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Fact Sheet: The GRE (General) Test


The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to understand what you've read and how you apply your reasoning skills — with many new questions that focus on your ability to analyze and evaluate written material. Good news — antonyms and analogies are no longer part of the test. Vocabulary is still important, but it's used in the context of a reading passage.

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures how well you interpret and analyze quantitative information. You’ll need to have an understanding of basic math concepts (arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis). And there’s an increased emphasis on data interpretation and real-life scenarios. In this section, you may use the on-screen calculator.

The Analytical Writing section:  This section measures your critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically the ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. You will be asked to provide focused responses to the tasks presented to effectively demonstrate your skill in directly responding to that task. You have 2 separately timed essays to write, one where you express your views on a critical issue and one where you evaluate a logical argument. For each essay task, you are given a topic and specific directions for responding to that topic. Your responses will be evaluated on whether you can integrate critical thinking and analytical writing by fully addressing the tasks you're presented. 

Note: For more information about what's in all the sections and to see sample questions, click here. 


Above all PREPARE! LearningExpress Library is an interactive online learning platform featuring over practice tests, tutorials, and eBooks related to graduate school admissions exam preparation You'll get immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results. Call Career Services at 410-543-6075 or the Center for Student Achievement (CSA) at 410-677-4865 for a user name and password to have unlimited access to this assistance.

Review what the givers of the GRE, ETS, have to say about preparing.  They have sample tests as well.  Click here to learn more.


The computer-based test takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Verbal Reasoning Two 30-minute sections Approximately 20 questions in each section
Quantitative Reasoning Two 35-minute sections Approximately 20 questions in each section
Analytical Writing One section with two separately timed 30-minute essays Two essay tasks
There's a 10-minute break following the third section and a 1-minute break between the other test sections.


Here's a look at the score scale for each of the 3 sections:

Verbal Reasoning scores are reported on a 130 — 170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
Quantitative Reasoning scores are reported on a 130 — 170 score scale, in 1-point increments.
Analytical Writing scores are reported on a 0 — 6 score scale, in half-point increments.

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