Many students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program intend to attend graduate school. Graduates in careers sometimes develop a need for more education in the form of graduate school as well. A graduate degree can help you excel at your work, earn promotions and higher pay, or change careers. Many universities around the world require or accept the Graduate Record Examinations, commonly known as the GRE.
The GRE General Test measures Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing skills and abilities that reflect the necessary skill to succeed in many graduate programs in various fields of study, including business school and law programs. The GRE General Test is offered by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service, Inc., or ETS.
How Should I Register?
ETS provides a registration link for the GRE General Test on its website. You’ll find a search tool for test centers and schedules that you can access prior to registering and during the process. First, you’ll make an ETS account using your legal name that is given on the government-issued ID that you will take to the test center on test day. If the names don’t match, you may be refused entry. The ETS account enables you to register and look up additional information.
What is the Cost of the Exam?
Currently, the cost of the GRE test in the United States is $205. If you are taking the test elsewhere, check the ETS website GRE General Test pages for pricing in various countries.
What is the Format and Content of the Exam?
ETS offers the GRE General Test in paper and computer-based formats. Both formats measure the same skills and knowledge, but they differ a bit in structure. The GRE in either form includes a user-friendly element because questions within a section can be answered in any order, skipped over, returned to, and changed. This feature allows test-takers to focus on questions they can answer easily, then go back to any skipped questions.
The questions on the test have nuanced wording that requires careful reading and responding. The testing sections are as follows:
- Analytical Writing involves two tasks: (1) Analyzing an issue, and (2) Analyzing an argument. Scorers will look for the articulation and support of ideas, analyses of the claims and evidence, focused and coherent writing, and the use of well-written English.
- Verbal Reasoning assesses the ability to analyze and draw conclusions, comprehend various levels of meaning, identify important and unimportant points, comprehend and summarize text, and show understanding of words, sentences and passages.
- Quantitative Reasoning measure skills in dealing with quantitative information, including interpreting and analyzing data, solving problems, using models, and applying math concepts.
What Happens on Test Day?
Test day can bring heighten nervousness with it, so prepare in advance by knowing all the rules of the test center. Take your registration voucher or confirmation email and ID documents with you. You’re required to have a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport that includes a signature. No copies or expired documents are allowed. If you are taking a paper test, take three or four sharpened #2 pencils and an eraser. Except for the mentioned items, don’t plan to take other items into the center as they will not be permitted.
Outerwear clothing, jackets, hats, jewelry (other than wedding or engagement rings), and hair bands or clips are some items not allowed. Other personal items banned from entry include cell phones, electronic devices, calculators, and notebooks. During the security screening, the inspector may check your clothing for items not permitted. You can find details of possible screening actions on the ETS website.
What Should I Know About the Scoring Process?
You may wonder if you earned a good GRE General Test score. The answer is, “That depends.” What are the minimum GRE scores required by the schools you’re applying to? Compare that to your score to find out where you stand.
The GRE General Test can be taken more than once, and you can choose whether to send a score to a school or wait to see if your score improves. The scores are good for up to five years. The exception to this program may be the rules at your school of choice. If the school requires all scores be sent, then you’ll have to submit them accordingly. Check with your school before submitting your scores.
How Can I Prepare for the GRE Exam?
We believe that different learning styles require different tools for success. We have compiled a list of the best study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that we’ve found on the market. Some of these guides have review videos, for you visual learners out there. Others have practice tests, which have been proven to increase student scores by a whole letter grade (in some cases more than that)!