Graduate Record Exam (Gre)

If you are thinking about going to graduate or business school, you have a lot of decisions to make beforehand. What school’s program will best train you for the career you want? Will you attend part-time or full-time? What kind of degree will you pursue? Fortunately, one decision you will not have to make is whether to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

The GRE is required for candidates seeking admission to graduate or business schools, and you will need to take it if you want to pursue higher education in these programs. Admissions programs will consider your GRE score, along with your undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and personal essay, when deciding whether to admit you.

The GRE was created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and measures three abilities: verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. In a nutshell, it measures your reading, writing, and math skills.

  • Verbal Reasoning
    Questions in the verbal reasoning section reflect the kind of thinking you will do in graduate or business school and assess your ability to read and apply your critical thinking skills not related to any particular field of study. The questions for each section tend to emphasize date interpretation and are based on real-life scenarios that you are likely to encounter in graduate or business school.
  • Analytical Writing
    This section will measure your ability to use complex ideas clearly and effectively. You will be asked to support your ideas with examples, carry on a rational discussion about a subject, and assess the validity of claims and evidence.
  • Quantitative Reasoning
    Questions in this section will measure your ability to solve problems using the basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. Fortunately, the GRE was recently revised so that test-takers now have access to a calculator. This was so the test would measure your problem-solving ability, not just your ability to compute.

The GRE is offered at about 700 locations worldwide in 160 countries. You can find the nearest test center at the ETS website (www.ets.org). At most testing centers, you can expect to take the GRE on the computer. Some areas only have paper-based tests, but formats such as braille, audio, and large print are also available. The test costs $160-$190, depending on where you take it, along with additional fees for late registration, walk-in testing, and rescheduling. So that the cost of the test is not a barrier to graduate study, the ETS has a fee reduction program that will assist you if you cannot pay the full amount.

Graduate Record Exam (Gre)

If you intend to apply to a specific school using your GRE scores, it is important to find out when the school needs your scores. Different schools have different admissions deadlines. If you are planning to study internationally, it is best to schedule and take your test well in advance of those deadlines. This will give you time to prepare for the test and ensure that your score reaches the admissions panel before the deadline.

There are several ways to prepare for the GRE. You can hire a tutor, attend an English course designed specifically for the test, purchase a study guide, or use the free test preparation materials created by the ETS. Preparation is especially important now that the ETS has revised the GRE to reflect more real-life scenarios.

You will have a little less than four hours to complete the test. When you are finished, you will have the option of canceling your score. If you had a particularly “off” day or do not feel like you did well on a section, canceling your score may be prudent. You must cancel scores for every section of the test, however, not just the ones with which you struggled. Whether you can cancel your score and retake the test in time for the new score to be reported to your educational institution will depend on the school’s admissions deadline. You may need the score reported even if you are not confident about your results.

Most people who take the GRE have specific graduate or business schools in mind. Even if you are unsure if you want to pursue graduate studies, it is a good idea to take the test to give yourself more options later. The ETS also offers a free GRE Search Service. This is a database of nearly half-million graduate students that can be searched by graduate and business school recruiters. If the recruiter thinks that you match what his institution is looking for in a student, you will receive information on the school’s programs, admission requirements, and scholarships.

A graduate or business degree can offer you a significant advantage in your career. The first step to achieving that goal is to take the GRE test. With some preparation and a few test-taking strategies, you can earn a GRE score that will open doors not only to some of the best graduate programs, but to a fulfilling, lucrative career, too.

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