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GRE General Test Overview

What Is It?

The GRE® General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.
Verbal Reasoning — The skills measured include the test taker's ability to

  • analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it
  • analyze relationships among component parts of sentences
  • recognize relationships between words and concepts.

Quantitative Reasoning — The skills measured include the test taker's ability to

  • understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis
  • reason quantitatively
  • solve problems in a quantitative setting.

Analytical Writing — The skills measured include the test taker's ability to

  • articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • examine claims and accompanying evidence
  • support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • control the elements of standard written English.

Who Takes It and Why?

Prospective graduate applicants take the General Test. GRE test scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate records and other qualifications for graduate study. The scores provide common measures for comparing the qualifications of applicants and aid in evaluating grades and recommendations.

Who Accepts It?

Any accredited graduate or professional school, or any department or division within a school, may require or recommend that its applicants take the General Test, a Subject Test, or both. If approved by the GRE Board, a non-accredited institution can also receive test takers' scores.

Computer-Based General Test Content and Structure

The computer-based General Test has three sections.
In addition, one unidentified pretest section may be included, and this section can appear in any position in the test after the analytical writing section. Questions in the pretest section are being tested for possible use in future tests, and answers will not count toward your scores.

An identified research section that is not scored may also be included, and this section would always appear in the final section of the test. Questions in the research section are included for the purpose of ETS research, and answers will not count toward your scores.

Total testing time is up to three hours, not including the research section. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.

The analytical writing section is always first. For the Issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead, one topic will be presented.

The verbal and quantitative sections may appear in any order, including an unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.

Typical Computer-Based GRE® General Test


Number of Questions


Analytical Writing

1 Issue Task*

45 minutes

Analytical Writing

1 Argument Task*

30 minutes



30 minutes



45 minutes







* For the Issue task, two essay topics are presented and you choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead one topic is presented.
** An unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section may be included and may appear in any order after the analytical writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.
*** An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it is always at the end of the test.

Preparing for the GRE Test

Preparation for the test will depend on the amount of time you have available and your personal preferences for how to prepare. At a minimum, before you take the GRE Test, you should know what to expect from the test, including the administrative procedures, types of questions and directions, the approximate number of questions, and the amount of time for each section. The administrative procedures include registration, date, time, test center location, cost, score reporting procedures, and availability of special testing arrangements. Remember—you can not do very well on the test without preparing yourself answering every question in each section of the test correctly. Everyone—even the most practiced and confident of writers—should spend some time preparing for the writing section before arriving at the test center. Same thing is true about the Quantitative and reading sections. It is important to review the skills measured, how the section is scored, scoring guides and score level descriptions, sample topics, scored sample essay responses, and reader commentary.

Vigeo gives students and professionals the best in test preparation combined with unbeaten convenience and flexibility. Vigeo offers specialized preparation services for GRE to insure you high scores in the actual GRE Test.

We have devised a unique system of education which simulates the actual testing environment to give the students a true taste of testing centre environment. As a whole, GRE at Vigeo is a 150 hours training program which runs for approximately 10 weeks with two and a half hours daily, six days a week, providing you 50 hours of Quantitative Skills, 50 hours of verbal Skills and 50 hours of  writing training. For further information about class timing and study schedule, please contact our admission office.