Frequently Asked Questions About 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.
- What is the price of the test?
- 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.
- Do business schools have a test preference?
According to a recent Kaplan survey, nearly eight out of 10 MBA programs have no test preference. In other words, most MBA programs view GRE and GMAT scores equally.
- Are there other sources information about the test?
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!
- 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 skills does the 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-delivered 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 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-delivered test?
You can register for the computer-delivered test online or by phone. For more details, see Register for the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test.
- How do I register for the paper-delivered test?
Paper-delivered administrations are offered only in areas of the world where computer-delivered testing is not available. You can register for the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test online or by mail. For more details, see Register for the Paper-delivered GRE revised General Test.
- How can I see where and when the test is offered in my region?
- 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-delivered 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-delivered 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-delivered 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 often can I retake the test?
You can take the test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously. You may take the paper-delivered test as often as it is offered.
- How can I prepare for the test?
ETS offers FREE official test prep tools to help you prepare for the GRE revised General Test, including:
- POWERPREP® II, Version 2.2 Software: Preparation for the Computer-delivered 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 2.2 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-delivered GRE revised General Test. You'll get the following: one full-length paper-delivered 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.
- Khan Academy® instructional videos that provide additional information about the concepts covered in the Math Review.
For even more practice, you can purchase these official test preparation materials from ETS:
- 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 2.2 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 2.2 is Mac- and PC-compatible.
- Mobile App! Official GRE® Guide. The Official GRE Guide app is 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!
- Official GRE® Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions, Volume 1. Get ready with 150 REAL GRE® Verbal Reasoning questions — direct from the test maker! This guide provides 150 never-before-published verbal reasoning questions with complete explanations and valuable hints and tips. It also includes new practice for the GRE Analytical Writing measure.
- Official GRE® Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions, Volume 1. Get ready with 150 REAL GRE Quantitative Reasoning questions — direct from the test maker! This guide provides 150 never-before-published quantitative reasoning questions with complete explanations and valuable hints and tips. It also includes a review of the math topics likely to appear on the test.
- 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.
- GRE® Success Starter Video Series. Doing your best on the GRE revised General Test is 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.
- What word processing software is used for the Analytical Writing section of the computer-delivered 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-delivered administrations. You can practice writing essays using the word processor component of GRE POWERPREP II software.
- How is the test administered?
The computer-delivered 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-delivered test is not available, a paper-delivered test is administered up to three times per year (October 17, 2015, November 7, 2015, and February 6, 2016). Learn more about the paper-delivered test.
- How long is the test?
The total testing time for the computer-delivered test is around three hours and 45 minutes, plus short breaks. Get more details on the timing and tasks for each section.
- Can I use a calculator on the test?
The computer-delivered 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-delivered 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.
- What if I observe irregular behavior at the testing site?
Please contact ETS as soon as possible to report any observed irregular behavior that may lead to an invalid score — for example, someone copying from another test taker, taking a test for someone else, having access to test questions or answers before the test or using notes or unauthorized aids. All information is held in strictest confidence.
Email: TSReturns@ets.org Phone: 1-800-353-8570 (United States only)
Scoring and Reporting
- How are the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections 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-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.
For more information, see How the Test Is Scored.
- How is the Analytical Writing section 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 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-delivered test?
After completing the computer-delivered 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 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. 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?
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-delivered 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-delivered GRE revised General Test, you will be asked to designate your score recipients during registration or on your admission ticket correction stub, or you can choose not to report your scores at that time.
You can also send score reports to institutions after test day for a fee. See Ordering Additional Score Reports.
- When will my official scores be reported after testing?
If you take the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test, your official scores will be available in your My GRE account and sent to the institutions you designated approximately 10–15 days after your test date.
If you take the paper-delivered test, your official scores will be available in your My GRE account and sent to the institutions you designated within six weeks after your test date.
- Can I view my scores online?
Yes. Once your official scores are reported, you will receive an email from ETS indicating you can view your scores online free of charge through your My GRE Account. See Getting Your Scores for more information.
- 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 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$27 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 current 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, 2010, 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.
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