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Standardized test: GRE

The Graduate Record Examination is a Standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools (of all fields other than business) assess the potential of applicants for advanced study . Nearly 2300 universities in the US require GRE® scores from each applicant.

The GRE tests the fundamental skills - Reasoning and Comprehension included - and does not require any subject-specific theoretical study (This is true only for the General GRE Test, and not the GRE Subject, which is required by certain universities).

The test is designed in such a way that it would be unlike any other test you would have taken at school or college. First, the test has no question paper or answer sheets, nor does it have the same set of questions for all the examinees. Further, it does not give you the option of not answering a question (unless, of course, you run out of time at the end). All this because the GRE Test is an entirely Computer based test - the keyboard and mouse do the work of a pen or pencil. The test is scored out of 1600 (in multiples of 10).

The GRE Test is only one of several parameters which the graduate schools look at to determine the selection of an applicant. A high score alone does not translate into an admission offer from a great school. But the test can be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process of getting admission into a Graduate school of your choice.

Where is the test held?

The test is held in nine centres across the country: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Trivandrum.

When is the test held?

All-round-the-year. Unlike other exams, you can choose your own date and time for taking the GRE Test! The test is administered in the above cities five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for GRE Test, so in case you intend to take the test during this period, you need to register very early (say 90 days in advance) to get a date of your choice. Otherwise, registering at least 15 days in advance is mandatory. The test lasts roughly three-and-a-half hours, and most centres offer two slots : 9 A.M. and 2 P.M.

Eligibility and fees

Anyone and everyone is eligible for taking the GRE Test - there are no restrictions based on age or qualifications. The test scores are valid for five years, i.e., most universities accept scores up to five years old. But it is always better if your scores are recent (not older than 2 years).

Test fees for GRE Test may vary according to the country in which you take the test. In India, this fee is US $140 (approx Rs. 7000), payable at the time of registration. You cannot pay in Indian Rupees. The fees has to be paid through a US Dollar denominated draft, made out in favour of "ETS - GRE" payable in the U.S. Such a draft is usually available with the Main Branches of most banks (which have a foreign exchange counter) in most of the big cities for a nominal charge (around Rs. 200). Alternately, the payment can also be made through a credit card which has global acceptance. The credit card need not necessarily be yours - you can get your father to sign for you!

GRE exam set to get tougher

With the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) becoming tougher, the clock is ticking for those who plan to go to the US for higher studies.

In 2005 itself there has been a significant jump — to 42,000 from 35,000 in ’04 — in the number of Indian students who have taken the GRE, and, if current indications are anything to go by, many more students are expected to take the plunge before the new pattern comes into force.

Come October ’06, the GRE, the gateway to pursuing a masters or doctorate programme for most subjects in US universities, is undergoing a major transformation.

“Since the scores are valid for a period of time, we are anticipating a 20% increase in the number of test takers in the next few months,” says Soumitra Roy, managing director-India, Prometric Testing Private.

The new internet-based test will have different types of questions in new formats for each of the three sections — verbal reasoning, analytical writing and quantitative reasoning.

“The test is being revised to make it more competitive with greater emphasis on more complex reasoning skills that are closely designed to graduate work. It will include questions involving real life scenarios and data interpretation questions and more focused writing questions,” says Mr. Roy.

With the addition of new sections, the duration of the test will almost double from the present two-and-half hour to over four hours. In addition, the verbal and quantitative sections will have new score scales.

Instead of continuous testing, the exam will be administered on fixed dates in a year worldwide, and each version of the revised test will be used only once.



How to apply?

Obtain the "GRE Information Bulletin" available free with Sylvan Testing Services and USEFI. You can also request the bulletin from Infozee at Request Test Forms and it will be delivered to your given address. The Test Scheduling Form comes with the bulletin. The Test Scheduling Form comes with the bulletin. There are four ways to register:

Registering by Phone: You may call up Prometric Delhi office until 12:00 noon to register. Make sure to call at least THREE BUSINESS DAYS before the test date.

Registering Online: You may now also register only from the GRE site:

Registering by Fax: If registering by fax, you must send your fax at lest SEVEN DAYS prior to your first choice of a test day.

Registering by Mail/Courier: Fill in the form, get the draft made (if you are not paying by credit card), and submit these to the Prometric Centre at New Delhi either by hand or by registered post/courier. You must send the documents at least THREE WEEKS before your choice of a test day.

On receipt of your documents, an appointment will be scheduled for you to test at the Prometric Center. Confirmation of the date, time and location of the appointment will be sent to you. If you do not receive confirmation at least THREE business daysbefore your first choice of test day, please call the Prometric office to verify your appointment.

Prometric Testing Private Limited
2nd Floor, DLF Infinity Tower - A
Sector 25, Phase ll
DLF City, Gurgaon
Haryana 122002

Tel: 91-124-5147700
Fax: 91-124-5147773

You will receive an admit card normally within a week of applying. Remember to keep a copy of the form and the draft with you.

Subject GRE

The GRE Subject tests are meant to assess your qualification in a specific field of study. It is required mainly for Doctoral Study in the US and is also required by some universities for Masters Level programs.

You need to check the application requirements of universities you are applying to. The test is available in eight different areas:

1. Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
2. Biology
3. Chemistry
4. Computer Science
5. Literature in English
6. Mathematics
7. Physics
8. Psychology

This test is a written test and not a computer test like the General GRE test. It is held thrice a year at the following cities in India.

Allahabad; Bangalore; Mumbai; Kolkotta; Coimbatore; Hyderabad; Chennai; New Delhi; Pilani; Ranchi; Trivandrum

The Registration Bulletin for the General GRE test has a separate form for the Subject GRE test.

The GRE bulletin can be ordered online from

The completed application form has to be sent to ETS (The test conducting authority) in USA alongwith the required fee by the dates mentioned above.

 Subject Test Fees
(effective July 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006)


  U.S., U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico


 All Other Locations

 $  40

 Rescheduling Fee

 $  35

 Standby Testing



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