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GRE Exam Pattern: Know Everything in a Glance

Students dreaming of studying in foreign universities often appear for the GRE exam. However, to appear in this exam, the first step is understanding Its exam pattern.

The GRE follows two exam patterns- the GRE General exam pattern and the GRE subject exam pattern. The GRE general exam pattern consists of one analytical writing section, two verbal writing sections, and two quantitative writing sections. The subject-wise GRE exam pattern includes multiple choice questions from the core subject for which you want to appear for the exam.

Want to learn in detail about the GRE exam pattern, dive deep into this blog.

GRE Exam Pattern – General and Subject 

ETS conducts the GRE exam (Graduate record exam) through which students become eligible to take admission to foreign universities and pursue programs like business, law, graduation, and specialization in Mathematics, physics, and psychology.

Students who want to go for general graduation like law, business or others need to appear for the GRE general exam and follow its pattern for preparation. However, if they’re considering specialization, the GRE offers subject-wise specialization tests in three subjects: Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

GRE Exam Pattern – General 

ETS declared that beginning from 22 September 2023, the GRE general exam pattern provides students with 1 hr 58 minutes in which students need to solve questions from 5 sections. One section is from verbal reasoning, which includes 1 task to do in 30 minutes; two from verbal reasoning, which consists of 27 questions to solve in 41 minutes; and two from quantitative reasoning, which consists of 27 questions to solve in 47 minutes.

Students need first to solve the analytical writing question and, later on, proceed with either verbal reasoning or quantitative reasoning.

GRE Exam Pattern – General

GRE Exam Pattern – Subject

As per the GRE new exam pattern, ETS allotted time for the GRE subject exam for Mathematics is 2 hours 50 minutes, and for Physics and Psychology is 2 hours.

The Mathematics GRE exam consists of 66 multiple-choice questions, the Physics GRE exam pattern consists of 70 multiple-choice questions, and the Psychology subject test includes 144 MCQs.

These MCQ questions include 5 options in which you need to choose one correct or best-suited answer for your question.

GRE Exam Pattern - Subject wiseNow when you know the type of questions, allotted times and the difference between subject and general GRE paper pattern, you may want to know how actual GREs are, whether it’s an online or paper-based exam.

GRE Online vs Paper-Based Exam Pattern 

ETS (Educational Testing Services), the GRE conducting body, organizes the GRE exam paper-based and online. However, for Indian students, the GRE exams are available only in Online format, which assists students in choosing from either center-based exams or GRE from home.

The pattern for both center-based online exams and home-based exams is the same.

The paper-based exams are only available in countries which have less accessibility to computer systems and the Internet. The GRE exam is conducted only 3 times in a year at only selected locations. The computer-based exam is organized for the whole year across different locations.

selected locations. The computer based exam is organized for the whole year across different locations.

GRE Test Old vs New Pattern

ETS has changed the GRE exam pattern from September 2023; it decreased the exam duration from 3 hours and 45 minutes to 1 hour and 58 minutes for the general test and eliminated certain areas. In the GRE subject test pattern, ETS has decreased the test length for Physics and Psychology. However, the test timing for Maths is unchanged.

GRE General Test Old vs New Pattern

GRE General Old Test Pattern   GRE General New Test Pattern 
Duration  3 hours and 45 minutes 1 hour and 58 minutes
Break  10 minutes No
Sections  7 5
Measures  5 3
Analytical Writing  2 Task (30 minutes for each) 1 Task (30 minutes)
Verbal Reasoning (2 section) 20 questions per section (30 minutes per section) Section 1: 12 questions (18 mins)

Section 2: 15 questions (23 mins)

Quantitative Reasoning (2 section) 20 questions per section (35 minutes per section) Section 1: 12 questions (21 mins)

Section 2: 15 questions (26 mins)

Unscored Question & time both varies NA
Research  Question & time both varies NA

GRE Exam Pattern Score Distribution  

GRE exam pattern total marks combine the marks obtained in various sections of general GRE or subject paper. The mark distribution for the General GRE exam paper is mentioned below:

Section Score Scale Average Score
Analytical Writing 0–6, in half-point increments 3.5-4.0
Verbal Reasoning 130–170, in 1-point increments 151
Quantitative Reasoning 130–170, in 1-point increments 153


How to Prepare for GRE According to Exam Pattern

GRE test preparation requires lots of planning and attention. Since the GRE exam fee is high, you must prepare well before sitting the exam. To prepare appropriately for the GRE, you can join top study abroad classes and access the GRE practice set.

Galvanize is one of the top study abroad classes to do your GRE preparation, get personalized counseling, and receive quality study materials and support.

Galvanize is a trust of several students who want to study abroad. You can also make your dreams come true with us. Get enrolled with GRE test preparation.

FAQs Related to the GRE Exam Pattern 

What is the GRE exam pattern? 

The GRE exam pattern is of two types – the GRE general exam pattern and the GRE subject exam pattern. The GRE general exam pattern includes one analytical writing section – 1 task, two verbal writing sections – 27 questions, and two quantitative writing sections – 27 questions. The GRE subject-wise exam paper pattern includes 66 questions for mathematics, 70 questions for physics, and 144 questions for psychology.

Is the GRE exam tough? 

Since the GRE exam result is widely accepted in over 160 countries, it’s apparent that it is competitive. However, with ample practice, better time management, and preparation, you can score decent marks in the GRE.

What are GRE total marks?

The GRE total mark is 340/6 when calculating the maximum marks for verbal reasoning, qualitative reasoning and analytical writing.

Is it easy to get 320 in the GRE? 

Your preparation level, problem solving skills and time management can ensure how well you score in GRE. When it comes to scoring 320 on the GRE, you need to attempt max-to-max questions that are too accurate. The GRE marking scheme follows an adoptive model that means you need to perform well in section 1 so you receive high difficulty and value questions in section 2; which will define your overall score.

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