list of business schools accepting GRE scores for MBA admissions.
- How can business schools compare applicants who have submitted GRE scores with applicants who have submitted GMAT® scores?
We have developed the GRE Comparison Tool to allow business schools to place GRE scores in the context of GMAT® scores. Business schools can input GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores into the GRE Comparison Tool and the Tool will provide estimated GMAT scores.* An enhanced version of the tool was introduced in July 2013. You can access the GRE Comparison Tool to learn more about it.
*The predicted GMAT scores based on an applicant's GRE scores may not be perfectly equivalent to an applicant’s actual performance on the GMAT exam due to the measurement error inherent in both tests. For this reason, a predicted score range is reported around each predicted GMAT score.
- How does the enhanced version of the tool introduced in July 2013 differ from the previous tool?
The enhanced GRE Comparison Tool now gives users the ability to predict scores for the GMAT Verbal and Quantitative sections, in addition to the GMAT Total score, from GRE scores. It is also based on more recent data collected from test takers who took both the GRE revised General Test, which launched in August 2011, and the GMAT exam. The ability to predict GMAT Exam scores has improved — with a higher correlation between the GRE and GMAT exams and smaller confidence intervals — and users of both the prior and updated tool are likely to see differences. See the Background and Technical Information for the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools for details.
- Where can I get additional information about the GRE revised General Test?
You can learn more about the GRE revised General Test by exploring the various sections of this website, especially the About the GRE revised General Test section, where you will learn about the test-taker friendly design, question types and more.
You can sign up for free alerts and reminders about registration, test preparation and more at the TakeTheGRE.com website.
You can visit the official GRE revised General Test page on Facebook®. There you can share advice and cheer on other prospective test takers.
The GRE program participates in student fairs in select locations. These fairs provide an opportunity to talk directly with a representative. Check our schedule for upcoming events.
You can also register for one of our FREE webinars to learn more about the test and test preparation tools and chat with a representative. Available in multiple languages and time zones!
For additional information you can contact GRE test-taker services directly at:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ets.org/gre/email Phone: 1-609-771-7670 or 1-866-473-4373 (toll free for test takers in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada)
- Does ETS offer any services to help match students with graduate and business schools?
Yes. You can add your unique profile to the GRE® Search Service database for free. Graduate and business school recruiters around the world use this database to find prospective students like you. If you match their recruitment profile, you could receive information about their programs, admissions requirements, scholarships and fellowships. It's easy to sign up when you create your My GRE Account. Learn more about GRE Search Service.
- What is the ETS® Personal Potential Index?
The ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI), gives schools an opportunity to learn more about your strengths in these six areas important for success in graduate study: knowledge and creativity, teamwork, planning and organization, communication skills, resilience, and ethics and integrity.
Evaluators you select provide reliable feedback about you on these six attributes. As a GRE test registrant, you can send up to four FREE reports to the schools of your choice to complement the information provided by GRE scores and transcripts. Learn more about the ETS PPI.
- What skills does the GRE revised General Test measure?
- The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to analyze and draw conclusions from discourse, understand multiple levels of meaning, select important points and understand the meanings of sentences and entire texts.
- The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to interpret and analyze quantitative information and use mathematical skills such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics to solve problems.
- The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion, articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, support your ideas with relevant examples and examine claims and accompanying evidence.
- How does the computer-based GRE revised General Test work?
The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are section-level adaptive, meaning that the first section of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures spans a range of difficulty levels, from easy to difficult. The first section is assembled such that, overall, the first section is of average difficulty. The difficulty level of the second section of each of the measures depends on your performance on the first section. For example, if for the Quantitative Reasoning measure you do very well on the first section, the second section of the Quantitative Reasoning measure will be at a higher level of difficulty. The scoring for the Quantitative Reasoning measure takes into consideration the total number of questions answered correctly across the two sections, as well as the difficulty level of the section (similar process for the Verbal Reasoning measure).
- What level of math content is included in the GRE revised General Test?
The GRE revised General Test uses the foundations of high school math to test quantitative reasoning. The test material measures your ability to understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis; to reason quantitatively; and to solve problems in a quantitative setting.
- How does the Analytical Writing section differ from the Writing section of the TOEFL iBT® Test?
The TOEFL iBT® Writing Section and GRE Analytical Writing measures are intended to measure different sets of skills. The TOEFL iBT Writing section contains two writing tasks: an independent task 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.
- How do I register for the computer-based GRE revised General Test?
You can register for the computer-based GRE revised General Test online, by phone, by mail or fax. For more details, see Register for the Computer-based GRE revised General Test.
