The Graduate Record
Examination is a Standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical
and analytical skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools (of
all fields other than business) assess the potential of applicants for
advanced study . Nearly 2300 universities in the US require GRE® scores from each
applicant. The GRE tests the fundamental skills - Reasoning and
Comprehension included - and does not require any subject-specific
theoretical study. (This is true only for the General GRE Test, and not
Subject, which is required by certain
universities. In this section, we mean the General GRE Test whenever we
refer to the GRE Test)
The test is designed in
such a way that it would be unlike any other test you would have taken
at school or college. First, the test has no question paper or answer
sheets, nor does it have the same set of questions for all the
examinees. Further, it does not give you the option of not answering a
question (unless, of course, you run out of time at the end). All this
because the GRE Test is an entirely Computer based test - the keyboard
and mouse do the work of a pen or pencil. The test is scored out of
1600 (in multiples of 10).
The GRE Test is only
one of several parameters which the graduate schools look at to
determine the selection of an applicant. A high score alone does not
translate into an admission offer from a great school. But the test can
be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process
of getting admission into a Graduate school of your choice.
The GRE Test is
developed and administered by the US-based "Educational Testing
Service" (ETS) under the direction of the Graduate Record Examination
Board , a non-profit organization of graduate business schools
worldwide. This implies that ETS sets the questions, conducts the test,
and sends each examinee the score report. For the conduct of the test,
ETS has appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which act as
franchisee for ETS. In India, this agency is the "Sylvan Testing
Services Pvt Ltd" which administers the test at 9 centres in the
country: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai,
Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Trivandrum.
Unlike other exams, you can choose your own date and time for taking
the GRE Test! The test is administered in the above cities
five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to
December is the high season for GRE Test, so in case you intend to take
the test during this period, you need to register very early (say 90
days in advance) to get a date of your choice. Otherwise, registering
at least 15 days in advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughly
three-and-a-half hours, and most centres offer two slots : 9 A.M. and 2
Anyone and everyone is
eligible for taking the GRE Test - there are no restrictions based on
age or qualifications. The test scores are valid for five years, i.e.,
most universities accept scores up to five years old. But it is always
better if your scores are recent (not older than 2 years).
Test fees for GRE Test
may vary according to the country in which you take the test. In India,
this fee is US $140 (approx Rs. 7000), payable at the time of
registration. You cannot pay in Indian Rupees. The
fees has to be paid through a US Dollar denominated draft, made out in
favour of "ETS - GRE" payable in the U.S. Such a draft is usually
available with the Main Branches of most banks (which have a foreign
exchange counter) in most of the big cities for a nominal charge
(around Rs. 200). Alternately, the payment can also be made through a
credit card which has global acceptance. The credit card need not
necessarily be yours - you can get your father to sign for you!
Obtain the "GRE
Information Bulletin" available free with Prometric Testing Services
and USEFI. You can also request the bulletin from Infozee at Request Test Forms and it will be
delivered to your given address. The Test Scheduling Form comes with
the bulletin. The Test Scheduling Form comes with the bulletin. There
are four ways
by Phone: You may call up Prometric Delhi office until
12:00 noon to register. Make sure to call at least THREE BUSINESS DAYS
before the test date.
Online: You may now also register only from the GRE
by Fax: If registering by fax, you must send your fax at
lest SEVEN DAYS prior to your first choice of a test day.
by Mail/Courier: Fill in the form, get the draft made
(if you are not paying by credit card), and submit these to the
Centre at New Delhi either by hand or by registered post/courier. You
must send the documents at least THREE WEEKS before your choice of a
On receipt of your
documents, an appointment will be scheduled for you to test at the
Prometric Center. Confirmation of the date, time and location of the
appointment will be sent to you. If you do not receive confirmation at
least THREE business days before your
first choice of test day, please call the Prometric office to verify your
Testing Private Limited
2nd Floor, DLF Infinity Tower - A
Sector 25, Phase ll
DLF City, Gurgaon
Tel: 91 - 124 - 4147700
Fax: 91 - 124 - 4147773
You will receive an
admit card normally within a week of applying. Remember to keep a copy
of the form and the draft with you.
is a Computer-Adaptive Test?
In a computer-adaptive
test, the computer screen displays one question at a time, which is
chosen from a very large pool of questions categorized by content and
difficulty. The first question is always of a medium difficulty, and
each subsequent question is determined by your responses to all the
previous questions. In other words, the CAT adjusts itself to your
ability level - you’ll get few questions that are either too easy or
too difficult for you.
