Preparing for the GRE

General Exam Information

  • The GRE exam has 6 sections
    • 2 Quantitative Reasoning (35 min each)
    • 2 Verbal Reasoning (30 min each)
    • 1 Issue Writing (30 min)
  • Not all schools require GRE scores – check application requirements to see if its necessary
  • Taking the GRE costs about $200, and you must register several weeks in advance

Timeline & Retakes

  • Most applications take the GRE 3-4 months before their application deadlines
  • You may take the GRE multiple times, but you must wait at least 21 days between each attempt
    • Start taking it early if you want to leave the option for a retake!
    • Many schools will “superscore” your GRE – looking only at your best results


  • Plan to study for 3-6 months before taking the exam
    • Studying over several months is far more effective than cramming
  • Techniques
    • Many students find the question styles more problematic than the content alone
      • Review material as needed, but be prepared to spend a large amount of your studying time on practice questions
    • Take timed practice tests to learn the exam timing & test your endurance
    • Study vocabulary with flashcards