- How do I register for the paper-based GRE revised General Test?
Paper-based administrations are offered only in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available. You can register for the paper-based GRE revised General Test online or by mail. For more details, see Register for the Paper-based GRE revised General Test.
- Which test format (computer-based test or paper-based test) is available in my area?
- Do I need an admission ticket?
An admission ticket is only needed if you are taking the paper-based test. You should receive your admission ticket approximately three weeks after you register. You can also view and print your ticket online through your My GRE account. If you do not receive your admission ticket at least 10 days before the test date, please print your ticket or contact ETS immediately to confirm your test center assignment.
- When should I register for the test?
Test centers fill up quickly so early registration is recommended to get your preferred test location and date selection.
- What if I need to change the date or location of my test?
If you have registered to take the GRE revised General Test, you must change or cancel your test registration no later than four days before your test date or your test fee will be forfeited. For example, the deadline to cancel a Saturday appointment is Tuesday. For test takers in Mainland China, you must change or cancel your test registration no later than 10 days before your test date. You may change your paper-based test registration within the same testing year (July 1–June 30).
If you reschedule your test date, you will be charged a rescheduling fee of US$50. If you cancel your test within the time period indicated above, you will receive a refund equivalent to half of your original test fee. For test takers in Mainland China, follow the instructions on the NEEA website for requesting a partial refund.
If you have registered to take the paper-based GRE revised General Test, you may change your test registration within the same testing year (July 1–June 30).
To change the location of your computer-based GRE revised General Test from one test center network to another (for example, from a Prometric™ test center to a location outside of the Prometric test center network), contact GRE services.
- What if I require testing accommodations?
ETS is committed to serving test takers with disabilities and health-related needs by providing services and reasonable accommodations that are appropriate given the purpose of the test. Testing accommodations are available for test takers who meet ETS requirements. See Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs.
- How can I prepare for the GRE revised General Test?
ETS offers FREE official test prep tools to help you prepare for the GRE revised General Test, including:
- POWERPREP® II, Version 2.1 Software: Preparation for the Computer-based GRE revised General Test. This free software includes two full-length practice tests. It provides a simulated, timed test-taking experience and demonstrates the test-taker friendly design features — including moving back and forth and changing answers within a section and the on-screen calculator. POWERPREP II, Version 2.1 is Mac®- and PC-compatible.
- Sample questions from the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections.
- An in-depth look at each test section, plus test-taking strategies and tips.
- Practice Book for the Paper-based GRE® revised General Test, Second Edition. This is a simulated test-taking experience of the paper-based GRE revised General Test. You'll get the following: one full-length paper-based test, test-taking strategies, sample Verbal and Quantitative questions with explanations, sample Analytical Writing topics, scored Analytical Writing responses and reader commentary, and information on how the test is scored.
For even more practice, you can purchase these official test preparation materials from ETS:
- NEW! GRE® Success Starter Video Series. Doing your best on the GRE revised General Test just got easier with this expert overview to jumpstart your test prep. These short videos give you a solid review of the three test measures, a helpful tour of the test-taker friendly design features, valuable test-taking tips and strategies, and so much more.
- The Official Guide to the GRE® revised General Test. From the maker of the GRE revised General Test, the second edition of our official test prep book — which includes a copy of the POWERPREP II, Version 2.1 Software CD-ROM — includes four complete practice tests (two in the book and two on CD), hundreds of authentic test questions, explanations for many answers, test-taking strategies, sample essay responses with reader commentary and more. Available in print or eBook versions. POWERPREP II, Version 2.1 is Mac- and PC-compatible.
- NEW Mobile App! Official GRE® Guide. The Official GRE Guide app is here and it’s the only GRE app direct from the test maker. Featuring the authentic test questions with answers and explanations plus more from The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test, Second Edition, this app lets you bring the test experts with you wherever you go!
- ScoreItNow!™ Online Writing Practice. This service lets you sharpen your writing skills as you prepare for the Analytical Writing measure of the GRE revised General Test. Even better, receive an immediate, confidential score to see how well you performed.
- Can I use older test preparation materials to prepare for the GRE revised General Test?
- The GRE revised General Test, introduced in August 2011, features a new test-taker friendly design and new question types, so using test prep for the prior version of the test is not recommended. The good news is FREE official test prep materials are available. See Prepare for the GRE revised General Test.
- What word processing software is used for the Analytical Writing section of the computer-based test? What tools does it have?
