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GRE (Graduate Record Exam) – How to face it and get good score?

Students, who wish to study in foreign countries, where English is mother tongue, will have to write the pre-requisite tests like GRE, TOFEL and IELTS. Success in the tests with good scores facilitates to get a seat in a good foreign educational institution. Let us have a glance about the model of GRE and the mode of preparation to face it. Students’ craving for admissions into educational institutions like American Universities starts with preparation for GRE (Graduate Record Exam). Last year mind blowing 90000 Indian students have appeared for GRE and the number is increasing year by year. GRE score will be valid for 5 years.


Many USA business schools prefer GRE score instead of GMAT score for admissions into their MBA course. ETS (Educational Testing Service) Institute, which conducts TOFEL and SAT world-wide, is conducting GRE. For more information on ETS and it’s examinations find the about ETS at the end of this post.

Why this GRE test?

A good number of people throughout the world apply for admission into foreign Universities in the advanced countries like America. It becomes difficult for the Universities to admit students basing only on their academic excellence, because, the percentage of marks allotted to the students studying in their institutions vary with the standards of their educational institutions in each of such countries. Therefore, the students seeking admissions can exhibit their talent through the GRE common platform. GRE evaluates the Student’s IQ. It has 3 items.

1) Analytical Writing
2) Verbal Reasoning
3) Quantitative Reasoning

GRE Analytical Reasoning


It will have two essays (scrutiny of an item and analysis in debate and discussion) – directly to be written in the computer. Each essay will be of 30 minute duration. One essay will be displayed on the computer screen on the day of the test, randomly selecting from the essays uploaded on to the website www.gre.org. Student should write the essay within the allotted time. For each essay, the score will be between 0 and 6 points. The average score of both of the essays shall be the final score. To get admission into renowned Universities, it is necessary that one should score more than 4 points.

GRE Verbal Reasoning  

There will be 2 sections with 20 questions in each section. Time allowed is 30 minutes. There will be 3 types of questions on Syntax Equivalence, Text Completion and Reading Comprehension

GRE Quantitative Reasoning 

Two sections will be in it with 35 minutes duration. Each section contains 20 questions. Quantitative Comparison, Multiple Choice, Numerical Entry type questions will be there. Unscored or Research Section will also be there in GRE.

This is Computer Aptitude Test. Verbal and Quantitative questions will be in varied difficulty levels. Depending on the level of the student’s aptitude, computer will caution either to increase or decrease the level of complexity. In Verbal/ Quantitative, in the second part, the test will either be easier or more difficult than the first part, depending on the student’s capacity. Student’ score goes on increasing with the intensity of complexity of the questions. New GRE has taken a shape favourable to the students. It is made possible to go to the previous questions or next questions within the prescribed time.

What is the needed score in Graduate Record Exam? 

Many of the Universities require a minimum score of 300 + from the students in Verbal and Quantitative. Since many of the students from our country are going to countries like America for admissions into technical courses, they show more interest on Quantitative and if they could score 160 + in it and 150 + in Verbal, there are bright chances for getting admissions into renowned Universities. It is essential to score 4 in Analytical Writing.

It is most advisable to start preparation at least one year prior to the date of admissions.

Those, who have applied for Fall Semester (August intake), should be prepared to get their GRE score by December.

Those, who applied for Spring Semester (January intake), should be prepared to get
their GRE ETS score by August.

Since the preparation time will take at least 4 to 6 months, initiating the process should be started at least one year in advance from the date of admissions.

Tips for ETS GRE Aspirants

It is necessary to increase the reading and word building skills to acquire the best scores in Writing and Verbal sections. Make it a regular habit to read News Papers, Magazines and Standard Books; they are more useful to face the test. Getting by heart the words as in the case of old system of GRE will not be sufficient. It will not match the new system. Words must be used depending on the context. Understanding the meanings of the words according to the context they are used, is necessary. These act as foundations for securing good GRE score. Even though the Quantitative Mathematical Concepts are of High School standards, problem solutions should be done at Masters Level. In Analytical Writing, apart from the student’s language skills, Logical abilities will be tested with the introduction of Debate and Discussion.

Preparation for GRE 

First stage: Learning the concepts and using them in the practice questions.
Second stage: Exercise them within the specific time, review them and rectify mistakes.
Third stage: Practice as many tests as possible on paper and on computer. This will be the real test and will be most useful in the actual GRE test.

Website: www.ets.org/gre

About Educational Testing Service (ETS)

ETS is a non profit educational testing and assessment organisation which was started in 1947. It conducts various standardised tests for international students for admissions in educational institutes of United States. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are such tests. ETS conducts tests in more than 180 countries.  For more information on ETS on can see www.ets.org.

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Article written by Manmadha Rao for Employment News Today

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