connect with us

All About GRE Exam Syllabus

Stay updated with the latest GRE exam syllabus and pattern

Consult our experts
GRE Exam Syllabus

Are You Looking for GRE Exam Syllabus?

When you plan to study in countries like the US and Canada, the first hurdle you must overcome is the GRE test. This post aims to help students learn all about the GRE pattern and GRE syllabus to help students prepare well.

GRE Exam: Overview, History, and Development

The first step to getting admission to ay of the top universities is qualifying for a few standardized tests, one of which is the GRE. The test score of the Graduate Record Examination is accepted mainly by institutions in the US, Canada, and a few other countries.

The test was introduced back in 1936 as a collaboration project by graduate school deans of four Ivy League universities and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Studies suggest that the University of Wisconsin was the first university to ask students to sit for the GRE test in 1938, followed by Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, and Columbia University.

Initially, the test had only verbal reasoning and quantitative skills assessment. With time and various amendments, the GRE now has six sections that examine various skills of students willing to study abroad. The ETS (Educational Testing Service), created in 1947, looks over the GRE currently.

GRE Test Format

GRE is divided into two parts, the GRE general test and the GRE subject test. Let’s take a look at the test format of each:

GRE General Test Format

GRE general test is the one most students are familiar with. Here’s an insight into the GRE general test structure:


Number of questions


Analytical writing

Analyze an issue task

Analyze an argument task

30 minutes for each task

Verbal reasoning (two sections)

20 questions per section

30 minutes per section

Quantitative reasoning (two sections)

20 questions per section

35 minutes per section

Un-scored for the research section



Crack GRE with Confidence – AbroAdvice Awaits!

GRE Subject Test Format

The test is based on four subjects, namely:

  • Chemistry – 130 multiple-choice questions
  • Mathematics – 66 multiple-choice questions covering various math chapters
  • Physics – 100 5-choice questions
  • Psychology – 205 multiple-choice questions

Learn all about GRE general tests and subject tests from the experts at

GRE General Test Syllabus

Here’s an insight into the types of questions for each section:


Total Questions

Types of questions

Score range


GRE verbal reasoning


Reading comprehension

Text completion

Sentence equivalence


60 minutes

GRE quantitative reasoning


Quantitative comparison questions

Numeric entry questions


70 minutes

GRE analytical reasoning questions


Analyze an issue

Analyze an argument


30 minutes for each task


80 MCQs

2 Descriptive



3 hours 10 minutes

The GRE general test has all these sections, and there's only one way to nail the exam, practice. The more you sit for mock tests, the more you will get accustomed to the GRE syllabus and be able to sail through all these sections easily.

Yet, without detailed knowledge, you will be unable to crack the test. On that note, let's gain more insight into the various sections of the GRE general test:

GRE Verbal Reasoning

Did you read the short story The Lady or the Tiger? If you have, you have already been introduced to verbal reasoning. The section evaluates your ability to analyze a situation and draw a conclusion based on your understanding of an author's assumptions and perspectives. In the short story mentioned above, the author leaves it up to the readers to draw a conclusion and understand the princess's decision. To do that, you have to read the entire story thoroughly and analyze each word, sentence, and sections to find the answer.

GRE Quantitative Reasoning

The GRE quantitative reasoning section examines your mathematical skills and your ability to understand, analyze and interpret quantitative information. Basic math skills and knowledge of concepts like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis will be enough to help you answer all the questions in this section.

GRE Analytical Reasoning

If you have worked on assignments that involve analysis and interpretation of raw data, you might ace the section without much struggle. The analytical reasoning or analytical writing section evaluates a student's critical thinking and analytical writing skills, their ability to support complex ideas, evaluate arguments, and present a focused and coherent discussion.

There’s no way to deny the significance of any of these sections. The best way to cope with the structure and prepare well for the GRE is by signing up with for proper assistance with the process.

Your GRE Journey Starts Here – Join Now!

GRE Subject Test Syllabus

As the GRE subject test is paper-based, students need to prepare well to answer all the questions. So, what are the chapters of each subject that you need to study if you are sitting for a GRE subject test? Let's explore one by one:

GRE Chemistry Syllabus

The GRE chemistry section consists of 130 multiple-choice questions. You have to be quick in answering each question. The test entails all four sections of chemistry, and you have to be well-versed in each to pass the exam. Here’s how the questions are divided:

  • Analytical chemistry – 15%
  • Inorganic chemistry – 25%
  • Organic chemistry – 30%
  • Physical chemistry – 30%

Consider each section important to answer all the questions within the specified time.

