GRE Test Format and Pattern

Are you planning to take the GRE? This article will help you know about the GRE Test format, the content and the structure of GRE Revised General Test.


The GRE revised general test is meant to measure your overall academic ability and is the standard test for admission to graduate schools in the United States of America. Also, there are an increasing number of business schools that also accept the GRE test as part of their application. Let us look into GRE Test Pattern.

There are three sections in the test : Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.


The Verbal section of the new GRE Test contains three types of questions:

  • Reading Comprehension

    For this part you will face 3 types of questions- Single answer multiple choice question, Multiple answers multiple choice questions and Select answers in passage questions.

  • Text Completion

    Text Completion questions includes a passage composed of one to five sentences with one to three blanks. There are 3 answer choices per blank, or five answer choices if there is only single blank. There is a single correct answer, one choice for each blank. Partially correct answers won’t give any credit though.

  • Sentence Equivalence

    Sentence Equivalence questions consist of a single sentence, a blank and six answer choices. These questions require you to select 2 of the answer choices. No score for partially correct answers even for this.



A thorough knowledge of Indian high-school level mathematics can help you score great marks in this section. The types of questions in this section are:

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions

    Compare 2 quantities- Quantity A and Quantity B

  • Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice

  • Multiple-choice Questions — Select One or More Answer Choices

  • Numeric Entry Questions

    No options are given to this question. You will have to calculate and type the answer below the question.

  • Data Interpretation Questions

    Questions based on given data in form of bar-charts, pie diagrams, graphs..



In this section, you will have to write (not write, type!) two essays.

  • Issue Analysis Task

    In this, you would be given a sentence/claim/issue and you will have to discuss that issue in your words in various perspectives, giving different examples.

  • Argument Analysis Task

    A paragraph would be given about a certain situation or an incident. You will have to find flaws in that paragraph or to point out various assumptions made by the author while writing that paragraph.

Use of proper English, high level of vocab, development complex ideas and examples; and proper presentation and linking of the essay will boost your chances to get a high score in this section.



The maximum marks in Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Sections is 170 each.
The Analytical Writing (AWA) section is scored separately on scale of 0.0-6

So, your total score would be out of 340 and separate AWA score on scale of 6.

The minimum score you get in Verbal and Quantitative section is 130 out of possible 170. So, 260/340 is the minimum score one can achieve; also it is not impossible to score 340/340.. Best of Luck!


As seen in the table; the first section you will face during GRE is the Analytical Writing. You will be given 30 minutes for each essay including the topic reading time.

After the AWA section you will come across either Verbal Section 1 or Quantitative Section 1 (Sequence doesn’t matter) followed by Quantitative Section 1 or Verbal Section 1.

Then you have an option to opt for an 10 minutes break.

The second sections of verbal and quantitative will follow after the break.

You will also be facing with one additional verbal or quantitative section which would be unscored. It is only for experimental and research purposes of ETS. But it is unknown which of the section is experimental and unscored, so it is recommended to solve all sections seriously. However, research section only appears at the end of the test and it is known to be unscored; so you can be a bit relaxed in that case.

The total test is 4 hours long.

After your test, you are asked whether to show your scores or delete your scores. If you choose to delete, you will not be able to see your scores and they do not become part of your record. If you choose to view, you will see your verbal and quantitative scores. The AWA scores are updated later in your account within 15 days.

Hope, going through this has helped you in some way to understand the basic things about the GRE- General Test.

May 17, 2017

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