Know about the GRE pattern for the General and Subject tests!

Graduate Record Examination or GRE is the exam conducted across the globe every year to enroll the candidates in higher education. The test is conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS) which is considered as the standardized test and the results are used by the institutions and schools for graduate, PG, and other programs.

Before knowing about the examination process, it is necessary to know about the version of it. The GRE is of two type’s namely general and subject tests. The exam is conducted in two formats: paper and computer-based. Although these two formats a few similarities, the exam pattern varies between these two. Further, there is also a paper delivery option for taking up the GRE test which is not available for everyone and is offered in places where a computer version is not possible.

Examination pattern

Writing the exam is a stressful job with the given duration and length of the question paper to be finished before the time. Thus many coaching centers teach with the tricks of solving the question papers and also teach the candidates about time management.  

The paper has three main sections – analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The time for the examination is three and a half hours altogether and for the computer-based test, it is ten minutes extra.

GRE general exam pattern for paper-based format

The exam contains two subsections under each category. The analytical writing section has two tasks and that should be completed within 60 min (1 hr), verbal reasoning also contains two sections with 50 questions with a time limit of 60 min and finally quantitative reasoning section also contains two sections that need to be completed in 70 min.

GRE paper-based exams are conducted only 3-4 times in a year. The duration of this offline exam is for 3 hours 30 minutes with 10 minutes break in between.

GRE general exam pattern for computer-based format

In the case of computer based GRE exam pattern, analytical writing has only one section with two tasks that should be completed in 60 min, while the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections are separated into two sub-sections with 40 questions altogether.

Other than the above two subsections, the computer-based has few main sections with two variables and is needed to take after completion of the quantitative reasoning section. Of course, these two (unscored and research section) will not be considered for the final scores.  

The computer-based test is conducted across the year and the maximum limit of attempting the test per year is 5 with the minimum duration of retaking the test is 21 days and the time of 3 hrs 45 min that includes the verification time.

GRE subject test pattern

If the candidate wanted to pursue higher education in a specialized field, the GRE subject test is available. The examination tests the candidate’s knowledge on the particular subject and these are available for:

  • English literature
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

The entire duration of the subject exam is for 2 hrs 50 minutes together. 


GRE is the test that allows candidates to study abroad and the scores are accepted globally. Submitting these scores, candidates can study in top global universities. In the GRE test candidates have to show better knowledge and skills that are required to claim their position in the top universities or colleges across the globe.

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