What is GRE and how it is structured?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is designed to provide graduate schools with common measures for comparing the qualifications of applicants. The GRE is a computer-based test. It is a computer-adaptive test: while the number of questions in any given section is fixed, the difficulty and scoring value of those questions varies according to the previous responses provided by the test-taker. Rather than having a fixed point value, questions of varied difficulty are used in order to 'zero in' on the level of question that represents the upper bound of the test-taker's ability. Because of the way in which the score value changes over the course of the test, early questions are much more important in determining the final score than those that appear near the end of a section. Questions cannot be skipped or returned to. The exam measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing skills that have been developed over a long period of time. Data shows that scores on the GRE General Test consistently predict graduate school students' grades and performance. In addition to an admission criterion, schools often use GRE scores to determine eligibility for merit-based grants and fellowships, as well as teaching and research assistantships. Many programs, especially those at large state schools, establish cutoff points for GRE scores to limit the application pool, while others use GRE scores to directly determine how much financial support you receive. Investing time and effort in preparing for the GRE today can help you get into the grad school of your choice and can greatly increase your chances of getting financial aid.
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test is a multiple-choice admission test for applicants to graduate schools. The test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), under the sponsorship of the Graduate Record Examinations Board. The GRE is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), and consists of three scored sections:
What is a CAT and how does it work?
A CAT is a computer-adaptive test, whose software calculates your score based on the number of questions you answer correctly, the difficulty of the questions you answer, and the number of questions you complete. When you take the GRE CAT, you'll begin each section with a medium-level question and a score of 500. If you answer the question correctly, the computer will raise your score and give you a harder question. If you answer the question incorrectly, your score will decrease and you'll be given an easier question. The process repeats for each question in the section, to arrive at your final score for that section.
How is the GRE Test scored?
Each of the multiple-choice sections is scored on a scale of 200 to 800. The average scores for the GRE are about 470 for Verbal and 570 for Quantitative. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6.
How important are my GRE scores?
Schools vary tremendously in the weights they place on the different factors in the admission process, so be sure to contact the specific schools to which you are applying in order to determine their unique requirements. Some programs weight GRE scores very heavily, and/or have a minimum score for applicants, while other programs consider GRE scores more of a formality. It is important to note that your GRE scores are a major factor in determining your eligibility for financial aid.
How do I pick a test date?
First find out the application deadlines for the graduate schools to which you are applying, then work backwards from your earliest deadline. Build some extra time into your planning process for unexpected delays because you can only take the GRE test once per calendar month. Keep in mind that it can take as long as four weeks for your official scores to arrive at your designated schools. The GRE is offered at testing centers almost every day. Call your local center for details and to book your test. While in theory you could sign up for the GRE test with only two days' notice, don't depend upon this luxury. Call at least one month prior to your desired test date.
When the GRE is conducted in Pakistan?
The GRE is offered at testing centers almost every day in Pakistan. Call your local center for details and to book your test. While in theory you could sign up for the GRE with only two days' notice, don't depend upon this luxury. Call at least one month prior to your desired test date.
Where the GRE is conducted in Pakistan?
There are two local offices that conduct the GRE in Pakistan. One is in Karachi and the other is Lahore. The contact numbers of the two are as follows.
Global Education Center (Karachi)Ph:021-5823671
LUMS(Lahore University of Management Sciences)Ph:042-5722670-79
What fees are associated with the GRE Test?
The fee to take the GRE test is $115 within the United States, some U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico. The fee is $140 in all other locations including Pakistan.
What are the GRE Subject Tests?
The GRE Subject Tests are intended to measure your knowledge of specific subject matter. Subject Tests are available in eight disciplines: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; literature in English; mathematics; physics; and psychology. These tests are given in paper-and-pencil format three times per year, in November, December, and April.
These tests are given separately from the GRE General Test and require additional fees. Check with the graduate schools to which you are applying to determine whether any of these extra tests are required.
Where can I get more information about the GRE Test?
You can contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at: (800) GRE-CALL (609) 771-7670 or on their website, www.gre.org
GRE PowerPrep Software: (FREE)
Includes two computer-based GRE General Tests, sample analytical writing topics, scored sample essays and reader commentary, test-taking strategies, a math review, and test tutorials.
The General Test:
It measures abilities in verbal, quantitative and analytical fields.
Analytical Writing: The skills measured include the test taker's ability to  articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively  examine claims and accompanying evidence support ideas with relevant reasons and examples sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion control the elements of standard written English
 
Verbal Reasoning :The skills measured include the test taker's ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it analyze relationships among component parts of sentences recognize relationships between words and concepts.
 
