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GRE for Indian Students Looking to Study Abroad

Complete Guide to GRE : Test Types, Eligibility, Scores

Are you interested in pursuing an MS in the US or UK? Something to know is that most high ranking universities and business schools in the USA,  the UK and across the globe require a GRE score for admissions to their MS and MBA programs. 

If you are looking forward to applying to an MS or MBA in the USA and want to get prepped for the GRE test, you are in the right place! We’ve summarized everything you need to know below to make it easy for you. 

What is GRE?

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is a universal test designed and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service), an independent non-profit organization. Universities/colleges abroad use this test result along with other factors like academic details, GPA, Recommendation Letters (LoR), and Statement of Purposes (SOP) to evaluate a candidate’s profile to assess suitability and preparedness for a particular graduate program. 

Who takes the GRE and Why?

Students aspiring to do their masters and doctoral programs abroad take this test. Graduate, Law and Business schools all over the world consider this exam result as a part of their evaluation criteria for the admission process. International students preparing for a Masters in the US, UK or other countries need to take the GRE exam to prove their credentials. Typically, a GRE test score is standard admissions criteria but this might vary from university to university. Make sure to check with your preferred university website to understand their application requirements. Even if they waive your GRE test, it’s important to remember that some scholarships and fellowships also require the GRE test. 

Types of GRE

There are two types of GRE examinations. 

GRE: Revised General Test

This GRE revised general test is taken by the students who want to pursue their masters in the US and other various countries across the world. This test evaluates the candidate’s analytical, quantitative, verbal and reasoning skills. You can take this test throughout the year. If you are not satisfied with the result and have enough time before applying, you can always take a retest. You can retake the test a maximum of 5 times in a 12-month period with a gap of 21 days between tests. In India, this test is conducted online only.

GRE Subject Test

GRE subject test is to evaluate a candidate’s ability in that particular subject and to assess your knowledge and aptitude in specialized courses. Tests are only available in the months April, September, and October, so you must book your seat in advance. The GRE Subject test is only taken in the paper test mode.

Eligibility Criteria for GRE

There is no particular eligibility criterion for writing this test. Anyone with any qualification and of any age can apply for this test, provided you have a passport as a proof of identity at the time of examination. You need to ensure you have a valid passport before registering for the exam.

Exam fee

  • General Test fee: $205 (approximately Rs.14,150/-)
  • Subject Test fee: $150 (approximately Rs.10,350/-)

Test Duration

GRE General Test Duration

The duration of the GRE General Test is 3 hours 45 minutes. There are a total of six sections. After the third section, you will be given a break of about 10 minutes.

GRE Subject Test Duration

The duration of the GRE Subject Test is 2 hours 50 minutes.  There are no timed sections which means you can pace the sections based on your comfort and need.

Exam Pattern

GRE General Test Exam pattern
Measure Number of Questions Allotted Time
Analytical Writing ( two tasks in one section) Task 1: Analyze an Issue Task2: Analyze an Argument 30 minutes each task Total 60 minutes
Verbal Reasoning ( Two sections) 20 questions each section 30 Minutes each section Total 60 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections) 20 questions each section 35 Minutes each section Total 70 minutes
Unscored Section Varies Varies
Research Section Varies Varies

For both the ‘Unscored’ and ‘Research’ sections, the score doesn’t count. But you will not have the option to skip these sections as you will not be able to identify them. ‘Unscored’ and ‘Research’ sections can be placed anywhere after the ‘Analytical Writing’ section..

GRE Subject Test Exam pattern

Have a look at the general exam structure based on the subject you are taking your test for:

Subject Number of Questions
Chemistry 130 Multiple-choice Questions
Biology 190 Multiple-choice Questions
Literature in English 230 Questions
Mathematics 66 Multiple-choice Questions
Physics 100 multiple-choice questions
Psychology 205 multiple-choice questions

Good and Cut-off GRE Scores

ETS does not define any predefined good score or cut off for the GRE Test. Based on the expectations set by the Universities, your score is considered to be good or not. 

