If a thing is worth doing at all, they say, it is worth doing well. No one plans to fail an examination unless they fail to plan. I believe you are set to pass your GRE General Test because you are on the right track. Aside from reading between the lines of your textbook and reading across the syllabus, time management is of the essence if you must perform well in any examination, GRE Test is not exempted.
As a graduate or professional school applicant (Business and Law included) you want to show your intended school your best. Your best will be nothing above mediocre if time is not managed.
In addition to informing you about how long the GRE general test is, I will give you tips on proper time management and advice you on how much time to spend on each section of the GRE General Test.
Sections of the GRE General Test
There are three major sections in the GRE General Test. They are:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Analytical Writing
Verbal Reasoning emphasises verbal reasoning skills and tests your ability to infer a conclusion from a discourse. You should be able to summarise texts; draw reason from incomplete data; and understand the author’s intent, literally and figuratively. This section tests your ability to understand words’ meanings and the relationship between terms and concepts.
Verbal Reasoning questions come in three (3) formats: Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion, and Reading Comprehension. There are two sub-sections in this section.
This is made to tests your ability to understand, interpret, and analyse quantitative information. Past candidates believe this is the most challenging section. An on-screen calculator will be provided for the computer-based exam, while a physical one will be given to paper-based exam takers.
This section has four types of questions: Numeric Entry, Multiple Choice (with one answer), Multiple Choice (with one or multiple answers), and lastly, Quantitative Comparison. Quantitative Reasoning has two sub-sections.
The third section is Analytical Writing. This section measures analytic skills and critical thinking with the ability to provide and support complex ideas effectively. Reason, examples, and evidence should support your views.
You are required to write timed responses to two types of questions: analyse an issue, and analyse an argument.
Time for the General Test
The overall time for the GRE General Test is three hours, forty-five minutes (3hrs45mins) – breaks included. The GRE allows for candidates to skip questions in a section, and go forth and back at a comfortable pace. This avails candidates the opportunity to put the focus on areas of priority, and also skip confusing questions onto more convenient ones, before going back to answer these tricky questions. This is an excellent time management tip for you.
Number of Questions
Each sub-section has twenty (20) questions. That is, Verbal Reasoning has 40 questions (20 questions in each of the two sub-sections), and Quantitative Reasoning has 40 questions (20 in each sub-section). However, Analytic Writing comes in prose style and has two parts (analysing an issue and an argument).
Advised Time to Spend on Each Section
The GRE, when compared with the SAT and ACT, has a tricky and challenging Vocabulary and Reading section, although GRE maths problems are not as problematic as the arithmetic in ACT or SAT.
With this knowledge, it is wise to spend a more important sector of your time pie chart on the Vocabulary and Reading section that on the maths problems.
For the Verbal Reasoning section, you recall it has two subsections and twenty questions in each sub-section. You are advised to spend sixty (60) minutes of your time in this section. That is 30minutes per sub-section. This means per question, and you are expected to spend nothing more than 90 seconds.
For the Quantitative Reasoning section with two sub-sections, you are expected to spend seventy (70) minutes here. That is, 35 minutes on each sub-section and 105 seconds on each maths question.
Analytic Writing has two tasks: for each task, you must spend thirty (30) minutes.
If you earnestly try to maintain this advised timing for your GRE General Test, you won’t only finish in time; you will also be satisfied with yourself and assured of a beautiful GRE test score. It would help if you made this a habit by practising GRE sample tests in strict adherence to the advised timing. Multiple trials will make you eliminate mental stress and enable your brain process questions fast in muscle memory.
How to Manage Time
Now you know how long the GRE General Test is. This information will be nothing but useless if you do not manage your time well.
Below are some useful ad simple tips to help you efficiently manage your time:
- Be prepared beforehand
- Practice sample test in the advised time per question
- Skip tricky questions and move forward.
- Try to work with even pacing
- Do not fret should you spend a long time on a question
- Prioritise harder sections
- Remember to return to skipped questions
- Make sure you cross-check before submitting
Sitting for an examination can be daunting, but your fright is unwarranted should you prepare well for it? You are on the right track by seeking to manage your time. I hope this article answered your question: how long is the GRE General Test and made things a bit clearer and more accessible. Your job is easy. All you need to do is a lot of practice following my advice. Then you should sit back and wait to smile when your GRE General Test score comes.
For reiteration, there are three main parts in the GRE General Test: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytic Writing. Each of the first two sections has two sub-sections, while for Analytic Writing, you will be required to write on two tasks. The GRE General Test lasts for about three hours, forty-five minutes (3hrs45mins) – including breaks. You are advised to spend an hour (1hr) on Verbal Reasoning; an hour and ten minutes (1hr10mins) on Quantitative Reasoning; and another one hour (1hr) on Analytic Writing.