The GRE Program uses an elementary word processor developed by ETS so that individuals familiar or unfamiliar with specific commercial word processing software do not have an advantage or disadvantage. The ETS software contains the following functions:
- inserting text
- deleting text
- cutting and pasting
- undoing the previous action
Tools such as spell-checkers and grammar-checkers are not available in the ETS software, in large part to maintain fairness with regard to those examinees who handwrite their essays at paper-based administrations. You can practice writing essays using the word processor component of GRE POWERPREP II software.
- How is the GRE revised General Test administered?
The computer-based test is offered year round at Prometric® test centers, and also offered on specific dates at additional testing locations outside of the Prometric test center network.
In areas of the world where the computer-based test is not available, a paper-based test is administered up to three times per year (October 12, 2013, November 9, 2013 and February 8, 2014). Learn more about the paper-based test.
- How long is the GRE revised General Test?
The total testing time for the computer-based test is around three hours and 45 minutes, plus short breaks. Get more details on the timing and tasks for each section.
- Does the GRE revised General Test have a calculator?
The computer-based GRE revised General Test includes an on-screen calculator for use in the Quantitative Reasoning section to reduce the emphasis on computation and to focus more attention on reasoning skills. The calculator has four functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and a square root. For paper-based tests, calculators are provided at the test center for use during the test. You may not bring your own calculator.
For the paper-based GRE revised General Test, calculators are provided at the test center for use during the test. You may not bring your own calculator.
- For multiple answer questions, if I get any of the answers correct, do I receive partial credit?
For the questions with multiple answers, all of the selections made must be correct in order to receive credit for answering the question correctly.
Scoring and Reporting
- How are the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE revised 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.
Scoring of the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the paper-based 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.
For more information, see How the Test Is Scored.
- How is the Analytical Writing section of the GRE revised General Test scored?
For the computer-based 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 reviewed by e-rater®, a computerized program developed by ETS, which is used to monitor the human reader. If the e-rater evaluation and the human score agree, the human score is used as the final score. If they disagree by a certain amount, 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-based 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 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.
For more information see How the Test Is Scored.
- Will I see my scores at the test center when I take the computer-based GRE revised General Test?
After completing the computer-based GRE revised General Test, you will be given the opportunity to Report or Cancel your scores. If you choose Report Scores, you will see your unofficial scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures at the test center. Because of the Analytical Writing essay scoring process, you will not be able to view your Analytical Writing score at the testing center.
Although you have the option to cancel your scores, consider very carefully before doing so because the score reporting choices available with the ScoreSelectSM option allow you to report only the scores you feel reflect your personal best. If you cancel your scores, neither you nor any schools will ever see them and they will not be part of your reportable history. If you select to report your scores, you will view your unofficial scores on the screen and the score will become a part of your reportable history.
Your official scores will be available in your My GRE Account and sent to your score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date.
- What scores are reported on the GRE revised General Test?
Three scores are reported on the GRE revised General Test:
- A Verbal Reasoning score is reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
- A Quantitative Reasoning score is reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
- An Analytical Writing score is reported on a 0–6 score level, in half-point increments.
- How do I send my scores to an institution?
Your test fee entitles you to request that scores be sent to as many as four graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors at no additional cost.
- For the computer-based GRE revised General Test, you will be asked to designate your score recipients at the test center or you can choose not to report your scores at that time.
- For the paper-based GRE revised General Test, you will be asked to designate your score recipients during registration or on your admission ticket correction stub.
You can also send score reports to institutions after test day for a fee. See Ordering Additional Score Reports.
- Will an institution know that I did not report all of my GRE test scores to them?
No matter which option you choose, the schools you designate will only see the scores that you selected to send to them. There will be no special indication on score reports if you have taken additional GRE tests. If you are unsure of which scores to send, refer to the GRE score reporting policies for the graduate and business programs to which you are applying.
- When will my official GRE revised General Test scores be reported after testing?
If you take the computer-based GRE revised General Test, your official scores will be sent to the institutions you designated approximately 10–15 days after your test date.
If you take the paper-based test, your official scores will be sent within six weeks after your test date.
- Can I view my scores online?
- How can I get an official Examinee Score Report?
If you wish to have a paper copy of your official Examinee Score Report, you may use the new print functionality in your My GRE Account to print a copy of your official score report. For more information, see Getting Your Scores.
If you would like ETS to send you a copy of your official Examinee Score Report, submit an Additional Score Report Request form and US$25 fee to receive a copy. For more information, see Ordering Additional Score Reports.
- How will institutions compare scores on the GRE General Test administered prior to August 2011 with scores on the GRE revised General Test?
