Updated: Apr 20
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a vital entrance exam for students pursuing postgraduate degrees in the USA, Canada, and other countries. Candidates can now register for the GRE at home as a safer alternative to testing centre-delivered exams during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRE pattern includes three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Each section is scored on a scale of 130 to 170, contributing to the overall score range of 260-340. Top universities require a minimum GRE score of 150 to 160 for both verbal and quant sections, while the GRE fee for 2023 in India is INR 17519.68 ($213) and $220 (INR 18,207.24) for other parts of the world. Top business schools worldwide now accept GRE scores for MBA programs alongside GMAT scores. Candidates can take the GRE General Test at any time, and the GRE Subject Test dates are fixed in September, October, and April.
What is the GRE Exam?
The GRE Exam, conducted by ETS, is a standardised test accepted by thousands of universities and colleges worldwide for assessing the overall academic readiness of a candidate wanting to attend graduate school. The test evaluates a candidate's analytical writing, quantitative ability, and verbal reasoning skills. At the same time, the GRE Subject Test evaluates a candidate's proficiency in Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. GRE test scores are accepted at graduate programs worldwide, including business and law schools. Candidates can access GRE test papers and customised study plans for GRE 2023. The GRE fee is US $228, and candidates opting for the GRE Subject Test must pay a fee of US $150.
Reason to take the GRE
The GRE is a standardised test for students seeking admission to graduate programs, MS courses, MBA courses, professional degree programs, or thesis work. Conducted by ETS, the GRE General Test evaluates the candidate's analytical writing, quantitative ability, and verbal reasoning skills. It is widely accepted by universities and colleges worldwide, and the scores are available within 10 to 15 days from the test date. Moreover, the GRE scores are also accepted by top business schools instead of the traditional GMAT exam and a growing number of U.S. law schools as an alternative to the LSAT. With this comprehensive guide, candidates can access GRE test papers and a customised study plan and pay the GRE fee of US $228 or the GRE Subject test fee of US $150 to appear for the exam.
How to Register for GRE 2023
Candidates planning to take the GRE Exam 2023 must complete the GRE registration process to secure a test date. The GRE registration process can be done online, by phone, or by mail.
To begin, candidates must - Create a My GRE Account on the official website, ETS.org/GRE, and fill in their details, such as name, date of birth, address, and communication preferences.
They can then choose between the GRE General Test or GRE Subject Test and select a suitable GRE centre and date.
The candidate can pay the GRE fee of US $205 via credit or debit card.
Alternatively, candidates can register for the GRE Exam 2023 by calling 1-800-473-2255.
GRE Fees Increased for Indian Students in November 2022
Starting from November 1, 2022, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the conducting body of the GRE, has increased the GRE fee for Indian students from US $213 to US $228. This increase applies to the GRE General Test and the GRE General Test at Home. Indian students will now have to pay US $228 or its equivalent in Indian rupees, which is ₹18,863.31 INR. The GRE Subject Test fee remains unchanged at US $150. Stay updated with the latest changes in GRE fees to avoid any last-minute surprises.
GRE Fee 2023: How Much Does It Cost to Take the GRE?
As of 2023, the GRE registration fee is around $228, about INR 18,845.00 for Indian students. But that's not all - additional fees for other GRE services, such as rescheduling, changing exam centres, etc. Here's a breakdown of the GRE fees for different services:
GRE Exam Fees
₹18,845.00 (US $228)
GRE Rescheduling Fee
₹4,132.68 (US $50)
Request to Change GRE Exam Center
₹4,132.68 (US $50)
GRE Score Reinstatement Fee
₹4,132.68 (the US $50)
GRE Cancellation Fee (at least four days before the test date & 10 days for individuals in Mainland China)
50% of the Registration Fee is Refunded
Additional GRE Score Report
₹2,231.73 (US $27) each
Note that ETS offers a GRE fee waiver of 50% for candidates facing financial hardship. You can find more information and the GRE Fee Reduction Programme application form.
GRE Eligibility Criteria
If you're interested in taking the GRE, ETS has no specific eligibility criteria. Regardless of age or educational background, anyone can register for the exam. However, if you're applying for a master's program, you must take the GRE. You only need to bring your original passport as identification to the testing facility. As of July 1, 2021, applicants can also use their Aadhar Card as part of their identity documentation when registering for the GRE.
Computer-Based and Paper Based: The GRE is available in computer-based and paper-based formats, each with different exam patterns. The computer-based GRE pattern is adaptive, whereas the paper-based exam is not. The GRE General Test comprises three sections: GRE analytical writing assessment, GRE verbal reasoning, and GRE quantitative reasoning, each with two subsections. The total duration of the GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes.
