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The GRE Test Structure

The GRE general test includes three major areas of testing: Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability (Mathematics), and Analytical Writing Ability.

GRE Verbal Ability
The GRE verbal section contains four types of questions: Sentence Completion, Analogies, Reading Comprehension and Antonyms. Your success in this section will depend on your vocabulary. Questions vary in difficulty from easy to real tough ones. Typically, the verbal section contains 30 questions: 6 sentence completions, 7 analogies, 8 reading comprehension questions and 9 antonyms. These can appear in any order.

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GRE Quantitative Ability (Mathematics)
The GRE quantitative section is often referred to as the Mathematics section. It tests your basic understanding of arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Knowledge of more advanced mathematics is not required in this section of the GRE. Most of the questions in the Quantitative Ability section are of high school level and are intended to just show how well you understand elementary mathematics. Typically, the GRE quantitative section contains 28 total questions from the following fields:

The Quantitative Comparison section requires you to be able to reason quickly and accurately about two quantities provided. Along with your math knowledge this section will require a sense of logic.

The Data Analysis section is a test of interpretation of graphs, charts and tables. Though most of these questions are not tough, they will require you to analyze the question in detail.

The Discrete Quantitative Comparison section involves traditional computational skills, and includes arithmetic, algebra, and geometry concepts you have learned in school. You will need to know the necessary facts and formulae for this section.

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GRE Analytical Writing Ability
This section replaced the multiple choice Analytical Reasoning section on October 1, 2002. It tests the ability to analyse issues as well as the writing ability through 2 essays. Watch this space for forthcoming material on preparing for these essays.

The following table should be useful for remembering the GRE test structure:

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime (minutes)
Analytical Writing2 essays in 45 minutes

For additional information regarding GRE and GRE Test Structure visit the official GRE website at

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