What is the GRE experimental section?

The GRE experimental section is an unscored section in GRE. It may appear randomly in any order after the first section of the test. This means that the experimental section might be placed in the beginning, middle, or even end within the five remaining sections after the first section. The experimental section can either be Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning. The purpose of the unscored experimental section is for ETS to make ongoing test changes, measure the difficulty of test questions, and for data-collection. This section is composed of 20 questions, and the allotted time is 35 minutes if it’s quantitative and 30 minutes if it’s verbal.

Is the GRE experimental section computer-adaptive?

No, the GRE experimental section is not computer-adaptive. Meaning to say, the difficulty levels or question standards of other sections will not be affected by the score results of this section. The other sections in the GRE, however, are computer-adaptive.

What is the use of the experimental section in GRE?

The purpose of the experimental section is for the ETS to assess the difficulty of questions. It also determines what percentage of students miss a question as the test developers plan to use these questions in future tests based on the results of how the current test-takers performed in the experimental section. In order to do so, ETS requires a sample group in a real test-taking setting that is similar to the prospective test-takers. This section is unscored so that the test developer can more precisely estimate how test-takers will do on new questions. It also ensures that the difficulty level of these new questions is consistent with that of the current GRE questions.

Why did ETS include the experimental section?

The unscored section is included by ETS, the organization that developed the GRE, to collect data, make ongoing test changes, and measure the difficulty of test questions.

What is the difference between the GRE experimental section and the GRE research section?

Placement is the difference between the experimental section and the research section. The research section is always given at the end of the test. The experimental section, on the other hand, is placed randomly and does not have an indication that it’s unscored. Both the experimental section and research section are unscored and could either be verbal or quantitative. The allotted time for either test is 30 or 35 minutes and could contain about 20 questions.

Is the Experimental Section harder than the other sections?

No, the experimental section will not be any harder than the other sections considering that it could also take form in either quantitative or verbal, and any one of the sections after the Analytical Writing may turn out to be the unscored experimental section.

Will your performance on the Experimental section change the difficulty level of the next section?

No, the results of the experimental section will not have any effect on the standard of questions or difficulty level of the next sections because unlike the scored sections of the test, the experimental section is not computer-adaptive.

Does every test-taker get the Experimental Section in GRE?

No, the test taker may either get a research section or an experimental section. These two sections would never appear together.

Can you skip the experimental section?

No, test takers cannot skip an experimental section since there wouldn’t be an indication of which section is the unscored experimental one. Therefore, the test taker should treat each section as though it is a scored section.

How do you prepare for the GRE unscored section?

The best ways for a test taker to prepare for the GRE unscored section are:

  1. Practice GRE verbal questions, particularly the subsections they find most challenging. For instance, vocabulary is one of the most challenging components of the GRE verbal section, and the test taker may want to build up their own vocabulary by doing vocabulary practice tests or drills.
  2. Practice GRE quantitative questions, particularly the components they find most challenging. For instance, one of the most difficult components of the GRE quantitative section is the data interpretation, and the test taker may want to study data analysis practice questions.
  3. The test taker should treat the exam as if every section affects the score, and shouldn’t try to assume that a particular section is the unscored one.

Sample test questions for the GRE experimental section

Here are some sample test questions for the GRE experimental section:

I. Quantitative Section Sample Tests:

  1. Quantitative Comparison Sample Question
Quantity AQuantity B
The least prime number greater than 24The greatest prime number less than 28
  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Correct Answer: The correct answer is Choice A, Quantity A is greater.


For the integers greater than 24, note that 25, 26, 27, and 28 are not prime numbers, but 29 is a prime number, as are 31 and many other greater integers. Thus, 29 is the least prime number greater than 24, and Quantity A is 29. For the integers less than 28, note that 27, 26, 25, and 24 are not prime numbers, but 23 is a prime number, as are 19 and several other lesser integers. Thus, 23 is the greatest prime number less than 28, and Quantity B is 23.

  1. Numeric Entry Sample Question

Working alone at its constant rate, machine A produces k liters of a chemical in 10 minutes. Working alone at its constant rate, machine B produces k liters of the chemical in 15 minutes. How many minutes does it take machines A and B, working simultaneously at their respective constant rates, to produce k liters of the chemical?

The answer space consists of a fraction bar, and two boxes, one above and one below the fraction bar.

