The GRE Test

NOTE: The GRE Test is changing August 1st, 2011! Read about the new GRE test here.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required for entry into graduate programs at most institutions in the United States. As with most standardized tests, individuals who study and practice the test in advance can improve their scores by more than enough to justify the effort. The following material will attempt to show the basic format of the GRE, how it is taken, how it is scored, and how to do well.

The GRE is produced and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Two types of GRE tests are currently offered by ETS, the general exam and the subject tests. The general GRE test is typically required for admission to graduate school, whereas the subject tests are often optional components of a graduate program application. CATPrep focuses exclusively on the general GRE test in the GRE preparation material made available here.

Sign Up For The GRE

The test can be signed up for by going to the GRE website at The test typically costs $100 or more to take each time. There are certain designated testing centers for taking the GRE, and if there isn't one close to your location, you may be in for a long drive.

The GRE may be retaken as many times as you wish, and only your highest score needs to be reported. However, you may only take the GRE once per calendar month, and you may only take the GRE up to 5 times per year. Each time you retake the GRE, you must pay the same registration fee. If you do poorly therefore, it is a good idea to take some time off (a month or two) to study the exam materials, improve your essay writing and typing, and become more familiar with the concepts covered on the exam. Do not waste your money by rushing back to take it immediately, because you will make the same mistakes. Research has shown that on the GRE, test scores do not improve dramatically for retests.

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