The Graduate Record Examination -GRE consists of two separate tests:
The General Test is composed of three parts--verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. The verbal and the
quantitative tests each yield a separate score between 200-800. Scores on the analytical writing test are reported
in ½-point increments along a scale of 0 to 6. The Subject Test, required by only some programs, measures knowledge
of psychological concepts that are essential to graduate study; it also yields a score of from 200-800. The book,
Graduate Study in Psychology, will tell you whether schools require the GRE as well as the minimum scores they
require for admission.
the General Test
and the Subject Test in psychology.
Taking the General Test (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical Writing)
Note that the General Test now includes an analytical writing test, in which you type or write by hand your answers to two questions (one on an “issue” topic for 45 minutes and one on an “argument” topic for 30 minutes). The writing test is always taken first. (You can go GRE-Online and review examples of both types of questions.) You are permitted to re-take the General Test only 1 time per calendar month and only 5 times in a 12-month period. You will receive unofficial scores as soon as you complete the test; official scores will be sent to you and to the institutions to which you will be applying within 10 to 15 days after the test. You can register on-line (www.gre.org) or by calling the 800 number given in the Information and Registration Bulletin.
Taking the Subject Test
The Subject Test is only given in the paper-and-pencil version. If you plan to take it, you should do so in November
(remember that you must register for it approximately six weeks before it is given). Taking the test in November
will ensure that your scores will be available to meet any admissions deadline--it usually takes about six weeks
from the time you take the test for the scores to be reported to you and to schools. Also, if you do poorly on your
first try, you should have enough time to re-take the test in December to try to improve your scores. If you do
poorly on either the November or December test, you can re-take it the following April—if the score-reporting dates
are not past your admissions deadlines.
Finally, if you are not planning to attend graduate school immediately upon graduation, you should still take the
GRE sometime during your senior year. Scores are good for five years, and you will never be as prepared for it as
you are now. (It's easy to forget the details of grammar and math and for your reading speed to drop when you're not
The GRE® General Test measures critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.
Analytical Writing - The skills measured include the test taker's ability to
Verbal Reasoning - The skills measured include the test taker's 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
- Control the elements of standard written English.
Quantitative Reasoning - The skills measured include the test taker's ability to
- Analyze relationships among component parts of sentences
- Analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it
- Recognize relationships between words and concepts.
- Understand basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis
- Reason quantitatively
- Solve problems in a quantitative setting.
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