Current Examination pattern of GRE

Graduate Record Examination or GRE is taken by students who aspire to pursue a Master’s degree from a university overseas. Many universities across the US, Canada and other education destinations have GRE scores among the critical criteria for selection.

The first step towards your GRE preparation is getting to know the GRE pattern and syllabus. There are two types of GRE, Subject test and General Test. The GRE Subject test focuses on the subject one desires to pursue higher education. The GRE General Test is a standard test that all test takers have to take, whereas the Subject test is required by only individual universities based on the specific field of study chosen. The GRE General Exam is offered in two formats –

  •   Computer Based Test(CBT)
  •   Paper Based Test(PBT)

Although there are a lot of similarities between the two formats, the exam pattern for both versions is different. Also, Paper based test is not available for everyone. It is offered in locations where the computer delivered GRE is not possible. However, you cannot simply opt for a paper based test over a computer based test. It all depends on your location


One of the significant differences between the two GRE exam patterns is that the computer-based test is section adaptive in nature. Your performance within the 1st section of verbal and quant determines the difficulty level of the 2nd section. Hence, the computer-based exam format offers an improved assessment of your capabilities than a paper based one.

Also, if you take CBT, you can get your scores at the test center itself. In case of a paper-based test, you need to wait for approximately six weeks.

GRE exam pattern

SectionsTimeNo. of sectionsNo. of QuestionsTimeNo. of sectionsNo. of questions
Verbal Reasoning30 min22035 min225
Quantitative Reasoning35 min22040 min225
Analytical Writing60 min1230 min22
Total3 hr 45 min7823 hr 30 min6102

Syllabus for Verbal Reasoning

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section tests your ability to understand the meanings of texts, sentences and words. It measures your understanding of relationships among concepts and terms. You need to draw conclusions and analyze from the discourse, identify the author’s perspective/assumptions, author’s intent and also understand the multiple levels of meanings like literal, figurative, etc.

The GRE verbal Syllabus is divided into three parts:

  • Text Completion
  • Sentence Equivalence
  • Reading Comprehension

 List of the topics in Verbal Reasoning

  • Verb tense
  • Idioms and Idiomatic expressions
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Nouns, Adjectives, Pronouns
  • Modifiers and Parallelism
  • Pronoun Agreement

Syllabus for Quantitative reasoning section

This section focuses on your analytical writing and critical thinking skills. The GRE Quantitative reasoning section measures your ability to solve the problems with the help of mathematical models. You are required to interpret, analyze and understand the quantitative information. To ace this section, you need to apply basic elementary concepts and skills of algebra, data analysis, arithmetic and geometry

 Syllabus for Analytical Writing

The GRE Analytical Writing section tests how well you can articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively and how are you able to support them with relevant reasons and examples. It requires you to give focused responses based on the presented tasks.

The analytical writing section is divided into two tasks:

  • Analyze and Issue requires you to present an option on the issue of general interest with specific instructions on how to respond to that issue.
  •  Analyze and Argument  requires you to evaluate a given argument according to specific instructions

The tasks in this section include a wide range of topics such as physical science, humanities, fine arts and more. You do not require knowledge on a specific topic as you will be able to understand the task regardless of your interests or field of study.

GRE Subject Test Syllabus 2021 

The GRE syllabus for the subject test consists of six disciplines:

  • Physics 
  • Chemistry 
  • English  Literature
  • Mathematics 
  • Psychology
  • Biology 

The GRE subject test is administered only in the paper based test. There are no separately timed sections.  Therefore, the total testing time is 2 hr and 50 min.

At Gradeway, Our GRE preparation online course comes with course curators and  mentors, who will show you the exact way to handle the test modes with a focused study plan. Expert tips and one-on-one GRE coaching from the instructors will ensure you to excel the exam with top score.

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