What is GRE?

If you are planning to take a graduate course – or graduate courses – abroad, the University will likely require the GRE as one of the admission requirements. While the GMAT continues to be the most requested by MBA programs around the world, the GRE has consolidated as the most application for admission to master’s degrees. Today, however, about 250 business schools also accept the GRE for admission to the MBA.

It is a standardized examination, similar to GMAT, that may be specific to areas – such as Biology, Mathematics or Literature – or General. In both cases, the test is performed by computer, in an application center, and has a total duration of 4 hours. The exam is held several times a month in several cities in Brazil, and registration can be done online – there is a fee of $ 205 to take the exam.

In 2011, the GRE was redesigned and underwent changes in both the design and the type of issue. The test allows candidates to skip and return to the question, within the same section. Essentially, there are three sections of questions:

# 1 Verbal Reasoning – Measures the ability to analyze and evaluate written materials and synthesize information. It is necessary to recognize relationships between words and concepts. There are, in total, 20 questions that must be answered within 30 minutes.

# 2 Quantitative Reasoning – Measures the ability to solve problems by focusing on the concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. The section lasts 35 minutes, during which the candidate must resolve 20 questions.

# 3 Analytical Writing –  Evaluates, through two essays, critical thinking, especially to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and efficiently. 30 minutes are written for the writing.

As “extra”, there are also two sections that do not accumulate points but are important for completing the application: one that focuses on research and another that can be used later in other tests.

How to start studying?

The most common option is to start studying through the Writing section . Thus, the candidate will have more time to become familiar with the ideas contained in the prompts – or the essay topics. On the ETS website you will find all the prompts that can be given on the day of the test, both ‘Issue Analysis’ and ‘Argument Analysis’.

It is not necessary to memorize these questions – the important thing is for the candidate to create models for response and to increase vocabulary, grammar and to write an essay in the suggested model. In this preparation, memorizing all topics would be waste of time and energy that could be directed to other sections of the test.

It may be helpful for the Verbal Reasoning section to memorize some of the more recurring words that are in all the preparatory materials for the test. A good tip for this is to use flash cards, one of the best resources for memorizing and organizing vocabulary according to the book “Organized Mind” by Daniel Levitin.

The Quantitative section, however, requires the revision of notions of mathematics sometimes overlooked by many students of humans. Already those who are involved in matters of exact will have much more facility. Algebra and geometry concepts are basic and should be sharp for testing. Some logical reasoning exercises are required and training enough to get the exercises done over time is a good ally for a good score. For those who are studying alone, a good tool may be the Khan Academy platform which, in partnership with ETC, provides videos and preparation exercises for the GRE.

Scoring – What is a good score?

The scores range from 130 to 170 points for the Verbal and Quantitative sections and 0 to 6 for the Writing section .

A good score is always relative because it depends on the college where you intend to apply – the institutions themselves offer average grades as a reference to interested students. Here are some examples:

Harvard University
Verbal History (from 165 to 169 points) and Quantitative (from 152 to 156 points)
Verbal Computer Science (from 153 to 157 points) and Quantitative (from 159 to 163 points)

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