The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standard entrance exam required for anyone seeking admission to a graduate course. The GRE is required regardless of the field you are interested in going to graduate school for, and your scores on the test can be determinative when it comes to both admission and financial aid.
The test is conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS), and is administered on computers in testing centers throughout the United States and the rest of the world. GRE scores are standard - you are given both a numerical score and a percentile rank. The weight that different institutions place on these scores varies from school to school. In some institutions, a healthy GRE score is often the most important selection benchmark, while in others, it is just a formality. Still, you want to succeed on the test regardless of your school's emphasis upon it; so, here are some helpful links to help you practice.
Function of the GRE
The GRE tests your ability in three important areas:
- Logical reasoning
The test is an objective, multiple choice computer-generated test. Scores for the verbal and quantitative sections of the test are based on a computer-adaptive testing method. This means:
- The level of difficulty goes up if you get a question correct.
- You cannot skip questions.
- You cannot go back to a previous question and recheck your answers.
The highest possible score on each section of the test is 800, while the lowest possible score is 200.
Free GRE Practice Tests
- ETS - Why not start with a paper practice test from ETS itself? This 80-page .pdf file gives you a full picture of the GRE test and the comprehensive ETS website. It is a complete guide to all aspects of the GRE. While most of the site has general information about the exam, you can also take a look at targeted practice tests, too. Each individual section has a practice test, preceded by a detailed explanation of the section and the way the test is graded. The website also offers a review of the correct answers on each of the sections.
- My GRE Tutor - This is another site offering free GRE practice tests. This site not only has simulated tests; but also offers lots of information about GRE, such as fee structure; where to pay admission fees; scoring patterns and so on. In the practice test section, My GRE tutor offers a set of questions derived from all sections of the real test. The site offers over 600 practice questions divided over four actual tests. My GRE Tutor also offers a list of over 3,400 vocabulary words that are liable to show up on your GRE test. The website also provides reasoning tips and analysis of the answers.
- 800Score - This website offers a downloadable test as well as an online test that has to be completed on a section-by-section basis. After the actual test is completed, the website gives you your score. This enables you to get an idea of your strengths and weaknesses. The site also offers tutor support for a fee. Students have to register to take the practice tests, but this service is free.
- English-test.net - This site focuses primarily on the verbal, offering numerous verbal section and vocabulary practice questions, as well as a comprehensive list of vocabulary words to review.
- Testsworld - Testsworld offers several practice tests, all designed to stimulate the actual GRE experience. Tests have between 50 and 200 questions per test. The correct answer is provided with the touch of a button, and an explanation for the answer is also provided so you can help develop your skills and identify your mistakes.
- GRElearnhub - This is another site that offers a free mock GRE test. On this site, tests are administered online. Each section has full details of the nature of the mock test and the scoring pattern. The website claims that the tests mimic near-real test patterns so you can become used to the computer-adaptive formula.
- GoGrad GRE Guidebook - This site provides a broad spectrum of information including: descriptions of test sections; questions and answers on fees, timing and grading, how scores are used; study advice; a study plan; practice tests; test-day tips and information on disability services and accommodations.