GRE Test 2021-2022

While filling up MBA application forms anywhere in the world, chances are that you will be asked to submit the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.

These two are standardized tests to assess your skills and knowledge in terms of language, communication skills, quantitative and critical thinking.

GRE test scores are used to evaluate candidates seeking admission to a wide range of graduate programs including general management education.

Schools depend on standardized tests like the GRE to assess the basic knowledge and skills of the applicants for various graduate programs, including the MBA. Such tests enable the schools to overcome the restrictions placed by a particular subject specialization or syllabus to attract and evaluate candidates having a wider range of skill sets needed in a globalized business environment.

In this GRE guide, we will tell you how to prepare for GRE and maximize your test scores.

GRE Key Facts

GRE Full FormGraduate Record Examination
Official Website
Organizing BodyETS (Educational Testing Service)
Exam ModeComputer and Paper – delivered test
Exam Duration3 Hours 45 minutes
Acceptance LevelGlobal
Examination FeeUS$ 205-230
GRE Test Centers1000 Centers in 160 countries around the world
Gre Score Validity5 Years

Full Form of GRE

The full form of GRE is Graduate Record Examinations. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the United States set up the test in 1936. The exam is administered by ETS.

It is a standardized test to assess the skills and knowledge of those seeking entry to graduate programs in terms of language, communication skills, quantitative and critical thinking.

Full form of ETS

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is a non-profit private testing and assessment organization. It owns and administers GRE.

Why Take the GRE General & Subject Test?

The GRE General Test is for those who want to enroll for various masters’ programs at the graduate level including the MBA, a joint degree or the doctorate. The test provides schools with a common measure for comparing candidates’ qualifications despite their varying educational and cultural backgrounds.

The GRE Subject Tests are measure your knowledge of a particular field of study. It is for students who have an undergraduate major or extensive background knowledge in one of these six disciplines—Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.

The benefit of taking the GRE test is that it supplements your undergraduate records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for graduate-level study. However, you should be aware that GRE scores form only one part of the admission evaluation and various schools may follow different criteria in assigning a due weight to GRE scores.

Many candidates shape up their profile to set themselves apart from other applicants. Other’s get huge points for diversity. Read this interesting story of a Gymnast who pursued an MBA: From Pommel Horse to Boardroom, Gymnast Brandon Ngai Could Become the Youngest MBA at 21 and of this army Colonel who exchanged combat fatigues for a suit: Warzone to corporate battlefield – An Interview With Col. Rahul Tewari at IIM A

Also read: MBA Interview Guide: Essential Tips

Also read: Do MBA Admission Officers Get Impressed By Job Titles, Years of Work Experience?

GRE General Exam Pattern

GRE is a computer-based test that is also administered in a paper-based form in places lacking computer facilities.

The computer-delivered GRE General Test is of 3 hours 45 minutes duration. It is divided into six sections with a 10 minutes break after the third section. Verbal Reasoning is covered in 2 sections with 20 questions per section followed by Quantitative Reasoning in 2 sections with 20 questions per section.

There is also an Unidentified Unscored section in which the number of questions and time varies. Similarly, in the Identified Research section also, the number of questions and time varies. Marks scored in both these sections are not counted in the GRE final score. 

The paper-delivered GRE General Test is also divided into 6 sections. It has 2 Sections each for Analytical Writing, Verbal reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning.

The duration of the test is 3 hours 30 minutes with a break of 10 minutes after the second section.

For more details visit GRE Exam Pattern section.

GRE General Test Syllabus

The syllabus for GRE comprises analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. 

The Analytical Writing tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. It seeks to measure your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. It does not assess specific content knowledge, says ETS.

This section has two separately timed analytical writing tasks, namely, to analyze an issue and to analyze an argument. Each of these tasks should be completed within 30 minutes.

In Verbal Reasoning, you should be familiar with the basic sentence structure of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verb tenses. It tests your knowledge of idioms and idiomatic expressions, pronoun agreement, subject-verb agreement, modifiers, and parallelism.

The Quantitative Reasoning section tests your ability to understand quantitative information, analyzing and interpreting quantitative information, applying mathematic concepts of geometry, algebra, statistics, etc. and solving mathematical problems.

Read More About GRE Exam Syllabus

MBA programs accepting GRE scores

In the United States, all the top graduate business schools accept GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores. Apart from the US, GRE test scores are becoming increasingly acceptable all over the world. However, please do not forget to check the school website or call up the admission office to confirm the eligibility norms including the test scores.

MBA Programs in USA Accepting GRE

How does it feel to study in the USA? Read a student’s perspective: A Day in the Life of a Cornell MBA Student

MBA Programs in Canada Accepting GRE

MBA Programs in UK Accepting GRE

How does it feel to study in the UK? Read a student’s perspective: A Day in the Life of a Hult London MBA Student

Read Top B-Schools Accepting GRE for the complete list of colleges in USA, UK, India, Singapore. France and other countries.

