GRE® Prep Classes

About the GRE Test

The GRE® General Test is a standardized exam required by many graduate programs for admission. Here's what to expect from the test.

The GRE General Test measures general skills that are applicable to most graduate studies, specifically your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. The GRE test takes one hour and 58 minutes.

time no. questions/essays scoring
Analytical Writing
always the 1st part of the GRE
30 minutes total time 1 essay
Quantitative Reasoning
(2 sections)
the 2nd or 3rd part of the GRE
Section 1: 21 minutes
Section 2: 26 minutes
47 minutes total time
Section 1: 12 questions
Section 2: 15 questions
27 total questions
Verbal Reasoning
(2 sections)
the 2nd or 3rd part of the GRE
Section 1: 18 minutes
Section 2: 23 minutes
41 minutes total time
Section 1: 12 questions
Section 2: 15 questions
27 total questions
Total Time 1 hour & 58 minutes 260-340

The GRE test has no scheduled break times.

In each Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning section, you will be able to preview questions, skip questions, go back and change answers, and flag questions for later attention. The computer-based test is available at testing centers worldwide, including the U.S. and Mexico,  throughout the year. ETS will also allow you to take the test at home, if you meet certain requirements.

The GRE exam can be taken at home.

In preparing for the GRE, it's important to use official GRE questions for your practice. Austin Elite Prep's GRE prep course will also teach you that it's not just about absorbing the knowledge; it's also about pattern recognition, time management, methods for efficient problem-solving, and execution.

GRE Exams  may be taken online or at a test center.

Computer Adaptive Test with Scaled Scoring

The GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are adaptive. After you answer the first section's questions, the computer selects the next set of questions with a level of difficulty matched to your performance. If you did well, the next section is a set of slightly more difficult questions. If you did not do well, the next section is slightly easier. Your final score is computed from the number of questions that you got right (your raw score), scaled according the difficulty of questions you were given. The more questions that you answer correctly, and the harder your final questions are, the higher your GRE score will be.

Understanding the GRE Score

GRE Verbal Reasoning Section
Score Scale: 130-170
The Verbal Reasoning section gives you multiple-choice and selection questions to test your reading comprehension, fill-in-the-blank passages, and sentence equivalence questions (in which you create sentences that are alike in meaning). Read more about Verbal Reasoning.

GRE Quantitative Reasoning
Score Scale: 130-170
The Quantitative Reasoning section asks questions in which you interpret and analyze quantitative information, and answer multiple-choice questions and make numeric entries to solve problems requiring skills in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. An on-screen calculator will provided for this section. Read more about Quantitative Reasoning.

GRE Analytical Writing
Score Scale: 0-6 (half-point increments)
The Analytic Writing section asks you to write one essay that displays your ability to support your ideas, articulate your reasoning effectively, and provide focused responses. The essay receives a score from at least one trained reader.

The higher your score percentile, the better you did on the exam. Of all test-takers worldwide (2016-2019), less than 10% reach a 162+ GRE Verbal scaled score, and less than 10% reach a 168+ GRE Quantitative scaled score. You should research average GRE scores at your target graduate schools, and study hard!

Your GRE score is valid for five years.

Planning Ahead to Take the GRE Exam

You will need to register in advance to take the GRE. It can be taken at any time of the year, subject to certain restrictions such as holidays and seat availability at a test center. Watch a video to learn about the GRE test center experience. To register to take the GRE test online or in Austin, or find out more, visit

GRE test-takers have been removed from the test center for checking texts and emails on smartphones and tablets during the optional breaks. Keep your electronics in the locker provided to you (don't sneak a peek) to avoid this risk.

Previewing Your GRE Score.

After taking the GRE exam, you will preview your unofficial GRE Verbal and GRE Quantitative scores before deciding to accept or cancel the score.

  • On test day, you may select Cancel: Your scores from that exam will be canceled, and those scores and the cancellation will not appear on your record.
  • On or after test day, you may select Most Recent Scores: Only the scores from that exam will be sent to schools that you choose (four score reports sent for free on test day).
  • On or after test day, you may select All Scores: All of your test scores from the last five years will be sent to schools that you choose (four score reports sent for free on test day).
  • After test day, you may select Any Scores: You may select test dates from the last five years, and the test scores from those dates will be sent to schools that you choose.

Getting Familiar with the GRE Test Format

We recommend that you take advantage of ETS's practice tests: In addition to practicing question types, take a few full practice exams, recreating the test center conditions as closely as possible (no snacks, for example). Find practice exams on

You may take the GRE only five times in one year (12 months).


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