Types of GRE Test: Know Different Types of GRE Tests to Study Abroad

What is a GRE Test?

Many students today aspire to go abroad for their studies. However, going abroad is a challenging task always. Most of the time requires taking up an entrance or a qualification exam to get admission to the best universities. GRE or Graduate Record Examination is one such examination that students take up to go abroad for studies. This test assesses the analytical writing, quantitative and verbal reasoning skills of the students. The test was conducted by Educational Testing Service(ETS). If you are looking for more details such as types of GRE test, syllabus, and many more, this article will help you. 

ETS and GRE Test:

ETS is an organization that is committed to improving quality and equity in the field of education. They have been in the field for about 70 years. Apart from GRE, they also conduct other examinations such as PRAXIS, TOEFL, TOIEC, and many others. ETS has branches and offices in the US as well as around the world. Along with the exams, ETS also offers many solutions such as Educator licensure, higher education, and K 12 student programs. Since ETS offers a lot of examinations, it also helps students who are confused to choose the right test suitable for them. Their website also offers the opportunity for students to practice for their exams. 

Types of GRE Test:

There are two types of GRE tests when it comes to admission. They are

  • GRE General Test
  • GRE Subject tests

GRE General Tests:

General tests are those that are taken only once to enter a particular field of study. To put it simply, students need to take only one test to study in the field they like such as business, or law school and to become a graduate. The General test assesses the verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning of the students.

GRE Subject Tests:

The subject tests assess the knowledge of students in one particular field of study. These subject tests are for those who are UG majors in a particular subject or with an extensive background in the following subjects.

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics 
  • Physics 
  • Psychology

General things to know about the types of GRE test:


General Test

Subject Test

When to take?

Can be taken every 21 days throughout the year

Conducted only 3 times a year – April, September, and October.


$228 for India and $220 for other regions of the world


Test Location

Can be taken both at home if the requirements are met or in the official test conducting centre

Has to be taken only in their official centres where the test is conducted


Before registering for the exam one has to be clear about the following important points.

  • Policies and procedures which will vary according to the types of GRE test
  • Schedule of the test for both general and subject tests
  • Testing options and testing centres
  • ID requirements – They vary based on the citizenship and the country where the students are taking their test. 

The above information can be known from the official website itself. After knowing these follow these steps to get registered:

  • Go to the official website of ETS and register by providing the details.
  • Select the type of GRE test you want to take whether subject or general.
  • Provide your academic details and select the data and the exam location. 
  • Finally proceed to pay.
  • Students can also register over the phone, mail, and fax.


There are no particular age limits to take up the test. The eligibility criteria vary according to the university, and the field of study the students are going to take. It is important for students to check the university eligibility guidelines too.

Types of GRE Test – General test:

As mentioned earlier, this type contains three main sections. And can be taken both as computer-based tests or paper-based tests. 




Score range

Analytical writing

1 section, 2 tasks, 60 mins

2 sections, 2 tasks, 60 mins


Verbal reasoning

2 sections, 40 questions, 60 mins

2 sections, 40 questions, 70 mins


Quantitative reasoning

2 sections, 40 questions, 70 mins

2 sections, 40 questions, 80 mins


Types of GRE Test – Subject Test:

The coring varies depending on the subject taken. 

Preparation for the exam:

General Test:

The ETS website itself offers a variety of tools and resources for low cost and some for free for the students to prepare. They also conduct a free virtual event which offers more details about the test as well as the test tools. Moreover, the test tools are available for also disabled persons on this website. Many sample question papers as well as an overview will be provided. 

1. Verbal reasoning:

It measures your ability to analyze and synthesize information from written material, and recognise relationships between words and concepts, and among component parts of sentences. The verbal reasoning part contains three sections.

  1. Reading comprehension
  2. Text completion
  3. Sentence equivalent

2. Quantitative reasoning:

This part assesses the basic mathematical skills of the candidates. Along with that it also tests the candidate’s understanding of elementary mathematical concepts and the ability to solve problems and reason quantitatively. A basic on-screen calculator will be provided during the test. 

3. Analytical writing:

This portion doesn’t assess any specific content knowledge. It only assesses the critical thinking and writing skills of the candidate. It contains two writing tasks. They are

  • Analyze an Issue talk
  • Analyze an argument talk

 A basic word processor developed by ETS will be provided to the students during the exam with the basic functions.

Other preparation materials:

  • POWER PREP Practice tests
  • A free 2-hour prep session
  • 5 Test Preparation videos
  • Other books and services

Free materials for GRE general tests:

  • Math Review
  • Khan Academy Instructional videos
  • Math conventions

Subject Tests:

They offer free official practice books in each subject such as chemistry, maths, physics, and psychology to students. The total duration of this GRE test is 2 hours and 50 minutes. The scores of the subject tests are calculated on a scale of 200 to 990. Make sure to know your subject well and be thorough with the syllabus.

Tips to take up the exam:

  • Know that there is only total duration, not section-based timings. Therefore, understanding that all questions are of equal value is important. 
  • When you want to change an answer, make sure to erase it completely on the answer sheet and mark it properly. 
  • There are no negative markings for the answers. So make sure not to skip any answer just because you don’t know the answer. 
  • Answers should be recorded in the answer sheet that is provided and the answers marked in the test sheet won’t be counted.
  • Try to fill in your answer while going rather than waiting till the end of the exam. 
  • Selecting proper study materials and having a study plan is important to do well in the exam.

Other things to know about the types of GRE tests:

  • In the general and the subject tests, the fees may vary and many charges may be applicable. For the method of payment, one has to refer to the official website of the ETS. 
  • ETS also offers a fee reduction program for those who are unemployed. The eligibility for this program can be known from their official website. 
  • Gaining a good GRE score can also make up for low academic performance in some universities. 
  • The GRE test score is valid for a period of 5 years and is accepted in more than 160 countries. 
  • The results of the test will be announced within 10 to 15 days usually. 

Book Recommendations for GRE Preparation:

  • Official GRE Super Powerback, 2nd edition
  • Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus 2023
  • Manhattan Prep’s 5lb book of GRE Practice problems
  • GRE Prep by Magoosh


GRE is one of the most widely used admission tests accepted by many universities. Moreover, free study materials are also available on the official website of ETS to help students worldwide. A good score on GRE is essential to get admission into a good university as well as for getting scholarships. A high score on GRE indicates your readiness to take up the graduate program. At present, more than 1200 business schools and many master’s programs are accepting GRE scores for admissions. Good preparation is essential as it is one of the most competitive exams in the world. 


1. What is the difference between a GRE subject and a general test?

The subject test assesses the student’s knowledge in one particular field. Whereas the general test assesses Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and many more aspects of the students.

2. Can I enter law school by taking the GRE test?

Yes, many law schools accept GRE test qualifications. Moreover, American Bar Association approves GRE scores for law school admissions.

3. Is GRE the toughest of all exams?

While considering GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, GRE is considered the toughest.

4. Is there any alternative for GRE to study abroad?

Many universities accept relevant examinations such as LSAT for law schools, GMAT for management programs, and MCAT for medical programs. 

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