GRE Score Report – General Test Scores

The scores for the general test are reported for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis on a 130–170 scale, in 1-point increments.

Analytical Writing scores are reported is on a 0–6 scale, in half-point increments. If no questions are answered for a specific section such as Verbal Reasoning, then you will receive a No Score (NS) for that section.

To know more about GRE Test Scores, please read our detailed article on GRE Score Report.

Accessing & Reporting GRE Scores

You will receive an email notification from ETS when your official scores are available in your ETS Account and the official score reports have been sent to your designated score recipients.

If you need a paper copy of your official GRE Test-taker Score Report, you can use the print functionality in your account to get the copy. Your official Test-taker Score Report includes the scores of all the GRE tests in your reportable history and is intended only for your information and personal records.

ETS sends official Graduate Institution Score Reports directly to all authorized score recipients you designate. GRE scores remain valid for five years from the end of the testing year when you took the test.

The GRE testing year begins on July 1.

Average GRE Scores

According to the official reports by ETS, the creators of the GRE, the average quantitative score of a GRE test taker worldwide, is 151.3, with a standard deviation of 8.7. And the average verbal score of a GRE test taker worldwide, is 150.8, with a standard deviation of 8.5.

Thus, the world average for the composite GRE score will be 151.3+150.8=302. It means that all the test takers with scores above 302 are better than half of the total GRE test takers around the world.

To lean more about average GRE scores and other aspects of the GRE score, please check How To Access GRE General Test Scores. 

GRE Preparation, Scoring 330+ in GRE General Test 

A 330+ score is usually the 98th percentile of all GRE scores, which means only 2% of all GRE test-takers in the world get this score or better.

Most students would require at least 100 hours of dedicated study and practice to score as high as 330. It would take anywhere between one to three months by way of preparations

A diagnostic test, especially the Powerprep test by ETS, will provide an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses and can guide you on where to focus your energies.

Read Good GRE Scores to understand what constitutes a good  GRE score and strategies for achieving your dream score. Here are details on mock tests for GRE that can help you score well on the test.

Here are some helpful resources on GRE Preparation.

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Triangles

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Lines and Angles

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Simple and Compound Interest

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Set Theory

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Ratio Analysis

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Probability

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Permutations and Combinations

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Profit And Loss

GMAT / GRE Mathematics Preparation Guide: Quadratic Equation

Check all Quant topics expected on standardized tests.

GRE Eligibility

The GRE does not have any prescribed age limit or qualifications. As an assessment test for admission to graduate programs, candidates are expected to have successfully completed any undergraduate program.

Scheduling GRE General Test 2021-2022

The first step for scheduling the GRE test will be to go to the ETS website and create an ETS account.

The name you use when you create your account will be the one used for the GRE General Test registration. The name, including its spelling, must exactly match (excluding accents) the name printed on the identification or ID documents that you will present on the day of the test.

Read More About Scheduling GRE.

How to reschedule your GRE test

In case you want to reschedule your GRE Test due to some unforeseen circumstances or reason, you could do it four days before the test date without forfeiting the test fee. The fee to reschedule your test registration is US$50.

Rescheduling is allowed in the same testing year (July 1–June 30). The testing fees and registration fee are not exchangeable between the GRE Subject Tests and General Test.

Read more about Rescheduling GRE.

GRE Exam Dates 2021-2022

The computer-delivered GRE General Test is offered all year-round at Prometric test centers. It is also held on specific dates at additional testing locations outside of the Prometric test center network. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

When selecting a test date, you should make sure that the scores will be reported in time for your application deadlines. For computer-delivered tests, scores reports are sent to your designated score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date. Thus, you should allow time for delivery of scores and processing by the institution.

Read More About GRE Exam Dates

Can You Pursue An MBA Without GRE?

Yes. Some of business schools do not insist on GRE scores and instead prefer to select candidates through their own selection process by evaluating their academic and professional achievements. Yet others may waive the requirement under exceptional circumstances.

Without a GRE score, you will have to prove your suitability for an MBA program solely on the basis of of your profile – by way of an outstanding academic record and qualifications coupled with equally great professional achievements.

In terms of academics, you should have a good GPA coupled with degrees from accredited schools that reflect your competency in analytical, verbal and quantitative capabilities.

The GMAT is also an alternative you could look at in case the GMAT exam sits better with your skillset and mindset. Here is a helpful comparison between the GMAT & GRE that could help you decide on the exam that is right for you –

Read Can I Do MBA Without Writing GRE Test? for complete information.

Some blogs on GRE which you will find helpful in your GRE journey:

How to Get Admissions To B-Schools Despite Low GMAT Scores

ISB Starts Accepting GRE Scores

85% of B-Schools Now Accept the GRE as an Alternative to the GMAT

Some courses accepting GRE:

ISB Hyderabad PGP

Master’s Degree In USA: Everything You Need To Know

And some MBA courses that don’t need the GRE:

You Can Now Take An Entire MBA Course Online For Free!

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