Correct Answer: The correct answer is 6 minutes (or equivalent).

Answer key:

  • Machine A produces (k/ 10) liters per minute.
  • Machine B produces (k /15) liters per minute.
  • When working simultaneously, the rate at which the chemical is produced is the sum of these two rates, which is (k/10) +(k /15)= k(1/10 + 1/15) =k(25/150) = (k/6 ).
  • To compute the time required to produce k liters at this rate, divide the amount k by the rate (k/6) = k / (k/6) = 6 (2)
  1. Multiple-choice Questions — Select One or More Answer Choices Sample Question

Which of the following integers are multiples of both 2 and 3?

Indicate all such integers.

  1. 8
  2. 9
  3. 12
  4. 18
  5. 21
  6. 36

Correct Answer:

Answer key: The correct answer consists of Choices C (12), D (18), and F (36).

You can first identify the multiples of 2, which are 8, 12, 18, and 36, and then among the multiples of 2 identify the multiples of 3, which are 12, 18, and 36. Alternatively, if you realize that every number that is a multiple of 2 and 3 is also a multiple of 6, you can identify the choices that are multiples of 6.

II. Verbal Section Sample Tests:

  1. Reading Comprehension Sample Question (Multiple-choice Question — Select One Answer Choice)
Policymakers must confront the dilemma that fossil fuels continue to be an indispensable source of energy even though burning them produces atmospheric accumulations of carbon dioxide that increase the likelihood of potentially disastrous global climate change. Currently, technology that would capture carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and sequester it harmlessly underground or undersea instead of releasing it into the atmosphere might double the cost of generating electricity. But because sequestration does not affect the cost of electricity transmission and distribution, delivered prices will rise less, by no more than 50 percent. Research into better technologies for capturing carbon dioxide will undoubtedly lead to lowered costs.

The passage implies which of the following about the current cost of generating electricity?

  1. It is higher than it would be if better technologies for capturing carbon dioxide were available.
  2. It is somewhat less than the cost of electricity transmission and distribution.
  3. It constitutes at most half of the delivered price of electricity.
  4. It is dwelt on by policymakers to the exclusion of other costs associated with electricity delivery.
  5. It is not fully recovered by the prices charged directly to electricity consumers.

Correct Answer: C

  1. Reading Comprehension Sample Question (Multiple-choice Question — Select One or More Answer Choices)
Reviving the practice of using elements of popular music in classical composition, an approach that had been in hibernation in the United States during the 1960s, composer Philip Glass (born 1937) embraced the ethos of popular music in his compositions. Glass based two symphonies on music by rock musicians David Bowie and Brian Eno, but the symphonies’ sound is distinctively his. Popular elements do not appear out of place in Glass’s classical music, which from its early days has shared certain harmonies and rhythms with rock music. Yet this use of popular elements has not made Glass a composer of popular music. His music is not a version of popular music packaged to attract classical listeners; it is high art for listeners steeped in rock rather than the classics.

Consider each of the three choices separately and select all that apply.


The passage suggests that Glass’s work displays which of the following qualities?


  1. A return to the use of popular music in classical compositions
  2. An attempt to elevate rock music to an artistic status more closely approximating that of classical music
  3. A long-standing tendency to incorporate elements from two apparently disparate musical styles

Correct Answer: A and C

Are there GRE Prep Courses for experimental section?

Yes, the GRE includes an experimental section that isn’t scored but is used by ETS to test new questions. While the content of this section can vary, it will resemble either the Verbal or Quantitative sections. Many top GRE prep courses cover strategies and content for the entire exam, which indirectly prepares students for the experimental section. However, it’s essential to remember that since this section isn’t scored, students should focus primarily on the main sections of the GRE.

Do GRE prep courses help with study for the GRE experimental section?

GRE prep courses primarily focus on the core GRE sections (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing) and don’t specifically target study for the GRE experimental section. However, they can indirectly help by improving your overall test-taking skills, time management, and content knowledge. The experimental section is designed to test new questions, so prep courses won’t provide direct practice. Instead, prioritize mastering the core sections and adapt your strategies as needed for the experimental part, which may not count toward your score.


  • https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/comparison/sample_questions
  • https://www.greedge.com/quant/gre-quant-practice-questions
  • https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/multiple_choice_more/sample_questions
  • https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/about/general/verbal_reasoning_sample_questions