Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Test Structure 2020

Updated By Cyril Titus Zachariah on 14 Aug, 2020 15:53

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GRE Test Structure

The Educational Testing Services (ETS) has formulated the test structure of the GRE General Test (both computer-based and paper-based) and the GRE Subject Test. The GRE, short for Graduate Record Examination, is a test taken by graduate aspirants for international universities such as Stanford University; University of Massachusetts, Boston; King's College, London, etc. If you are one of the GRE aspirants then you must check the test structure of GRE. Without actually understanding the GRE sections breakdown, you cannot begin with the GRE preparation. This will also help you in managing your time during the examination by allocating fixed time (as per your convenience) to every question comprising a particular section. Knowing the GRE test structure will also help you in separating different sections on the basis of their difficulty level and allotted time, which in turn will help you better in time-management before as well as during the GRE test.

COVID-19 Alert

Keeping in mind the different COVID-19 regulations of each country, ETS has provided a temporary provision of a GRE General Test at Home, which allows applicants to appear for the test at home itself. Students will be asked to follow certain protocols and guidelines to attempt the GRE 2020 test at home.

Table of Content

GRE Subject Tests StructureGRE General Test Structure

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GRE Subject Tests Structure

  • The GRE Subject Tests are delivered in a paper-based format only. 

  • The duration allotted for all the tests is 2 hours and 50 minutes, i.e. 170 minutes. 

  • The tests do not have separately-timed sections. 

The GRE Subject Tests are taken for six subjects and the structure and content varies for all of them. 

  1. Biology

  2. Literature in English

  3. Physics 

  4. Chemistry

  5. Mathematics 

  6. Psychology 

You can check the sections and content for each of the subject tests of GRE here. The following table will help you understand the structure of these GRE Subject Tests.  

GRE Subject Test

Total Number of Questions Asked (approx)

Type of Questions

Testing Time

Biology 

188

Five Choice Based Questions

2 hours and 50 minutes

Chemistry 

130

Multiple-Choice Questions

2 hours and 50 minutes

English Literature

230

Environmental Applications

2 hours and 50 minutes

Mathematics 

66

Multiple-Choice Questions

2 hours and 50 minutes

Physics 

100

Five Choice Based Questions

2 hours and 50 minutes

Psychology 

205

Five Choice Based Questions

2 hours and 50 minutes

GRE General Test Structure

  • The GRE General Test is conducted in two formats: Computer-Delivered GRE and Paper-Delivered GRE.

  • The testing time, sectional breakdown and number of questions asked are different in both formats. 

  • The testing time for the Computer-Delivered GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is 225 minutes. 

  • The testing time for the Paper-Delivered GRE General Test is 3 hours and 30 minutes, which is 210 minutes. 

Structure of Computer-Delivered GRE General Test

The overall duration of the Computer-Delivered GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is 225 minutes. The further sectional breakdown of the test can be checked below.

Measure

Number of Sections/ Tasks

Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing

1 Section and 2 Tasks

Task 1 based on Analysing an Issue and Task 2 based on Analysing an Argument

30 Minutes Per Task

Verbal Reasoning

2 Sections

20 Questions in Each Section

30 Minutes per Section

Quantitative Reasoning

2 Sections

20 Questions in Each Section

35 Minutes per Section

Unscored

Varies

Varies

Varies

Research

Varies

Varies

Varies

NOTE: 

  • The computer-delivered test comprises six sections with a 10-minute break. 

  • The test may include an ‘unscored’ section which does not contribute towards your score. The questions asked in this section might be used in future tests.

  • Another ‘research’ section might be included in place of the unscored section. This section also does not contribute to your scores and is used for ETS research purposes. 

Structure of Paper-Delivered GRE General Test

The duration of the Paper-Delivered GRE General Test is 3 hours and 30 minutes, which is 210 minutes. You can check the sectional breakdown of the test in the table given below.

Measure

Number of Sections/ Tasks

Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Analytical Writing

2 Sections (based on tasks)

Section 1: A Task-based on Analysing an Issue

Section 2: A Task-based on Analysing an Argument

30 Minutes Per Task

Verbal Reasoning

2 Sections

25 Questions in Each Section

35 Minutes per Section

Quantitative Reasoning

2 Sections

25 Questions in Each Section

40 Minutes per Section

NOTE: 

  • The Paper-delivered test comprises six sections with a 10-minute break. 

  • The first section is always the Analytical Writing section.

  • The rest of the sections from Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning may appear in any order. 

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