GRE : Graduate Record Examination

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is administered by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) for admission into all graduate academic programs (except management) in universities across USA and Canada and some selected universities across the world including India. The exam is a Computer Adaptive Test and is administered at any of the Sylvan testing centers in the country after prior registration.

What is GRE ?

The Graduate Record Examination is a Standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools (of all fields other than business) assess the potential of applicants for advanced study . Nearly 2300 universities in the US require GRE scores from each applicant. The GRE tests the fundamental skills i.e. reasoning and comprehension included. Therefore it  does not require any subject-specific theoretical study.

While no minimum qualification is prescribed for taking this Test, the candidate must be a graduate or expected to complete graduation in about six months while appearing for this examination. Graduates who want to pursue a Postgraduation or PhD programme in American universities are often required to pass the GRE. The Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, conducts this examination. The GRE is required of students for admission to many graduate schools, professional colleges and fellowship competitions.

Its objective ?

First, the test has no question paper or answer sheets, nor does it have the same set of questions for all the examinees. Further, it does not give you the option of not answering a question (unless, of course, you run out of time at the end). GRE is an entirely Computer based test. The test is scored out of 2400 (in multiples of 10), and most scores fall in the range of 1800-2000.

The GRE is only one of several parameters which the graduate schools look at to determine the selection of an applicant. A high score alone does not guarantee admission.  But the test can be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process of getting admission into a Graduate school of your choice.

Who administers GRE?

The GRE is developed and administered by the US-based "Educational Testing Service" (ETS) under the direction of the Graduate Record Examination Board , a non-profit organization of graduate business schools worldwide. This implies that ETS sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report. For the conduct of the test, ETS has appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which act as franchisee for ETS. In India, this agency is the "Sylvan Testing Services Pvt Ltd" which administers the test at 9 centres in the country: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Trivandrum.

When is GRE held?

All-round-the-year. Therefore you can choose your own date and time. The test is administered in the above cities five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for GRE, so in case you intend to take the test during this period, you need to register very early.  to get a date of your choice. Otherwise, registering at least 15 days in advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughly three-and-a-half hours, and most centres offer two slots : 9 A.M. and 2 P.M.

What is Computer - Adaptive Test and how does it work?

In such a test, the computer screen displays one question at a time, which is chosen from a very large pool of questions categorized by content and toughness. The first question is always of a medium difficulty, and each subsequent question is determined by your responses to all the previous questions. In other words, the CAT adjusts itself to your ability level Each question in the GRE CAT has five answer options, and you are required to select one of these five as the correct answer by clicking on it. A subsequent question is displayed on the screen only after you have answered the previous question. You cannot also go back to a previously answered question to change your answer.

A CAT is a computer-adaptive test, whose software calculates your score based on the number of questions you answer correctly, the difficulty of the questions you answer, and the number of questions you complete. When you take the GRE CAT, you'll begin each section with a medium-level question and a score of 500. If you answer the question correctly, the computer will raise your score and give you a harder question. If you answer the question incorrectly, your score will decrease and you'll be given an easier question. The process repeats for each question in the section, to arrive at your final score for that section.

Content & Format of GRE

The test has three distinct sections : Quantitative, Analytical, and Verbal. The Quantitative section has Problem Solving questions, which test your mathematical skills and concepts of roughly the high-school level. The Verbal Section has four types of questions : Antonyms, Analogies, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Completion. The questions of each type appear in no set sequence. Questions in the Analytical Section test your logical and structural reasoning ability. There are a total of 93 questions, 28 in Quantitative, 35 in Analytical, and 30 in Verbal.

In addition to the objective-type questions test, the GRE has introduced the Writing Assessment as a separate test. This test measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, consisting of two analytical writing tasks : (1) "Present your perspective on an issue", and (2) "Analyze an Argument". Whether you will actually need to take this test will depend on whether the graduate schools you are planning to apply to require or recommend this test.

There is a one-minute break between each test section. Midway through the testing session, an on-screen message will inform you of the opportunity to take a 10-minute break. Section timing will not stop if you take an unscheduled break.

Section     Number of questions     Time
Verbal Section     30     30 minutes
Quantitative     28     45 ''
Analytical     35     60
Experimental Section     varies     varies

Quantitative Section

The section tests you on a level of Maths that is comparable to Class 10 mathematics, with questions on Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals, Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume of 2-D and 3-D figures, and Probability. This list is not exhaustive; questions from beyond these topics may also be asked.
The section has 28 questions to be completed in 45 minutes.

Verbal Section

The verbal section in GRE requires a good vocabulary level, the basic skills of correct English coupled with reasoning and analysis. The 30 questions, to be attempted in 30 minutes, consist of four types : Antonyms, Analogies, Sentence Completion, and Reading Comprehension. The four types are intermingled, with no fixed number for each type.

