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GRE Revised Syllabus & Test Pattern

The GRE revised General Test consists of the following three sections:
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing
Section Number of Questions Allotted time Grades
Analytical Writing (1 section with 2 separately timed tasks) One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze an Argument" task 30 minutes per task 0-6, in 1/2 point increments
Verbal Reasoning (2 sections) Approx 20 questions per section 30 minutes per section 130-170, in 1 point increments
Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections) Approx 20 questions per section 35 minutes per section 130-170, in 1 point increments
Experimental (Unscored) Varies Varies  
Research Varies Varies  
Total Time   3 hours 45 minutes (including unscored section)  
The Analytical Writing section will always be first, while the other five sections may appear in any order.
Verbal Reasoning
  • There are two sections each containing approximately 20 questions.
  • The time given to complete each section will be 30 minutes.
  • The difficulty of the second section depends on how well you answered in first verbal section.
  • It contain three parts reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence
  • ✔ Reading Comprehension:

    Each Reading Comprehension question is based on a passage that may range in length from one paragraph to several paragraphs. The test contains approximately 10 passages, the majority of which are one paragraph in length and only one or two of which are several paragraphs long. Passages are drawn from the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, business, arts and humanities and everyday topics and are based on material found in books and periodicals, both academic and non-academic.

    Typically, about half of the questions on the test will be based on passages, and the number of questions based on a given passage can range from one to six. Questions can cover any of the topics listed above, from the meaning of a particular word to assessing evidence that might support or weaken points made in the passage. Many, but not all, of the questions are standard multiple-choice questions, in which you are required to select a single correct answer; others ask you to select multiple correct answers; and still others ask you to select a sentence from the passage.

    ✔ Text Completion:

    Adept readers do not simply imbibe the information presented in a text; instead, they assimilate the whole text with a constant attitude of interpretation and evaluation, reasoning from what they have read so far to create a picture of the whole and revising that picture as they go. Text Completion questions test this ability by omitting crucial words from short passages and asking the test taker to use the remaining information in the passage as a basis for selecting words or short phrases to fill the blanks and create a coherent, meaningful whole.

      Question Structure
    • Passage composed of one to five sentences
    • One to three blanks
    • Three answer choices per blank (five answer choices in the case of a single blank)
    • The answer choices for different blanks function independently; i.e., selecting one answer choice for one blank does not affect what answer choices you can select for another blank
    • Single correct answer, consisting of one choice for each blank; no credit for partially correct answers.
    ✔ Sentence Equivalence:

    Similar to Text Completion questions, Sentence Equivalence questions test the ability to reach a conclusion about how a passage should be completed on the basis of partial information, but to a greater extent they focus on the meaning of the completed whole. Sentence Equivalence questions consist of a single sentence with just one blank, and they ask you to find two choices that lead to a complete, coherent sentence while producing sentences that mean the same thing.

    Question Structure
    • Consists of:
      • a single sentence
      • one blank
      • six answer choices
    • Requires you to select two of the answer choices; no credit for partially correct answers.
Click here Verbal Section sample questions
Quantitative Reasoning
  • There are two sections in quantitative reasoning. Each Section has 20 questions. The questions are from mathematics and data analysis.
  • The time allotted per section is 35 minutes.
  • These 2 sections will test basic mathematical skills and simple concepts such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics.
  • There is more emphasis on data analysis and real life scenario questions rather than mental maths.
Click here quantitative Section sample questions
Analytical Writing
  • There are two separate analytical writing tasks. You are given 30 minutes to complete each task.
  • The section covers one issue task and one argument task.
  • In the Analytical Writing section, you are instructed to write concise responses to open-ended questions. High scores result from an answer that is well-organized, logical and strategic in the manner that the question is addressed. Scorers prefer responses that directly answer the question, and note carefully any wavering, deviating or rambling in the response.