Each question in the
GRE CAT has five answer options, and you are required to select one of
these five as the correct answer by clicking on it. A subsequent
question is displayed on the screen only after you have answered the
previous question, so you cannot skip a question. You cannot also go
back to a previously answered question to change your answer. Thus, if
you guess a correct answer or answer a question incorrectly by mistake,
your answers to subsequent questions will lead you back to questions
that are at the appropriate level of difficulty for you.
The test has three
distinct sections : Writing Assessment (WA), Quantitative, and Verbal.
The Quantitative section has Problem Solving questions, which test your
mathematical skills and concepts of roughly the high-school level. The
Verbal Section has four types of questions : Antonyms, Analogies,
Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Completion. The questions of each
type appear in no set sequence. There are a total of 58 questions, 28
in Quantitative and 30 in Verbal.
The third section,
Analytical Writing Assessment measures critical thinking and analytical
writing skills. It consists of two analytical writing tasks : (1)
"Present your perspective on an issue", and (2) "Analyze an Argument".
There is a one-minute
break between each test section. Midway through the testing session, an
on-screen message will inform you of the opportunity to take a
10-minute break. Section timing will not stop if you take an
Analysis of an issue
Analyze an Argument
An unidentified verbal
or quantitative experimental section may be included and may appear in
any order after the analytical writing section. It is not counted as
part of your score.
The section tests you
on a level of Maths that is comparable to Class 10 mathematics, with
questions on Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals,
Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic
Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume
of 2-D and 3-D figures, and Probability. This list is not exhaustive;
questions from beyond these topics may also be asked.
The section has 28
questions to be completed in 45 minutes.
The verbal section in
GRE Test requires a good vocabulary level, the basic skills of correct
English coupled with reasoning and analysis. The 30 questions, to be
attempted in 30 minutes, consist of four types : Antonyms, Analogies,
Sentence Completion, and Reading Comprehension. The four types are
intermingled, with no fixed number for each type.
assessment section requires you to write - or type - two short essays.
The first is the Issue task, in which you need to analyze the issue
presented and explain your views on it. For the Issue task, you will be
able to choose 1 of 2 essay topics selected by the computer from the
pool of topics. You will get 45 minutes to do write or type this essay.
The second essay is
Analysis of an Argument, in which a given argument has to be critically
analyzed and evaluated. The Argument task does not offer a choice of
topics; the computer will present you with a single topic selected from
the topic pool. You will get 30 minutes to write or type this essay.
For both the essays, the emphasis is on the "Analytical" part, and not
on the "Writing" part. This implies that a concise essay with
well-reasoned points written in simple English will be looked upon more
favourably than an essay which falls short on the analytical aspects
even though it is high on writing skills.
A ten-minute break follows the two essays. The computer gives you the
option to take this break, or to move directly to the subsequent
section. Even if you finish the essays before the stipulated sixty
minutes, the break will still be of five minutes. It is advisable to
utilize this break by gearing yourself up for the tougher sections that
ETS has the provision
of reporting your GRE scores to a maximum of four universities of your
choice, the cost of which is built into the fee you pay. You have to
indicate the four universities where you wish a copy of your GRE score
to be sent after you get to know your scores. For reporting to each
additional university, the ETS charges you $13, payable by an
international credit card or a dollar denominated draft.
The GRE Test results
comprise four different scores : a total score, and separate scores for
Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing Assessment sections. The
total score is reported out of 1600 and the sectional scores are out of
800. The Writing Assessment section is scored separately on 6.
In addition to these scores, the score report also contains percents
(%) below. These "% below" indicate the percentage of examinees who
scored below you based on the scores of the entire GRE testing
population for the most recent three-year period. These percentages are
important in considering how an applicant for admission to a particular
management school compares with everyone in the specified period, with
all other applicants to the same school, and with students already
enrolled at the school.
Even though an "I could
have done better" feeling is inevitable after any test, taking the GRE
Test again may not be helpful. Sometimes it is necessary to take the
GRE Test more than once, like when a management school asks you for
more recent scores than what you have. However, unless your scores seem
unusually low compared to your performance in the practice tests, or if
you have not been able to perform well because of a sudden illness or
similar exceptional circumstances, it’s advisable not to succumb to the
temptation of repeating the test. This is so for given the nature of
the test, it is unlikely that your scores can substantially improve,
and in fact, your scores may decrease.
If you repeat the test,
your scores from the latest test date and the two most recent test
administrations in the last five years will be reported to the
institutions you designate as recipients. In any case, you cannot take
the test more than once in the same calendar month, even if you have
taken the test and cancelled your scores.