The GRE Test is a standardized test that is used to determine whether or not a student is prepared for the rigors of graduate school. Although not every program requires GRE results, those that do usually have severe deadlines for submitting them.

For a variety of reasons, students find themselves short on time when it comes to preparing for and taking the GRE.

Preparing For the GRE Test

The graduate admissions process, like undergraduate admissions, frequently includes standardized testing as part of the application process.

Studying for the GRE is a vital approach to prepare your strongest application to graduate school, whether you are a current college student contemplating your postgraduate possibilities or a professional trying to improve in your present field or make a career shift.

Preparing for the four-hour, the computer-based format can be a daunting prospect for many prospective graduate students, especially if the GRE is the first standardized test they have taken in several years.

When preparing for the GRE it’s important to take the necessary steps in order to become familiar with the test and find ways to improve your score. Here’s how to prepare for the GRE.

Start With a Practice Test

Before developing your study plan, take an initial practice GRE to establish a baseline and research the minimum and/or average GRE scores of the institutions to which you are applying. 

At TutorThePeople, we work with students to help them achieve their best possible score on the GRE, including guiding them through the practice test process.

Identify Areas of Growth

After taking your first sample practice test, review your answers. Can you identify any areas of growth? If your quantitative skills are not where they used to be (what even is a PEMDAS?) or if you are struggling with antediluvian (solid GRE word) vocabulary, make a note.

Make a plan to close the gap

Whether you choose a prep courseonline program, or test prep book, you need a smart prep plan that will hold you accountable and give you the results you need. With a little research, you’ll find the right environment for you.

Set a timer

On the GRE, timing is crucial. The Quantitative sections of the GRE consist of 20 questions in 25 minutes, the Verbal sections of the GRE consist of 20 questions in 30 minutes, and the Analytical Writing section of the GRE consists of two essays in 60 minutes.

It’s critical to keep track of your position in each section at all times. Because all questions in a section are weighed equally, your goal should be to answer as many questions as quickly and accurately as possible.

Decide when to use a calculator

On the GRE, you will be given a calculator as part of the on-screen presentation, which can be a big help if used appropriately! The calculator, on the other hand, might be a liability. Determine when using a calculator improves accuracy and when studying the rules of a crucial math concept is preferable.

Understand the Different Types of Questions

As you start to do more practice GRE problems, you will come to recognize the various question types immediately. The sooner you can recognize different types of questions, the easier it will be to know how to respond.

In the Verbal section, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions are fill-in-the-blank questions that heavily rely on your knowledge of vocabulary – “pre-phrasing”, or anticipating an answer by thinking of a synonym, is an invaluable strategy for tackling these.

On the other hand, Reading Comprehension questions come in multiple-choice, multiple answers, or sentence selection varieties. These questions may require you to evaluate, strengthen, or weaken an argument, and necessitate close textual reading.

Understanding the various question types in the Quantitative section, as well as familiarizing yourself with the rubric used to score Analytical Writing essays, will allow you to demystify how the GRE is testing you.

How do I register for the GRE?

Registration Checklist

  • Check the test fees.
  • The test is offered year round on a first-come, first-served basis. View seat availability for your preferred date and location.
  • If you prefer to send score reports later or want to send score reports to more than four recipients, you can send additional score reports for a fee.

GRE General Test Fee

Based on your location, starting July 1, 2020, you’ll have to pay between $205 and $255 to register for the GRE. As mentioned earlier, the registration fee for the GRE general test is $205 except for five countries:

  1. Turkey – $255
  2. China – $231.30
  3. Australia – $230
  4. Nigeria – $226
  5. India – $213
Registration Feebetween $205 and $255
Late registration fee (online registration only)$25
Standby testing$50
Rescheduling fee$50
Changing your test center$50
Changing your Subject Test$50
Additional Score Report (ASR) requests — per recipient$27
Score Review$50
Score reinstatement fee$50
Score Review for Analytical Writing measure$60

GRE Test Preparation

You can download the test prep materials from your ETS account.

Retaking the GRE General Test

You can take the GRE General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously.

The retaking a test policy will be enforced even if a violation is not immediately identified (e.g., inconsistent registration information).

Structure of the GRE® General Test

The overall testing time for the GRE® General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.


Analytical Writing

The Issue and the Argument are two essay writing tasks in the analytical writing exam. The Issue task includes two themes from which the candidate must choose one to produce an essay outlining the writer’s viewpoint on the subject. The candidate must provide instances and reasons to back up his or her position. This task has a time limit of 30 minutes.

The Argument task requires you to offer a position statement. The candidate must assess the logic of the presented argument and make recommendations for how and where the reasoning may be flawed or could be improved. This essay will take the student 30 minutes to complete.

The Analytical Writing component is graded on a scale of 0 to 6. Each essay is graded by a human reader and subsequently by an e-rater, a computer algorithm.

The score is forwarded to a second reader if the human and e-rater scores differ. The average of the two human scores determines the final score (to the nearest half mark).

If there is no difference between the first human score and the e- rater’s, the first human score is used.

Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning section contains three types of questions: sentence equivalence; text completion; reading comprehension.

The GRE’s verbal reasoning part is frequently referred to as a vocabulary exam. The comprehension questions, on the other hand, require excellent reading and reasoning abilities.

Quantitative Reasoning

There are two types of multiple-choice problems in the quantitative reasoning section: quantitative comparisons and problem-solving. There are also Numeric Entry questions on the test, which require participants to provide their own solutions.

A 10th-grade student should be able to understand basic math concepts. Data interpretation is required for some of the questions. Students taking the computer-based test are given an onscreen calculator. At the test facility, students who are taking a paper-based test are given a calculator.