GRE Exam Syllabus 2023

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Updated on
June 15, 2023

GRE Exam Syllabus: Different Syllabus for GRE 2023 & Shorter GRE; Check the Key Differences in Exam Pattern & Syllabus; Options Available


GRE 2023 exam syllabus is clearly defined for each of its sections. However, the GRE syllabus will change with effect from September 22, 2023 as the GRE exam conducting body ETS has announced to launch the new shorter format of GRE Exam. Conducted by US based Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE is a ‘Computer Based Test’ which is widely used as an admission requirement for various graduate programmes including MBA by business schools, primarily in the United States, as well as some universities and institutions in other countries.


The GRE syllabus aims to assess the readiness of students for graduate-level academic work and evaluates their verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. At present GRE exam duration is of about 4 hours, but ETS has announced to launch shorter duration GRE effective September 22, 2023. The shorter GRE will be of 1 Hr 58 Minute Exam with 46 fewer questions, only 1 essay instead of present 2 essay among other key changes.


The GRE exam score is accepted by more than 1,300 MBA colleges and universities across the Globe. The exam is conducted round the year and you can apply and appear in GRE 5 times a year to improve your score and percentile. GRE is conducted in two testing modes – Computer based test at Exam Centres and Online Proctored Test which you can take from the convenience of your home. Read Table of Contents below to know all about the GRE 2023 Exam syllabus & Pattern, sectional composition of GRE Syllabus, scoring pattern, key changes and more


Table of Contents

  1. GRE Exam Syllabus & Pattern 2023: Key Highlights
  2. Current GRE Syllabus & Pattern 2023
  3. GRE Shorter Exam 2023 Syllabus & Pattern
  4. GRE 2023 Exam Syllabus and GRE Shorter Exam Syllabus: Key Comparison
  5. GRE 2023 Syllabus: Key Facts
  6. GRE Section Wise Syllabus at a Glance
  7. GRE Syllabus 2023 for Quantitative Reasoning
  8. GRE Syllabus 2023 for Verbal Reasoning
  9. GRE Syllabus 2023 for Analytical Writing
  10. GRE Syllabus 2023 Preparation Tips: Overall & Section wise

1. GRE Exam Syllabus & Pattern 2023: Key Highlights
The GRE 2023 exam Syllabus aims to assess the readiness of students for graduate-level academic work and evaluates their verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. Key highlights of GRE Exam 2023 Syllabus are:

GRE Syllabus & Pattern 2023 Key Highlights
GRE Exam Details
GRE Full Form
Graduate Record Examination
GRE Exam Conducting Body
Education Testing Service (ETS)
GRE 2023 Official website
Type of GRE Exam 2023
Computer Adaptive Test with subsequent question based on performance on previous answer
GRE 2023 Exam Mode
1. Computer Based Test at Exam Centre
2. Online Proctored Test (Can be Taken from Home)
GRE Syllabus 2023: Total Sections
Total Questions in Present GRE Exam Syllabus
82 Including 2 Essay Tasks
GRE Paper 2023:  Sectional Syllabus with number of questions
Analytical writing: 2 Essay Tasks
Quantitative Reasoning (QR): 40 Qs
Verbal Reasoning (VR): 40 Qs
Unscored Section: Varies
Scheduled Break: 10 Minutes
Sectional Individual Time Limit to Attempt the Questions
Analytical writing: 60 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning (QR): 70 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning (VR): 70 Minutes
Unscored Section: Varies
Scheduled Break Time: 10 Minutes
Current GRE Exam Duration
3 hrs 45 minutes
Type of Questions in GRE Syllabus
Analytical Writing-Descriptive
Section wise GRE Scoring Scheme
Quantitative Reasoning (QR): 130-170
Verbal Reasoning (VR): 130-170
Analytical writing: 0-6 (In half Point Increments)
Total Score: 340+6
Sections Responsible for Arriving at Merit Score in GRE 2023
Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning,
Analytical writing
GRE Exam Syllabus & Pattern 2023 at A Glance
QR: Focuses on problem-solving and data interpretation using basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis skills
VR: Assesses reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence skills
Analytical Writing: Requires writing essays expressing and supporting perspectives on given topics
Negative Marking in GRE Exam 2023
The GRE 2023 pattern does not have any negative marking
GRE Test Centers 2023
GRE 2023 Exam Centers are located across the countries in almost all the major cities. In India alone, GRE is conducted in all the metro cities and many other cities.
Besides, GRE can be taken as Online Test from home without opting for a test center.
Validity of GRE Scores
5 Years
GRE 2023 Application Process
Online Application Submission
GRE Exam Fee Payment 2023
GRE Exam Fee Payment 2023 can be done through Internet Banking, Debit/Credit Card/NEFT
GRE 2023 Result
In 8-10 Days from the Date of Taking Exam.
GRE Cutoff 2023
GRE cutoff is decided by the respective B-school where you plan to take admission
GRE Colleges 2023
All the top MBA colleges across the Globe accept GRE score for MBA admission. Top GRE Colleges 2023 include HBS, Stanford, INSEAD, LBS, ISB  among others

