ETS GRE Preparation Guide: Exam Format, Syllabus, Best Books for Beginners


What is GRE? The full form of GRE is
‘Graduate Record Examinations’. It’s a standardized test conducted by ETS
Educational Testing Services. ETS GRE scores are accepted by most of the top graduate level schools for master’s degree programs like the popular Master
of Science degree it’s gone through a lot of changes over the years
ETS also offers GRE subject tests in various areas we’ll skip the subjects
and focus on the GRE general test the only eligibility requirement for GRE
is the document required to prove your identity in India you’ll need a valid
passport you’ll have to get your original passport and not photocopies
which clearly shows your full name photograph and signature no other
documentation like a birth certificate or an international driving license can
be used as an alternate identity proof they are very strict about this
apart from this eligibility requirement ETS does not set any age qualification
or timing related prerequisites however there will be a range of eligibility
criteria set by universities that accept GRE scores for each of their programs
they may have a minimum age experience and qualification related filter unlike
many entrance exams that have a fixed date there are no specific dates for the
GRE exam you can take it any time of the year by fixing an appointment with the
closest GRE exam centre but with this flexibility there’s another issue during
the peak application season that’s generally around August to
December it may be difficult for you to get an appointment in your preferred
exam centre you will be forced to book a day and time at another centre that may
not be close to your residence this makes it important to plan your GRE
preparation schedule and test dates well in advance you can take the GRE general
test once every 21 days and up to five times in a continuous rolling 12 month
period you can find the test centre locations by visiting this site once you
select the country and city from the drop-down list
you will see the exact address of the test centre and the seat availability on
different dates you’ll also know if the center offers computer delivered or
paper delivered tests once you’ve made a selection you can register for the GRE
test on the same site but don’t rush into this step till you have prepared
well and a fairly certain of being able to cross the minimum GRE score you have
set for yourself the registration fee to take the GRE is
205 dollars in most countries with the exception of Australia China Nigeria and
Turkey this is cheaper than the 250 dollar fee that you have to pay for the
GMAT. ETS is also willing to be flexible on the GRE test fee for test takers who
can prove their financial hardship if you want to change your center or
reschedule the test there’s an extra charge of 50 dollars the GRE is a
generalized test that isn’t related to any particular discipline or field it
has been designed to evaluate skills that you’ve already picked up over the
years this allows a wide range of universities to use it to benchmark
applicants from diverse backgrounds applying to a large variety of degrees
in the areas of business Arts and Humanities and social physical life
sciences if you want to look at the overall GRE exam pattern it has three
sections analytical writing verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning the structure of the computer delivered tests is as follows the total time for the test is around
three hours and 45 minutes you will get a 10-minute break after the third
section the unscored and research questions are experimental questions
that are not considered in your final score the paper delivered test is
similar in format but it doesn’t have the experimental questions so the total
time is around 15 minutes lesser the analytical writing section tests your
ability to analyze facts dissect arguments judge the presented evidence
and put forth your views in the most convincing and structured manner here’s
a typical example of an issue task question that you might see on the test Try the free online GRE essay grader on the
MBA Crystal Ball website. We’ll share the link in the description below the verbal
reasoning section checks your capacity to understand the content author’s
perspectives and intentions prioritize the points made and connect the dots
even if they may not necessarily be documented in a coherent manner this is
the tricky section for non-native English speakers quantitative reasoning
is where your comfort level with numbers and quantitative data is tested you’ll
have to understand the problem and use models and mathematical formula from
geometry algebra or arithmetic to solve them the good news is that you will have
access to an online or an actual calculator depending on whether you are
taking the computer or paper-based test so there’s no complex mental arithmetic
to be done following are some of the GRE syllabus topics you can expect in the
quantitative section the GRE syllabus for the verbal section
includes basic grammar rules for your reference here’s a list of the
average GRE scores for MS degrees in USA keep in mind that the score you’ll need
also depends on the area of specialization and if you are targeting
the top universities you’ll need to aim much higher than this average here’s a
quick look at the average GRE scores for Harvard Stanford MIT and other top
universities if you are applying for an MS in computer science the ETS GRE website offers plenty of
free and paid GRE preparation material this includes downloadable PDF files and
software you’ll also find many independent test prep companies such as
Kaplan, Barron’s, GRE Edge and Magoosh that provide GRE preparation help the
GRE study material can help you get an overview of the concepts practice
questions and sample GRE exams the best GRE book is the official guide to the
GRE make sure you get the latest edition in the description below we’ll share
some more links related to the best GRE books free online resources to learn how
to improve your GRE vocabulary using word lists and a list of free GRE
practice tests. A high GRE score is always desirable and can get you partial and full scholarships from your dream college
however most international applicants will struggle to get there but all is
not lost if you aren’t exactly a GRE topper if
you can manage your MS applications well you may be able to cross the hurdle and
get an admit from the best universities abroad like Harvard MIT Stanford and many
others after you have a GRE score if you need help with your applications get in
touch with MBA Crystal Ball our team of top MS admission consultants
can help you get into your dream universities hopefully with a scholarship. Good luck with the GRE!

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24 thoughts on “ETS GRE Preparation Guide: Exam Format, Syllabus, Best Books for Beginners”

  1. Sameer Kamat says:

    Got questions about your international study plans? Paste your question below along with some profile details. We'd be happy to share some thoughts.

  2. rama khiani says:

    For working in private equity in u.s.v should do m.b.a.or finance already equity 4yexp n MBA from I I M Shillong please ans sir

  3. Abid Ahmed says:

    Hi Sir,


    I am currently pursuing a 2 year mba 2018-2020 and currently in my 3rd semester. I am not happy with the course because it is very theoretical and has outdated papers. Also the placements are not upto my expectations. 

