How To Prepare for The GRE

Firstly, let us understand what the GRE is, how it is structured and how with dedication and the right tools you can get a high score. 

The GRE tests your verbal and quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills. Verbal Reasoning — consists of reading comprehension, critical reasoning and vocabulary usage. Quantitative Reasoning — problem-solving and data analysis. Analytical Writing — evaluates your ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively.


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Measure Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing(Two sections) Section 1: "Analyze an Issue" task
Section 2: "Analyze an Argument" task
30 minutes per section
Verbal Reasoning(Two sections) 25 questions per section 35 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 25 questions per section 40 minutes per section

GRE Subject Tests

The GRE Subject tests accentuate your skills and knowledge in a specific area and give you an edge over other applicants. Each subject test is designed for students with an undergraduate major or comprehensive background in any one of the following areas: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.


To register, you need to create an ETS account, select a date, time and centre, follow the instructions to fill out the application form and pay for the test. You will require some basic information for the registration process so you should keep it handy.


Quantitative Reasoning
Make sure that you are familiar with all the answer choices. You must carefully select the corresponding choice so as not to reverse the first two choices. You can easily substitute numbers for variables and compare the resulting quantities. Simplify the comparison.


Data Interpretation
Scan the data presentation briefly. Pay attention to the scales of graphs. Answer on the basis of the data presented.


Reading Comprehension
Read and analyze the passage carefully. Isolate the main idea from the supporting idea. Try to identify the relationship between different ideas. Be certain that you have understood the question. Use elimination techniques and delete the wrong answer choice narrow down your choice and now choose the correct answer.


Text completion
The test taker is required to use the information in the passage as a basis for selecting words to fill in the blanks so as to make a coherent meaningful sentence. You read the sentence till the end, identify certain clues, think of a word which you would put in and then check if the option comprises of the word closest to your answer.


Sentence Equivalence
The student is required to find two synonyms to fill in the blank of the single sentence to make it meaningful. You read the sentence till the end, identify certain clues, think of a word which you would put in and then check if the option comprises the word closest to your answer.


Before test day
Get your travel plans in order before the day of the test. See how long it takes you to travel and be certain to reach before time as late entries are not allowed to give the test.
Do not change your appearance compared to your photo ID before the test day. Your face needs to match the ID perfectly so if you have any alterations, you might face issues.


Test day prep

Confirm your appointment centre, date and time.

Things you should carry- appointment confirmation, photo ID which is the physical original in plastic card format and not on paper, a photocopy or an electronic version, a small snack for your break and water.

Things you should not carry- any electronic devices including your phones, stationery material, big bags, jewellery, weapons, books, etc. Calculators are not allowed as well but you will be provided with an on-screen calculator during your test. You will be asked for your ID, biometric information might be required and you will have to take a digital photo.

Who needs to give the GRE?

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Top Universities in the US

Even if there may be some options for students who are not planning to give the GRE, if you want to study at a well-ranked university like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and University of California, the GRE is indispensable. Find more about studying in the US here.​

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Top Universities in the Canada

Similar to the US, there may be a few universities in Canada which can allow you to apply for a masters program without the GRE but if you want to enrol at the best universities in the country like the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia or McGill University, a good GRE score is required. Find more about studying in Canada here.

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Top Universities in the Singapore

Like the US, most masters programs in Singapore under NUS, SIM, or Nanyang University require GRE as a part of their application requirements. Find more about studying in Singapore here.

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Top Universities in the UK

The GRE is not compulsory in several universities in the UK but if you want to study at the best universities like the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, or the London School of Economics, the GRE is an excellent addition to your profile. Find more about studying in the UK here.

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Top Universities in Australia

For masters applications in Australia, you do not require the GRE for most schools. However, if you do give the GRE, you stand better chances of getting into the best universities like University of Sydney, UNSW, or University of Melbourne the country has to offer. Find more about studying in Australia here.


340 is the highest score you can get in the GRE.

You should ideally study for at least 3- 4 months. This depends on your ability to grasp information and the time you can dedicate to studying and practicing. 

This depends on your preferences but the analytic writing section can be challenging to those who are not used to writing essays using complex words.

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