Test Content and Structure

The GRE® General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today's demanding graduate school programs, including business and law. The test-taker friendly design lets you skip questions within a section, go back and change answers and have the flexibility to choose which questions within a section you want to answer first. Get a look at the structure of the computer-delivered or paper-delivered GRE General Test.

The GRE General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills — skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study but are important for all. Here's a look at content covered in the three test sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:

analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author's assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author's intent

select important points; distinguish major from minor or relevant points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text

understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts

Get a quick view of the Verbal Reasoning question types.

Take a closer look at the Verbal Reasoning section, including sample questions with explanations, tips and more.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:

understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information

solve problems using mathematical models

apply basic skills and elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis

The Quantitative Reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator. If you are taking the paper-delivered test, a calculator will be provided at the test center.

Get a quick view of the Quantitative Reasoning question types.

Take a closer look at the Quantitative Reasoning section, including sample questions with explanations, tips and more.

Modified Versions of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Questions

The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on the test. Some modifications are substantial; others are less apparent.

Even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be different and have a different answer. Pay careful attention to the wording of each question.

Computer-delivered GRE® General Test Content and Structure

The overall testing time for the computer-delivered GRE® General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.