GRE Test Format 2023: All You Need To Know

Taking the GRE can be stressful; therefore, familiarizing yourself with the GRE test format and syllabus for 2023 should be the first step in your preparation.

If you don’t acquaint yourself with the test pattern, it may be quite difficult to get the desired score. Hence, the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test are the two categories of the GRE.

However, if you are familiar with the GRE pattern and have memorized all the answers, failing to manage time can cause an incomplete exam.

What is GRE?

The graduate record examination (GRE) is a standardized test that assesses an individual’s ability to think abstractly in areas such as analytical writing, mathematics, and language.

Many graduate institutions in the United States and Canada use the GRE to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a program.

And, you can take the GRE examinations in any of the 160 countries, at any of the test sites, or from the comfort of your own home. The test is usually computer-based, but there may be some outliers.

Moreso, you can take the GRE more than twice every year providing you more chances to improve your score.

How does the GRE Scoring Work?

The various sectional scales for GRE tests are listed below. The quantitative score ranges from 130 to 170, with one-point increments. While the analytical component is graded on a scale of 0 to 6, with half-point increments, the writing section is graded on a scale of 0 to 6.

As a result, the GRE average score is:

  • Verbal Reasoning: 150.4
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 153.4
  • Analytical Writing:

Getting a perfect score on the GRE quantitative reasoning question will boost your chances of passing the exam.

As a result, paying this area the attention it deserves is in your best interests.

What is the GRE Exam Pattern?

One hack to passing your GRE test is being able to recognize the nitty-gritty of all sections of the exam.

The GRE test can be paper-based; for people in localities where the computers are not accessible, this pattern has three main sections in the following categories.

  • Analytical Writing
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning

Computer-Based GRE Format

For the computer-based GRE paper pattern, each of the sections has two sub-parts with forty questions; verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning inclusive.

Analytical writing is divided into only one portion which comprises two-hour exercises. Aside from these primary portions, the computer-based pattern test includes two additional variable sections.

After the Quantitative Reasoning segment is completed, there is a ten-minute break. It does not include the Unscored and Research parts in the final GRE scores.

GRE Test Format: Analytical Writing Section

The GRE Analytical Writing section of the test comprises two thirty-minute timed analytical writing tasks:

  • Examine a Problem
  • Analyze a Situation

To see typical topics for the issue and argument essays in the GRE test, read Best GRE Essay Examples.

GRE Test Format: Quantitative Reasoning Section

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning test format contains two thirty-five-minute analytical writing activities that are timed individually.

Quantitative Reasoning on the GRE covers the following topics:

  • Basic mathematical skills
  • Ability to solve issues using quantitative methods
  • Comprehension of basic mathematical concepts

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning covers a variety of topics which include:

  • Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • Data analysis
  • Geometry

GRE Test Format: Verbal Reasoning Section

The Verbal Reasoning format of the GRE test is into two sessions of 30 minutes each, and the questions are grouped into three categories:

  • Comprehension of Text
  • Sentence Equivalence
  • Text Completion

Paper-Based GRE Format

Each of the three main categories, Analytical Writing, Verbal, and Quantitative Reasoning, has two sub-sections on the paper-based exam.

There are two one-hour projects in the analytical writing section (60 mins). Both verbal and quantitative reasoning have two sections and 50 problems, respectively, with a maximum time limit of 60 and 70 minutes.

The paper-based test does not include the variable components of Unscored and Research

While the GRE Pattern may change at intervals, the format’s core remains consistent. The table below fully represents what you can expect in 2023.

GRE SectionsPaper-based GRE PatternComputer-based GRE Pattern
 No. of SectionsDurationNo. of SectionsDuration
Analytical Writing2 sections- 2 tasks60 minutes1 section- two tasks60 minutes
Verbal Reasoning2 sections- 50 questions70 minutes2 section- 40 questions60 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning2 sections- 50 questions80 minutes2 section- 40 questions70 minutes

GRE Test Format: Preparation Tips

If money is an issue and you are confident in your ability to prepare adequately without supervision, self-study may be a preferable option for GRE preparation.

To study efficiently on your own, you’ll need a few decent GRE books and tools, and motivation and self-discipline. Another way to improve their GRE Exam performance is to look into customizing a GRE Preparation schedule.

Coaching classes are a preferable option if time is limited and professional supervision is required to secure a competitive edge in GRE exam preparation.

Lastly, being in the company of other students will boost your motivation.


Familiarising yourself with the current GRE test format is one step to succeeding at it. Therefore, this article provides you with vital information that can help you scale your target score.



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