The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

What Is the GRE?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) was created by the Educational Testing Service in 1949 and has been used since then for graduate school admissions. The GRE is three hours and 45 minutes long and consists of three main sections, beginning with Analytical Writing and followed by Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

Who Accepts the GRE?

The GRE is widely accepted by virtually all graduate schools in the United States and many other English speaking nations. In most instances the GRE is the key to admissions, while in some it is considered a formality and the score isn’t a primarily determinate for admissions. As always, be sure to check the admissions page at the school(s) to which you are applying.

When Should I Take the GRE?

The test is usually taken as an electronic test, but is still available to take as a paper test. It is offered at various times throughout the year and applicants can take the electronic version up to five times a year. The first factor to consider for when to take the GRE is the application deadline at the school to which you are applying. As with all school admissions it is critical to familiarize yourself with the requirements at each school’s website, especially because they will often vary considerably. Once you have your deadlines confirmed, give yourself adequate time to prepare, not just for the GRE but for all the requirements of the application. Also, most applicants take the test twice so be sure to factor in sufficient time for you to receive your first score and allow yourself time to review the results and make adjustments to your preparation. Note that you must allow 21-days to retest.

*While there is a substantial fee to take the test there are reductions available for applicants with financial need.

What Is the Structure of the Test?

The GRE is divided into five sections: Analytical Writing, two Verbal Reasoning, and two Quantitative Reasoning sections.

Analytical Writing

  • Analyze an Issue – In 30-minutes select a topic from two choices and write an essay explaining your position.
  • Analyze an Argument – In 30-minutes analyze the logic and merits of a given position.

Verbal Reasoning

  • Two sections of 20 questions – 30 minutes per section
  • Question types include:
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Text Completion
    • Sentence Equivalence

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Two sections of 20 questions – 30 minutes per section
  • Question types include:
    • Quantitative Comparison Questions
    • Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice
    • Multiple-choice Questions — Select One or More Answer Choices
    • Numeric Entry Questions

Note: There is an additional section that is unscored and used for future tests.

How Would a Next Level Instructor Help Me Prepare for the GRE?

Next Level’s highly trained GRE instructors use one-one-one GRE tutoring to develop a study plan that provides efficient, strategic preparation to help ensure students achieve their greatest potential on the exam. Instead of fitting into a tutoring template, Next Level instructors customize tutoring sessions to fit the unique personality, aptitude, and skills of each student, focusing on strengths and weaknesses and building confidence along the way. One of the key elements to preparing for the GRE is studying and improving one’s vocabulary. Just as “SAT Words” have become legendary, “GRE Words” are also vital to achieving outstanding results. At Next Level our GRE instructors help students develop an exceptional vocabulary that will serve them well throughout the exam and beyond.

How Is the Test Scored?

It takes about two weeks to receive GRE results. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores are determined by the number of correct answers. There is no deduction for incorrect answers. Scores for these sections are reported on a scale of 130-170. The Analytical Writing is scored on a scale of 0-6.

The GRE has an option called “scoreselect,” which allows applicants to decide which scores to send. You may not “superscore” (i.e., take the highest sub-score across multiple test dates.)

Can I Get Accommodations on the GRE?

Test-takers requiring accommodations must submit a request in advance.

What’s Next?

Please contact Next Level Learning to find out how you can obtain the best GRE tutoring in New York. Next Level’s highly trained GRE instructors will help ensure you are well positioned to achieve your greatest potential on the GRE and as you make preparations to attend graduate school.

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