GRE Test-Structure

  • Connector.

    Quantitative Reasoning

    Measures problem-solving ability using basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.

  • Connector.

    Verbal Reasoning

    Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.

  • Connector.

    Analytical Writing

    Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.

Test Time

The overall testing time for the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.


  • Measure

  • Number of Questions

  • Allotted Time

  • Analytical Writing
    (One section with two separately timed tasks)
  • One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task
  • 30 minutes per task

  • Verbal Reasoning
    (Two sections)
  • 20 questions per section
  • 30 minutes per section

  • Quantitative Reasoning
    (Two sections)
  • 20 questions per section
  • 30 minutes per section

  • Unscored
  • Varies
  • Varies

An unidentified unscored section that does not count toward your score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the unscored section are being tried out either for possible use in future tests or to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores from earlier editions.

  • Research
  • Varies
  • Varies

An identified research section that does not count toward your score may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for ETS research purposes.

Section Order

The Analytical Writing section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order; therefore, you should treat each section as if it counts toward your score.


The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are section-level adaptive, meaning that the first section of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures spans a range of difficulty levels, from easy to difficult. The first section is assembled such that, overall, the first section is of average difficulty. The difficulty level of the second section of each of the measures depends on your performance on the first section. For example, if for the Quantitative Reasoning measure you do very well on the first section, the second section of the Quantitative Reasoning measure will be at a higher level of difficulty. The scoring for the Quantitative Reasoning measure takes into consideration the total number of questions answered correctly across the two sections, as well as the difficulty level of the section (similar process for the Verbal Reasoning measure).

Test Design Features

The advanced adaptive design of the GRE revised General Test allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include:

  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • “Mark” and “Review” features to tag questions, so you can skip them and return later if you have time remaining in the section
  • The ability to change/edit answers within a section
  • An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section