Paper Pattern for GRE

Published On: 05 Jun 2012

 | Last Updated On: 05 Jul 2012

Getting an advanced degree can create many opportunities for students. The GRE® revised General Test, which is widely accepted graduate admissions test worldwide — can bring you one step closer to achieving your career goals. And there has never been a better time to take the one test that gives you more opportunities for your future.

Introduced on August 1, 2011, the GRE revised General Test features new types of questions that more closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today's demanding graduate and business school programs. It is designed to provide a friendlier, more flexible test-taking experience. Get a look at the structure of the computer-based and paper-based GRE revised General Test.

Computer-based GRE® revised General Test Content and Structure

The overall testing time for the computer-based GRE® revised General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

Structure of the Computer-based Test

Measure

Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)

One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze an Argument" task

30 minutes per task

Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)

Approximately 20 questions per section

30 minutes per section

Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)

Approximately 20 questions per section

35 minutes per section

Unscored¹

Varies

Varies

Research²

Varies

Varies

Note:

  • An unidentified un-scored 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.

The Analytical Writing section will always be first, while the other five sections may appear in any order.

Test Design Features

The GRE revised General Test design features advanced technology that allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include:

  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • A "mark and review" feature to tag questions, so you can skip and return later
  • The ability to change/edit answers within a section
  • An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section
  • New answer formats, including tasks such as numeric entry and highlighting a sentence in a passage to answer a question

To experience the test design features of the computer-based test, download POWERPREP® II software.

Paper-based GRE® revised General Test Content and Structure

The overall testing time for the paper-based GRE® revised General Test is about three hours and 30 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the second section.

Structure of the Paper-based Test

Measure

Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing
(Two sections)

One "Analyze an Issue" task and
one "Analyze an Argument" task

30 minutes
30 minutes

Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)

Approximately 25 questions per section

35 minutes per section

Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)

Approximately 25 questions per section

40 minutes per section

The Analytical Writing sections will always be first, while the other four sections may appear in any order.

Test Design Features

  • When taking a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, you are free, within that section, to skip questions and come back to them later or change the answer to a question.
  • There are paper-based equivalents for most of the new question types, including text completions and numeric entry.
  • Answers are entered into the test book, rather than a separate answer sheet.
  • You will be provided an ETS calculator to use during the Quantitative Reasoning section; you may not use your own calculator.

To familiarize yourself with the paper-based test, try the full-length practice test in the Practice Book for the Paper-based GRE® revised General Test (PDF).

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