What is the GRE Syllabus?

What is the GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised test that is accepted for graduate admissions at thousands of graduate and business schools across the world.  After a major overhaul of the test itself in August 2011, the new pattern GRE lets you skip questions, change your answers and control which questions you want to tackle first. It is section-adaptive, so the performance on the first verbal and math sections determine the difficulty of the second sections presented to a test taker. So let us take a look at what the GRE Syllabus 2017-18 looks like!

What is the Syllabus and Structure of GRE?

The GRE Syllabus has three major sections which include Analytical writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

The GRE measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills—skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study.   The GRE features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll require in graduate or business school. The three broad sections you’ll encounter are –

Sections in GRE Verbal Reasoning Syllabus

The Verbal section on the GRE consists of two separate 30-minute sections with 20 questions each consisting of:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Text Completion
  • Sentence Equivalence


The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to:

  • Analyze and draw conclusions from discourse; reason from incomplete data; identify author’s assumptions and/or perspective; understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative, and author’s intent.
  • Select important points; distinguish relevant and major points from minor points; summarize text; understand the structure of a text.
  • Understand the meanings of words, sentences, and entire texts; understand relationships among words and among concepts.

For a detailed blog on the GRE Verbal section take a look at our GRE Verbal Guide – Planning and Approach and How to ace the GRE Vocabulary section.

Sections in GRE Quantitative Reasoning Syllabus

This Quant section on the GRE consists of two separate 35-minute sections with 20 questions each consisting of:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Data Analysis


The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to:

  • Understand quantitative information
  • Interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • Solve problems using mathematical models
  • Apply the basic mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics

Here are some blogs to help you understand GRE Quant Section better:


Sections in GRE Analytical Writing

This is the first section on the GRE and consists of two separate 30-minute  essay writing tasks:

  •  Analyze an Issue
  •  Analyze an Argument


The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to:

  • Articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • Support ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • Sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion
  • Control the elements of standard written English

The Analytical Writing section requires you to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented, so you can accurately demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task. To know more about how to tackle the AWA essays – read this blog on GRE AWA Section Demystified.

How is the GRE scored?

The GRE is scored out of a total of 340 points, which include the Verbal & the Quant section. The analytical writing section is separately scored out of 6 points.


Which countries accept GRE scores?

GRE scores are accepted by thousands of  graduate programs  worldwide, including those in countries such as

  • India
  • USA
  • UK
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • Thailand

Hope you found the info on this page useful. If you have more questions about the GRE exam, you should definitely check out this blog: GRE Info – All you need to know know about the exam.

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