What is GRE?
A standardized test, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) measures Verbal, Mathematical and Analytical Writing skills of students aspiring to undergo their Graduate studies abroad. The test intends to aid Graduate Schools (of all fields other than business) assess applicant’s potential for advanced study. Most universities in the US, while inviting applications from prospective students, ask for GRE® scores.
The examination is entirely a Computer-based Test, and no two students get an identical set of questions. The test is scored on a maximum of 340. The GRE® Score alone cannot guarantee admission into a school – the test is only one of the major factors taken into consideration in the long process of an applicant getting admitted into a graduate school that they desire.
The GRE® test has three parts – Quantitative, Verbal and Analytical Writing Assessment. The following is the GRE® test structure:
An unidentified un-scored section is included and will appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score. An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it is always at the end of the test.
The US-based “Educational Testing Service” (ETS), which works under the direct of the Graduate Record Examination Board, develops and administers the GRE. ETS is responsible for setting questions, conducting the test and sending score reports to each examinee. For detailed information about GRE, please refer to the official website of GRE.
What is the scoring scale for the GRE?
- The AWA section grades are from 0-6 in 0.5-point increments.
- The Quantitative Reasoning section grades are from 130-170 in 1-point increment.
- The Verbal Reasoning section grades are from 130-170 in 1-point increment.
- Total scores are from 260-340 in 1-point increment; AWA scores are separate
GRE Exam syllabus and pattern 2020-2021
The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is a balanced concoction of two sections: Quants and Verbal. The content of the examination is intended to test a student’s logical understanding of the two sections within a given time frame. This is what makes the exam challenging and focus-oriented. Unlike examinations that the test taker might have given before, the GRE does not have a fixed syllabus which is adhered to. Instead, the ETS gives an outline; consists of 5 sections (1 unscored) and follows patterns and content that can easily be deciphered.
- GRE Verbal
The GRE tests the test taker’s cognitive ability from a detail-oriented level to a holistic level; thereby increasing the need to:
- Understand the dynamics between parts of a sentence, and analyse sentences, paragraphs and ultimately, passages. Through sustained effort, one must develop the ability to decode language at a good pace.
- Evaluate the relationships between words, and mentally summarize information before arriving at a particular answer choice.
- Type of questions
- Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion: These sections require a rapid comprehension of the given sentence and a thorough grasp of the usage of words.
- Reading Comprehension: The questions require students to be equipped with the arsenal to tackle relatively difficult passages. The scale of difficulty varies depending on the sectional additivity.
- Expertise required
- Vocabulary:The exam requires students to have a repository of words embedded in their memory. This is not a parameter that is to be feared. Instead, students must sequentially and systematically improve their command over the ‘GRE jargon’. Jamboree’s Vocabulary lists are extensively planned and formulated in a manner that helps everyone understand how words can be logically separated and therefore, how they can be learnt much faster.
- Comprehension Speed: A key skill that contributes to an improved GRE score is the speed of comprehension. Consistent effort to increase comprehension speed, combined with the ability to comprehend passages from different fields such as science, art, history, is extremely critical.
- Reading and Answering: The GRE is keen to test a student’s understanding of the flow of passages and the dependencies between paragraphs, which ultimately help students pick the right choice. In essence, the test is about how quickly one can eliminate answer choices and arrive at the correct one.
- GRE Quantitative reasoning
The Quants section of the GRE requires a methodical approach, but does not include advanced-level mathematical concepts such as integration, differentiation, the Chi-Square Test etc. The GRE simply wants to test your ‘quantitative reasoning’ and not your math skill. The ETS also allows students to use the calculator. (Quant haters can breathe easy).
- Algebra-based questions include operations with exponents; factoring and simplifying algebraic expressions; relations, functions, equations and inequalities; solving linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; solving simultaneous equations and inequalities; setting up equations to solve word problems; and coordinate geometry.
- Arithmetic based questions include properties and types of integers, such as divisibility, factorization, prime numbers, reminders and odd and even integers; arithmetic operations, exponents and roots; and concepts such as estimation, percent, ratio, rate, absolute value, the number line, decimal representation and sequences of numbers.
- Data Analysis based questions include basic descriptive statistics, such as mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, interquartile range, quartiles and percentiles; interpretation of data in tables and graphs; elementary probability; conditional probability; random variables and probability distributions, in; and counting methods, such as combinations, permutations and Venn diagrams.
- Geometry based questions include parallel and perpendicular lines, circles, triangles, polygons, congruent and similar figures, three-dimensional figures, area, perimeter, volume, the Pythagorean theorem and angle measurement in degrees. The ability to construct proofs is not tested.
Preparing for the GRE can be a daunting task, but more often than not students misconstrue the examination’s true difficulty level because they’ve faced a mental block. A stepwise approach is critical in transforming how a student thinks about the exam.
The Author is Business Development Manager at Jamboree Education Pvt. Ltd.
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