    I have a work experience of 8 years with a ites company as a Sr.Associate prior to joining the MBA program. 

    Please advise the options available for a better ranked MBA now given my current standing,also there is a gap in my employment from 2016 to 2019.

    Thanking you

  4. Youtube Trend says:

    Hello sir my name is hamza from Pakistan sir i will complete my degree in some time and my goal is mba from germany
    sir i am doing business from when i was 18 years old as well i am studying.
    How can i make it into work experience for MBA admission?
    is gmat is really necessary if yes when should start preparation before admission to secure good marks? should i do self study or should i do in some coaching academy?

  5. xaka gaming says:

    Sir, what if i do MBA from any cheap universities or institute but i push all of my hard work in it….and i learn mba finance by myself by doing hardwork….then….can i get a better job ..or better salary….or can i go abroad ….will my mba from that university be valuable …or not…will abroad and company see my tallents or will they see the university????????

  6. Abhisek Mallick says:

    I have 4+ years of experience in IT as software analyst. Academic 82 in graduation (civil engineer KIIT). 75 in 12 and 87 in 10. I am planning to give GMAT. What are my chances abroad and in India.

  7. Dhruval Mehta says:

    Respected sir,
    I am Dhruval Mehta.
    Now I am in 3rd Year of Engineering and I want to do master in Automation as well as want to do in MBA but maybe it is not possible to do both at the same time. so I required help from you that is there any option to earn Management skill as well as a leadership skill?
    Thanking You!

  8. Gopichand Akula says:

    hiii sir…my quirey is as a graduate can i join MBA directly in any abroad universities or should i have any working experience?

  9. Biki Das says:

    Dear sir, 

    I am a student of Engineering in My Bsc honours level at 4rth yr. If I want to get admit in MBA program in Canada with scholarship how can I manage that? What will be the Requirement?  Isnt there any GMAT needed fo the scholarship.Please reply.

  10. venkatesh kumar Videla says:

    Hi sir,
    I have 3.6 years of work experience in academics are b tech(69%),12th 91 and 10th 85.
    I am planning to do MBA in isb or abroad.currently preparing for GRE ,expecting 320 marks.
    I have good extracurricular activities in school,college and in TCS as well.
    I am a Toastmaster from past 2.5 years and worked as a president of the club. And in TCS I am also part of CSR activities.

    What are my chances of getting into isb and other MBA colleges in abroad.
    Any areas I need to improve?.

  11. Bhavesh Joshi says:

    Is it worth going for MBA directly after engineering or should I get some work experience ?? please help me.

  12. sandhu sandhu says:

    I have 2.6 years in small audit firm
    And I pursued US CMA FROM IMA
    And I completed my graduation with 71% in 2015, 12th standard with 90% and 10th standard 86%
    Can I get admission for MBA Finance in abroad

  13. Ujjwal Choudhary says:

    I want to ask you that write now I am pursuingmy BBA after that I want to do MBA from abroad what I have to do to select college and other things

  14. Rambahadur Gupta says:

    I am doing my graduation in physics and i want to do
    in abroad .In which category i give test ? general or subject test

  15. Royal champ0767 says:

    I dont have surname on passport.can I write GRE ?please reply soon

  16. Mahima Sharma says:

    I’m currently in final year of ; scored 93% in 10th and 96.4% in 12th. i want to pursue Mba from foreign university? What options should I consider and should i apply for it in next year?

  17. DEEPAK DAVE says:

    RElly a wonderful video with complete guidance for GRE test preparation to aspiring students. One can move forward with the full confidence in consultation with them.

  18. Mr. Muhammad Ahmad says:


  19. Mahendra Dhakal says:

    Are the patterns for the GRe test in every country the same? I am currently persuing my in Dehradun but I belong from Nepal


    Thanks bro…

  21. Mohamed Furqan says:

    I'm doing engineering, can I do masters in abroad by writing this exam

  22. kunal jordan says:

    Always wanted to go for an MBA abroad.
    I have never been a quants guy in my entire academic life. I usually and always struggle with it anyway.
    I have been preparing for GMAT for almost 5 months now ,taking a break from work, giving at least 6-8 hours everyday as well as have done online courses like E-GMAT and WIZAKO. Have started giving mocks and realised it may just not be my cup of tea, The situation has given me sleepless nights ,as i am not even able to reach the 600 mark, moreover the speed at which the exam goes seems unbearable and unmanageable. I want to apply in the second round of applications. A friend of mine just told me i could switch to GRE as it is a less logical and less quants driven exam, plus the reading and quants skills i have developed would help.

    IS GRE even a good bet to switch for MBA applications from an Indian male prospective?

  23. harsh shah says:

    Hello MBA crystal ball ,

    According to your knowledge and experience of your candidates who have gone abroad ( especially in Canada for full time MBA ), what is your take on GMAT vs GRE ( for a full time MBA program ). Almost all universities publish that they do accept gre for MBA and there is no preference . Yet we hear that there is a slight preference for GMAT over GRE for MBA. What's your take on this considering lot of your students might have gone with a GMAT or a GRE too for MBA ? Genuine advice please.
    I'm absolutely struggling with GMAT – ( especially quant ) and gre quant is on the easier side .
    GMAT or GRE? ( Also note I've already taken GMAT twice and haven't touched a 600 yet )

  24. BHUVAN SHINDE says:

    Sir what is the highest number of attempts allowed?

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