The GRE General Test: Content, Preparation and Overview

The GRE General Test is a standardized test used to assess graduate school applicants’ knowledge of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. GRE scores are accepted by thousands of graduate and business programs worldwide. The GRE is created, developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to provide graduate schools with common metrics for comparing the applicants’ qualifications and readiness for graduate school level of academic tasks.

What is the GRE General Test?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test is a mandatory admissions test of various graduate programs across the globe. The General Test is divided into three sections, namely verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The test is created and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service), and its format is updated periodically.

Who are the test takers of the GRE General Test?

The GRE General Test is for individuals who want to pursue the following [1]:

  • Master’s
  • Specialized Master’s in Business
  • MBA programs (Master of Business Administration)
  • JD (Juris Doctor) Programs
  • Doctoral degree

The GRE is taken by a wide range of students who want to pursue a graduate degree. Prospective applicants come from all over the world, and their general aim is to pursue a master’s, specialized master’s in business, JD, MBA, or a doctoral degree.

Where is the GRE General Test taken?

The test is given year-round at Prometric test centers and on particular days at additional testing centers that are not part of the Prometric test center network. There are over a thousand accredited GRE centers located in 160 countries. Prospective test-takers can find the nearest available test center by visiting the official ETS GRE website.

Read more: Complete List of GRE Test Centers

When is the GRE General test taken?

The GRE General Test is available at Prometric test centers all year and on particular days at other testing locations outside of the Prometric test center network. When visiting the official ETS GRE website, prospective test takers can look for an available test date.

Read more: GRE Test Dates 2022

What are the modified versions of the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning questions?

There may be questions that are modified versions of previously published questions or questions that the test taker may have already seen on the test. Some changes are significant, while others are subtle. Even if a question looks to be identical to one that the test taker has seen before, it may be distinct and have a different answer. As a result, the test taker must pay close attention to the wording of each question.

What schools are accepting GRE General test scores?

Here are some of the top universities that accept GRE General test scores [2]:

  • Stanford University
  • University of Virginia
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Oxford
  • Princeton University
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • University of Chicago
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Michigan
  • John Hopkins University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of California, LA
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Duke University
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois
  • Rice University
  • University of North Carolina
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Notre Dame

It is important to note that these are just some of the institutions that accept GRE General Test scores. Prospective test-takers can view the comprehensive list of institutions searched by country and state on the official ETS website.

List of MBA Programs that Accept the GRE General Test

Here is a list of top business schools that accept GRE General Test scores for their MBA programs [3]:

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Wharton School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan
  • Columbia Business School

The mentioned institutions are just some of the business schools that accept GRE General Test scores to some or all of their MBA programs. Candidates can view a comprehensive list of institutions that accept GRE General Test scores sorted by each US state by visiting the ETS GRE website.

Read more: GRE for MBA Programs

List of Law Schools That Accept GRE Scores for Their JD Programs

Here is a list of top law schools that accept GRE General Test scores for their JD programs [4]:

  • Brigham Young University Law School
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • Columbia Law School
  • Cornell Law School
  • Harvard Law School

The law schools mentioned in this list are just a few of the institutions that accept GRE General Test scores. Law school hopefuls can view a comprehensive list of law schools that accept GRE scores sorted by each US state or country by visiting the ETS GRE website.

What is the GRE General Test Structure?

The GRE General Test consists of the following [5]:

  • Analytical Writing. This section always appears first in the test. It contains one “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task. Each task has a 30 minutes allotted time.
  • Verbal Reasoning. This may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing. The test contains two sections of Verbal Reasoning, and there are 20 questions per section. Each Verbal Reasoning section has a 30 minutes allotted time.
  • Quantitative Reasoning. This may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing.The test contains two sections of Quantitative Reasoning, and there are 20 questions per section. Each Quantitative Reasoning section has a 35 minutes allotted time.
  • Unscored. After the Analytical Writing section, an unidentified unscored section that does not count toward the test taker’s score may be added and may appear in any order. Questions in the unscored section are being tested for future use or to guarantee that results on new editions of the test are comparable to scores on previous editions.
  • Research. In place of the unscored section, an identified research component that does not contribute toward your score may be included. The research section is always placed at the end of the exam. This section’s questions are presented for ETS research purposes.

The Analytical Writing portion will always come first. Since the Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and unscored portions may come in any sequence, the test taker should treat each component as if it contributes towards their overall score.

Read more: GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section, GRE Analytical Writing Section, GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

How does the GRE General Test ensure fairness?

To ensure the fairness in the making and scoring of the GRE tests, ETS ensures that routine assessments of test questions are performed so that questions do not unfairly contribute to group differences, fairness evaluations are performed by trained reviewers, thorough training is provided for all persons involved in the development or scoring of test questions, and appropriate accommodations are provided for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs [6].

How does the GRE General Test ensure validity?

Validity studies and analysis show that the test assesses what it is designed to measure. The GRE Program has established evidence of construct validity, content validity, predictive validity, consequential validity, and external validity in GRE assessments [7].

Why choose the GRE General Test?

Because of its versatility, it is believed that the GRE General Test is more advantageous. The GRE General Test is the only graduate admissions exam that can be used to apply to a wide range of MBA, JD, and doctorate programs. This gives the test taker more alternatives and allows them to apply to more programs all across the world.

How to prepare for the GRE General Test?

Here are some guidelines to help test takers prepare for the GRE General Test:

  • Determine the baseline score. The test taker may have a GRE diagnostic practice test to establish a baseline score and determine strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the areas of weakness gives them an idea of where to focus on during their review.
  • Invest in a GRE test prep course. Although a test taker’s GRE score is determined entirely by their effort rather than the popularity of their review center, enrolling in a respected institution with numerous positive reviews is one better way to study and review for the test.
  • Select the right study tools. Selecting the right study tools and resources can make the reviewing process more efficient.
  • Identify sections to prioritize. It is important that the test taker identifies which part/s of the test they are particularly struggling on so that they can focus more on studying that part.
  • Do practice tests. When studying for the GRE, the practice test is extremely important because the test taker must have practical abilities and approaches rather than simply memorizing information.

ETS, the test makers of the GRE, also offers free and low-cost study tools to help test takers prepare for the GRE General Test.

Read more: Prepare for GRE General Test

How Does the GRE General Test Compare to a GRE Subject Test?

The GRE General Test assesses a test taker’s Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning while the GRE Subject Test assesses a test taker’s knowledge of a particular field of study or subject. The General Test has a longer allotted time of 3 hours and 45 minutes compared to the Subject Test that only has 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Read more: GRE Subject Test

References:

  1. https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/
  2. https://www.jamboreeindia.com/know-how/top-universities-accepting-gre-scores-programs-cut-off-and-ranking/
  3. https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2017/12/01/business-schools-accepting-gre-scores/
  4. https://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-advice/gre-scores-law-school-admissions
  5. https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/structure/
  6. https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fairness/