GRE revised General® Test - Myths and Facts


Myth: They changed the test because people had figured out the 'tricks" on the old test.

Fact: There are no tricks on the GRE®.  ETS is not out to trick you.  The objective of the GRE® is to give graduate and business schools a way to compare applicants and determine one's likelihood of success in graduate school.


Myth: The Quantitative section is harder than the old format.

Fact: Many people believe that, because the GRE® allows test takers to use a calculator, the quantitative section is more difficult than on previous versions of the exam. The math skills tested on GMAT and GRE® are almost identical - what makes them significantly different is the item formats used by the two tests. Some question formats may initially intimidate test takers. Numeric Entry items, which require the test taker to enter a value into a blank field, should be familiar to most test takers from the SAT. It is important to know that, with practice and instruction from a qualified test preparation professional, you can significantly improve your familiarity and comfort level with these types of questions.


The Quantitative Reasoning measure has four types of questions:

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions
  • Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice
  • Multiple-choice Questions — Select One or More Answer Choices
  • Numeric Entry Questions


Questions will either be independent questions or as part of a set of related problems that use the same source data.  These questions are known as data interpretation questions or sets.  The data for sets will usually appear in tables or graphs, but will sometimes be displayed in other formats.

You are allowed to use a basic calculator on the Quantitative Reasoning measure, which is provided on-screen.


Myth: Schools won't know how to compare the new score to the old score format.

Fact: GRE® scores valid for 5 years. While the scoring format is changing, the scores are still based on your performance relative to the expected performance of all test takers.  Therefore, schools will be able to compare your scores relative to that of all test takers, regardless of which test is taken.



A few additional things to remember about the GRE® test:

You are able to use a calculator on the Quantitative Review section of the revised GRE® Test. The calculator is provided within the test software.

The GRE®  is a long test - nearly 4 hours.  Plan and prepare for a longer test experience.

Some questions may have multiple right answers.

The test is no longer computer adaptive from question to question, meaning you can go back to previous questions. Your next question will no longer be determined by your performance on the previous question.

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