What is the format of the GRE?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,174
    Tutor Bernadette Chimner discusses the format of the GRE.

    Host: What is the format of the GRE?

    Bernadette Chimner: The GRE tests your writing, verbal and math skills. So when you go in, you are going to be taking your GRE on computer which is very different than probably what you have done in the past where you took most of your past tests on paper and pencil and you are going to start by composing two essays on the computer.

    One essay is going to be 30 minutes long and they are going to give you an argument and ask you to critique the argument and the other essay is going to be 45 minutes long and that's going to give you a choice of two topics. You are going to pick one and give your opinion on it. Now after you compose those two essays you are going to get a ten minute break.

    After those ten minutes are up and it's important to be back very promptly because the computer will start without you if you are not back. When those ten minutes are up you are going to come back and you are going to get started on your verbal or math multiple choice sections and you don't know which one is going to come first. So your verbal section, you are going to get 30 questions in 30 minutes and they are all going to be multiple choice questions. In your math section, you are going to get 28 questions in 45 minutes and those are also going to be multiple choice questions. Now, the GRE also sometimes has a dummy section, an experimental section where they test future questions. So that dummy section will appear as a third section. You shouldn't assume it is the last section though. It can be the first of the three sections you do, the second or the third. So treat every section like a count and just hope that the one you do the best on is your real section, not your dummy section.