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Earning an advanced degree starts with getting in

Explore your postgraduate options and see how the GRE® General Test can help.


An Insider’s Guide to the GRE General Test

Are you getting ready for the GRE General Test? The test has several smart features that can help you do your best, but you’ll still have to do your part. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel on test day. This overview of the test with tips and strategies is a good place to start.

What’s on the GRE General Test?

The GRE General Test assesses the skills you need to succeed in master’s, MBA, specialized business master’s and doctoral programs. It includes the following sections:

Analytical Writing

You’ll start the test with the writing section, which includes two tasks that measure how well you can apply your critical thinking and articulate complex ideas. Learn more about Analytical Writing tasks.

Verbal Reasoning

In random order after the writing tasks, you’ll have two 30-minute sections that measure how well you can understand what you’ve read and apply your reasoning skills. Learn more about Verbal Reasoning tasks.

Quantitative Reasoning

You’ll also have these two 35-minute sections that measure how well you can interpret and analyze quantitative information and solve math problems. Learn more about Quantitative Reasoning tasks.

Unscored section

The test will contain an additional unscored Verbal or Quantitative section. You won’t know which of the sections is unscored, so be sure to take all sections seriously.


What’s the best way to prepare for the test?

Practice is key to success on the GRE General Test. You’ll want to be ready not only for the types of content you’ll encounter, but also for the experience of the exam. The best way to become familiar with both is to prepare with materials direct from the maker of the test.

Here are some of the most popular resources to help you get started:

  • Official GRE Mentor Course
    This self-paced, online course includes 640 real GRE test questions, skill-building content to help you brush up, and a full-length, timed practice test. Set personalized goals, proceed at your own pace and get immediate performance feedback so you feel confident on test day. Enroll today.
  • POWERPREP® Online
    This set of online practice tests includes an overview of each section. Most importantly, the format looks and works just like the real test — practice with the “mark” and “review” features and the on-screen calculator to get a good idea of timing. And with questions that have appeared on actual past tests, it’s as close to the real thing as you’ll get before test day. There are both free and paid versions, and both provide Verbal and Quantitative scores. The paid versions provide Analytical Writing scores as well. Order POWERPREP practice tests.
  • The Official Guide to the GRE® General Test
    Direct from the maker of the test, this book is packed with information, including what to expect on the test, how the test is scored, questions with answers and explanations and authentic past test questions for practice. Get the guide.
  • Math Review
    Algebra, arithmetic, geometry, data analysis — you’ve learned all of these subjects in school, but if it’s been a while, this comprehensive review will help you freshen your skills. Get the Math Review (PDF).


Where can students find additional support?

The GRE social communities are full of advice, strategies and other people just like you who are looking to advance their education. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (general), LinkedIn (special page for b-school aspirants), WeiboWeChat (China) and Naver (Korea)


Test scores are only one factor

While you may be feeling pressure to do well on the test, it’s good to keep in mind that graduate programs consider many factors when making admissions decisions. For more advice on how to create a competitive graduate school application, see our resource, 20 Questions About Applying to Graduate School Answered. Best wishes to you!