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New GRE Exam Format

by Professor Dave

  • The GRE is “section-level adaptive.” This means the difficulty of the second section (verbal, for example) is determined by how well you did on the first (verbal) section. Of course, this adaptive feature does not alter your preparation, pacing, or focus.
  • In aiming for a score that reflects your truest ability, it is important that you answer as many questions as possible in any given section. Scores are based on correct answers. But all parts of a question must be answered correctly. There is no partial credit given. However, there is no penalty for incorrect answers.

The computerized exam is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Specific Tips

  • Answer as many questions as you can in each section. The more questions you answer after careful consideration, the more likely your reported score will accurately reflect your true ability. After you begin a section, the time runs continuously until you leave the section. This is true even if you click on Time Box to hide the time information, click on Help to review section directions, or click any part of the tutorial.
  • There is a one-minute break between each test section. You will be informed by an on-screen message of the availability of a 10-minute break midway through the testing session. Section timing will not stop if you take an unscheduled break. You might want to replenish your supply of scratch paper during each break.
  • You will be able move on to the next question before you answer the current one. And you will be able to return to any question to submit or change an answer, but this is not necessarily an enduring strategy.

Guessing as a Strategy

Intelligent guessing can be an effective strategy. Try to eliminate one or more answer choices as improbable before making a decision you’re not quite sure about.

What Scores will be Reported?

Three scores will be reported on the General Test:

  • a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130-170 verbal scale, in one-point increments
  • a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130-170 quantitative scale, in one-point increments
  • an Analytical Writing score reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments E. GRE Strategies Become familiar with the computer and test-taking tools before beginning the exam.

Visit early and often. Review the GRE Math Review, engage sample questions, and study AW prompts. Use the GRE PowerPrep exam(s) for your final study. The more comfortable you are with the tools, format, and design of the computerized version of the test, the better equipped you will be to focus on the questions themselves.

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