Quantitative Reasoning :The skills measured include the test taker's ability to  understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis reason quantitatively solve problems in a quantitative setting
 
The Subject Tests:
These measure achievement in specific fields of study. Because of the high correlation between high GRE scores and success in graduate school, many schools require that the applicants take the GRE General Test. (They may also require the applicant to take the appropriate GRE Subject Test.) 

New changes in the GRE revised General Test

ETS has improved the test in many significant ways to give students a better test experience and to better demonstrate your skills and readiness for graduate-level work:
  • A new test-taker friendly design: In this new format the computer-based test allows students to edit or change their answer and skip questions, all within a section, and use an on-screen calculator.
  • New types of questions: In the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning section, many questions are based on real-life scenario that reflect the kind of thinking students will do in today’s demanding graduate and business school programmes.
  • Special savings of 50% when you take the GRE revised General Test: ETS has come up with an exciting offer to attract students to choose this new exam. If you take this exam between August 1 and September 30, 2011, you can save 50% off your test fee when you take this revised test.
  • Important score reporting information you need to know: If you take the GRE revised General Test during the special discount period of August-September 2011, your scores will be sent by mid-November. However, if you need your scores before November, you need to take the current test before August.
GRE Format

Computer-Based General Test Content and Structure

The computer-based General Test has three sections.
In addition, one unidentified pretest section may be included, and this section can appear in any position in the test after the analytical writing section. Questions in the pretest section are being tested for possible use in future tests, and answers will not count toward your scores.
An identified research section that is not scored may also be included, and this section would always appear in the final section of the test. Questions in the research section are included for the purpose of ETS research, and answers will not count toward your scores.
Total testing time is up to three hours, not including the research section. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.
The analytical writing section is always first. For the Issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead, one topic will be presented.
The verbal and quantitative sections may appear in any order, including an unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.

Typical Computer-Based GRE® General Test

Section
Number of Questions
Time
Analytical Writing1 Issue Task*45 minutes
Analytical Writing1 Argument Task*30 minutes
Verbal3030 minutes
Quantitative2845 minutes
Pretest**VariesVaries
Research***VariesVaries
* For the Issue task, two essay topics are presented and you choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead one topic is presented.
** An unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section may be included and may 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.

Paper-Based General Test Content and Structure

The paper-based GRE General Test contains five sections.
In addition, one unidentified pretest section may be included, and this section can appear in any position in the test after the analytical writing section. Questions in the pretest section are being tested for possible use in future tests, and answers will not count toward your scores.
Total testing time is up to 3 3/4 hours. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.
The analytical writing section is always first. For the Issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead one topic will be presented.
The verbal and quantitative sections may appear in any order, including an unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.

Typical Paper-Based General Test

Section
Number of Questions
Time
Analytical Writing1 Issue Task*45 minutes
Analytical Writing1 Argument Task*30 minutes
Verbal (2 sections)38 per section30 minutes per section
Quantitative (2 sections)30 per section30 minutes per section
Pretest**Varies30 minutes
*For the Issue task, two essay topics will be presented and you will choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead, one topic will be presented.
** An unidentified verbal or quantitative pretest section may be included and may appear in any order after the analytical writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.

Modified Versions of Verbal and Quantitative Questions

The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on an earlier section of the test. Some modifications are substantial; others are less apparent.
Thus, even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be a different question and may also have a different correct answer. You can be assured of doing your best on the test you take by paying careful attention to the wording of each question as it appears in your test.
The GRE Program is currently investigating the feasibility of reusing questions that have been published in GRE practice materials. As part of that investigation, you may see questions from these materials on a test you take.
Download Library of GRE: Download GRE Stuff

GRE (Local) by NTS

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a test for determining the capability and suitability of a student for postgraduate studies. A lot of universities in advanced countries require this as an admission requirement. HEC conducts an examination similar to the one conducted by ETS here in Pakistan through National Testing Service (NTS). This is commonly termed as local GRE (GAT).The format of the test is old GRE general pattern prior to October 2002. This includes an analytical section, a verbal section and a quantitative section. The duration of the test will be 2 hours. Candidates may refer to GRE books available for old pattern for sample papers. A sample is available on the HEC website.The test will be conducted in selected major cities of Pakistan. Candidates will be called to the center as per requirement of HEC. This will be indicated on the admit card of the candidate.
The General Test is intended to measure verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills. Although a brief review will not dramatically change the abilities you have acquired over years, use of this site may help you evaluate your ability level and identify areas for further study before you take the General Test. As the competition is growing intense, you need a through preparation.

