Streamlined GRE: What to Expect on the Test

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) went through a major update to the GRE General Test. The GRE is now significantly shorter, taking less than 2 hours to complete. This revamped GRE is designed to be the most efficient option yet for graduate, business, and law school admissions. Here’s a breakdown of the changes:

  • Shorter Test: The streamlined format cuts testing time in half, making the experience less stressful and more manageable.
  • Maintained Quality: Don’t worry, the shorter test doesn’t compromise quality. ETS assures test takers and institutions that the updated GRE continues to deliver the same valid and reliable scores you’ve come to expect.
  • Faster Scores: Official scores will now be delivered in just 8-10 days, allowing you to submit applications and meet deadlines with less waiting.
  • Streamlined Content: The revision includes the removal of the “Analyze an Argument” task in the Analytical Writing section, a reduction in the number of questions in both Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections, and the elimination of the unscored section.

These changes mark just the beginning of a series of planned updates for the GRE General Test. Let’s review what the GRE is and what’s its covering.

The GRE is designed to assess your readiness for the rigors of graduate programs. It focuses on foundational skills developed over time, rather than specific areas of study. Here’s a closer look at the three key areas the GRE measures:

  • Verbal Reasoning: This section tests your ability to analyze text, identify key points, understand different meanings (literal, figurative, etc.), and draw conclusions from what you read. Essentially, it gauges how well you can interpret and reason through written information.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: This section focuses on basic math skills and concepts you’ll likely remember from high school or early college – algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis. The key here is applying these concepts to solve problems and interpret quantitative information. Good news: you’ll have an on-screen calculator to assist you.
  • Analytical Writing: This section evaluates your critical thinking and analytical writing abilities. You’ll be tasked with crafting essays that demonstrate your capacity to articulate complex ideas clearly, support them with evidence, and maintain a focused, organized discussion. This section is essentially a writing sample for grad schools to assess your written communication skills.
Test structure of GRE
Test structure of GRE

Remember, the GRE is all about showcasing the long-term development of your critical thinking, analytical writing, and reasoning skills. By understanding the test content and what each section measures, you can approach your GRE prep with a focused strategy and conquer those grad school applications.