GRE Math Syllabus

Unlike quantitative reasoning, the GRE math test assesses your understanding of the subject and its various chapters. With 66 multiple-choice questions from undergraduate courses, the test can be tough if you don't prepare well. Here's an insight into the break-up of questions:

  • Calculus – 50%
  • Algebra – 25%
  • Additional topics – 25%

Calculus and its applications form the major part of the questions in this test. However, the other sections are equally important to pass the exam.

GRE Physics Syllabus

Physics is one of the subjects that has attracted many students. With interesting chapters like electromagnetism, classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and atomic physics, the subject brings a lot to the table. However, when it comes to the GRE, you have to study the most important ones. This is what a physics GRE paper consists of:

  • Classical mechanics – 20%
  • Electromagnetism – 18%
  • Optics and wave phenomena – 9%
  • Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics – 10%
  • Quantum mechanics – 12%
  • Atomic physics – 10%
  • Special relativity – 6%
  • Laboratory methods – 6%
  • Specialized topics – 9%

GRE Psychology Syllabus

You have to attempt 205 multiple-choice questions, with each having five options. Students have to be well-versed in the following sections to ace the test:

  • Biological (17-21%)
  • Cognitive (17-24%)
  • Social (12-14%)
  • Developmental (12-14%)
  • Clinical (15-19%)
  • Measurement/methodology/other – (15-19%)

GRE Biology Syllabus

The ETS discontinued the GRE biology test with effect from May 2021.

GRE English Literature Syllabus

Like biology, ETS discontinued the English literature test in May 2021.
Please note the percentages mentioned along with each subject indicate the number of questions in the paper.

GRE Dreams Begin – Contact AbroAdvice Today!

Types of GRE Exam Patterns

Computer-delivered test

The GRE computer-delivered test can be taken from anywhere. Candidates can opt to take the test from home. The at-home tests are monitored by human proctors online using ProctorU and can be accessed at any time on any day.

Paper-delivered test

The paper-delivered test is a GRE subject test. The test is used to evaluate a student's understanding of a particular field of study. The scores are used by universities as a way to understand your knowledge of the subject you are willing to pursue.

GRE Exam Pattern for the Computer-Delivered Test



No. of sections

No. of questions

Verbal reasoning

30 minutes



Analytical writing

60 minutes



Quantitative reasoning

35 minutes












3 hours 45 minutes



GRE Paper-Delivered Test Exam Pattern



No. of sections

No. of questions

Verbal reasoning

35 minutes



Analytical writing

40 minutes



Quantitative reasoning

30 minutes




3 hours 30 minutes



Students are always in search of books that can ease the overall process and help them get ready for the test. The following section will help you know about the best books for GRE test preparation.

The Best Books for GRE Preparation

The GRE syllabus is not restricted to a few subjects or topics. Hence, to ace the test, you need to refer to various study materials. We know how difficult it is to find appropriate study materials and to help you with it, here's a list of the ten best books for GRE preparation:

  1. The Official Guide to the GRE General Test, Third Edition
  2. Official GRE-Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions Volume 1, Second Edition
  3. Official GRE-Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions Volume 1, Second Edition
  4. Official GRE- Super Power Pack
  5. Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus 2023-24
  6. Manhattan Prep- 5 Lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
  7. The Princeton Review’s GRE Premium Prep, 2022
  8. GRE Prep by Magoosh
  9. Test Prep Books – GRE, 12th Edition
  10. Barron’s GRE Essential Words, 5th Edition

Go through the various lessons in these books and prepare well for the GRE test.

Master GRE Syllabus – Connect with Experts!

Importance of GRE Syllabus for Graduate School Admissions

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is important for the admission process in many disciplines. While it is widely believed that the GRE is the first step in the application process, you would be surprised to know that many schools have made the test-optional. The GRE test score is mandatory for some subjects. However, if you look at the bigger picture and what GRE scores highlight, you might as well take the test to be ahead in the race.

Given the importance of GRE test scores in the application process, it is crucial to know the best ways to prepare and score well. Give us a call to learn more about the GRE and prepare well to beat the competition.

Master the GRE Syllabus with Assistance from has made a name for itself for being the most trusted website to help students willing to study abroad. With personalized guidance from certified counselors, we have always made sure that students get the right assistance with the overall process. We cover all aspects of the GRE and can help you master the GRE syllabus. We share access to unlimited resources that can help students learn all about the GRE and ace the tests.

Don’t wait any longer. Share your requirements and master the GRE syllabus with assistance from top counselors.

