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 GRE Test Structure

GRE Test Structure
By Kaunbi Jiemie
Since August 2011, the GRE General Test is a computer-based test offered at main test centers in the world. Paper-version of the GRE is available only at a few test centers. However both the computer and paper-based tests have the same questions types.

Three Sections
The GRE General Test has three main sections:
  • Analytical Writing
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
Normally, typical computer-based test starts with the Analytical Writing section (1 hour).

Two sections of Verbal Reasoning follows writing, each with about 20 questions in 30 minutes.

Then, there are two sections of Quantitative Reasoning each with about 20 questions to be finished in 35 minutes.

Note that an unidentified unscored section may appear at any position in the test. It means your actual jobs are more than 3 sections.

The computer-based GRE usually takes 3 hours 45 minutes.

Analytical Writing
The analytical writing section includes two writing tasks: the Issue and the Argument.

The Issue task gives two topics, and the test taker must select one on which to write an essay. The writer should focus on the topic and support his or her point of view with examples and reasoning. This task should be finished in 30 minutes.

The Argument task usually presents a statement in a certain scenario. The test taker have to analyze the logic of the given position and suggest reasonable solution or improvement. This essay is given 30 minutes to write.

The Analytical Writing section is on a scale of 0-6 score. Each essay is scored by a real rater and then by software called the e-rater. If the human and computer give different score, the essay is sent to a second human rater. In this case, the score may not be integer, such like 5.5 0r 4.5. The final score is the average of the two human scores. If the first rater and e-rater give same score, that score is taken.

Verbal Reasoning
There are three question types in verbal reasoning section:
  • Sentence equivalence
  • Text completion
  • Reading comprehension
The GRE verbal reasoning section is commonly said to be a test of vocabulary. In our view, it's true. Your score basically depends on your vocabulary. However, the comprehension questions require good reading and reasoning skills. So practice is important as well.

Quantitative Reasoning
The quantitative reasoning section consists of multiple choice questions. It has two types:
  • Quantitative comparisons
  • Problem solving
This section also contains Numeric Entry questions where test takers have to give their own answers.Math knowledge is not difficult. It should be within 10th Grade Math. Test takers can use calculators to answer questions. For computer based test, an onscreen calculator is provided; for paper based test, test center would offer a calculator to each test taker.

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