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GRE Demystified


GRE general test : 

Is divided into three main sections and two sub sections  per  section –

1)      Section 1:  Verbal Section

There is no well-defined syllabus for the verbal section. The verbal section of the GRE General test measures your –

Basic comprehension skills

Your understanding of a passage excerpt

Your ability to complete a sentence, keeping in mind the tone and gist of the sentence.

It checks the level of vocabulary you are acquainted with and how well you can use the vocabulary. In fact ‘USIFE’ and many other organizations have clearly stated that the role of vocabulary has not been marginalized, the new GRE still draws heavily on Vocabulary but the only difference is that now greater stress is placed on the usage of vocabulary instead of vocabulary usage in isolation.

If you look into the new GRE pattern you will find that the question types can be broadly divided into three parts namely -Text completion, Sentence equivalence and Reading comprehension

So we would suggest that if you are serious about your GRE score than start working on your basics – First develop healthy reading habits. Read from every walk of life, try to get yourself comfortable with these passages and try to deduce the gist quickly.

Secondly, to aid your comprehension skills extensively work on your vocabulary, note down whatever difficult words you encounter and memorize them. Try to understand the finer shades of these words and how these words are used differently under different circumstances.

We advise you to strengthen your ground first and only then start practising these types of questions to gain stronghold over verbal section. Test your skills on computer based tests so that you habituate giving tests on computers and perform well on the test day.


2)    Section 2:  Quantitative Section


The quantitative section of the GRE General test measures your basic mathematical skills. It measures your ability to reason and solve mathematical problems. Questions that appear in the GRE Quantitative section test your proficiency in—

Data Analysis.

The level of the problems in QA section is usually high school.

The topic covered in the Quantitative section are broadly discussed, here –

Number Systems
Profit & Loss
Simple & Compound Interest
Speed, Time and Distance
Work and Time
Simple & Weighted
Ratio & Proportion


Data Analysis and Data Interpretation
Bar graphs
Pie charts
Line graphs


Permutation & Combination
Arithmetic & Geometric Progression
Quadratic Equations
Set Theory
Statistics – SD, Mean, Median, Mode etc.


Topics in Geometry
Co-ordinate Geometry



Data can be presented in some other format also. A combination of one or more of these forms could be presented and based on the data provided in one or two charts, the test taker can be asked to answer a number of questions.




3)   Section 3: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)


The AWA section is divided into two subsections, namely-

Analyze an Argument (30 minutes)

Present Your Perspective on an Issue (30 minutes)

The analytical writing section tests your critical thinking and your ability to respond impromptu.  It assesses your ability to articulate and reason and your ability to remain focused despite of covering varied points critical for the discussion.

Some people are deluded that they need to be master in every area to excel in AWA. Well, that not true,  AWA section in GRE does not assess specific content knowledge. So, if you have done highly acclaimed research in a particular field but are unable to articulate and present a sound argument, you are unlikely to score well.

To excel in AWA you should be able to articulate your thoughts well and the essay should be well organized and connected with the previous paragraphs.

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