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GRE General Test

About the Revised GRE testGRE Subject TestsTest FormatGRE and AdmissionsRegistration and Test Dates - Test Sites - ScoresFees - How to Prepare - Students with Disabilities

About the Revised GRE test

"Don't underestimate the amount of time you need to prepare for the GRE."

Marc, University of Pennsylvania

The GRE revised General Test was introduced on 1 August 2011, enhancing the overall test experience and better highlighting the test-taker's skills.

If you are planning to apply to a master's or PhD programme in a field other than medicine, pharmacy, or law, you will most likely be required to sit the GRE General Test. However, for some courses of study in the fine arts and other fields, the GRE will not be required.  Although previously not accepted for entrance into postgraduate Business or MBA programmes, the GRE revised General Test is now being accepted at an increasing number of Business schools.  Before registering for an admission test, you should check the admissions requirements of the individual degree programme to which you are interested in applying. 

Test Format

This three hour, 45 minute exam includes sections on Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing. It is offered in a computer-based, adaptive format and a Paper-based format. The adaptive computer-based test will select each successive section based on the answers you provided in the previous section. If you answer correctly, the next section will be more difficult; if you answer incorrectly, the next section will be less difficult.

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures problem-solving abilities, requiring basic knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. The Verbal Reasoning section focuses on your ability to analyse and evaluate written material. The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to articulate and support complex ideas effectively and clearly.

The revised GRE test includes a new test-taker friendly design as well as new types of questions.

GRE and Admissions Decisions

Generally speaking, if your scores are within the range of last year’s admitted class, the GRE General Test will not make or break your application. Universities review these scores with equal or even lesser weight than your degree results which have been accumulated over years of work, as opposed to one day of testing. However, be aware that doing particularly well can make your application stand out in the admissions process and funding decisions or it can make up for poor academic results at the undergraduate level.  Therefore, it’s to your advantage to prepare well for the exam and strive to attain the best results possible.


If you are concerned that your GRE exam scores may not be ready in time for the university admissions deadline then you will want to check with each university whether or not you can submit your scores after the application deadline. Some may be a little lenient and allow you to submit your application by the deadline and your scores shortly thereafter, but again you’ll need to confirm with each institution


Registration and Test Dates

Registration: The GRE is administered through the Educational Testing Service, ETS. You should register and pay test fees for the GRE at the ETS website.

Dates: The computer-based general exam is offered several times every month. Appointments for the exam are granted on a first-come, first-served basis through the online schedule on the GRE website. Register early as seats fill up quickly!

The next testing date for the paper-based format for the revised GRE General test is 04 February 2017 (registration deadline 23 December 2016).

Test Sites

Computer-based tests are administered in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Petersborough. Paper-based tests are administered in London. See the GRE website for directions.


Scores from the GRE Revised General Test are reported in three sections.  

Visit the ETS website for further information on test scoring. 

Receiving and sending scores:

On the day you take the exam, it is possible to submit your GRE scores to up to four institutions without an extra fee. It should take approximately 10-15 days for the institutions you request to receive your official scores.  

For further information on how to send additional score reports, and to see the typical amount of time it takes to receive scores, visit the scores section of the GRE website.

Please be aware that you can take the test only once every 60 days, and not more than five times within any 12-month period.  

GRE takers can select which scores they report to universities. This allows test takers the option of not reporting a score they are unsatisfied with, as well as retaking the test without notifying admissions officers that they previously had a low score. This policy does not allow test-takers to submit partial scores. For full details of ETS scoring policies, please see the ETS website.


ETS accepts most major credit cards for payment of the test fee.

How to Prepare

There are free materials on the GRE website to help students prepare and know what to expect on test day. See our section on preparation for more information.

Students with Disabilities

Special accommodations may be arranged for taking most admissions exams. For more information, visit the GRE website (note that the procedures are the same for international students).

GRE Subject Tests

Certain postgraduate programmes will require the GRE subject test - check the requirements of each programme to which you are applying.  Subject tests are available for the following subjects:

The GRE Subject Tests are offered during the following months in paper-based testing locations throughout the world:

For further information on GRE subject tests, please review the ETS website.

Testing Site: The test is administered at Katherine and King's College (London)

Cost: $150 USD

Registration: You can register for a Subject Test online or by mail.

How It's Used in Admissions: It is very important to do well on the Subject Test, as it assesses your knowledge directly in your field.

How to Prepare: There are a wide variety of test preparation materials available in both online and hard copy formats. See our section on preparation for more information.

Students with Disabilities: Special accommodations may be arranged for taking most admissions exams. For more information, visit the GRE website (note that the procedures are the same for international students). 

For More Information: Please visit the GRE website or contact the GRE.