About the GRE Test

GRE is a standardized test for admissions into graduate schools in the US. It is mandatory for most students aspiring for Masters or PhD (other than in Law or Medicine) in several universities in the US. The GRE revised General Test is accepted at thousands of graduate and business schools as well as departments and divisions within these schools.

The GRE revised General Test is available at about 700 test centers. In most regions of the world, the computer-based test is available on a continuous basis throughout the year.

GRE today is increasingly accepted by several business schools. A thorough preparation for the GRE is a must for applicants desiring to study at internationally recognized schools abroad.

GRE General Test is administered by ETS. In addition to GRE General Test, ETS also offers GRE Subject Tests. The General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

About the sections

Analytical Writing Section – analysis of an issue task and analysis of an argument task

Verbal Reasoning Sections – includes reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence questions

Quantitative Reasoning Sections  – includes quantitative comparisons, multiple choices questions with one answers, multiple choice questions with one or more than one answers, and numeric entry questions

Un-scored/Research Sections – In addition to the above section, a test taker gets an unidentified un-scored section (aka experimental section) or an identified Research section.


Why should I take the GRE?

GRE scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement your undergraduate records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for graduate-level study.

When is it offered?

The GRE revised General Test is given year-round at computer-based test centers in most locations around the world. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

How many times can one take the GRE?

You can take the GRE revised General Test (computer-based and paper-based) once every 21 days, but no more than five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

How long is it?

The test is around 3 hours 45 minutes.

How is the GRE designed?

GRE is now a multi-stage or adaptive by section test. This means that how you perform on the first verbal reasoning section will determine the difficulty level of the second verbal reasoning section. The same goes for math.

What are unscored and research sections?

An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It doesn’t count toward the test score. An identified research section that is not scored may be included in place of an unscored section, and it is always at the end of the test.

What is the test order?

The Analytical Writing sections will always be the first, while the other five sections may appear in any order.

How is the GRE scored?

The verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE are scored between 130 and 170 in one point increments. The AWA section is scored on a scale from 0 to 6 in half point increments.

How long is my test score valid?

The GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

About the GRE Subject Test



The Subject Tests gauge undergraduate achievement in six specific fields of study and is often required for admission into a master’s degree program. GRE subject test scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate records, letters of recommendation and other qualifications for graduate study.

The scores provide common measures for comparing the qualifications of applicants and aid in the evaluation of grades and recommendations. The Biology and Psychology tests yield sub scores that can indicate the strengths and weaknesses in an individual student’s preparation. The sub scores can also be used for guidance and placement purposes. The test is of paper pencil format.

Who takes GRE Subject Tests and who accepts them?

Prospective graduate school applicants take the Subject Tests. GRE Subject Test scores are accepted by thousands of graduate schools. Many individual departments or divisions of Graduate schools accept the GRE Subject test scores as it indicates the knowledge and skill level in a specific area. It’s best to contact the admissions office or department you are interested in and see exactly what they are looking for.

What are the various subject tests offered?

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

When can I take GRE Subject Tests?

In Sri lanka the GRE subject tests can be taken in September,October & April Please visit www.ets.org for more details.

How much do the tests cost?

The fee is $150. The late registration fee (online registration only) is $25.

How are the tests scored?

Each GRE Subject Test yields a total score on a 200–990 score scale, in 10-point increments. Sub scores are reported for the Biology and Psychology Tests on a scale of 20–99, in one-point increments.




GRE Test Preparation



If you are taking the GRE for the first time, we recommend the following.

Personalize your practice

Take the free GRE diagnostic test at any one of our centers that is closest to your home, office etc. This test will give you a fairly good idea of where you actually stand in terms of understanding content knowledge and time management. Ask our friendly instructors at the center to review the test along with you so that you know what went wrong!!

Get familiar with the questions

Forewarned is forearmed! Use the internet to understand the format of the test and of the types of questions asked on the quant and verbal sections of the test. Alternatively you could ask the well informed counselors at any of our centers for more information on the various sections of the test and the section wise adaptive nature of the test.

Practice makes one perfect.

So true!!! However do not get burnt out! Make practice time into fun time. For instance, verbal skills could improve tremendously if evenings are spent doing crossword puzzles with friends or playing hangman on your own. The trick is to learn words and remember them in a jiffy!!

Take simulated tests.

A GRE test is a test of endurance. The makers of the test are testing your patience and not exactly your intelligence. So, it is all about giving simulated tests at regular intervals to improve your strength of endurance and your test taking ability. Always take a test in the way it is administered, which actually means with all the sections attempted in the stipulated time and with the legitimate breaks availed.


GRE Test Registration



Register for the test

How do I register to take the GRE?
Visit www.ets.org to register for the dates. Please read the information on the website thoroughly before booking the test.



GRE Test Overview



GRE Overview

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a 3 hour and 45 minutes, multiple-choice, multi-stage test required by most graduate schools. The GRE Board oversees GRE tests, services and research and establishes all policies for the GRE Program, which is administered by ETS.

Schools differ in how they use your GRE score. Some consider it very important, while others view it as a formality. We recommend asking your prospective programs — most will be quite willing to tell you what part the test plays in their admissions decisions.

What’s the breakdown of the GRE?

The GRE consists of an Analytical Writing section that contains two essay questions, sections that contain 20 multiple-choice questions, and two Quantitative sections that contain 20 multiple-choice questions.

There is also a sixth, experimental section that will be either Verbal or Quantitative. This portion will not count towards your final score — ETS uses it to test questions for use on future exams. Unfortunately, you’ll have no way of knowing which part is experimental (it will look identical to the real Verbal or Quantitative section), so you’ll need to do your best on the entire test.

How is the GRE scored?

The GRE is a multi-stage test. This means that the computer will use your performance on one section to determine the difficulty level of the next section. Within a section, however, the question selection is static and you can skip around. If do very well on your first verbal section, for example, the second verbal section you will see will be much more difficult. This is a good thing, however, because you must get to and successfully tackle the hardest questions to get to the highest possible scores.

You will receive separate Verbal and Quantitative Scores; these are reported on a scale from 130 to 170 in one point increments. The Analytical Writing section is listed separately, and is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in half–point increments.

What are the GRE Subject Tests

The GRE Subject Tests test your knowledge of a particular subject like chemistry or literature. Not every school requires a GRE subject test, but many of the most competitive programs do. ETS offers the tests three times a year.


GRE Eligibility



There is no age limit specified for taking the GRE. Nor is there any defined academic eligibility for taking the test. Students can register for the test irrespective of age and qualifications.

However, since the test is one of the requirements for graduate level programs, schools abroad require an undergraduate degree from a recognized university to consider an applicant’s GRE score for a graduate or PhD program. The test taker also needs to hold a valid passport to take the GRE.

Important information for GRE test takers:

  • Test takers need to create a GRE account on www.ets.org/gre to book a test date
  • The first name, last name, and date of birth given at the time of registration has to match with the identification proof presented by the test taker on the day of the test.
  • In Sri lanka the only identification proof accepted at a GRE test center is a valid passport.
  • Unless the passport is valid on the day of the test the test taker will not be allowed to take the GRE.
  • Test takers can register for the GRE if they have applied for a passport or plan to apply for one before taking the GRE.
  • The GRE cannot be taken more than five times within a rolling 12- month period.
  • Test takers must wait at least 21 days after they have taken the GRE before they can retake the test.

For more information regarding GRE registration log on to: