GRE Exam 2018 – 2019
What is GRE?
The full form of GRE is Graduate Record Examinations. It is a standardised test conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Services). ETS GRE scores are accepted by most of the top graduate level schools for masters degree programs (like the popular Master of Science degree – MS in USA).
It’s gone through a lot of changes over the years. In its newest avatar, it is called the GRE revised General Test.
GRE Exam Eligibility
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 (not photocopies) which clearly shows your full name, photograph and signature.
No other documentation (like birth certificate, international driving license etc) 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, timing related pre-requisites. However, there will be a range of eligibility criteria set by universities that accept GRE scores. For each of their programs, they may have minimum age, experience and qualification related filters.
GRE Exam dates in 2018 – 2019
Unlike the other entrance exam dates in India, there are no specific GRE Exam dates in India. You can take it any time of the year by taking an appointment with the closest GRE exam center. But with this flexibility, there’s another issue.
During the peak application season (generally around August to December), it may be difficult for you to get an appointment in your preferred exam center. You’d be forced to book a day and time at another center that may not be close to where you live.
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 up to five times in a continuous rolling 12 month period.
You can find the available dates and register for GRE test by going at this link.
GRE Centers in India
In India the GRE test is conducted (primarily by Prometric and also by other independent teams outside the Prometric network) in the following cities:
Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gandhinagar, Gurgaon, Gwalior, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nashik, New Delhi, Nizamabad, Patna, Pune, Trivandrum, Vadodara and Vijawada.
Not all of them might offer the computerised test. Some may offer the Paper-delivered test.
This is the list in 2018. In subsequent years (2019 – 2020), as ETS expands its footprint in India, there may be additional GRE exam centers in newer Indian cities.
You’ll find the exact address and seat availability on the ETS website after you select the country (India) and city from the dropdown list.
GRE Exam fee | Test price
The registration fee to take the GRE is $205. This is cheaper than the $250 fee that you have to pay for GMAT. ETS is also willing to be flexible on the GRE test fee for test takers who can prove their financial hardship.
There are extra charges ($50) if you want to change your center or reschedule the test.
The GRE exam fees in Indian currency (Rupees) is INR 13,500. This test pricing is based on an exchange rate of 66 Rupees/Dollar. Use the prevailing rate to find the latest registration cost of the GRE test in rupees.
The GRE is a generalised test that isn’t related to any particular discipline or field. It has been designing 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 big mix of degrees.
If you were to look at the overall GRE exam pattern, it has 3 sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
This section tests you ability to analyse facts, dissect arguments, judge the presented evidence and put forth your views in the most convincing and structured manner. Try this free online GRE essay grader.
This section checks your capacity to understand the content author’s perspectives and intentions, prioritise the points made, and connect the dots across various ideas presented, even if they may not necessarily be documented in a coherent manner. This is the tricky section for non-native English speakers. Here’s how you can improve your GRE Verbal Score.
This is where you comfort level with numbers and quantitative data is tested. You’ll have to understand the problem and use models and mathematical formulas (from geometry, algebra, arithmetic) to solve them. The good news is that you will have access to a calculator. So no complex mental arithmetic to be done.
Curious to know what score to target? Read this: Good GRE scores for the top MS programs in USA
The ETS GRE website offers plenty of free and paid GRE preparation material.
In the paid preparation section, the top on the list is The Official Guide to the GRE® revised General Test, Second Edition.
There are also independent test prep companies that provide GRE prep help. Books and courses offered by Barrons, Kaplan, GREedge, Magoosh and other companies provide an overview of the concepts covered in the GRE syllabus, plenty of practice questions, sample GRE exams (i.e. mock practice tests) too.
Here’s where we share and compare the best GRE online prep classes.
Check out this detailed GRE Preparation Guide.
Here’s a list of the best GRE books you can pick up to crack the test.
Use these free online resources to learn how to improve your GRE vocabulary using word-lists.
Check out this list of Free GRE Practice Tests.
GRE versus GMAT
If you are planning to apply to business schools, you might be wondering which entrance exam is better for you – GRE or GMAT? Here’s a post that’ll help you understand the differences between GRE and GMAT.
Finding GMAT too difficult to crack? Here are some top business schools accepting GRE scores.
Most bschools publish the average GMAT scores for their MBA class (as opposed to GRE scores). If you already have a GRE score, you can use this GRE to GMAT conversion table to compare yourself to the average applicant for your selected MBA programs.
Low and Average GRE Score Success Stories
While a high GRE score is always desirable and can get you partial and full scholarships from your dream college, most international applicants will struggle to get there. Curious to know about the entry standards for a top university?
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.
Read this story of an Indian applicant who got into top MS in US universities with scholarship despite an average GRE score.