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The GRE Test 2020: What You Need to Know as a Candidates

Filed in Education by on February 14, 2020

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The GRE Test 2020: What You Need to Know as a Candidates

The GRE Test 2020: You might have just heard the word for the first time, and are now wondering ‘What is GRE exam?’ Naturally, you might have questions: Who needs to take the GRE? What is tested on the GRE? Why does this score matter? That is exactly what I will discuss with you.

The GRE Test 2020

Here is a clue of what we will be discussing on

      1. Convenience and Flexible
      2. Learning – The Personalized Way
      3. Support and Assistance – Personalized
      4. Accuracy of your Assessments
      5. [Most Important] Being Cost-Effective
      6. Content – Fresh and Unique
      7. Constant Motivation
      8. Real Test-like Environment

What Is The GRE Test?

Note: The cost of the GRE fee have been changed and varies depending on the country you take it in but you can expect to pay between USD$200 and USD$240

In this post, we will look at what is the GRE and why this exam is so important. We will also learn a little bit about the exam pattern, what kind of questions you can expect on the GRE and other important GRE details.

GRE Full Form

The full form of GRE is “Graduate Record Examination”. The GRE is designed and administered by the Educational Testing Service or ETS. So the GRE tests you on three different skills – verbal reasoning skills, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills.

The overall test comes to around 3 hours and 45 minutes so that’s roughly four hours. We will learn a little bit more about each of these skills now.

But what is the GRE test for? Well – If you’re applying to a Masters or a Ph.D. program in the U.S., GRE scores are almost mandatory.

For most of the programs, they require a GRE score. Additionally, universities in other countries like Germany, UK, France have also started accepting GRE scores.

Many universities have started accepting your GRE. As of last year, the exam is conducted in more than 180 countries and it takes about 200 dollars to write this test.

The test is mainly computer-based. They do offer paper-based tests as well but they’re very rare so most likely you’re going to be taking the test on a computer.

GRE Test Dates:

ETS releases the GRE dates a year in advance giving you ample time to book a date once you’ve settled on it.

You also have the liberty to attempt the GRE multiple times.

This comes with a catch though – you can attempt up to a maximum of five times within twelve months.

Also, note that you can attempt the GRE once in 21 days so if you have to attempt it again you need to wait for 21 days before you can attempt again.

You are free to select your exam date over a telephone, fax, mail and online (which is what we recommended as you can register for GRE fastest online).

Another factor to note is the GRE score validity. These scores are valid for five years but it depends on when you’ve taken the test. Unlike the TOEFL score which is valid for only two years, GRE provides you with a long time score validity.

For example, if you have taken the GRE on or after July 5, 2019, your scores are valid up to July 4, 2024. But if you take the test before July 1, 2019, scores are valid for the following testing year i.e June 30, 2024.

GRE Exam Eligibility:

Students who are planning to study abroad for graduate studies can take this GRE. Simply put students who are eligible to pursue graduate and business programs are eligible for the GRE. When it comes to age, there is no age limit for taking the GRE.

So, the only deciding factor for taking the GRE is that verifying that the college that you are planning to apply is taking admissions based on GRE scores or not. However, almost every college accepts GRE scores for admission. So it is advantageous to take the GRE test.

GRE Exam Fee:

The GRE fee varies depending on the country you take it in but you can expect to pay anywhere between USD$200 and USD$240. Is it an inexpensive exam?

No. But, it is less expensive compared to the GMAT test. The ETS has been made aware that the cost of the GRE is quite steep so there is a provision to pay less, provided you can prove you have financial hardships holding you back.

For instance, if you are registering to take the exam in India, you will pay USD$205 which works out to be INR INR 14646 (based on current conversion rates).

Take a look at the GRE fee for different countries:

CountryExam Fee
Turkey$255
Nigeria$220
China$231.30
Australia$230
All other areas of the world$205

GRE Login:

Generally, GRE test centers fill up quickly, so if you decide to the GRE you need to start applying early.

ETS allows you to create an account at any time whether or not you plan to register for the GRE.

How to Apply for the GRE Exam

For GRE registration you need to follow certain steps.

  1. Create an account on ETS website

The first step is to create an account on the official ETS site. Only then can you could apply for the GRE, view your GRE scores and also send the universities of your choice your report for admission.

