GRE: A Comprehensive Guide for Aspirants

GRE Exam To Study Abroad

Graduate Record Examinations by ETS


Graduate Record Examination, commonly known as GRE, is a standardized test conducted by ETS which seeks to assess the quantitative, verbal, and analytical skills of the test-takers. Students who want to enroll in graduate schools abroad to study Master’s programs need to send their GRE scores to their target universities. Over 1000 universities in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia accept GRE scores to determine the admissions of applicants.

Recent Updates on GRE

Starting September 22, 2023, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) will unveil an abbreviated version of the GRE. In contrast to the current 3-hour and 45-minute GRE general test, the abbreviated version set to debut in September will have a duration of 1 hour and 58 minutes.

GRE Highlights

Specific Explanation
Full Form Graduate Record Examination
Official Website
Popular For MS in the US
Conducted By ETS (Educational Testing Service)
Mode of Exam Computer and Paper – Delivered Test
GRE Fee USD 213
Score Range Verbal reasoning score range: 130–170 Quantitative reasoning score range: 130–170 Analytical writing score range: 0–6

Why GRE?

GRE is a commonly accepted exam by universities and colleges abroad for admissions to graduate programs. Students who wish to pursue a master’s, Ph.D., or MBA are required to take the GRE test. Additionally, students give the GRE exam to secure a merit-based scholarship for grad school. Thousands of graduate schools across the world accept the GRE test score. Besides this, various law schools and business schools, and different departments within these institutions accept the GRE test scores.

Types of GRE tests

There are two types of GRE tests:

  • GRE General Test - Students wanting to get admission to MS courses abroad in different fields appear for the GRE General Test. In this test, a student is evaluated on his quantitative ability, analytical writing, and verbal reasoning skills. The exam is conducted all-round the year, and students can appear for the test at their convenience. The paper-based GRE General Test is offered up to two times a year in countries where computer-delivered testing is not available.
  • GRE Subject Test - GRE Subject Test intends to evaluate the candidates’ ability on a particular subject. These tests are conducted in the following topics: Physics and Psychology, Mathematics, Literature (English), Biochemistry, Biology, and Chemistry. In general, this test is required to get admission to specialized courses.

What are the eligibility criteria of GRE?

GRE eligibility criteria are important, but there might be additional criteria to ensure admission to a university.

  • For instance, Ivy League colleges have strict rules on GPAs. But it varies, and this shouldn’t be seen as GRE exam eligibility conditions. 
  • There is no set age limit or qualification required for students to appear for the GRE exam.
  • Test-takers should have successfully completed their undergraduate program.

What is the GRE Exam Fee?

The application fee for the GRE general Test is INR 22,550. The GRE fee for the subject test costs INR 14,500. In addition to this, if the students want to change the center or reschedule the test, there is an extra fee that has to be paid.

What are the Important Dates for GRE?

As GRE test dates are distributed across the year, it provides students a sense of freedom to take the test at a time that suits them. GRE tests are conducted at Prometric Test Centers at different locations. Test takers have the liberty to take the exam either paper-based or online, but the former is available only in select regions without internet connectivity. Thus, in India, it is only given through the online mode.

What are the GRE Exam Pattern and Syllabus?

The paper-based exam involves two sub-sections of the main categories including verbal, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. Verbal and Quantitative reasoning contains two sections and 50 questions with a time limit of up to 60 and 70 minutes. Analytical Writing includes two tasks with a duration of 60 mins. For the computer-based pattern, all the sections are further divided into two sub-sections with forty questions. The GRE exam syllabus aims to assess quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and critical thinking skills of aspirants looking to get admission to a graduate program.
Check the GRE exam syllabus to know the topics covered in each section.

What is the GRE Score Range?

The GRE score range has a section-wise distribution system in which.

  • Verbal Reasoning: On a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: On a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  • Analytical Writing: On a 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments
  • Total Score: On a 260–340 score scale

Subject test is calculated on a scale of 200 to 990 with an increment scale variation of 10 points. Students who have appeared for the GRE exam should be aware that their score is valid for 5 years from the day of the exam.


Both TOEFL and GRE serve different purposes. The GRE is used to evaluate how prepared a test-taker is for a graduate-level course, while the TOEFL tests determine the English language skills of the student.

Knowing the content and format of the two exams is an important step to feel confident and score well. It is possible that a student may have to take both exams. For each school someone applies to, he has to be sure to research the score requirements so he can submit all the materials and test scores required.


The major difference between the both is that GRE is widely accepted by colleges offering master's courses around the world while GMAT is accepted by colleges offering business courses. Thus, students who want to enroll in a graduate school go for GRE, and to attend business school, students take the GMAT. In the verbal section, GRE evaluates the vocabulary of the students and in GMAT the emphasis is more on grammar.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Stanford University
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of Virginia
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of California – San Diego
University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign
University of Wisconsin – Madison
University of Washington
Pennsylvania State University
University of Florida (UFL)
University of Texas, Austin
Ohio State University
California Institute of Technology
Duke University
University of Chicago
Northwestern University
Washington University in St. Louis
Johns Hopkins University
Rice University
Emory University
University of Notre Dame
Vanderbilt University

Which countries accept the GRE scores?

All of the popular universities around the world in countries like the US, the UK, Singapore, Europe, and Australia accept GRE scores. Over 600 business schools around the world accept the GRE score. 

Where are the GRE Test Centers in India?

GRE exam slots can be booked online. Aspirants should check the availability of the test centers online. To check the appropriate time and date of the test center, one has to sign up on the official website of ETS and then enter the location to find the nearest GRE test center.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When to apply for the GRE?

While selecting the date to apply, two aspects should be kept in mind- the preparation plan and the university application deadline. One should apply only when fully prepared and should apply early enough to fill out the application form.

How many times can a student retake the GRE exam?

Students can appear for the GRE general test once every 21 days, up to 5 times in a span of a year.

Can a student get admission to an MBA program with GRE scores?

Many business schools around the world also accept the GRE scores. However, it is advised to check the eligibility criteria of the target school.

What is a good GRE score?

There can be different answers for it, but a GRE score of more than 300 is considered a good score for getting a seat in a top university.

Can a student get a scholarship through GRE scores?

Yes, students can get scholarships using their GRE scores and past academic record.


Study Abroad Journey


Confused about how abroad education journey looks like?

Here’s the complete beginners’ guide…

A quick Glimpse of your journey

Step 1:


Things to know before getting started: courses, colleges, funding and more

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Step 2:


Things to know for applying to study abroad: cost of study, exams, SOP and more

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Step 3:


Things to know while finalising univeristy, networking and scholarships

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Step 4:


Things to know about financing your education: loan eligibility, approval and more

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Step 5:


Things to know about pre-visa requirements, visa interview and more

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Step 6:

Prepare To Fly!

Things to know about accommodation, Forex, SIM cards, networking and more

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