The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is designed to measure the verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills of individuals who seek to enter graduate school.
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The administrator of the GRE test, the Educational Testing Service, notes that the skills being measured are those that should have been acquired over the course of the candidate’s entire education, and are not tied directly to any particular discipline.
In the verbal reasoning section, the candidate will be required to consider and judge written passages; consider the relationships between the constituent parts of a sentence; and analyze the relationships between words and concepts.
GRE test vocabulary is typically at a level appropriate to individuals who have graduated from a four-year college. This section of the GRE test consists of 30 questions which must be answered within 30 minutes.
In the quantitative reasoning section, the GRE exam measures the candidate’s ability to solve problems in arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and data analysis. This section of the GRE test will also require the test-taker to solve problems in a quantitative setting.
GRE test study guides often suggest going back over some high school and college-level math problems in order to refresh understanding of these concepts. GRE test math should be simple enough for any individual who has passed Algebra III and Geometry. This section of the exam consists of 28 questions which must be answered within 45 minutes.
The analytical writing section of the exam will:
- measure the candidate’s ability to articulate complex ideas in a clear and effective manner
- judge rival claims and consider opposing sets of evidence
- support ideas with pertinent reasoning and examples
- demonstrate mastery over the basic elements of written English
This section consists of one issue task, which must be completed within 45 minutes, and one argument task, which must be completed within 30 minutes.
On the issue task, the candidate will be allowed to choose one of two topics; on the argument task, he or she will have to address the one topic that is given.
As you continue your practice for the GRE test, it is valuable to remember the content and format of the exam so as to keep yourself focused and make your GRE test study efforts as effective as possible.
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