The GRE Subject Test score ranges between 200 – 990. In general, a GRE General Test score that is above 317 is considered to be a good score as it gets you placed in the top 25% Universities. However, getting a seat in one of the top colleges requires you to have a consistent academic profile reflected in your transcripts, letters of recommendation and the extracurricular activities indicated on your CV. 

A minimum test score of 260 can be considered as a decent score to get admission into a graduate program in the US and UK, however, these may not be the best of universities. 

GRE General Test Score

On the test day, at the end of the test, you are given an option to either Report or Cancel the scores. If you choose to Report, then you will be able to view your unofficial Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning Scores at the Test Center itself, as soon as you are finished with your test. But, you will not be able to view your analytical writing scores as it involves essay writing which needs time for evaluation. For those qualitative aspects of the test, official test scores will be available about 10-15 days after the Test.  You can view your scores from your official ETS account. If you have designated test recipients (Universities where you want your score reported directly by ETS) on the test day, then your scores will be automatically sent to them.

GRE General Test Score Scale

The scores of three segments in your GRE General test are reported on the following scale –

  • Verbal Score is reported on a scale of 130-170, with 1 point increment for every correct answer
  • Quantitative Reasoning is also reported on a scale of 130-170, with 1 point increment for every correct answer
  • Analytical Writing is reported on a scale of 0-6, with half-point increments
  • If you do not answer at least one question from any of the sections, then it is noted as NS (no score).
GRE Subject Test Score

You will receive your Subject Test scores within five weeks from your test date and can view your scores directly in your ETS Account. You can designate the recipients of your scores the day before your test.

GRE Subject Test Score Scale

Every subject score is reported on a scale of 200 -990, in 10 point increments for every correct answer. But, Biology and Psychology are reported on a scale of 22-99, in 1 point increment for every correct answer.

Score Report

The official score report displayed in your ETS account will include

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Intended Graduate Major
  • Test dates
  • Test Scores
  • Authorized Score recipients
  • Cumulative Test  scores  recorded from the past 5 years

On the test day, after completion of the test and viewing your unofficial scores you are given an option to designate the scores to any of the four universities of your choice for free. 

After the test date, if you want to order any additional scorecards, you need to pay a fee of US$27 (approx. Rs. 1,865/-) per recipient.

Official Score Report that you want to send to Universities contains –

  • Contact Details (Name, Contact Number, Email Id, Address)
  • Intended Graduate Major
  • Test Scores

You will have the option to either send the most recent scores or all the scores of the past five years to the designated Institutions/Universities. The score report doesn’t include any information about the university you chose to send the report to and there won’t be any indication on the number of tests taken to date.

GRE Validity

GRE Test Scores are valid for five years from the day of your test administration. For example, if you have taken the test on 15th July 2019, then your test score is valid till 14th July 2024. This is applicable only for those who have taken the test after 01st July 2016.

General Test Exam Syllabus

There are three main segments

Analytical Writing

In the analytical writing section, you will be tested on your ability to effectively communicate complex ideas, support your ideas with proper reasons, observe the claims and collect evidence, sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion and control the elements of standard written English.

In this section, you will be given two tasks and you should provide focused responses for the given tasks. Remember that the tasks given are not to understand how well you know about that particular topic but to understand your power of expression.

Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning section has two sub-sections and these sections will have questions that will test your ability to read and understand the type of text and language used in academia. The questions under this section are divided into three different types;

  • Reading comprehension
  • Text completion
  • Sentence equivalence

In order to answer the questions in these sections, you should be able to understand the meaning of the words, relationship between the words and sentences and the concepts.

Topics that are covered under this segment are:

  • Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, basic sentence structure
  • Verbs and tenses
  • Idioms and its expressions
  • Pronoun and subject-verb agreements
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism
Quantitative Reasoning

This segment will have math questions of a high school level testing your fundamental knowledge on concepts in Algebra, Geometry, and Arithmetic. This is to assess your ability to grasp data, analyze and problem-solve.