  1. Select the test centers and GRE date

Select carefully the nearest or the best center. Block your date and time for the exam. Keep in mind that you’ll need to spend 4 hours at the test center so choose wisely.

  1. Fill your details and verify them

Before you pay the application fee you need to fill in all the mandatory details that are asked in the form with red asterisks. You can even buy official GRE study material during the application process.

Take the GRE Sample Test before you start the prep!

  1. Pay the GRE fee

Here a question arises, “How much does the GRE cost?”.

The GRE fee varies depending on the country you take it in but you can expect to pay between USD$200 and USD$240.

This fee is for an international test taker. For GRE-test takers in the US, the price is a little bit lower now.

This fee is to be paid using accepted forms of payment.

After the completion of payment a confirmation mail with selected GRE date, time, test center address and some other information regarding the application will be received.

Once you’ve created your GRE login on the ETS website you can apply, view or even cancel your application, get GRE Diagnostic services, buy materials and get notifications about your test and scores.

Why is your GRE Score Important?

Why is a good GRE score important? Most of you are aware as to why the GRE score is important but there are a couple of important factors that I want to highlight.

Remember that when you apply to universities the other applicants are going to be from extremely diverse backgrounds.

Now it’s very difficult to compare two different candidates with a very different academic background, the cultural background may be very different, research experience as well so the universities do place a lot of importance on the ETS GRE score which is kind of a measure of raw ability.

If you remember, the GRE tests you on your writing skills, your quantitative reasoning which is your math skill and verbal reasoning which is essentially your English and communication skills.

So they’re testing you on very basic skills which kind of highlight what your raw abilities are so because this is a standardized test it’s easier for them to make a comparison across people from different backgrounds.

In that sense, if you get a good score, it sets you apart from the other applicants.

Now the other factor is that the GRE compensates for any shortcomings in your profile.

You might think that your academic performance could have been better or you could have done some extra research projects but these are not things that you can change right now.

You can’t go back in time and change those things whereas the GRE is something that you have at hand right now so getting a good GRE score can compensate for any shortcomings that you think that you might have on your profile.

So a good GRE score is like a first stepping-stone to get into a good university which will open up your opportunities in the future right. You can think of it as the most important first step that you’re going to take towards a better future.

What Is GRE Syllabus?

As far as the topics that are tested on the GRE is concerned, it’s a little bit different in that the GRE does not have a well-defined syllabus.

I’ve been using the word skills because it tests skills and not just knowledge. It’s not like the knowledge-based exams that you would have come across in your academic pursuit.

Now, what do I mean by this? Think about it like this – you’re practicing for a music exam.

Do you start a few days before the exam? Of course not – music is a skill so a skill needs to be practiced. Riding a cycle or swimming are examples of skills. Now it’s not possible to learn these by preparing at the last minute or you know preparing for a couple of days.

You can’t expect yourself to be able to swim after a day’s worth of practice, you need to practice a lot before you can swim.

This is again a test of skills so these skills can be cultivated only by rigorous practice and of course it’s not just any practice – your GRE preparation has to be done methodically.

Having said that we do have a little bit of an idea about what you can expect on the GRE.

As far as the verbal section is concerned we know what kind of question types the test will throw at you. You might have already heard of GRE Reading Comprehension questions where you’re given a passage and you’re given questions based on that.

Now critical reasoning is also a kind of reading comprehension but the stress over here is on logical reasoning and not just a test of your English. Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion questions are questions that test a little bit more of your vocabulary as well as reasoning skills.

In both these cases, you will be given a passage or a sentence with one, two or three blanks and you’re expected to choose answer choices that will fit into the blank. Besides this vocabulary is also an important component of the verbal section.

The standards required for the GRE are pretty high so a lot of people might have to work on their vocabulary. So that it’s on par with what is expected or what kind of questions will be thrown at you during the GRE.

As far as Quant is concerned you have certain basic topics that they cover- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, a little bit of coordinate geometry, some data analysis, and data interpretation, some basics of probability – there is no Bayesian Inference, it’s just simple theoretical probability that you’ll be working with again.

Some basic statistics, not too advanced. You have a few measures of central tendency and then measures of dispersion like standard deviation and variance.

They also talk a little bit about probability distributions and the normal distribution but that’s not too much in detail and it’s also quite rarely tested and so it’s mostly pre-calculus level mathematics – what you would typically learn in say ninth or tenth grade.

