FAQs

GENERAL QUESTIONS

When does the new GRE start?
When does registration for the new GRE begin?
How is the new GRE different from the old GRE?
Why was the GRE changed?

CONTENT AND FORMAT

What is on the new GRE?
What changes will be made to the verbal reasoning section of the new GRE?
What changes will be made to the quantitative reasoning section of the new GRE?
What changes will be made to the analytical writing section of the new GRE?
How long is the new GRE?
Are there going to be new question types on the new GRE?
Is the new GRE a computer-adaptive test (CAT)?
Is there a paper and pencil version of the new GRE?

SCORING

How is the new GRE scored?
How long does it take for GRE scores to come out?
What is a good score on the new GRE?
How long is the new GRE score valid?

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Where can I find practice/preparation material and practice tests for the new GRE?
Where can I find a computerized practice test for the new GRE?
Where can I find professional GRE prep courses?

OTHER

Is the new GRE easier or harder than the old GRE?
Where can I find a convenient chart that compares the new GRE to the current GRE?

When does the new GRE start?
The ETS has begun using the new, revised GRE as of August 1, 2011.

When does registration for the new GRE begin?
The ETS has opened registration for the new GRE as of March 15, 2011.

How is the new GRE different from the old GRE?
The primary changes to the GRE are in question type and length.  Content-wise, the material on the new GRE is basically the same as the material on the old GRE.  Here is a link to a chart detailing the differences between the old and new GREs. For more detailed information on changes, see the questions below about changes to each section.

Why was the GRE changed?
According to the ETS, the GRE was revised in order to more accurately reflect the kind of thinking that students will perform in graduate and business school.  Additionally, the GRE was revised in order to improve the test-taking experience.

What is on the new GRE?
Content-wise, the new GRE is basically identical to the old GRE.  There are three sections:
1) Analytical Writing
2) Verbal Reasoning
3) Quantitative Reasoning
For more information about the specifics of each of these sections, visit our new GRE section.

What changes have been made to the verbal reasoning section of the new GRE?
The biggest change on the verbal section of the GRE is the removal of analogies and antonyms.  There is a significantly decreased emphasis on vocabulary out of context.

There are three new types of questions on the verbal section of the new GRE: sentence equivalence, multiple answer, and sentence highlighting.  Sentence equivalence questions are like sentence completion, but will ask you to choose the two answer choices that give the sentence the same meaning.  Multiple answer questions will present you with a list of answer choices, and more than one may be correct — you must choose all the correct answers.  Sentence highlighting questions will ask you to highlight the sentence in the passage that contains the correct answer, instead of choosing from a list of possible answers.

More generally, the verbal reasoning section on the new GRE has a decreased focus on vocabulary and a more increased focus on “higher-level cognitive thinking,” which is basically critical reading.

What changes have been made to the quantitative reasoning section of the new GRE?
There are two new types of questions on the math section new GRE: multiple answer and numeric entry.  Multiple answer questions will present you with a list of answer choices, and more than one may be correct — you must choose all the correct answers.  Numeric entry questions will present you with a box in which you must type the numeric answer to the question, rather than choosing from a list of answer choices.

More generally, the quantitative reasoning section of the new GRE focuses more on data interpretation and problems involving “real-life scenarios.”

Additionally, the new GRE has an on-screen calculator for use on the math section.  The calculator will be a basic four-function (and square root) calculator.

What changes have been made to the analytical writing section of the new GRE?
There are only two changes that have been made to the writing section of the new GRE.  First, the “analyze issue” essay is only 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes.  Second, the “analyze issue” essay has only one prompt instead of two.

How long is the new GRE?
The new GRE is longer than the old GRE.  Formerly, the GRE took approximately 3 hours to complete; the new GRE takes approximately 4 hours to complete.

Are there new question types on the new GRE?
Yes, see above questions.

Is the new GRE a computer-adaptive test (CAT)?
The new GRE is a computerized exam, but it is not a computer-adaptive test (CAT) like the old GRE was.  The old CAT adapts to your skill level on a question-by-question basis, which is why you were not allowed to go back to change answers or skip questions on the old GRE.  The new GRE is computerized, but it is more like the traditional pencil-and-paper exams in that you are allowed to skip questions or go back and change answers within a section. The new GRE also adapts to your skill level, but on a section-by-section basis, not on a question-by-question basis.

Is there a paper and pencil version of the new GRE?
Yes.  The paper version of the new GRE is offered three times a year, but only for those who don’t have access to the computerized exam (mostly international students).  It is offered up to three times a year in October, November, and February.

How is the new GRE scored?
The verbal and quantitative sections of the new GRE are scored on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increments (the old GRE was scored on a scale of 200-800 in ten-point increments).  The writing section is still scored on the same 0-6 scale.

How long does it take GRE scores to come out?
Unofficial GRE scores are available immediately after the exam is completed (it’s important to note that if you choose to view your unofficial scores, you may not cancel your exam). Official GRE scores are posted online approximately 15 days after your test and mailed approximately two weeks (10-15 days) later. For students who took the new GRE in August, September, or October, scores are made available on a special schedule, which began November 1.

What is a good score on the new GRE?
Ideally, the GRE distribution will likely be a general bell curve in which the majority of test takers score around 150 on the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections, so a “good” score would be in the upper 50%, about 150 or above.  Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that a “good” score always depends on what score you need to get into your desired program.

Where can I find practice/preparation materials and practice tests for the new GRE?
Currently, the ETS offers a practice book for the new (revised) GRE for download on their website.

Where can I find a computerized practice test for the new GRE?
The ETS has released POWERPREP II, which is a program that provides students with a free practice computerized exam.  Additionally, the software also includes tips, question samples, and strategies.  You can download POWERPREP II on the Testmasters website.

Where can I find professional GRE prep courses?
Testmasters has been offering professional exam preparation courses, including courses in GRE prep, since 1991.  Testmasters has traditional classroom courses, 1-on-1 private courses, online courses, and general help/tutoring sessions in locations all over the United States.  Visit Testmasters for more information.

Is the new GRE easier or harder than the old GRE?
This is a question that has no easy answer.  It depends on your strengths and weaknesses.  Some people prefer analogies and antonyms; others may have poor vocabularies and perform better on reading comprehension.  Some people may be great at interpreting data from graphs and charts; others may not.  The best idea is to take practice tests for both exams (current GRE and new GRE) to see how you perform and analyze your performance.

Where can I find a convenient chart that compares the new GRE to the current GRE?
Right here: a handy-dandy chart comparing the current GRE to the new GRE! Yay!