In these two sections, there are four types of questions:

  • Quantitative Comparison
  • Multiple-Choice with One Correct Answer
  • Multiple-Choice with One or More Correct Answers
  • Numeric Entry Questions

In the ’Quantitative Comparison’ section, you are required to write a short explanation.  You will be asked to compare two quantities and choose one statement from the list of four answers that best fits and describes the comparison.

Topics that are covered under this segment

  • Maths Formulas List
  • Number properties
  • Order of operations
  • Percentage
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Profit and loss
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Permutation & combination
  • Linear equations
  • Quadratic equations
  • Sets Theory
  • Statistics: Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation
  • Powers and roots
  • Probability
  • Pipes, cisterns, work, time
  • Lines and angles
  • Triangles
  • Polygon
  • Quadrilateral
  • Circles
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Volume and surface area

GRE Subject Test syllabus

GRE Subject Test is to assess your ability in a specific field of study. Below are the subjects and their syllabus for that particular Subject GRE Test –


Approximately 190 Multiple-choice questions are asked related to Biology in this test.

The topics covered are:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Organismal Biology
  • Ecology and Evolution

Approximately 130 multiple-choice questions are asked related to chemistry in this test.

The topics covered are:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
Literature in English

Here approximately 230 questions are asked and these questions will be on various segments like poetry, drama, literary theory, criticism, short story and the history of the language.

Topics covered under this segment are:

  • Literary Analysis
  • Identification
  • Cultural and Historical Contexts
  • History and Theory of Literary Criticism 

66 multiple-choice questions are asked from the courses commonly offered and topics covered at the High-School level.

Topics covered under this segment are:

  • Algebra    
  • Calculus
  • Additional Topics 

100 Multiple-choice questions are asked in this subject test.

Topics covered under this segment are:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Optics and Wave Phenomena
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Special Relativity
  • Laboratory Methods

About 205 multiple-choice questions are asked here. Each question has five options and you need to select that one option you think is correct or best fit for the question.

Topics covered under this segment are:

  • Biological
  • Cognitive
  • Developmental
  • Social
  • Clinical
  • Measurement/Methodology/Other

How to Register for the GRE Test?

You can register for the GRE General Test in four different ways. The GRE Subject Test registration can be done either Online or by Mail Registration. However, the process remains the same.

Online Registration

You can register for your GRE exam online. For that, you need to create an ETS account for the same.  And fill in basic requirements like name, age, address, etc. This account is used to view your score report and send them to your chosen universities and colleges. Online registration allows you to pay through your credit and debit cards only.

Mail Registration

Download the application form and complete it. Mail the form to the address mentioned in the form along with the payment. You can make the payment via credit/debit card, money order or certified bank check. When you are applying through postal mail, make sure that you send the form at least three weeks prior to processing. You will receive a confirmation number, test date, and center via postal mail, email or fax. If you are applying from India, then the mailing address is

Prometric Testing Private Limited,

2nd Floor, DLF Infinity Tower A,

Sector-25, Phase-II, DLF City,

Gurgaon 122002, Haryana, India

Phone Registration

To register via phone, you need to call Regional Registration Center (RRC) (Phone Number: 91-124-4147700) at least two working days prior to your preferred test date. You need to provide them with your details and preferred test date. They will provide you with a confirmation number, test date and exam center on the same call. You can make the payment via Debit/Credit cards

Fax Registration

If you opt to register via fax, then you need to download the form and complete the same and fax it to 91-124-4147773 along with the payment. Ensure that you send it at least 7 days prior to the preferred test date.

GRE Centers in India

Usually, the GRE General Test can be given in two formats –

  • Computer-Based and 
  • Paper-Based.

In India, the GRE General Test can be given online only. GRE Subject Test is given in a paper-based manner only.

There are about 22 centers for the GRE General Test (online) and 7 centers for the GRE Subject Test (paper delivered) in India.