Since GRE scores are valid for five years, it is likely that schools will receive score reports from applicants who took the current test, the prior test or both. The GRE program provides institutions with concordance information to help compare scores from the prior score scales (200–800) to the current score scales (130–170). For individuals who tested prior to August 1, 2011, concordance information is included on score reports issued in November 2011 and beyond.
- I received an 800 on the Quantitative Reasoning section of the prior GRE General Test, but an 800 only concords to a 166 on the current Quantitative Reasoning score scale. Why is that?
One of the benefits of changing to the current 130–170 score scale was to get better use of the entire score scale range. For example, with the prior 200–800 score scale, test takers who scored 800 on the Quantitative Reasoning measure were bunched at the top of the scale with a percentile rank of 94. With the current 130–170 score scale, high ability candidates will be spread across multiple points at the upper end for more differentiation. So, a 166 on the new score scale represents a percentile rank of 94, but we can now distinguish candidates' performance at score points above a percentile rank of 94.
We are advising institutions that they should use broader criteria when evaluating applicants during this transition period. For applicants who received Quantitative Reasoning scores of 800 on the prior GRE General Test, in particular, we are recommending that institutions use special care in evaluating those applicants because they earned the highest score possible on that measure of the prior test.
Keep in mind that concorded scores are estimates and are not necessarily the scores test takers would receive if they were to take the GRE revised General Test. Any individual who took the prior GRE General Test who wishes to have his or her actual scores reported on the current 130–170 scale may choose to take the GRE revised General Test at any time.
- The concordance tables do not include all of the scores on the current 130–170 score scales. Why?
The concordance tables provide information about the scores on the prior 200–800 score scales, the current 130–170 score scales and the corresponding percentile ranks. Only those scores on the current scales that have a corresponding score on the prior scale are included in the tables.
- How long are GRE scores valid?
GRE scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30). Currently, scores earned from July 1, 2008, to the present are available.
- How do I order additional score reports?
There are three easy ways to order ASRs: online, by mail or by fax. See Ordering Additional Score Reports for more information on fees and options.
- Can I cancel my scores?
At the end of the test, you will be asked if you would like to report or cancel your scores. Although you have the option to cancel your scores, consider very carefully before doing so because the score reporting choices available with the ScoreSelect option allow you to report only the scores you feel reflect your personal best.
If you cancel your scores, neither you nor any schools will ever see them and they will not be part of your reportable history. For the computer-based test, if you select to report your scores, you will view your unofficial scores on the screen and the score becomes a part of your reportable history.
If you view your scores at a computer-based GRE revised General Test session, you cannot cancel them at a later date.
- Can I reinstate canceled scores?
For US$30, scores canceled by you can be reinstated if your request is received at ETS within 60 days after your test date. You may fax or mail a completed Score Reinstatement Form with payment to ETS. In addition to providing your name, date of birth and daytime phone number, you will also need your test date and registration number to complete the form.
Also, you can designate up to four free score recipients on the form. Include the appropriate department codes (PDF) and indicate what scores you want sent. With the ScoreSelect option, you can select to send scores from your most recent or all administrations from the last five years for each of your four free score reports. Scores for a test administration must be reported in their entirety. Regardless of whether you choose the Most Recent or All option, you will select specific test administration dates so your scores are all from the same testing session. If you do not select score recipients, you will have to pay US$25 per recipient to have scores sent at a later date.
Scores will be reinstated and reported approximately two weeks after your request for the computer-based test or on the approximate score report mailing date for the paper-based test. Your scores will be available in your My GRE Account and sent to your designated score recipients shortly thereafter.
- Does ETS provide guidelines to schools regarding the appropriate use of GRE scores?
Yes, the GRE Board has developed a set of guidelines that provide information about the appropriate use of GRE test scores for those who use the scores in graduate admissions and fellowship selection processes and for other approved purposes. See the Guidelines for the Use of GRE Scores.
- My native language is not English. How does the GRE Program recommend that departments interpret my Analytical Writing score?
If your native language is not English and you do not understand the task posed to you, your performance on all three sections of the GRE revised General Test will be affected. The GRE Program advises graduate and business programs that use GRE scores to consider a variety of pieces of information about applicants whose native language is not English, including TOEFL scores, to determine whether these students would be able to meet the department's requirements.
- Are examinees that use alternative ways of developing an argument scored fairly?
You may use any one of a variety of strategies to structure your essays. Readers are explicitly trained to accept any strategy in an essay that meets the essential requirements of the essay task — i.e., a response that provides the information required by the essay prompt.
GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which does not endorse or approve this Comparison tool.
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