2. Current GRE Exam Syllabus & Pattern 2023: Sectional & Overall Composition
The GRE 2023 exam syllabus tests the readiness of students for graduate-level academic work and evaluates their verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. Below is shared the current overall and sectional GRE Exam Pattern and syllabus

Number of Questions
Time Limit
GRE Marking Scheme - Score Range
Analytical Writing
2 Essay Tasks
60 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
40 Questions
70 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning (VR)
40 Questions
60 Minutes
Unscored Section
Scheduled Break
10 Minutes
80 MCQs + 2 Essay 
3 Hours, 45 Minutes
340 + 6 (In half Point Increments)

3. Shorter GRE Exam Pattern & Syllabus 2023: Sectional & Overall Composition
ETS has announced to launch shorter GRE exam from September 22, 2023. Prior to that, you can apply and appear in old GRE Exam Pattern till September 20, 2023. Below is shared the Shorter GRE syllabus & Pattern 2023

Test Structure
Sectional Time
Analytical Writing
1 section, 1 essay task
30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning
2 sections, 27 questions total
47 minutes
Verbal Reasoning
2 sections, 27 questions total
41 minutes
Total Time
1 hour, 58 minutes

3.1 Highlights of Shorter GRE Exam:

  • Will take less than 2 hours to complete
  • Have 46 fewer Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning questions
  • Have only one Analytical Writing essay, versus two in the current version.
  • “Analyze an Argument” essay task from Analytical Writing section will be eliminated
  • All other GRE General Test question types will remain the same
  • In addition to test changes, test takers can expect to receive their official scores much faster, in just 8-10 days.

4. Present GRE Vs Shorter GRE Exam Pattern & Syllabus: Comparative Analysis
Key comparison between current GRE pattern Vs Shorter GRE exam is shared below:

GRE Exam Sections
Current GRE General Test # tasks/questions
Current GRE General Test Total Time
Shorter GRE General Test # tasks/ questions
Shorter GRE General Test Total Time
Analytical writing
2 essay tasks
60 minutes
1 essay task
30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning
40 questions
70 minutes
27 questions
47 minutes
Verbal Reasoning
40 questions
60 minutes
27 questions
41 minutes
Unscored Section
Scheduled Break
10 minutes
3 hours, 45 mins
1 hour, 58 mins

5. GRE Syllabus 2023: Key Facts

  • The Analytical Writing section will always be first in GRE Exam
  • The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order.
  • The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are section-level adaptive
  • The first part of Verbal and Quantitative sections is of average difficulty.
  • The difficulty level of the second Part of each of these sections depends on your overall performance on the first part. For example, if you do very well on the first Quantitative Reasoning section, the second section of Quantitative Reasoning will be at a higher level of difficulty.
  • The scoring for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning takes into consideration the total number of questions answered correctly across the two sections, as well as the difficulty level of the sections.
  • The advanced adaptive design of the GRE General Test allows you to move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include preview and review; "Mark" and "Review"; change/edit answers within a section; on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section
  • An unidentified unscored section that doesn’t count toward your score may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. Questions in the unscored section are being tried out either for possible use in future tests or to ensure that scores on new editions of the test are comparable to scores from earlier editions.
  • An identified research section that doesn’t count toward your score may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test. Questions in this section are included for ETS research purposes.

6. GRE Exam 2023: Sectional Syllabus at a Glance
GRE exam syllabus is clearly defined for each of its three sections. The GRE syllabus will change in Sept 2023 with the launch of revised format of shorter GRE Exam. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) consists of three main sections that assess different skills and abilities. GRE is conducted in two testing modes – Computer based test at Exam Centres and Online Proctored Test which you can take from the convenience of your home. The GRE syllabus for both testing modes is same. Shared below is the GRE section wise syllabus


7. GRE Verbal Reasoning Syllabus
This section measures a test taker's ability to understand and analyze written material, evaluate arguments, and draw conclusions. It includes reading comprehension passages, sentence equivalence questions, and text completion tasks. Test takers are assessed on their vocabulary, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning skills. Key highlights of GRE Verbal Reasoning syllabus are:

  • Reading Comprehension: Assessing the ability to understand and analyze written passages across various subjects.
  • Text Completion: Evaluating the ability to complete sentences by selecting the appropriate words or phrases.
  • Sentence Equivalence: Testing the understanding of sentence structure and the ability to identify words with similar meanings.

