What is the GRE exam pattern 2023?

Updated on: May 17, 2023

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standard entrance exam that tests the academic and practical skills of international students who plan to pursue their postgraduate education in institutions abroad. The GRE exam pattern focuses on analysing the students’ ability in critical and abstract thinking and their problem-solving skills.

Educational institutions accept GRE for admission to various courses in countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia. It is important to note that GRE is optional in the UK. Some universities have made these scores optional, so you can check your desired university’s requirements before applying for the exam.

Find your dream university course today

Don't miss out

Before we move on to the GRE exam pattern and marks, it is essential to know the types of GRE exams.

What are the different types of GRE exams?

There are two types of GRE.

  • GRE General Test
  • GRE Subject Test

GRE General and GRE Subject tests have different syllabus and are developed for different purposes.

Types of GRE exam

GRE General Test

The GRE General test determines your skills in academics, not restricting to a specific field of study or course. The GRE exam pattern in the General version evaluates your skills in analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and verbal reasoning. 

GRE general test format

The assessment is available in three formats.

  • GRE Computer-based test
  • GRE Paper-based test
  • GRE at Home test

GRE Subject Test

The GRE Subject test analyses your knowledge and skills in a specific field of study. These scores boost your admission to your postgraduate studies. The GRE exam pattern for the Subject version is intended for the following disciplines of study.

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology

While GRE General can be conducted in three formats, the GRE Subject test can only be paper-based. Let’s take a deeper look at the GRE exam pattern 2023 and learn more about the types and significance of the exams.

What is GRE exam pattern?

GRE General Test

No. of questions for GRE general test:

  • Computer-based - 82
  • Paper-based - 102

GRE general test duration:

  • Computer-based - 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Paper-based - 3 hours 30 minutes

The GRE exam pattern for the General test is different for computer-based and paper-based, so verifying before you start preparing is essential.

Difference between computer-based and paper-based GRE General test

Exam duration3 hours 45 minutes3 hours 30 minutes
No. of sections76
No. of questions82102

Despite the differences, the GRE General test measures your knowledge through analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and verbal reasoning. Here's how your skills are evaluated for each factor.

Analytical Writing

The analytical writing section of the GRE exam pattern determines your skill and knowledge in the below-mentioned areas:

  • Articulating complex ideas in a clear and compelling manner
  • Supporting ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • Examining claims and accompanying them with valid evidence
  • Sustaining a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • Demonstrating reasonable control of standard written English

The analytical writing section of the GRE requires you to deliver a robust, concise, and focused response to each scenario.

Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section tests your mathematical knowledge. This section requires you to demonstrate an ability to:

  • Understand, interpret and analyse quantitative information
  • Solve problems using mathematical models
  • Apply basic skills and elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis

The quantitative reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator, which is optional for all questions.

Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning section requires you to demonstrate the following aspects:

  • Analyse and conclude a conversation or interaction; demonstrate reasoning skills to draw conclusions from incomplete data; understand an author's assumptions, intentions and/or perspective; and understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author's intent
  • Select important points; distinguish primary from minor or irrelevant issues; summarise the text and understand the structure of a text
  • Understand the meaning of individual words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and concepts

Find your dream university course today

Don't miss out

GRE exam pattern for General test

Skill evaluatedNo. of sectionsNo. of questionsAllocated durationTotal duration
Analytical Writing12 tasks30 minutes for each task60 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning220 questions for each section30 minutes for each section60 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning220 questions for each section35 minutes for each section70 Minutes
Unscored sectionVariesVariesVariesVaries

It is important to remember that the paper-based GRE General test does not include the research and unscored sections in the exam.

GRE Subject Test

  • No. of questions - Varies with every field of study
  • Duration - 2 hours 50 minutes

The GRE exam pattern for the Subject test varies with each field of study, but the exam duration, 2 hours 50 minutes, remains the same. The test focuses solely on the particular subject and measures your knowledge of the same. 

What is the GRE exam pattern for the Subject test?

The GRE exam pattern for the Subject test has the following disciplines of study.

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology

GRE exam pattern for each field of study

Field of studyNo. of questionsDuration
Physics1002 hours 50 minutes
Chemistry1302 hours 50 minutes
Mathematics662 hours 50 minutes
Psychology2052 hours 50 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 GRE sections?

Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing are the three main GRE sections for the General version. There is also an unscored and research section in the computer-based General test. It is important to note that the paper-based version does not include these sections.

Is the GRE a hard exam?

The GRE exam pattern is considered one of the most difficult competitive exams for students. You can ace the exams with regular practice and preparation. Study materials and practice tests provide one of the best ways to prepare for the assessment.

Is GRE negative marking?

There is no negative marking in the GRE.

What is the order of the sections for GRE?

The GRE exam pattern for the General test always starts with the analytical writing section. It is then followed by verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and the unscored and research sections.

What is GRE exam pattern?

The GRE exam pattern for the Subject test depends on the field of study you choose for the exam. The GRE Subject test provides domain-specific exams for Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Psychology. While the number of questions and format differs, the exam duration is the same for all subjects, which is 2 hours 50 minutes.

Please select
Please select
Please select

    Budget includes Tution fees & Living expenses

    Related Exams

    Resources related to GRE