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What Is the GRE®?

The GRE is a multiple-choice test.
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  • Written By: L. S. Wynn
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2014
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GRE® stands for the Graduate Records Examination; it is a multiple-choice and standardized test given by the Educational Testing Service. Colleges and Universities use the results of the GRE® to help them decide which students to accept to their graduate programs. Therefore it is similar to the well-known SAT test except that the GRE® is used for acceptance to graduate instead of undergraduate. The GRE® is a computerized test that can be taken at authorized testing centers at virtually any time during the year.

The GRE® is intended to test general abilities as opposed to specific knowledge about a topic, although a thorough grasp of less-common vocabulary is beneficial. Many people fault the GRE® for failing to test for skills and knowledge that would provide better assurance of success in graduate school; despite the controversy, schools still rely on the GRE® because it is one of the few widely-available standardized tests that allows them to compare all applicants on a single metric.

There are several sections of the test as shown below:

Mathematics

  • Problem Solving; traditional mathematical questions with multiple-choice answers
  • Quantitative Comparison; two mathematical formulas are given and the test-taker is asked to choose which one is greater, if they are equal, or if more information is required to make a determination.

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Verbal

  • Sentence Completion; an incomplete sentence is provided and the test-taker is asked to choose which word or phrase completes the sentence best.
  • Analogies; the relationship between two sets of words is given and the test-taker is asked to choose another set that has a similar relationship.
  • Antonyms; a word is given and the test-taker is asked to choose the word that means the opposite.
  • Reading Comprehension; a reading selection is given, and questions are asked related directly to the passages.

Writing

  • Analysis of an Argument; an argument is presented, and the GRE-test-taker is asked to critique the argumentation.
  • Write an Argument; two issues are provided, and the GRE-test-taker is asked to provide a response supported by argumentation.

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Discuss this Article

anon195844
Post 4

It's tough. Dump your current psychology stuff. Go become a manager at McDonald's. They pay more.

anon13832
Post 2

hey..

i would suggest you get yourself the following and start the moment you feel..though 2-3 months preparation is mostly considered enough...

1. Barrons GRE

2. Norman Lewis-word power made easy

and barrons is sufficient for a beginner for studying maths too...

The exam is similar to SAT and all but not much difficult, its about getting more questions right well within the given time. I have planned to give the exam in 3 weeks from now so my prep is going on...

begin soon because with your regular course work you might not get the necessary time later on.. and be consistent in ur prep as english needs more and more revision...

anon473
Post 1

I'm currently a freshman at LSU, preparing to enter my third semester. I realize with a Psychology major, Graduate School is a must. I have recently begun to look into different schools and their admission requirements. I noticed that each one I was interested in required students to take the GRE. As far as I understand, it is similar to the ACT or SAT in highschool, only much more difficult and competitive. For anyone who has already taken it and would like to shed some light, I would love any advice I can get as to how I can start preparing early. I'd like advice as to which courses might be the most helpful. Although I'm nowhere near ready to take the test now, I was wondering if anyone happen to be aware of useful sources for practice tests online and such. Lastly, pertaining to graduate psychology programs, I have seen many sites that suggest getting clinical experience. Any suggestions?

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