8. GRE Quantitative Reasoning Syllabus
GRE Quant Syllabus or GRE Maths syllabus is one and the same thing.  This section evaluates a test taker's mathematical skills and ability to solve problems using quantitative methods. It covers topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. The questions include multiple-choice questions and quantitative comparison tasks. This section assesses the ability to interpret and analyze quantitative data, apply mathematical concepts, and solve problems using quantitative reasoning. Below are shared the key topics covered in GRE Quant Syllabus

  • Arithmetic: Topics include properties and types of integers, operations with integers, and concepts of factors and multiples.
  • Algebra: Covers topics such as operations and properties of algebraic expressions, equations, inequalities, and functions.
  • Geometry: Focuses on concepts of lines, angles, triangles, circles, polygons, and three-dimensional figures.
  • Data Analysis: Involves interpretation and analysis of data presented in tables, graphs, and charts.

9. GRE Analytical Writing Syllabus
In this section, test takers are required to write two essays at present. After launch of GRE shorter test, there will be one essay task. Presently there is an "Issue Task" and an "Argument Task." The Issue Task presents a topic and asks the test taker to express and support their viewpoint on the given issue. The Argument Task presents a brief argument and asks the test taker to analyze the argument, identify its logical flaws, and provide a critique of the argument's reasoning. Key highlights are

  • Issue Task: Requires the test taker to present a position on a given issue and support it with relevant examples and evidence.
  • Argument Task: Involves critiquing an argument by identifying its logical flaws and providing a well-structured analysis.

9.1 Important Note on GRE Syllabus

  • It's important to note that the GRE General Test also includes an unscored research or experimental section that can appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section.
  • The Unscored section in GRE is used for ETS research purposes and does not count towards your score.
  • GRE Syllabus covers the major areas as tested in the GRE exam. Familiarizing yourself with these topics and practicing relevant questions will help you prepare effectively for each section of the exam.

10. GRE Syllabus 2023 Preparation Tips: Overall & Section wise
To prepare for the GRE, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the exam format and question types. Utilize official GRE study materials, practice tests, and resources provided by ETS. Develop a study plan, set realistic goals, and allocate time for each section accordingly. Practice solving sample questions and take timed practice tests to improve speed and accuracy. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from test prep courses or tutors to enhance your preparation.


Remember, scoring well on the GRE requires a combination of content knowledge, critical thinking skills, and effective time management. Dedicate ample time to study and practice, and maintain a positive mindset throughout your preparation journey. Preparing for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) requires a well-planned and structured approach. Here are some key steps to help you with your GRE exam preparation:

  • Understand the Exam Format: Familiarize yourself with the GRE exam format, which consists of three main sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Understand the question types, time limits, and scoring methods for each section.
  • Set Clear Goals: Define your target score and establish specific goals for each section. Having a clear target will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your preparation.
  • Create a Study Plan: Develop a study plan that suits your schedule and allows for sufficient time to cover all the topics. Break down your preparation into smaller, manageable tasks, and allocate specific time for each section. Include regular practice tests to assess your progress.
  • Gather Study Materials: Collect reliable and comprehensive study materials, including official GRE preparation guides, practice tests, and online resources. Utilize books, study guides, mobile apps, and online tutorials to enhance your understanding of the GRE concepts and question formats.
  • Focus on Content Review: Dedicate time to review the content and concepts tested in each section. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and allocate more time to areas that require improvement. Use study materials, flashcards, and practice questions to reinforce your understanding.
  • Practice Regularly: Practice is crucial for GRE success. Solve a wide range of practice questions to familiarize yourself with the question formats and develop effective strategies. Take timed practice tests to simulate the real exam environment and assess your progress.
  • Analyze Mistakes and Learn from Them: Review your practice tests and identify the areas where you made mistakes. Understand the underlying concepts and learn from your errors. Focus on improving your weak areas and adjusting your strategies accordingly.
  • Develop Test-Taking Strategies: Learn and practice various test-taking strategies for each section. Understand how to manage time effectively, eliminate answer choices, and approach different question types. These strategies will help you improve your speed and accuracy on the exam.
  • Seek Additional Support: Consider joining a GRE preparation course or working with a tutor if you feel the need for additional guidance. They can provide personalized instruction, valuable insights, and tips to enhance your performance.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Remember to maintain a balanced lifestyle during your preparation. Get enough rest, exercise regularly, and eat well. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being will contribute to better focus and performance on the exam.

By following these steps and maintaining a consistent and focused study routine, you can maximize your chances of achieving your target score on the GRE exam.

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