The computer-based General Test is composed of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections. In addition, one unidentified unscored section may be included, and this section can appear in any position in the test after the Analytical Writing Section. Questions in the unscored section are being tested for possible use in future tests, and answers will not count toward your scores.
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States, in other English-speaking countries and for English-taught graduate and business programmes world-wide. Created and administered by Educational Testing Service (or ETS) in 1949, the exam aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based, computer adaptive exam administered by selected qualified testing centers; however, paper-based exams are offered in areas of the world where computer-based testing is not available.
Use in admissions
Many graduate schools in English-speaking countries (especially in the United States) require GRE test results as part of the admission procedure. The GRE test is a standardized test intended to measure the abilities of all graduates in tasks of general academic nature, regardless of their fields of specialization. The GRE is supposed to measure the extent to which undergraduate education has developed an individual’s verbal and quantitative skills in abstract thinking.
Unlike other standardized admissions tests (such as the SAT, LSAT, and MCAT), the use and weight of GRE scores vary considerably not only from school to school, but from department to department, and from program to program too. Programs in liberal arts topics may only consider the applicant’s verbal score to be of interest, while math and science programs may only consider quantitative ability; however, since most applicants to math, science, or engineering graduate programs all have high quantitative scores, the verbal score can become a deciding factor even in these programs. Some schools use the GRE in admissions decisions, but not in funding decisions; others use the GRE for the selection of scholarship and fellowship candidates, but not for admissions. In some cases, the GRE may be a general requirement for graduate admissions imposed by the university, while particular departments may not consider the scores at all. Graduate schools will typically provide information about how the GRE is considered in admissions and funding decisions, and the average scores of previously admitted students. The best way to find out how a particular school or program evaluates a GRE score in the admissions process is to contact the person in charge of graduate admissions for the specific program in question (and not the graduate school in general).
The following are criteria of certain business schools:
- Harvard Business School: Official test scores for the GMAT or GRE tests no more than 5 years old.
- UVA-Darden: Will also accept a GRE score in place of the GMAT.
- MIT-Sloan:The GMAT or GRE is required of all applicants and must be taken before submitting your application.
- Penn-Wharton School: Official test scores for the GMAT or GRE tests.
- Stanford: Finance – The GRE is preferred, although the GMAT will be accepted.
- NYU-Stern School: The GMAT is strongly preferred, but scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) will also be accepted.
- U Chicago: For Economics – the GRE is required. For Finance – the GRE is preferred; GMAT is acceptable. For all other areas – the GRE or the GMAT are accepted.
- Ohio State-Fisher – The GMAT is required however scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are eligible for review.
- Berkeley-Haas: Without exception, all applicants to the Haas Ph.D. Program must submit official scores of either the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations.
- Columbia Business School: Accepts GRE test scores in place of the GMAT, only if applicant has not taken the GMAT within the last 5 years.
- Johns Hopkins-Carey: Accepts either GRE or GMAT scores.
The GRE General Test
Assesses the ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences, and recognize relationships between words and concepts. Content is balanced among the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
Tests basic mathematical skills and understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, as well as the ability to reason quantitatively and solve problems in a quantitative setting. Content is balanced among questions requiring arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
Tests critical thinking and analytical writing skills, as well as the ability to articulate and support complex ideas, analyze an argument and sustain a focused and coherent discussion.
The experimental section will be either a verbal, quantitative or the essay section which contains new questions that ETS is considering for future test editions. This section will not count toward the test-taker’s score; however, the section will appear identical to either the “actual” verbal or quantitative section and will likewise be a multiple-choice test with the same number of questions and the same time allotment as the “real” verbal or quantitative section. The test taker will have no way of knowing which section is experimental, so the test taker is forced to complete this section.
An additional research section may appear at the end of the test. Unlike the experimental section, this section will be clearly marked and will be completely optional. The test taker’s participation or refusal to participate will not affect the reported score in any way.
The GRE Subject Tests
Each Subject Test deals with content emphasized in undergraduate programs as preparation for graduate
study in the field. Tests are offered in eight fields of study:
• Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
• Computer Science
• Literature in English