What to Expect When You Take the GRE

Part of the GRE For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The GRE is a computerized test taken at a local testing center. Other test-takers may also be there, working on the GRE or a different exam, but you’ll be in a booth, immersed in your own test. Lasting about four hours, the GRE is a marathon, challenging your stamina as well as your skills. The following table outlines the sections of the GRE, including the number of questions and time limits of each. The essays are always first, but the other sections can be in any order.

Section Number of Questions Time Allotted
Analyze an Issue 1 essay 30 minutes
Analyze an Argument 1 essay 30 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 20 questions 30 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 20 questions 35 minutes
Verbal Reasoning 20 questions 30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 20 questions 35 minutes
Unscored Verbal or Quantitative Reasoning 20 questions 30 or 35 minutes
Possible Unscored Research Section 20 questions 30 or 35 minutes
Total Testing Time About 4 hours
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