Like the SATs and the new GMAT, the GRE too has joined the bandwagon this year by making various changes in the testing system this year. As mentioned in our previous blog posts, change is essential to keep up with the latest generation.

The test takers are constantly adapting and evolving not just to accommodate newer mindsets but also the changing circumstances of the world – including the interdependency of novel job profiles and evolving technology. Hence there are certain changes made in the GRE Exam for the year 2024, which we shall cover in this blogpost.

But first,

What is the GRE?


The GRE Test dates back to as early as 1936 when the graduate deans of four Ivy League universities collaborated with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to create a standardised testing system for high school students. It was later acquired by the ETS (Education Testing System) in 1949.

GRE, the acronym for Graduate Record Examinations, is a standardized test and a part of the application process for many universities in the US, Canada, and other countries. It’s used for those applying in graduate, business, and law schools, and covers multiple relevant areas for testing.

Parameters that are tested on the GRE

The GRE Exam tests your basic mathematical skills including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, as well as data analysis. Along with mathematical skills, it also tests your verbal skills including vocabulary and grammar. The main aim of this test is to not just assess these college-level skills but also your ability to perceive, analyze, and evaluate information, think, and solve problems placed in front of you.

The GRE Exam is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Analytical Writing – this section is an essay-writing task called ‘Analyze the Issues’ Task – it basically tests your ability to analyze an issue and construct a logical argument on its basis.

This test assesses your ability to examine, interpret, and construct a logical argument with appropriate calls to action. The duration for this section is 30 minutes.

  1. Verbal Reasoning – This section is similar to the reading and writing section of an ACT or SAT Test. It includes questions on sentence completion, sentence equivalence, and reading comprehension.

Essentially, this assesses your ability to understand and interpret written material cohesively. The duration for this section is 41 minutes and consists of 27 questions, divided further into sub-sections of 12 and 15 questions.

  1. Quantitative Reasoning – This is also known as the GRE Math section. It is divided mainly into Quantitative Comparison, Problem-Solving, and Data-Interpretation questions.

These questions aren’t straightforward, testing only your mathematical skills. It creates real-life situations and problems, requiring you to think on a lateral rather than a linear level. This section lasts 47 minutes which is further divided into sub-sections with a total of 27 questions.

Previously, the GRE also included an Unscored Section and a Research section, which have now been removed.

The GRE Exam Pattern as of 2024

MeasuresSectionsNo. of QuestionsDuration
Analytical Writing1One ‘Analyze an Issue’ task30 minutes

Verbal Reasoning
112 questions18 minutes
215 questions23 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning112 questions21 minutes
215 questions26 minutes

The Changes

SectionsCurrent GRE Exam PatternPrevious GRE Exam Pattern
GRE Analytical Writing1 section, 1 essay task(30 minutes)1 section, 2 essay tasks(60 minutes)
GRE Verbal Reasoning2 sections, 27 questions in total(41 minutes)2 sections, 40 questions total(60 minutes)
GRE Quantitative Reasoning2 sections, 27 questions in total(47 minutes)2 sections, 40 questions in total(70 minutes)
Unscored SectionremovedVaries
Total GRE Duration1 hour 58 minutes3 hours 45 minutes

Changes in Format:

Testing time

What was previously a 3 hour 45 minute – long and often strenuous exam period for some students, has now been reduced to only 1 hour 58 minutes – almost half of the previous duration. This helps combat exam fatigue, an essential factor when it comes to determining the performance of the students.

Number of essays

Earlier, there were two essays under the Analytical Writing section:

-Analysis of an issue 

-Analysis of an argument

The ‘Analyze the Argument task’ has now been removed from the Exam to reduce the cumulative stress on the students.

Number of questions

As the amount of time has reduced to half, so has the number of questions. With a total of 55 questions (including the essay), it’s a breeze compared to the earlier 82-question format.

Unscored section

This section has been removed from the GRE Exam.

Flexibility with test centres

Now you can give a GRE Exam from your home if you’re not comfortable travelling to a test centre. With a secure internet connection and a smooth-functioning computer, the GRE Exam has now become more convenient for those who face issues commuting to test centres.

Subject-specific GRE Tests

Apart from the GRE General Test, there are a few subject-specific tests as well. The GRE Physics and Psychology Tests are now timed at 2 hours each, and they have removed the GRE Test for Chemistry.

Quicker results

The test takers for the GRE can now expect their results within 8 to 10 days. This gives students enough time to plan for any backups if they don’t receive their desired scores in the exam.

Changes in Features:

Ability to review and edit answers

Students can go through the answers that they’ve submitted, and also edit answers in retrospect before submitting them within the given duration of 1 hour 58 minutes.

Can mark trickier questions

At times a question is confusing or complicated to understand at first. Hence, students now have the option to mark these kinds of answers. They can always come back to answer them later, after answering the rest of the questions.

Use of an on-screen calculator

The ETS has also provided an on-screen calculator for the GRE Math Section.

What does NOT change:

Although there are few but significant changes made to the GRE this time, the content and format of questions remain the same. Fret not, because the reduced timing and questions let you focus and prepare more for the 3 sections henceforth.

GRE Exam Dates:

The number and frequency of the GRE Exam dates have increased and vary from region to region.

You can even schedule a test date depending on your pincode and month preference.

The GRE is already taking tests this month, so if you need to prepare, we’ve got you. Young Scholarz offers guidance and feedback for both sections in GRE: English and Math.
Head over to our registration page for more guidance on how to apply.

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