Having said that remember that questions can come from any concept.

Like I said before, the GRE does not have a defined syllabus so your GRE prep is not something that you can cram at the last minute.

You need to be methodical, you need to start preparing in advance and you need to spend a lot of time practicing these kinds of questions, taking GRE mock tests so that you’re comfortable on the day of the test.

Sometimes a situation arises where you need to take the TOEFL exam also and this depends on the schools you wanted to get admission. So you need to plan accordingly for both the exams.

Benefits of GRE Online Preparation over Traditional Classroom Coaching

This is a really good question and one that we find more students are asking. Honestly – there is no one-size-fits-all approach that you can adopt here. You will need to consider several factors before settling on an answer. That being said, there are some clear advantages to preparing online. In this chapter, we have gathered some benefits of online GRE courses over classroom coaching to give you a clearer picture so that you can choose wisely.

  • Convenience and Flexible

Possibly the biggest determinant when making your choice is this – time. How much time do you have on your hands to spare for your preparation? Are you a student with a heavy workload or a working professional in a full-time job? How accessible is the classroom should you have to travel to get there?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you decide which option would work better for you. If you find that you have a heavy workload to deal with from college/work or you just do not have the time or energy to travel to a classroom, you should consider taking the online route.

Preparing online means you save on time you would have otherwise spent traveling. You can study at any time, anywhere. Find yourself bored in class? Prepare for the GRE online. Slow day at work? Learn those GRE words online. In a cab on your way back home? Practice those pesky sums online.

  • Learning – The Personalized Way

No two people taking the GRE (or any exam for that matter) have the same level of preparedness. Your strengths and weaknesses will vary vastly from mine.

For instance, I might find Permutations & Combinations easy to deal with while you might struggle with it.

Let’s think about how this might be dealt with in a classroom environment where there would be about 30 other students, each with their own specific needs and just one tutor to cater to their varying needs.

It simply wouldn’t be possible for one tutor to address everybody’s needs. Sure, if they took three days per topic, they might be able to ensure everybody is on the same page. But what if you were comfortable with the topic and were looking to move forward to the next? You can’t.

You’d be held back. This, in our opinion, is one of the biggest drawbacks of classroom-based coaching. It isn’t tailored or personalized to your strengths and weaknesses.

Online courses, however, offer that flexibility, and your course can be tailored to ensure you spend more time on areas you’re weak in and less on those you’re comfortable with.

At Galvanize, for instance, we design custom study-plans for every student. These study plans take into consideration their strengths, weaknesses, time available to them and of course, their target score. We then give the student a study plan that will help turn their weaknesses into strengths within the time limit they have set for themselves! Sound too good to be true? You best believe it’s true!

This is a really good question and one that we find more students are asking. Honestly – there is no one-size-fits-all approach that you can adopt here. You will need to consider several factors before settling on an answer. That being said, there are some clear advantages to preparing online. In this chapter, we have gathered some benefits of online GRE courses over classroom coaching to give you a more clear picture so that you can choose wisely.

  1. Convenience and Flexible

Possibly the biggest determinant when making your choice is this – time. How much time do you have on your hands to spare for your preparation? Are you a student with a heavy workload or a working professional in a full-time job? How accessible is the classroom should you have to travel to get there?

These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you decide which option would work better for you. If you find that you have a heavy workload to deal with from college/work or you just do not have the time or energy to travel to a classroom, you should consider taking the online route.

Preparing online means you save on time you would have otherwise spent traveling. You can study at any time, anywhere. Find yourself bored in class? Prepare for the GRE online. Slow day at work? Learn those GRE words online. In a cab on your way back home? Practice those pesky sums online.

Experience the New GRE online preparation with Free Video Series!

  1. Learning – The Personalized Way

No two people taking the GRE (or any exam for that matter) have the same level of preparedness. Your strengths and weaknesses will vary vastly from mine.

For instance, I might find Permutations & Combinations easy to deal with while you might struggle with it.

Let’s think about how this might be dealt with in a classroom environment where there would be about 30 other students, each with their own specific needs and just one tutor to cater to their varying needs.

It simply wouldn’t be possible for one tutor to address everybody’s needs. Sure, if they took three days per topic, they might be able to ensure everybody is on the same page. But what if you were comfortable with the topic and were looking to move forward to the next? You can’t.

