Most institutions have some sort of entry exam requirement. Medical school has the MCATs, the military has the ASVAB, and most graduate schools require students to take the GRE, or Graduate Record Examinations. Composed of three sections, the test aims to provide an accurate depiction of a given student’s ability in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Graduate admissions officers evaluate these scores as one of the factors determining acceptance into their program.
The exam takes roughly four hours to complete. Because of its difficulty level and high level of importance, many opt for study materials, which are available in a variety of forms. The computer exam is still the most widely used, being administered throughout the year based on the schedule of the testing center. There is a paper-based test, however it’s only only offered three times a year, once each February, October, and November. Verbal and quantitative scores are scored on a scale of 130 to 170 in one-point increments, whereas the analytical section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments.
The GRE is made up of three sections: Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Verbal and quantitative scores are scored on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increments, whereas the analytical section is scored on a scale of zero to six in half-point increments. The way the exam is designed, an examinee is allowed to miss multiple questions and still receive a perfect score. On the other end of the spectrum, if someone taking the test were to get every question wrong, they would still not be able to score below 130.
The computer-based GRE is designed to be more personalized to each test taker than the paper test. In order for this to happen, your performance on one section determines the difficulty of the question in the following section. In other words, if someone were to do very poorly on the first stage of their exam, then the next question would consist of lower-level questions. It also works in reverse. Answering the harder questions correctly is the only way to receive the perfect score of 170.