What Is the GRE Test and Why Do I Need It?

You may have noticed, on some of the programmes you wish to apply to, that a weird sentence keeps popping up: “This programme accepts GRE® scores”. And, for good reasons, you start wondering “What? They accept that one animated character from Despicable Me?”

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Well, no… First, GRE is a standardised test that exists since 1936, that calculates three very important parameters: verbal and quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. Second, the character from Despicable Me was GRU.

But, going back to the matter at hand, let’s focus on figuring out what exactly makes the GRE Test stand out from all the rest and why it’s so important for a student.

What is the GRE test?

GRE, or the Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test, usually requested by universities in the U.S., that students take prior to enrolling to a Master’s degree.

What makes GRE stand out from the rest is that it is one of the most popular tests Business schools ask for from their future MBA (Master of Business Administration) students. Of course, you could apply to other Master’s degrees, so taking a GRE Test is probably as versatile as a jean jacket.

What also makes the GRE Exam stand out is the option to choose which grades you send the university after taking the GRE!

Hear us out:

If, after you take the test, you want to highlight what great grades you acquired to some of the parameters, you can just send those to the university. And, if you feel like you can do better, you can RETAKE THE TEST.

And that’s amazing, because most other tests won’t even let you go back to some of the questions you already answered!

…by the way, GRE lets you re-answer all questions. What else can you ask for from a standardised test?

If the idea of studying an MBA got you excited, then be sure to check out these American universities, where a GRE test will help you get admitted:

See the full list of business schools in the US that accept GRE test results.

How does the GRE test work?

GRE General Test will measure 3 parameters, which will be the most common when studying a Business Master’s degrees. Each one has its own rules for testing your skills. And these are:

  • Verbal reasoning: where you get some incomplete data and you try to draw the lines and conclusions (basically figuring out if you’re a robot or not). These questions also focus on meaning, like if that’s what the author wanted to say. Or if it’s literal or figurative, if some points are major themes or simply details, and so on.
  • Quantitative reasoning: maaaaath! Just math. Nothing deeper than math. Enjoy!
  • Analytical writing: imagine you will need to defend an idea, and you will need to bring arguments, examples, and so on, but, instead of convincing people with wild hand gestures, you can only use the power of pen and paper.

Test scores and preparing for the exam

Although the scores will be available for 5 years, you need to take the actual test a few months before you wish to apply to your future degree. The thing is: it will take time to score your paper, and then some time to send the scores to your future uni (don’t worry, GRE will send it for you, but they can’t manipulate the Postal Services).

The scores will be given in 1-point increments, and the scores can be between:

  • For Verbal Reasoning: between 130 and 170
  • For Quantitative Reasoning: between 130 and 170
  • For Analytical Writing: between 0 and 6 (but in half-point increments)

If you don’t answer any questions for a specific measure, the grade you will receive will be NS, which means No Score, not, as you probably hoped, Nice Solution. So, if you want to be the best and get the scores you need, you should probably spend between 1 and 3 months studying (or over 100 hours).

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Where can you take the GRE test?

Basically, everywhere!

No, seriously. It’s available in 160 countries and 1.000 test centres. Not to mention that, being a computer—delivered test, it is available continuously throughout the year.

For the countries where it’s only available on paper, you can take it only for 3 months: October, November, and February. And, yeah, you should totally check before taking the test if you can take the test throughout the year or only during these 3 months!

And, if you’re wondering how much a GRE Test will cost you, know that it costs 205 USD, almost anywhere you take it. The exception is China, so, if you need to take it there, ask the official GRE testing location.

So, now that you know the most basics of the basics, good luck when you will ultimately take this test, and go wild while applying to you MBA.

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