Frequently Asked Questions About the GRE® revised General Test
- General Information
- What is new about the GRE® revised General Test?
With the introduction of the GRE revised General Test on August 1, 2011, ETS has enhanced the test in many significant ways to give you a better test experience and better demonstrate your skills and readiness for graduate-level work:
- A new test-taker friendly design for the computer-based test lets you edit or change your answers and skip questions, all within a section, and use an on-screen calculator.* Learn more about the new test-taker friendly design.
- New types of questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, many featuring real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in today's demanding graduate and business school programs. Learn more about the new types of questions.
Since there were substantial changes to the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures when the GRE revised General Test was introduced in August 2011, the score scales were changed for these sections. The Analytical Writing score scale is the same.
Three scores are reported on the 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.
- 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
- Why was the test revised?
ETS has revised the test to better reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in graduate or business school and improve your test-taking experience. New types of questions now more closely align with 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 and other graduate business programs, including many top-ranked programs. View the most current list of business schools accepting GRE scores for MBA admissions.
- 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 new test-taker friendly design, new 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 graduate students with the schools that are right for them?
Yes. You can register for the free GRE® Search Service, a database of prospective graduate students that is searched by thousands of graduate and business school recruiters, including those at the most prestigious institutions. If you match the recruitment profile of a participating institution, you may be sent information on its programs, admissions requirements, scholarships and fellowships. Learn more.
- What is the ETS® Personal Potential Index?
The ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI), you can provide the institutions you choose with a more complete picture of your skills and abilities — helping you distinguish yourself from the competition! The ETS PPI is a convenient, web-based evaluation system that collects feedback from multiple evaluators you select on specific personal attributes that graduate deans and faculty have identified as critical for success in graduate and business school, including knowledge and creativity; communication skills; and teamwork. Applicants who register for the GRE revised General Test can send four FREE ETS PPI Evaluation Reports to graduate and professional schools at no extra charge. Learn more at www.ets.org/ppi.
- Test Content
- 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.
Learn more about what the GRE revised General Test measures.
- 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 span 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).
- How does the content of the GRE® revised General Test differ from the GRE® General Test that was administered prior to August 1, 2011?
There are new types of questions on the GRE revised General Test that better reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in graduate or business school programs.
In the Verbal Reasoning section, antonyms and analogies have been removed from the test, so you're no longer tested on vocabulary out of context. New types of questions have also been added to test your ability to interpret, evaluate and reason from what you've read. Take a closer look at the Verbal Reasoning Section.
In the Quantitative Reasoning section, more focus has been placed on data interpretation and real-life scenarios, with multiple-choice and numeric entry answers. You can also use an on-screen calculator to reduce the emphasis on computation.* Take a closer look at the Quantitative Reasoning Section.
In the Analytical Writing section, you no longer have a choice of topics for the Issue task. Directions are more specific, to ensure you can integrate critical thinking and analytical writing by fully addressing the tasks presented. Take a closer look at the Analytical Writing Section.
Learn more about the GRE revised General Test content.
- 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?
You may change your test registration within the same testing year (July 1–June 30). You must change or cancel your test registration no later than three full days before your test date (not including the day of your test or the day of your request) or your test fee will be forfeited. For test takers in Mainland China, you must change or cancel your test registration no later than 10 full days before your test date (not including the day of your test or the day of your request).
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.
- 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.
- Test Preparation
- 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 2.0 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.
- 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:
- GRE® Success Starter: The test maker's guide to doing your best Video. Doing your best on the GRE revised General Test just got easier! This quick overview is the perfect jumpstart to your test prep. In just 22 minutes, you get a solid review of the three test measures, a helpful tour of the test-taker friendly design features and, best of all, useful test-taking tips and strategies for doing your best.
- 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 2.0 Software CD-ROM — is expanded to include 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.
- 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 test preparation materials for the test administered prior to August 1, 2011, to prepare for the GRE revised General Test?
- Since the GRE revised General Test features a new design and new question types, using test prep for the prior version of the GRE General Test is not recommended. The good news is FREE official test prep materials are available. See Prepare for the GRE revised General Test.
- Do I need to be computer literate?
No. You can take the test even if you have little or no previous computer experience. The test requires only basic computer skills, and these skills are covered in the free GRE POWERPREP II software.
- On test day, will there be a tutorial at the beginning of the GRE revised General Test?
No, there is no tutorial. For this reason, it is important to review the POWERPREP II software prior to taking the computer-based test to become familiar with the question types, test design and testing tools, such as the on-screen calculator and the mark and review feature. A help section is available during the test, but timing will not stop when you are accessing the help feature.
- 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.
- Test Administration
- How is the GRE revised General Test administered?
The test is administered in a secure testing environment on a continuous basis at computer-based test centers in most locations around the world.
In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, the GRE revised General Test is administered 1–3 times a month, on computer, in a single session on the same day.
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 20, 2012, November 17, 2012 and February 9, 2013). 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.
Learn more about timing and tasks for the paper-based test.
- Why does the test have an on-screen calculator?
We've included 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 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.
- What contributes to my final score on the computer-based GRE revised General Test?
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 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 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. Your official scores will be mailed 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. For the computer-based GRE revised General Test, you will be asked to designate your score recipients at the test center. 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. And with the new ScoreSelectSM option, you can decide which test scores to send to the institutions you designate, so you can send the scores you feel show your personal best, giving you more confidence on test day. See Sending your Scores.
You can also send score reports to institutions after test day for a fee. See Ordering Additional Score Reports.
- Will the score report sent to an institution show that I used the ScoreSelect option and did not report scores from every time I have taken a GRE test in the last five years?
No, institutions will receive score reports that show only 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 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 will institutions compare scores on the GRE General Test administered prior to August 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 new 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 new 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 section of the prior GRE General Test, but an 800 only concords to a 166 on the new Quantitative Reasoning score scale. Why is that?
One of the benefits of changing to the new 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 new 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 new 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 new 130–170 score scales. Why?
The concordance tables provide information about the scores on the prior 200–800 score scales, the new 130–170 score scales and the corresponding percentile ranks. Only those scores on the new 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, 2007, to the present are available.
- How do I order additional score reports?
Additional score reports (ASRs) can be ordered for a fee of US$25 per score recipient. Currently, scores earned on or after July 1, 2007 are available. There are four ways to order ASRs: online, phone, mail or fax. See Ordering Additional Score Reports for more information on the score reporting options available for each ordering method.
- Can I cancel my scores?
At the end of the test, you will be given the option to cancel your scores. You cannot cancel your score for one section of the test and have the scores for the remaining sections reported. Although you have the option to cancel your scores, consider very carefully before doing so. Your scores will be reported to GRE score recipients only at your request. If you cancel your scores, they will NOT be reported to you or any score recipients and no refund will be made. Canceled scores are not added to your permanent record. If you wish to take the test again, you must reregister and submit another test payment.
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 mailed to you and 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 score users 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.
*For those taking the paper-based GRE revised General Test, calculators are provided at the test center for use during the test.
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