The GRE is a long, complex exam that requires many hours of preparation. Students are bound to have various questions as they progress through their studies. Thankfully, our test experts have thoroughly analyzed the most prevalent questions in our GRE FAQ blog post series.

Below, you’ll find a sampling of the five most common questions we see. For the full list of our GRE FAQ blog posts, see the bottom of this post.

## 1. How long is the GRE?

Excluding breaks, the test length is three hours and forty-five minutes. This includes:

- The writing sections (60 minutes total)
- Two verbal sections (30 minutes each, 60 minutes total)
- Two quantitative sections (35 minutes each, 70 minutes total)
- One ungraded experimental section (30-35 minutes)

For an in-depth breakdown, see our post How Long is the GRE?

## 2. How much does the GRE cost?

At a minimum, everyone who takes the GRE must pay a mandatory $205 registration fee. However, there may be late fees, rescheduling fees, and other costs depending upon your situation. See our How Much Does the GRE Cost post for more details.

## 3. What are the best GRE books?

The offerings from ETS—including the Official Guide, the Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions, and the Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions—are the best GRE books you can find. ETS is the same company that produces the GRE itself, so the material in these books is written to the same specifications as content you’d find on a real GRE.

Aside from these, we recently published our own physical book: GRE Prep by Magoosh. The book is carefully curated by our experts, and we believe it is one of the strongest third-party GRE books available.

We also have a series of free eBooks and resources that may be found below:

- Complete Guide to the Revised GRE
- Complete Guide to GRE Vocabulary
- Complete Guide to GRE Math Formulas
- GRE Vocabulary Flashcards
- The Complete Hassle-Free Guide to the GRE Test

For an in-depth look at physical GRE materials, head over to our Best GRE Books post, or our consult our full list of GRE Book Reviews.

## 4. Can I use a calculator?

GRE test-takers will have access to a simple calculator capable of performing addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and square root operations.

That being said, we are strong advocates of avoiding the calculator whenever possible. The GRE is not testing your ability to punch numbers into a machine. Instead, the GRE is analyzing your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Most problems will not require a calculator at all, and it is typically quicker to perform simple operations mentally. Granted, there will be a few problems—like those involving multiple decimals, or multiplication/division of complex numbers—where calculator use is warranted. But for the most part, relying on mental math is the best strategy.

For further discussion, check out our post Can you Use a Calculator on the GRE?

## 5. What is adaptive testing?

Adaptive tests use computer algorithms to “adapt” to the user’s skill level. The GRE is adaptive *between* sections. This means questions within a given math or verbal section will not change depending upon your performance. However, after completing a section, the next section you see will be adjusted to your abilities, based on the results of the previous section. In other words, performing better on your initial section will lead to a more difficult second section. But this is a good thing—those who advance to more difficult sections will typically receive higher scores than those who are relegated to easier sections.

For additional information concerning this process, see: Is the GRE Adaptive?

Now it’s your turn: Are there any other questions you’d like to see added to our GRE FAQ series?

## GRE FAQ Archives

- GRE Score Range: What’s a Good GRE Score?
- Can You Use a Calculator on the GRE?
- How Long is the GRE?
- Should I Take the GRE Again? Is it Worth it?
- How Do I Send My GRE Score Report?
- The Real Benefit of Changing Your Answers on the GRE
- FAQ: Should I Study Probability?
- QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About the GRE?
- When You Shouldn’t Take a Diagnostic Test
- What does the GRE exam look like?
- How to Find a Great GRE Tutor
- GRE vs. GMAT
- How to Teach the GRE
- Avoiding Silly Mistakes on the GRE
- GRE for Business School
- GRE Question Types Breakdown
- How Hard is the GRE?
- How Much Does the GRE Cost? Adding All Your GRE Fees
- How Many Questions Can I Miss on the GRE and Still Get a Perfect Score?
- New GRE Format 2012
- Is the Revised GRE Adaptive?
- FAQ – Is The Revised GRE Going to be Longer than the Current GRE?
- FAQ — What Materials Should I Use to Study for the GRE? (Part I – The Good)
- FAQ — Does the New GRE Allow You To Return To a Question You’ve Already Seen?
- Think You Got What It Takes to Ace the New GRE?
- FAQ — Will the New GRE be Adaptive?
- FAQ – Will the Revised GRE Verbal be Easier?
- FAQ: How do I improve on the Reading Comprehension?

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