The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised test owned and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for use by admissions or fellowship panels as an essential admission selection factor or as an admission formality. It is available to Prospective graduates and business school applicants from around the world who have the ambition to further their education.
It is also available for people who want to get a master’s degree, specialised masters in business, doctoral degree, J.D or an MBA degree. The GRE general test is used to measure the verbal Reasoning skills, the quantitative reasoning skills, analytical writing skills and critical thinking skills of the participants. The GRE is recognised by many graduate schools in the U.S, Canada and other countries.
The test can be taken in two modes; the computer-based GRE administered at physical testing centres. And institutions owned or authorised by Prometric. There are more than 1,000 test centres in more than 160 countries around the world. The Paper-based GRE is available only for areas where the computer-based test is not available.
Both the computer-based test and the paper-based test consist of six sections. These sections include; the analytical writing split into two sections, two verbal sections and two quantitative sections. However, unlike the computer-based test, which has two experimental sections, the paper-based test does not have an experimental section.
How long is the GRE?
Well, the overall testing procedure lasts for about 3 hours and 45 minutes with one-minute breaks offered after each section and a third-minute break after the third section. But, because the GRE is a multi-stage test which gives the examinee total freedom to move back and forth between questions. The fact that each section is individually timed, and the time limit for each skill test varies.
This is based on the mode of exam administration (i.e. whether it is a computer-based or paper-based test procedure). It is therefore vital to give a more detailed breakdown of the test duration, section by section. So you can understand how a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes are distributed throughout the examination process.
1. Verbal Reasoning
The verbal reasoning section is structured to analyse the test taker ability to conclude, and evaluate written material. Also, to process the information gotten from written material, and distinguish major points and relationship between different parts of sentences.
In the paper-delivered verbal reasoning section, there are two subsections which consist of 20 questions to be completed in 35 minutes. So, here the total time allocated for the verbal reasoning section is 1 hour, Ten minutes.
For the computer-based verbal reasoning section, two subsections are consisting of 20 questions to be completed in 30 minutes which means the total time allocated for this section is 1 hour.
2. Quantitative Reasoning
In this section, the use of geometry, algebra and data analysis is used to analyse the test taker ability to solve problems.
Quantitative Reasoning in the paper-based GRE test has two subsections which consist of 25 questions each to be completed in 40 minutes, respectively. The overall time allocated for the paper-based quantitative Reasoning skill test is 1 hour, 20 minutes.
For the computer-based quantitative reasoning test, the total time allocation is 1 hour, 10 minutes, for two subsections which have 20 questions each to be answered in 35 minutes, respectively.
3. Analytical Writing
The analytical writing assessment consists of two sections of essay writing which are; the issue task and Argument task. The test taker capacity for critical thinking and analytical writing is measured in this section by testing how eloquently they can present ideas and support their views. In the analytical writing test, the time duration given is the same for both the computer-based GRE test and the paper-based GRE test.
For both the issue task and the Argument task, 30 minutes is allocated for each essay. This makes the total time allocation for the Analytical writing test to be 1 hour.
4. Experimental Section
The experimental section only exists in the computer-based GRE test because there is no experimental section in the paper-based GRE. This section can either be verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning, and it doesn’t count towards the test-takers score because GRE uses this section to gather data.
The time duration for this section usually varies, but it will again likely be 30-35 minutes. This section will be just like other sections and will make the seventh section you get on the test. Sometimes it will be an identified research section instead of an experimental section.
GRE Subjects Test
Apart from the GRE General Test, there are also six GRE subjects which include; Mathematics, Literature-in-English, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Physics. The duration for each of these exams is 170 minutes.
Asking how long the GRE is is essential for you to the participant to know before time. As this will help one time themself while practising and help improve your speed. The question is especially vital for those who do not have access to the ETS site free practice materials. Since the GRE lets you skip questions within a section, go back and change answers, you have control to tackle problems within an area you want to answer first. That can make you lose track of time while going back and forth questions.
So it is crucial to know that you can’t carry over time to another section. So whether you’re done with an area or not, the next section will start with a fresh set of questions.
Note that the GRE general test timing is different from the GRE subject test. It is not compulsory to take the subject test if your course of study does not correspond with any of the subjects listed or if it isn’t necessary. The GRE general test procedure lasts for 3 hours and 45 minutes, while the GRE subjects test lasts for 170 minutes for each subject. If you take two subjects, the total time becomes 5 hours, 20 minutes.