Computer-Based GRE General Test Centers in India:


1) Council for American Education

* A-260 (3rd Floor), Defence Colony, New Delhi, India

2) Merit

*A-9, Qutab Institutional Area, Near JNU, U.S.O Road, Shaheed Jit Singh Marg, New Delhi, India

3) CyberStation – CPS GLOBAL

*CPS Global, E-512. 3rd Floor Sector-7, Dwarka (Near -Ramphal Chowk), New Delhi, India


1) Prometric Testing Private Ltd

*6th Floor, Techniplex1 (Gate No.2), Goregaon (W), Ratnakar Bank Building, Balwa Group, Off Veer Savarkar Flyover Goregaon (W), Mumbai, India

2)Everonn Systems India Limited

* Marwah House, Saki Vihar Road, Saki Naka, Andheri East, Mumbai, India


Grad-Dreams Education Consulting Pvt Ltd

*205 – 206, 2nd Floor, Manish Plaza, Opposite Brahma Majestic, N.I.B.M Road, Kondhwa, Pune, India


1) Prometric Testing Private Ltd

*Unit #8,3rd Floor, Centennial Square, No 6A, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Kodambakkam, Chennai, India

2)Everonn Systems India Limited

*15, Jagannathan Road, Nungambakkam, 2nd Floor, Romar House, Chennai, India


1) Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd

* 3rd Floor Tower B Prestige Shanti Niketan, Whitefield, ITPL Road, South Taluk, Bangalore

2) IDomain Technologies

*No 65, First Floor, 2nd A–Cross, KHB Colony, Koramangala, 5th Block, Behind Infosys and Tavant Technologies Building, Opposite to Peas Park, Bangalore


Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd

*9th Floor, Unit -2, Kapil Towers IT Block, Survey No 115/1, IT Park, Opposite ICICI Bank Building, Nanakramguda, Serilingampaly, Mandal, Gachibowli, Hyderabad


Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd

* Millennium City, 9th Floor, Block DN-62, Sector V, Salt Lake, KOLKATA, India


Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd

*Iris Tech Park, Tower A, 2nd Floor, Sector 48 Sohna Road, Gurgaon, India


Saint Kabir Public School

*Sector 26 – Computer Lab, Chandigarh UT India 160019


Prometric Testing Private Limited

*5th Floor, Unit 501, Parshwanath Esquare, Prahladnagar Corporate Road, Prahladnagar, Satellite, Ahmedabad


ANCONS International

*#15, Sethuram Bldg, Ground Floor, Sundaresa Layout, Lane adj IOB Race Course Br., Trichy Road, Coimbatore



*5th Floor, Unit 501, Parshwanath Esquare, Prahladnagar Corporate Road, AHMEDABAD, India 3800051


MeritTrac Pvt Ltd

*3rd floor, Pramukh bazar, Bill Rd, Jalaram Nagar, Atladara, Vadodara India 390012


Prometric Testing Pvt. Ltd

*7th Floor, K.E.K Towers, Opposite Trivandrum Club, Thiruvananthapuram India 695010

Paper- Based Test GRE Subject Test Centers in India:


Ahmedabad International School, 10805.

Judges Bungalow Road, Opposite Rajpath Row Houses, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380054


Joseph’s Commerce College, 10044.

163, Brigade Rd, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560025


South India Textile Research Association, 10110.

13, 37, Avinashi Rd, TNHB Colony, Civil Aerodrome Post, Nehru Nagar West, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641014


Indian Institute Of Psychometry, 10097

Evergreen Plaza, 117, BT Rd, Dunlop, Saket Nagar, Bonhooghly Government Colony, Kolkata, West Bengal 700108


Mumbai Teacher’s Training College, 10091

MB Marg, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001


Michael’s Senior School, 10172.

The GRE is an essential exam for students wanting to study abroad. Your scores can help you open the doors to some of the leading universities in the world. Ubergrad offers a comprehensive AI-enabled GRE course to help you prepare. You can take a free trial of our GRE course here. 

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