Yocket Editorial Team
on 30 January, 2011

GRE Structure and Pattern

The computer-based General Test is composed of 3 sections:

  • Verbal Reasoning (English)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (Math)
  • Analytical Writing sections (Essays)

Test Pattern :


Revised Pattern & Content

Changes from Previous Pattern

Quantitative - Data Sufficiency
- Data Interpretation & Statistics
- Problem Solving
- 2 Sections (20 Q's/35 Minutes per section)
- Calculator Allowed
- No Choice for Problem Solving
- Statistics part of new pattern
- 2 Sections instead of 1 but less time
Verbal - Reading Comprehension
- Sentence Correction
- 2 Sections (20 Q's/30 Minutes per section)
- More stress on Comprehension and Less on Etymology
- 2 Sections instead of 1
- Less Questions but more time as it involves RC
AWA - Issue essay: 30 minutes*
- Argument Essay: 30 Minutes**
Time Reduced for Issue Essay by 15 minutes
Test Format - No Computer Adaptive Test
- Skipping Questions Permitted
- Skipping questions are NOW ALLOWED
- Scores not based on solving the first few questions correctly
Scoring Scale 130 - 170 with 1 point Increment. Earlier it was 200 - 800 with 10 point increment
Score reporting to University 5 Years Validity No change


* For the Issue task, two essay topics will be presented and you will choose one. In this type of essay, you usually agree and disagree with the author. There is no need to take a stand. You can state the pros and cons of the topic.

** The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead, one topic will be presented. In this type of essay, you should disagree with the author. As the name suggests, you should argue with the author’s views.


After all the verbal and quant sections, a research section follows. This section is like essay writing on a topic presented to you. However, it is NOT evaluated towards the final score. Hence, a lot of people skip this section and proceed to the last part of checking their score.


Note: The AWA section is always first, followed by two Verbal sections and two Quantitative sections, in any order. Basically, you will have two verbal sections and two quantitative sections and will contribute towards your final score. You will not be informed prior or during the exam about which section will be taken into account and hence you must give cent percent effort in all the sections.

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Yocket Editorial Team

Yocket is the largest regional online community for students with a desire to pursue higher education abroad.

Published in:

GRE Preparation Guide