Analytical Section

This section tests pure analytical and logical reasoning skills, and is akin to the standard "IQ tests". It has a total of 35 questions, to be attempted in 60 minutes. The questions are based on the interpretation and analysis of some data presented - which may be quantitative data or verbal information.

Reporting the Score

ETS has the provision of reporting your GRE scores to a maximum of four universities of your choice, the cost of which is built into the fee you pay. You have to indicate the four universities where you wish a copy of your GRE score to be sent after you get to know your scores. For reporting to each additional university, the ETS charges you $13, payable by an international credit card or a dollar denominated draft.

How is the GRE scored?

The GRE results comprise four different scores : a total score, and separate scores for Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical sections. The total score is reported out of 2400 and the sectional scores are out of 800.

In addition to these scores, the score report also contains percents (%) below. These "% below" indicate the percentage of examinees who scored below you based on the scores of the entire GRE testing population for the most recent three-year period. These percentages are important in considering how an applicant for admission to a particular management school compares with everyone in the specified period, with all other applicants to the same school, and with students already enrolled at the school.

How important are my GRE scores?

Schools vary tremendously in the weights they place on the different factors in the admission process, so be sure to contact the specific schools to which you are applying in order to determine their unique requirements. Some programs weight GRE scores very heavily, and/or have a minimum score for applicants, while other programs consider GRE scores more of a formality. It is important to note that your GRE scores are a major factor in determining your eligibility for financial aid.

Can I cancel my scores?

Yes. You can cancel your scores immediately after you take the GRE. This is the only time you can cancel your scores. Unfortunately, you must make the decision to cancel at the testing center before you see your scores. In addition, the fact that you cancelled your scores will be noted on your official GRE score report.

What fees and eligibility are associated with the GRE?

Anyone and everyone is eligible for taking the GRE.There are no restrictions based on age or qualifications. The test scores are valid for five years. Most universities accept scores up to five years old. Test fees for GRE may vary according to the country in which you take the test. In India, this fee is US $125 (approx Rs. 5400), payable at the time of registration. The fee has to be paid through a US Dollar denominated draft, made out in favour of "ETS - GRE" payable in the U.S. Such a draft is usually available with the Main Branches of most banks (which have a foreign exchange counter) in most of the big cities for a nominal charge (around Rs. 200). Alternately, the payment can also be made through a credit card which has global acceptance.

How to apply ?

Obtain the "GRE Information Bulletin" available free with Sylvan Testing Services and USEFI. The Test Scheduling Form comes with the bulletin. The Test Scheduling Form comes with the bulletin. There are three ways to register:

Registering by Phone:

You may call up Sylvan Delhi office until 12:00 noon to register. Make sure to call at least THREE BUSINESS DAYS before the test date.

Registering by Fax:

If registering by fax, you must send your fax at lest SEVEN DAYS prior to your first choice of a test day.

Registering by Mail/Courier:

Fill in the form, get the draft made (if you are not paying by credit card), and submit these to the Sylvan Learning Centre at New Delhi either by hand or by registered post/courier. You must send the documents at least THREE WEEKS before your choice of a test day.

On receipt of your documents, an appointment will be scheduled for you to test at the Sylvan Technology Center. Confirmation of the date, time and location of the appointment will be sent to you. If you do not receive confirmation at least THREE business days before your first choice of test day, please call the Sylvan office to verify your appointment.

Sylvan Learning Centre

Sylvan Testing Services Private Limited,
Senior Plaza, 160-A, Gautam Nagar,
Yusuf Sarai,
Behind Indian Oil Building,
New Delhi-110049, India.
Ph: (011) 651-1649
Fax: (011) 652-9741

You will receive an admit card normally within a week of applying. Remember to keep a copy of the form and the draft with you.<

Acceptable Forms of Payment :

1. International Credit Card : The fee can be paid to Sylvan Testing Services through any of the following international credit cards- VISA, Master , American Express over a telephone.


2. Cheques, bank drafts, money orders payable in U.S. dollars must be drawn on banks located in the U.S and be made payable to ETS-GMAT/GRE/TOEFL.

If payments are made in the Indian currency, these must be made at the telegraphic transfer selling (TTS) exchange rate of the U.S. dollar equivalent. Cheques, money orders payable in Indian Rupee must be drawn on a bank in India

Computer Based Test (CBT) Centres in India











Sylvan Testing Services Pvt. Ltd.
Senior Plaza 160-A, Gautam Nagar, 3rd Floor Yusuf Sarai,
Behind Indian Oil Building
New Delhi 110 049
Tel: 011-6511649 Fax: 011-6529741