Other Related Test Preparation Services offered by

IELTS Coaching TOEFL Coaching
Duolingo Coaching SAT Coaching
PTE Coaching GMAT Coaching

Is your visa got rejected?

Fill in your details and we'll call you back!

By submitting this form, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Submit loader

Frequently Asked Questions by Students

Of all the standardized exams for international students, the GRE is a bit complicated. The major reason for the GRE being more challenging than other exams is its difficult GRE vocabulary and reading sections. In addition, candidates must have a high level of reasoning skills to ace the GRE. The exam has been ranked as one of the toughest exams when compared with SAT and ACT. It is more logic-oriented than the SAT and ACT.

GRE is divided into three sections. You have to score at least 130 in both verbal and quantitative sections. Hence, the qualification mark for GRE is 260, excluding the analytical section.

If you are planning to study MS in the USA, please be informed that most universities in the country grant admission or take the admission process forward based on the GRE exam score. The exam might be optional for other universities, but top universities in the US offering MS need a GRE score.

GRE is a crucial exam for students willing to study abroad. It goes without saying that you need to prepare well to crack the exam and confirm your seat in one of the top universities abroad. Here are a few tips to prepare for the GRE exam:

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Know what you’re getting into
  3. Sit of practice tests
  4. Work on your vocabulary
  5. Focus on your subject
  6. Look for good study materials
  7. Understand the types of questions
  8. Maintain an error log
  9. Plan to appear for the exam twice

Following these tips religiously will help you crack the exam and get admission to one of the top universities abroad.

You must know the right time to take the GRE test so that there’s no delay in the process. Experts suggest students take the GRE test in their penultimate year. So, if you are planning to pursue your Master's abroad, sit for GRE in the second last year of college. You will have time to rectify the mistakes and work on them before it's too late. Also, you can sit for the test again if you fail to make it in the first attempt.

It is crucial to have the right study materials while preparing for the GRE. While there are many websites that can share access to study materials, here are five books that you must refer to while preparing for the GRE:

  1. Kaplan GRE Prep Plus
  2. TPB GRE Prep Review Book
  3. The Princeton Review GRE Premium Prep
  4. GRE Prep Book by Magoosh
  5. Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

You will be able to understand the major sections of the GRE and prepare well for the test once you start going through the books mentioned above.

Like all other standardized tests, GRE also directs students to complete all sections within a specific time. The exam lasts for about 3 hours and 45 minutes, with a 10-minute break after the first three sections.

GRE tests your skills in all subjects. You have to prove yourself good with math to crack the exam. Here's a look at the chapters included in the GRE math test: 

  1. Calculus
  2. Algebra
  3. Additional topics
  • Set theory, logic, graph theory, combinatorics, and algorithms
  • Continuity, differentiability and integrals, sequence and series, number and functions, and the elementary topology of R and Rn
  • General topology, complex variables, geometry, probability and statistics, numerical analysis

You need to be good with all these chapters to crack the GRE exam.

GRE is a bit tougher when compared to SAT. It includes a verbal reasoning section to assess a student's reading comprehension and reasoning skills, which is not there in SAT. Also, you will not come across a dedicated analytical writing section in GRE. The math section of the GRE is more complicated than SAT, and unlike SAT, there is a quantitative reasoning section in GRE. So, the syllabus is not similar to SAT.

You can sign up with to know the complete GRE syllabus and pattern. is one of the well-known websites for students planning to study abroad. We offer the best consultancy services and help students understand the various requirements and prepare well for all standardized tests.

You have to work on six sections in GRE. Analytical writing is always the first section, and there's a ten-minute break after three sections. You must work on your time management skills to ace the exam and score well to confirm admission to any of the top universities.

Student Reviews On GRE Exam Syllabus

  • GRE Success Starts Here's coverage of the GRE syllabus is extensive and spot-on. The recommended resources became my go-to, ensuring success in each section of the test.

    Sanjana, Delhi
  • Ace Your GRE with

    For a comprehensive grasp of the GRE syllabus, is unparalleled. Their recommended books and expert advice were crucial in my GRE success.

    Pooja, Noida
  • GRE Prep Made Simple simplified the GRE syllabus for me. Their step-by-step approach and recommended books were incredibly helpful. A trustworthy guide for GRE aspirants!

    Akshy, Greater Noida
  • A Game-Changer for GRE Aspirants's in-depth coverage of the GRE syllabus, coupled with expert counseling, transformed my preparation. Highly recommend for anyone aiming at top scores!

    Puman, Delhi
Need Help? Chat Now