The GRE analytical writing assessment is always the first section of the test and includes two questions: Analyzing an Issue and Analyzing an Argument. Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete two sections of GRE Analytical Writing, with 30 minutes allotted. The section evaluates the candidate's ability to analyse the logical soundness of an argument. For further practice, candidates can refer to GRE AWA Practice Papers.
The GRE verbal reasoning section evaluates the candidate's ability to analyse written material and interpret data. This section can be challenging due to its tricky question types. There are three types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence. The GRE verbal syllabus includes Verb Tense, Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions, Pronoun Agreement, and Subject-Verb Agreement. Candidates have 60 minutes to attempt 40 questions. Further practice can be achieved through GRE Verbal Practice Papers.
The GRE quantitative reasoning section can significantly impact the candidate's scorecard with some training. The GRE quant syllabus comprises Quantitative Comparison, Problem Solving, and Data Interpretation questions. GRE quantitative reasoning includes questions modelled in real-life settings or entirely in mathematical settings. Data interpretation questions are exhibited in tables, graphs, or other data displays. Candidates have 70 minutes to attempt 40 questions. Further practice can be achieved through GRE Quant Practice Papers.
Compared to the Power Prep series, the GRE verbal section is relatively more accessible, allowing candidates to score higher. However, the first part of the GRE quant section is more complex than Power Prep's first part, and the last part of the Powerprep quant section is more challenging than what the actual test offers. It is essential to note that the GRE quant section may appear easy but is, in fact, tricky, and the experimental quant section is even more challenging.
The GRE offers two exam formats - computer-based and paper-based. The paper-based test format is ideal for candidates who prefer a more traditional approach to testing. The table below provides the details of the GRE paper-based exam:
Number of Questions
One "Analyse an Issue" task and one "Analyse 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
35 minutes per section
Unidentified Unscored Section
Identified Unscored Section
In addition to the GRE General Test, ETS also offers the GRE Subject Test. This test assesses a candidate's knowledge of specific subjects, including Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, English Literature, Psychology, and Biology. Aspirants take GRE Subject Tests to demonstrate their expertise in a particular subject and enhance their graduate school applications. ETS provides GRE practice books for each subject to aid candidates in their preparation. The GRE Subject Test is only available in a paper-based format and is offered three times a year - in September, October, and April. The test lasts 2 hours and 50 minutes, and scores are measured on a scale of 200-990 with 10-point increments. Many candidates pursuing higher studies at the postgraduate level take the GRE Subject Test to showcase their subject-specific skills.
When Can You Access Your GRE Total Score?
Your official GRE scores will be available on the GRE website in your account 10-15 days after your test date. They will also be sent to the selected universities within three weeks of your test date. ETS will send an email to notify you when your official GRE scores are available in your account. If you take the GRE at Home, your scores will be open 10-15 days after the test date.
After completing the GRE test, candidates will receive their raw scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
However, GRE will include the analytical writing section using human scoring in the official GRE score report. The raw scores reflect the candidate's performance during the exam and are almost identical to the official scores. If a candidate is unsatisfied with their performance, they may cancel their score. No official scores will be recorded or sent to universities in such cases.
GRE Score Range
The GRE comprises three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores are measured on a scale of 130-170, with 1 point increment. Analytical Reasoning scores range from 0-6 with a half-point increment. Any question that remains un-attempted will be recorded as a No Score (NS). According to ETS data collected between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019, the mean scores for the GRE General Test are as follows:
Number of Test Takers
GRE Subject Test scores are measured on a scale of 200-990 with 10-point increments, except for Biology and Psychology, which have a subscore range of 20-99 with 1 point increment. Here are the mean scores for the GRE Subject Test, based on data collected by ETS from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019:
Number of Test Takers
Literature in English
GRE General Test Score
Accessing your GRE test scores is easy. Log in to your GRE account with your credentials and view your scores. The total GRE score range is 260-340, with a maximum GRE score of 340. The Verbal and Quantitative sections comprise the composite score, with the AWA section score presented separately.
Understanding GRE Scores: Subject Test, Validity, Cut Off and Score Select Option
The GRE Subject Test is scored on a scale of 200 to 990, with an increment of 10 points. But how long is a GRE score valid? It is valid for 5 years from the day of the exam. Although there is no fixed GRE cutoff, colleges and courses that accept GRE scores have their specific cutoff, which can be found on their official websites. Aspiring students seeking admission to top graduate colleges should aim for a higher margin.
