GRE Syllabus 2021

GRE Exam 2020: Can be attempted any number of times with a gap of 21 days between each attempt with an annual upper bound of 5 times per year.

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GRE 2021 Syllabus

Graduate Record Test (GRE) is one of the international standard tests for gaining admissions into any graduate school in the United States of America. The test is conducted and organized by the Education Testing Services (ETS). The test can be availed both offline and online, the online examinations can be taken at any time of the year while the offline tests are available thrice a year. The GRE scores are valid up to 5 years after the test has been taken. The test aims to test a candidates’ skills in thinking, writing and reasoning.


The GRE tests are divided into two kinds: GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. The syllabus for both of these exams vary.

GRE General Test syllabus



Analytical writing

This section proposes to measure the candidates’ ability to articulate complex ideas effectively and precisely, support an idea with relevant examples and reasoning, examine a situation with reasoning and maintain a well-focused and coherent discussion with control on the standard elements in written English.

Verbal reasoning

This section intends to test the candidates’ ability to analyze and draw conclusions from interactions, reasoning from incomplete data, identify a perspective, distinguish major points from minor ones, select essential points, summarize, understand the structure of any given text and understanding the words, their meanings and relationship to the entire text. The portions covered for the same are:

  • Basic sentence structure: nouns, pronouns and the like
  • Verb, tense
  • Idioms and idiomatic phrases
  • Pronoun agreement
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Modifiers
  • parallelism
Quantitative reasoning This section aims to evaluate the candidates’ ability to understand quantitative information, interpret and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematics models, apply basic mathematic skills of algebra, arithmetic, geometry etc.

The portions covered are:

  • ratio and proportion
  • profit and loss
  • simple and compound interest
  • distance, speed, time, work
  • linear equations
  • permutations and combinations
  • sets
  • quadratic equations
  • statistics and probability
  • powers and roots
  • pipes and cisterns
  • polygons (quads, triangles etc.), circles
  • lines and angles
  • co-ordinate geometry
  • order of operations
  • volumes and surface areas
  • percentages and other number properties

GRE subject tests

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Preparation books

  • ETS: GRE the official guide to revised general test (third edition): the official book from the makers of the test, this book consists of hundreds of authentic tests as it is the authoritative guide and has a good reputation due to its accurate methods for preparation.
  • 5 lb. book of GRE practice problems (Manhattan prep GRE strategy guides): offers a wide range of products to help you ace the exam and has over 2000 questions. The book contains detailed explanations regarding algebra, arithmetic and other topics.
  • Barron’s GRE: 21st edition: Barron is a well-known name on the industry and their preparation guides to GRE have been a help to many aspiring test takers. This book contains one diagnostic test and two full length models of the actual test along with the Barron’s’ style of explanation to each question that equip you with solutions to similar problems.

Other books are:

  • GRE prep 2019 practice tests:
  • GRE by Argoprep
  • Kaplan GRE Premier Course Book Edition