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GRE-The Graduate Record Examination


The primary purpose of the GRE is to assist schools in selecting the best-qualified candidates for admission to  general graduate programs.Schools also use GRE scores to determine eligibility for merit-based grants and scholarships, as well as teaching and research assistantships. The test assesses the verbal, math, and analytical skills of applicants for graduate school.

The GRE computer-based General Test is an adaptive test that covers the same content and uses the same types of questions as the paper-based General GRE Test. Applicants can take the computer-based General Test once a month up to 5 times per year, the exam is offered the first three weeks of every month. The total time for the test is approximately 4 hours. The fees to take the GRE is below.


TGeneral Test Fees – Computer-Based and Paper-Based Testing

$160 General Test—U.S., U.S. Territories*, and Puerto Rico
$205 General Test—China (including Hong Kong), Korea, and Taiwan. See Bulletin Supplement (PDF).
$190 General Test—All Other Locations
$ 25 Late Registration Fee
$ 50 Standby Testing (paper-based test only)
$ 50 Rescheduling Fee
$ 50 Changing Your Test Center
$ 12 Scores by phone
$ 23 Additional score report (ASR) requests–per recipient
$  6 Phone service for additional score reports–per call, plus $15 ASR fee per recipient
$ 50 Question-and-Answer Review Service—Verbal & Quantitative Sections
$ 55 Score Review for Analytical Writing Measure
$ 30 Paper-Based Test Hand Scoring
$ 30 Score Reinstatement Fee

*Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands only

Requesting a Refund

If you cancel your General Test no later than 3 full days prior to your test date, you will receive a $60 refund. Computer-based test refunds will be automatically issued approximately 10 days after the canceled test . Paper-based test refunds are issued within 6-8 weeks after the canceled test date. Download and mail the  Refund Request form.

Test Description

The General Test consists of four sections: the Quantitative Section, the Verbal Section, the Analytical Writing Assessment, and the Un-scored Section.

The Quantitative Section consists of 28 questions: 14 Quantitative Comparison questions and 14 Problem Solving questions. This section focuses mainly on basic math, elementary mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning. Total Time Duration is45 minutes.

The Verbal Section consists of 30 questions: 6 Sentence Completion questions, 9 Analogy questions, 7 Antonym questions, and 8 Reading Comprehension questions.  Total time duration  is 30 minutes.

GRE Writing Assessment Section consists of two analytical writing tasks: a 45 minute Perspective on an Issue task, and a 30 minute Analysis of an Argument task. Each essay is evaluated on a 6-point holistic scale according to criteria published in the GRE Information and Registration Bulletin. Applicants will receive a single score representing the average of the two writing tasks.

  • The Issue task consists of writing a brief essay on an issue (chosen from 2 randomly selected issues from a pool of topics) in which the applicant provides relevant reasons and examples to support his/her own argument by taking a position on an issue.
  • The Argument task requires the applicant to critique another person's argument (only one argument prompt is provided).


Applicants will receive a GRE "scaled score" within a range of 200-800for each of the two sections (verbal and quantitative). The highest score on any one section is 800 and the lowest score on a section is 200. Score for each section is determined by two factors: how many questions were answered correctly, and the level of difficulty of the questions correctly answered. For each of the scaled scores, applicants also receive a percentile ranking from 0-99%. Percentile rank in each section reflects an applicant's performance in each section relative to all of the GRE test-takers during the most recent three-year period.

GRE score reports are “cumulative” – they include all scores for GRE tests which  an applicant has taken during the previous 5 years. In addition, all test absences and score cancellations appear on the official report.

Application FAQs for graduate schools

  • Average application fee: $30; Total application cost: $100-$500
  • Application cycle: September- January
  • Competitive GPA and GRE: 3.3+ GPA; 570+ GRE
  • Letter of recommendation and personal statement: Usually required


The GRE Information and Registration Bulletin published by ETS (Educational Services) contains all of the information regarding registration procedures and test dates. This can be obtained by calling the Educational Testing Service at-

Mail: Graduate Record Examinations
Educational Testing Services
P.O. Box 6014
Princeton, NJ 08541-6014
Telephone: 1-800-537-3160 (to request a Bulletin)
Outside U.S.A. or Canada, (609) 771-7243

E- Mail:

Paper-based General Test administrations are offered in areas where Computer-Based Testing (CBT) is not available.