What are the Topics Tested in the GRE Exam?

If you have decided to attempt the GRE exam, then it is quintessential that you are aware of the syllabus and the topics tested in it. The GRE has a comprehensive syllabus and it has 3 main sections — Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing and Verbal Reasoning on which you are assessed. Let us now learn more about each of these sections, the types of questions asked and the syllabus in detail.

Quantitative Reasoning 

The Quantitative section aims at evaluating your competence in basic mathematical concepts and is split into two sections. Each section has 20 questions and you have a duration of 35 minutes each to complete answering them. The types of questions generally asked in this section are — quantitative comparison, numeric entry and multiple choice questions. The GRE exam syllabus for Quantitative section includes the following topics: Arithmetic ( Ratio, Types of Integers, Percentage, etc), Geometry (Triangles, Polygons, Area, Volume, Quadrilaterals, etc), Algebra (Solving linear inequalities, Rules of exponents, Graphs of Functions, etc.) 

Verbal Reasoning 

The Verbal reasoning has 2 sections and each section has 20 questions. There are 3 question types — Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion. The Verbal Reasoning section is designed to test your ability to analyze and comprehend a given text and answer questions based on it. Additionally, it also evaluates your skills to find the connection between different parts of a sentence and also evaluate arguments. 

Analytical Writing 

The Analytical Writing section evaluates your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. You have two tasks in this section – Analyze an Argument and Analyze an Issue. These tasks will have sections on a wide range of topics such as Physical Science, Humanities, Fine Arts and more. You have to critically and logically put forth your thoughts and points. 

How is Each Section of the GRE Exam Scored?

Now that you are aware of the topics and question types that are tested in the GRE sections, let us next learn about the scoring for these sections. So if you have been wondering how is GRE scored, then we have the answers for you. Below is a table with the score ranges for each section.

GRE SectionsScore Range
Analytical Writing0-6 ( Increments by 0.5 point)
Verbal Reasoning130-170 ( Increments by 1 point)
Quantitative Reasoning130-170 ( Increments by 1 point)

ETS (the creators of the GRE exam) display your raw scores once you complete the exam. The raw scores are simply the number of answers you get right in the exam. The raw scores are then converted into scaled scores for your official score report. It goes through a process called equating. This is done on the basis of the difficulty level of the questions, which you have answered. The Quant and Verbal sections are section-level adaptive (the difficulty level of the second section of quant and verbal is set based on your performance in the first) so your score in each question will be calculated based on the difficulty level.

The Analytical Writing section goes through two reviews. The first is done by a trained human rater and the second by a computerized e-rater. The final score is the average of the two scores. If there are any discrepancies between the two scores then a third evaluation is done by a trained human rater and the final score is the average of both the scores from the human raters.

We hope you now have an overview of the GRE syllabus and scoring patterns. All the best for your preparation and the exam. 

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