GRE (GAT by NTS) Format

The GRE General Test measures certain developed verbal, quantitative, and analytical abilities that are important for academic achievement. In doing so, the test necessarily reflects the opportunities and efforts that have contributed to the development of those abilities.
The General Test is only one of several means of evaluating likely success in graduate school. It make it possible to compare students with different backgrounds. A GRE (HEC) score of 50/100, for example, has the same meaning whether earned by a student at a small, arts college or by a student at a large public university.
Test FormatTotal Questions (MCQs) = 100
Total Test Time = 120 Minutes (2 Hours)
Test Type: Paper Based (GAT- General)
Test Contents
English (Verbal) Section 30 Questions (35 Minutes)
Analytical Section 40 Questions (50 Minutes)
Quantitative Section 30 Questions (35 Minutes)

GRE Preparation GAT Preparation

Follow these GRE prep tips to help you have high score in GRE.
Evaluation Planning.

  • To have a better understanding of the GRE sections, take a full length test in very beginning. Download Initial Test.
  • Analyze your performance on the test and identify your weak and strong areas.
  • Plan a 15 days schedule of preparation. Think you are to take the test after 15 days and start preparing. Focus your weak and strong areas of the test. Dont consider time per question during this session.
After 15 days preparation, you'll have a better understanding of what the test is, what are its section along with your understanding of your own weaknesses. Now, you'll be able to plan your preparation.

Collect Study Material

You must have ample number of questions and topics for better practice and understanding. You can collect all stuff from
  • Books - A lot of books are available in the market
  • Web - A mess of study material is available on the web. You are to select and download. Downloads are also available.
  • Friends who have taken GRE in the past

Core Planning

Now plan for 30 days preparation. Focus on your weak areas but dont let your strong area orphan. Give time and efforts to each section. Take topic and section evaluation tests time to time. Direct your activities towards identified weak areas.

Pin Point Planning

After Core preparation of 30 days, take an evaluation test. Observe, whether a particular type of questions are wrong or wrong questions are of varied types.
  • If you find a particular type error, improve it
  • If you find a viewed type question errors, revise Core planning for 10 days and again start pin point evaluation

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12 comments:

  1. So now do we have to write GRE or only GRE subject test (Math) or both if we want to join a grad college or they are all just moot now ?

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  2. It's good and interesting information for the readers.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this information.

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  5. I do agree with your point that GRE score is becoming essential nowadays in the admission process of abroad universities. The GRE Exam getting started now. Here’s a clear look of all great many tips we have lined up for an updated GRE Exam syllabus. Take a look at it.

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  6. Interesting to see how this will shape up in the future. At the moment, most of the students are not known how to prepare for GRE and i believe that they really appreciate you for this post.

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  7. GRE isn't the only key to be enrolled in an university. Alongside GRE, Your Grades, Academic accomplishments such as publications, Skills and extra curricular activities, Statement of Purpose, Letter of Recommendation with all the packages combined you will be judged. A decent GRE score will just add an extra advantage nothing else. So go ahead with your Online Gre Preparation now.

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  8. If you are ready to take the GRE exam, practicing some of the GRE practice test will help you with time management and improves your GRE scores.

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  9. Gre exam is very important so students must keep in mind that only hardworking can help for passing it

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  10. Yes of course, preparation on GRE is important to get admission in your dream university. Preparation on latest GRE Exam syllabus will help you to improve your GRE score.

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  11. Superb information about these structural exams and test centers. Already applied for law exam and nervous for the next step. Suffering from phobia to clear the exam this year. My cousin suggested me to go for LSAT Prep without giving a second thought. Hope I cover all the analytical sections very well.

    ReplyDelete