Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

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General Information:

This test is usually required for students entering graduate school and planning to study subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

You can register for either the GRE General Test or the new Writing Assessment by phone, fax, or mail. Plan to register early to get preferred test dates and avoid the crowded testing period of November through January. Obtain registration and test center details from the GRE Information and Registration Bulletin or on the Web site.

For information on the GRE test, test dates and locations, fees and requirements, and practice questions go to

Online registration is available for the paper-based Subject Tests on the GRE Web site. Registration for the free GRE Search Service is also available on the Web site. This service matches prospective graduate students with participating graduate schools.

You can register for all tests by mail at: Graduate Record Examinations P. O. Box 6000 Princeton, NJ 08541-6000, USA.

Description of the Test:

The computer-based GRE General Test measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical reasoning skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not necessarily related to any particular field of study. Because test questions are tailored to ability level, less time is spent answering questions that are either too easy or too difficult. The computer-based General Test is offered year-round in the United States and most locations around the world.

The GRE Writing Assessment consists of two complementary analytical writing tasks: a 45-minute “Present Your Perspective on an Issue” task and a 30-minute “Analyze an Argument” task. For the first, you construct your own argument by making claims and providing evidence supporting your position on the issue; for the second, you critique someone else’s argument by assessing its claims and evaluating the evidence it provides. This assessment is not a test of specific content knowledge, and there is no single best way to respond. Because it is an optional test and independent of the GRE General Test and Subject Tests, you should check with your prospective graduate schools to determine whether they require or recommend that applicants take it. You can visit the GRE Web site for additional information.

Subject Tests in fourteen subjects measure achievement in a particular subject area. Those taking a Subject Test should have an undergraduate major or extensive background in that discipline. Subject Tests are available only as paper-based tests. The Subject Tests will be offered on test dates. (NOTE: the Economics, Geology, History, and Sociology Subject Tests will not be offered on the November test date. The Music subject test will not be offered on the December test date.)