Additionally, ETS has launched the Score Select option, which allows students to choose and send their best scores from multiple GRE tests to their designated institutions. This way, their best scores are considered, improving their chances of getting admission. More information about the Score Select option can be found on the official website.
What is GRE Score Select?
The GRE Score Select option, launched by ETS, allows test takers to send their best scores to designated institutions. By doing this, only the best scores are sent to universities, improving the chances of admission. What is a Good GRE Score?
When applying for MS courses in the US, remember that colleges don't have a minimum cutoff for admission. However, knowing the average GRE scores across top US universities is essential. Achieving scores within the good GRE score range can put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but applying to highly competitive programs might be less advantageous.
Suitable GRE Score Range:
GRE Verbal Section: 152 - 158
GRE Quantitative Section: 153 - 158
GRE Analytical Writing: 4.0
What is an Average GRE Score?
The average GRE score varies depending on the university/program admission guidelines. To understand what an average GRE score might look like, check out the table below.
Average GRE Score:
GRE Verbal Section: 149.97
GRE Quantitative Section: 153 - 158
GRE Analytical Writing: 4.0
How to Improve Your GRE Score?
If you want to improve your GRE scores, you can use several strategies and tips. Below are some effective ways to enhance your performance on the GRE.
GRE Score Report: What’s Included?
The GRE score report provides candidates with valuable information, including their
Contact details, Date of birth, Gender, Preferred graduate major, GRE dates, GRE test score, percentile score, and Authorised score recipients.
How to Send GRE Scores?
After receiving their GRE scores, candidates can use the Score Select option to send their test scores to graduate schools where they want to pursue a course. The Score Select option is available for both General and Subject Tests. Candidates can send their scores to universities based on the following options:
Most Recent: Send your scores from your most recent test.
All: Send your scores from all test administrations in the last five years.
Any: Send your scores from one or as many test administrations as you like from the previous five years.
After the test day, a fee is required to send your scores. Candidates have complete control over which scores are sent to universities, giving them the flexibility to choose their best scores to enhance their chances of admission.
The GRE Cutoffs
Understanding the GRE cutoff is crucial before starting your exam preparation, as it varies depending on the college and program you choose. For instance, top universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of California - Berkeley have a GRE cutoff range of 150 to 165. The GRE has three sections, namely:
GRE Verbal (score scale of 130-170)
GRE Quantitative Reasoning (score scale of 130-170)
GRE Analytical Writing (score scale of 0-5).
To secure admission to the leading US universities for MS or PhD programs, candidates should aim for an overall score of 320+ and a GRE AWA score of 4.5 or higher. Here are some of the GRE cutoff scores of the top universities:
Verbal (Average Score)
Quant (Average Score)
Imperial College, London
London School of Economics
Illinois Urbana Champaign
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Virginia
University of Texas Austin
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
University of Toronto
Arizona State University
University of California – San Diego
University of Wisconsin – Madison
University of Washington
University of Connecticut
Ohio State University
University of Maryland College
University of California Irvine
John Hopkins University
University of Cincinnati
University of Melbourne
Tips for the GRE
To perform well on the GRE, candidates pursue various classroom or in-person courses for GRE preparation, typically taking 2-4 months before the scheduled test date. To achieve their desired score, candidates should focus on the following GRE preparation tips:
Familiarize yourself with the GRE format, structure, and content by taking a free practice test provided by ETS.
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses in each section and create a study plan accordingly.
Utilize various online resources like GRE prep books, practice tests, flashcards, and vocabulary apps to prepare for the exam.
Take mock tests frequently to track your progress and identify improvement areas.
Learn time management skills to manage your time effectively during the exam.
Focus on your weak areas and practice regularly to improve your score.
Work on your vocabulary, which is crucial in the Verbal Reasoning section.
Practice writing essays under time pressure to improve your writing skills and increase your chances of scoring high in Analytical Writing.
Seek guidance from a GRE tutor or enrol in a GRE prep course if you need extra help.
Stay motivated and confident throughout your preparation and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
When will the GRE be held in 2023?
The GRE is conducted year-round so that you can choose a convenient date per your schedule.
How much does it cost to take the GRE in 2023?
The GRE fee is $205 globally and may vary slightly depending on location. Additional fees may apply if you choose certain services, such as sending your scores to more than four schools.
How many times can I take the GRE in 2023?
You can take the GRE once every 21 days, up to five times within 12 months. However, it is recommended to check the individual policies of the universities or colleges you are applying to, as some institutions may have specific guidelines.
How long is the GRE in 2023?
The total testing time for the GRE is about 3 hours and 45 minutes, including one optional break after the third section.