What Does the GRE Measure?
The GRE General Test measures the skills that you've acquired over the high
school and college years. It is an aptitude test because it is meant to measure
your potential to succeed in graduate school. While the GRE is only one of
several criteria that graduate schools use to evaluate your application, it is
one of the most important. This is particularly true if your college GPA is not
as high as you'd like. Exceptional GRE scores can open up new opportunities for
The GRE General Test contains sections that measure verbal, quantitative, and
analytical writing skills.
- The verbal section tests your ability to understand
and analyze written material through the use of analogies, antonyms,
sentence completions, and reading comprehension questions.
- The quantitative section tests basic math skills and
your ability to understand and apply quantitative skills to solve problems.
Types of questions include quantitative comparisons, problem solving, and
- The analytical writing section tests your ability to
articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, examine claims and
accompanying evidence, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples,
sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion, and control the elements of
standard written English. It consists of two written essays: 45-minute
"Present Your Perspective on an Issue" task and a 30-minute "Analyze an
The verbal and quantitative subtests yield scores ranging from 200 to 800.
Most graduate schools consider the verbal and quantitative sections to be
particularly important in making decisions about applicants. The analytical
writing subtest yields a score ranging from 0-6.