Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Students seeking admission into any Masters Program in US, and many other European countries as well are required to take GRE. The test is meant to measure the scholastic abilities of a candidate at the undergraduate level. The test's scores are one of several important components considered in the admissions process, and also influence decisions on financial awards (e.g. fellowships, assistantship etc) to students.
Applicants should take the examination not later than November since scores from tests taken after November are not likely to reach the college, where admission is sought, within the application deadline, which is commonly early January in most of the colleges in US. Late submission of scores may also delay decision on the application. The score is valid for 5 years.
A Bachelors degree is the minimum requirement for seeking admission in any Masters Program in US and therefore it is also the essential qualification for taking GRE. It is important to keep in mind that most US Universities require that a student must complete 16 year of education and hold a degree as well, which can be normally earned after at least 16 years of study, for admission to a Master’s course. In other words those having a simple BA, B.Sc degree under the Indian education system of 10+2+3 (15 years) are ineligible for a Master’s program in US. However students holding BE, B.Tech, B.Sc (Agriculture) or B.Arch i.e. students who have spent four years for their Bachelor’s degree can directly seek admission in Masters Program in any US University.
For entry into any masters program GRE- General Test is essential, in certain programs the candidate may have to take the GRE-Subject Test as well. Education Testing Service (ETS), the US based organization, which conducts these tests, offers 16 Subject Tests, each of which measures achievements in specific fields.
The GRE General Test is primarily a multiple-choice test that measures verbal, quantitative and analytical skills of a student and is not related to any specific field of study. The verbal tests comprise of four major sections namely Reading Comprehension, Sentence Completion, Analogies and Antonyms. These tests measure a candidate’s ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it. The portion on Analogies and Antonyms is essentially a test of vocabulary. The stronger the vocabulary, the easier it will be to answer the questions in this section.
The quantitative ability tests measures the basic mathematical skills and understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts of the candidate, as well as his ability to reason quantitatively and solve problems in a quantitative setting. The test contains questions on Quantitative Comparisons, Data Analysis and Problem Solving.
The analytical tests measure the ability of a student in understanding structured sets of relationships, deduce new information from sets of relationships, analyze and evaluate arguments, identify central issues and hypotheses, draw sound inferences, and identify plausible causal explanations.
The GRE General Test can be taken in either the Paper-Based Format or Computer Adaptive Test Format (CAT). Subject based GRE, however can be taken only in Paper-Based Format. In GRE-CAT, as the name suggests, each time a question is answered, the computer scores that question and adjusts to the response. It determines the next question to be presented to the candidate by using this information. For example, the first question will be of moderate difficulty. If the answer is correct, the next question will be more difficult and if it is incorrect the next question will be easier. The computer will continue presenting questions based on the responses, with the goal of determining the ability level of the candidate. Precisely for this reason once a question is answered and the candidate moves to the next question, it is not possible to go back and change the answer.
Each section has a maximum score of 800 totaling upto a maximum of 2400.Anything above 2000 is considered a good overall score. Score on each section is based on the number of questions answered correctly, as well as the difficulty level of those questions. Minimal computer skills are required to take the computer-based GRE.
Graduate Record Exam
Section Number Of Questions Time (minutes)
Verbal 30 30
Quantitative 28 45
Analytical 35 60
GRE-CAT can be taken round the year. Subject tests are held only once in October, along with the General Test. The test fee, payable to ETS, is USA 125$ for each test (general and subject).
Web site :www.gre.org