When should I prepare for GRE?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test for Measurement of Academic Skills prospective master's and doctoral students. It is particularly common in the United States. The test is from the US company Educational Testing Service (ETS) organized. This specializes in the development and implementation of standardized admission and language tests.

Target group of the GRE

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A good result in the GRE enables the participant to study for a master’s or doctorate.

At many US universities and Graduate Schools is the GRE result central component of the application for a master’s or doctoral degree. This is independent of the subject areas. International applicants also usually have to take the test if they want to get a place at the university.

Even if there is a subject-specific admission test for MBA courses with the GMAT, many accept it Business schools in the USA alternatively also the GRE. The other way around, however, this is unfortunately often not the case. Those who apply for both master’s courses Business schools and would like to apply to other faculties, it is best to opt for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) right away. In any case, it is advisable to take the Admission requirements of the universities of your choice to consider.


GRE and GRE Subject Tests

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) examines the following three areas:

  • Scientific writing (Analytical writing)
  • Linguistic reasoning (Verbal reasoning)
  • Mathematical Thinking (Quantitative reasoning)

In addition to this general test, there is the subject-specific GRE Subject tests. These currently cover seven compartments from:

  • biochemistry
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • English literature
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • psychology

The Subject tests are often not a mandatory admission requirement. However, good results in the respective section often increase the chances of getting a place in the relevant area.


Exam content and test structure of the GRE

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is available in two different formats:

  • Paper version (3 hours and 30 minutes)
  • Computer-based version (3 hours and 45 minutes)

The procedure of the procedure differs slightly in each case. In both cases, the exam begins with the academic writing part.

Scientific writing

Here are two texts within thirty minutes each to write:

  • Developing an argument with regard to a specific problem
  • Analysis and evaluation of a given argument

The topics are chosen so that they no deeper specialist knowledge require in a specific area. Depending on their individual background knowledge, the applicants take on very different perspectives. The order of the other parts of the exam is not fixed and can therefore be slightly different for each test participant.

Linguistic reasoning

This part consists of two sections with multiple choice questions. The paper version has 35 minutes for this, while the computer-based version only has 30 minutes. The paper version contains 25 questions per section, the computer version 20. There are three types of questions:

  • Questions about text passages
  • Text completion questions
  • Questions about the equivalence of statements

Math thinking

This part is structured in a similar way to the part on linguistic reasoning: There is also here two sections with multiple choice questions of 40 minutes each (paper version) or 35 minutes (computer version). Again, the paper version contains five more questions than the computer-based version.

The questions cover the areas arithmetic, algebra, geometry and Data analysis. With the computer version of the test, participants can use the pocket calculator integrated in the PC. Test subjects who complete the paper version receive a calculator on site. They are not allowed to use their own devices.

More detailed information on the individual parts of the exam is available on the official GRE website.


Special features of the GRE computer version

In contrast to the paper version of the GRE the computer version may contain additional components. It is possible that at some point in the course of the test an additional section appears that is not included in the assessment. However, it is not clear to the examinee whether the test contains such a section and which section it is. In any case, he will work on each individual section as if he were counting for the rating.

For the purpose of research, the test may also contain additional identified sections. These are always at the end of the GRE test. This section is also not included in the evaluation. These additional examination units are used by ETS to test newly developed examination questions, to make different test versions comparable and to develop new examination approaches. Since the questions are not included in the evaluation, the examinee does not suffer any disadvantage.


Evaluation scale of the GRE

The test items achieve in part to academic writing between 0 (low) to 6 (high) points. The evaluation of the other two parts (linguistic and mathematical thinking) moves on one Scale from 130 to 170 points.

The GRE rating scale Subject tests is moving between 200 and 990 points. For the three subjects biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, biology and chemistry there are also partial scores (Subscores) on a scale from 20 to 99 points. Again, the higher the score, the better the result.

It is possible to get the GRE and the GRE Subject tests to repeat to improve the score achieved. The GRE paper version and the GRE Subject tests can be repeated any number of times. The GRE computer version has a limitation: Applicants can only take the exam once in 21 days and a maximum of five times within 12 months.


Preparation for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

ETS itself offers various learning aids for preparation on the GRE. Interested parties have the opportunity to register on the GRE website some sample questions and an exercise book for free Download for paper and computer versions. ETS also has paid offers, such as a video collection or an online writing trainer.


Test centers and exam dates

There is one worldwide Variety of test centerswho have favourited the GRE and the GRE Subject tests to offer. However, both paper-based and computer-based trial versions are not available in every test center. In the following Periods interested parties have the opportunity to take the test:

  • GRE paper version: three times a year in February, October and November
  • GRE computer version: continuous all year round
  • GRE Subject Tests: three times a year in April, September and October

A current list of all test centers and the exam dates offered there can be found on the GRE website.


Registration for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

To register for the GRE, the Creation of a MyGRE account at ETS required. For testing outside of the US, there is four different registration methods: online via the MyGRE account, by phone, fax or post. Registration for the GRE Subject Tests is possible online or by post Registration should a few weeks in advance the deadlines may vary.

Costs and payment options

The Test fees for the GRE currently at US $ 195. A single GRE Subject test costs an additional US $ 150. Exam fees for the GRE computer version can only be paid by credit card. Participants can also pay the fees for the paper version via PayPal or check. However, a US bank account is required to pay by check. The fees for the GRE Subject tests the test items can pay by credit card, PayPal, check, UNESCO coupons or Western Union Quick Pay.


Preparation courses for the GRE

  • GRE Prep Tips and Verbal Strategies - over 1 hour YouTube video from Grockit.com
  • Your roadmap to a 99 percentile New GRE Score - Tips, test strategies and books from My-GRE.com (for a fee)
  • Magoosh - Online GRE Test Preparation (for a fee)

Book tips for GRE (Graduate Record Examination) preparation