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Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


Strategies are more critical and difficult on the new GRE-CAT than for any test you have ever taken. For the GRE, "Time management is key." Your timing skills could add or subtract 100 points from your score. The test has highly unusual pacing constraints.

  • DOUBLE PENALTY- for any unfinished questions at the end of each section when time expires. You should speed-up yourself to make sure that you finish all the questions in the allotted time.

  • NO DOUBLE CHECKING- All answers are final. If you finish a section early, you cannot go back to double check your earlier answers. Suppose, if you hurry and finish your section with 20 minutes left, you are stuck at the end of the test for 20 minutes.

  • NO SKIPPING- When you hit a tough question or get a mental block, you cannot skip the question. Instead, you have to trudge through it, guess, and hope you don't waste too much time.

  • GO FASTER AND FASTER- The value of each question decreases as the section progresses. The first few questions will determine most of your score, so you have to start slowly and carefully and then accelerate as the test progresses.

What Does GRE Test's?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a required test for most American graduate schools. The GRE consists of 3 multiple-choice sections (Quantitative, Analytical and Verbal) and a new essay section called the Writing Assessment (The Writing Assessment is optional and individual schools have different policies about requiring it.It is taken on a separate day).

  • Quantitative Section (Math Questions)
    28 questions
    45 minutes

  • Verbal Section (Sentence Completion, Antonym, Reading Comprehension)
    30 questions
    30 minutes

  • Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games and Logical Reasoning)
    60 minutes
    35 questions

Essay Questions (Writing Assessment):

In the Writing Assessment section you have to answer two essay questions. One essay is the "Present your Perspective on an Issue," which is about your opinion on an issue (you have 45 minutes), and the second is "Analyze an Argument," where you analyze the reasoning in an argument (30 minutes).

What Skills Does the GRE Test's?

The GRE primarily tests 4 skill sets:

  • Endurance and ability to focus

  • Basic knowledge of word usage/math/inductive and deductive reasoning

  • Test taking skills- ability to guess, work at an appropriate pace, and make decisions under pressure

  • Problem solving abilities

Lets take the first skill, you'll have to stare at a screen intensely and focus for over three hours. Keep this in mind when taking practice tests. Get used to working for many hours on end. The physical and mental exhaustion is part of the test's challenge. You should take as many practice CATs as possible to learn the test and to get used to the grueling experience.

The second skill set, a basic knowledge of reading comprehension/math/inductive and deductive reasoning. No calculators are allowed on test day (just bring a pencil), so you need to practice doing basic math calculations by hand. Timing is a major part of test-taking skill, particularly for the GRE CAT.

To improve your problem solving abilities,try to focus,when you get a question wrong, make sure to review the conceptual error you made in the question. You do not want to repeat the error again.

The GRE is a difficult and unusual test. Budget at least 50 hours preparing if the scores are important to your admissions.