What Does the GRE Consist of – Structure of the GRE

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What Does the GRE Consist of – Structure of the GRE

The GRE is short for Graduate Record Examinations. It is a test that is taken as an essential requirement for admission into any graduate schools in the United States and Canada.

This test is owned by the ETS, short for Education Testing Service, and it measures quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, analytical thinking and writing skills.

If you are interested in furthering your education, taking a master or a particular course or a Doctoral degree, then you need to take the GRE test.

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What Does the GRE Consist of? 

The GRE is a computer test that would take place for 3 hours and 45 minutes. It is divided into sections, namely:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA).
  • Quantitative reasoning.
  • Verbal reasoning.
  • An unidentified, and unscored section that does not count towards your score. Or
  • A research section which may appear in place of the unscored section.

What Does the GRE Consist of - Structure of the GRE

1. Analytical Writing Section

The AWA is a section consisting of two separately timed essays, which are the issue essay and the argument essay.

In this section, you would be tasked with analysing an argument for the issue essay and then challenging a view for the argument essay.

These essays are to test your ability to:

  • understandably communicate complex ideas and at the same time, useful to human reasoning.
  • Support your complex ideas with relevant examples.
  • It also tests your ability to argue and dissect an argument with logical strength and concision using Standard English and quality statements.
  • Examine opinions and the logic or assumptions behind them.
  • Have and sustain a well-meaning and discussion.

3. Quantitative Reasoning

This section of the GRE ESSAY is also divided into two sections of 20 questions each.

They require a variety of formats to answer them. Some require a single choice answer, some questions require multiple choices, and in some, the answers are numeric, and you would have to type them in.

Just be sure to follow the instructions and read the wordings carefully before going ahead with picking an answer.

This part of the GRE ESSAY is to test your ability to:

  • Understand and solve simple problems.
  • To make quantitative comparisons.
  • Interpret data into information.
  • Test your understanding of basic math’s topics like arithmetic, algebra and geometry.
  • Apply necessary skills and primary mathematical concepts to everyday use.

What Does the GRE Consist of - Structure of the GRE

3. Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning is also divided into two sections of 20 questions each. Just like in the quantitative reasoning, this part of the test requires you to pick answers to specific questions. The answers might be a single choice, multiple choices or numerals.

If you don’t understand a question, you can skip it for a while and then come back to answer it. The ETS uses a testing software that enables you to mark down a question and go review whether or not you have responded to it, as long as you are within the time limit.

This part of the GRE ESSAY is to test your ability to:

  • Understand and communicate in simple sentences.
  • Understand the English vocabulary, your understanding of key concepts, your ability to complete texts and sentences.
  • Analyse and draw suitable conclusions from discussions you have.
  • Identify assumptions, logics, assumptions or/and fallacies when you see them in a text.
  • Understand the meaning of words and sentences as used in a passage.

4. Unscored or Research Sections 

This section is called the GRE Experimental Section. It is a different, but unscored Qualitative or Verbal reasoning section and whatever you score here would not count towards your total score.

The tricky part of this is, this section is not marked “unscored” so you might not be aware you are already answering it.

It would appear at random, but must always come after the Analytical Writing Assessment.

The reason for this section is for the ETS is to test the difficulty of these questions and whether it is suitable for use in future tests. It is unmarked so the ETS can accurately predict how these test-takers will do on new questions.

What Does the GRE Consist of - Structure of the GRE

Structure of the GRE Tests

The GRE test is structured into specific sections and allocated exact time frames spreading onto about three hours and forty-five minutes, which is the total duration of the test.

  • The AWA has two sections (Issue essay and Argument essay). And these sections are allocated thirty minutes each.

If you are writing an issue essay and your thirty minutes is up, you would be moved to the other section whether you have finished with your paper or not. The AWA is written for a total of 1 hour.

  • Verbal Reasoning is separated into two sections. And each section has 20 questions each.

For each section, you would be given 30 minutes. Again, once the time is up for one section, the screen would be moved to the next one. This part takes a total of 1 hour.

  • Qualitative Reasoning is separated into two sections too. Each section has 20 questions each.

For each section, you would be given 35 minutes.

This part takes up a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes.

For these six parts of the essay, a total of 3 hours and 10 minutes would have been used up.

After this, you would be presented with an experimental section containing questions that would not be scored. This section has no particular allocated time and no specific number of questions. It varies from the year. Some people will get the research questions which is like a study that you would need to present logical answers to. But no test taker will ever get both at the same time.

What Does the GRE Consist of - Structure of the GRE

Conclusion

The GRE TEST is often considered more complicated than the SAT or ACT, even though the latter presents more difficult mathematical questions than the GRE TEST. But this is because the GRE has more challenging vocabulary and reading sections. You cannot cram or memorise any formula like you can for the SAT; you can only write what you know.

But these days, people perform better in the GRE than before because there are many articles online that provide help. You can now practice or review questions that have been modelled before, and this can significantly improve your grammar and sentence clarity.

Ensure to read all you can about the GRE tests before finally deciding to take it, as this would help you score better, eventually getting you into your dream school.

Good luck.

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