You’d be held back. This, in our opinion, is one of the biggest drawbacks of classroom-based coaching. It isn’t tailored or personalized to your strengths and weaknesses.

Online courses, however, offer that flexibility, and your course can be tailored to ensure you spend more time on areas you’re weak in and less on those you’re comfortable with.

At Galvanize, for instance, we design custom study-plans for every student. These study plans take into consideration their strengths, weaknesses, time available to them and of course, their target score. We then give the student a study plan that will help turn their weaknesses into strengths within the time limit they have set for themselves! Sound too good to be true? You best believe it’s true!

Grab the Plethora of GRE Free Resources!!

  1. Support and Assistance – Personalized

A lot of people think one of the biggest advantages of a classroom-based course is that you can trust that should you have a query or a doubt, you can simply raise your hand and get it cleared – and they’re right!

But those same people make the mistake of thinking you can’t do this with an online prep course! Several online courses offer personalized assistance as well! What does this mean? In short, you have access to a teacher/expert/mentor just as you would in a classroom. AND unlike in a classroom, this expert coach is your coach. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Not only do you get the same benefit of doubt-clearance but this tutor is yours and yours alone. AND you don’t have to worry about being made fun of for asking ‘silly questions’ – only you and your tutor will be able to see your questions!

  1. Accuracy of your Assessments

When you’re competing with 30 other students for your tutor’s attention, it can be hard for them to figure out your unique needs. This is not the case with online GRE prep courses.

With an online course, technology steps in to save the day! How? They rely on adaptive technologies and algorithms that adapt to your performance and help you target your weaknesses while strengthening what you already know.

As a result, your course is constantly evolving with you to ensure you’re consistently progressing.

  1. [Most Important] Being Cost-Effective

There’s no way (or need) to sugar coat this – classroom GRE prep courses can be quite draining on the wallet. They can range in price anywhere between $400 to  $5000 depending on where you live or the course you choose. You may think this is a cost worth incurring because it helps get you where you want to be i.e. a good university but you forget you’ll incur several additional costs after your tests!

The application process on its own is not cheap. You’ll want to save as much as you can for where it matters. An online GRE prep course will give you the same results (if not better) for half the price! How is that not a good enough reason to make the switch?

  1. Content – Fresh and Unique

Most classroom-based courses have difficulty changing their material – their lessons and questions. Online courses, however, are freed from that constraint. Technology has made it so as soon as any updates need to be made, an online course can implement that change immediately.

  1. Constant Motivation

When you think of online courses, you might worry that there’s no ‘human’ on the other end. That can seem a little daunting. But it’s also not factual. Most online GRE courses will put you in touch with someone to monitor your progress, motivate you when needed and ensure you’re not straying.

That’s what we do at Galvanize at any rate. We assign each student a Course Manager whose role it is to ensure you’re on track towards getting your target score AND to assist you in any way when you need it. We know how important it can be to have a human to talk to sometimes.

  1. Real Test-like Environment

The GRE is a computer-adaptive test. This is not news to anyone but you’d be surprised just how many people underestimate how hard it can be to take a test on a computer for over 3 hours.

It’s something you need to get used to. You need to practice getting comfortable taking a nearly 4-hour long test on a computer without losing concentration or stamina.

An online GRE prep course is the best way to build this comfort.

This is a really good question and one that we find more students are asking. Honestly – there is no one-size-fits-all approach that you can adopt here. You will need to consider several factors before settling on an answer. That being said, there are some clear advantages to preparing online. In this chapter, we have gathered some benefits of online GRE courses over classroom coaching to give you a clearer picture so that you can choose wisely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques.: Which schools accept GRE scores?

Ans.: See the complete list of institutions using GRE scores and their official ETS code number.

Ques.: Which MBA programs accept GRE scores?

Ans.: Business schools worldwide accept GRE scores for their specialized master’s, MBA and doctoral business programs, including many top-ranked programs. View the most current list of business schools accepting GRE scores for their MBA programs.

Ques.: Do business schools have a test preference?

Ans.: According to a recent Kaplan survey, nearly eight out of 10 MBA programs have no test preference. In other words, most MBA programs view GRE and GMAT scores equally.

Ques.: Are GRE scores accepted for law school J.D. program applications?

Ans.: Yes, law schools, including top-ranked schools, are now accepting GRE General Test scores for admission to their J.D. programs. View the most current list.

CSN Team.

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