GRE Test Preparation Overview

Most schools require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) before you can apply.  Check individual program websites to determine if they require the GRE. 

What content does the GRE contain?

The GRE is broken down into three sections:

  1. Analytical Writing
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Quantitative Reasoning

How is the GRE scored?

Verbal Reasoning

130–170, in 1 point increments

Quantitative Reasoning

130–170, in 1 point increments

Analytical Writing

0–6, in half-point increments

What Classes Should I Complete Before Taking the GRE?

FDENG 101, FDENG 301, MATH 109 (or MATH 110x and MATH 111), and MATH 221 are all foundational courses to prepare you for the GRE. 

What are the costs associated with taking the GRE?

The GRE costs $205. There may be other fees for extra score reports or rescheduling fees.

The costs for study materials, travel, and the exam can be between $205-$1500, depending on if you choose to self-study or purchase programs and materials.

The GRE Program offers a limited number of GRE Fee Reduction Vouchers on a first-come, first served basis to U.S. citizens or resident aliens who are college seniors or unenrolled college graduates who meet eligibility requirements.

To apply for a GRE Fee Reduction Voucher, students should complete the GRE Fee Reduction Request form (PDF) and follow the instructions on the form regarding submission of materials to ETS. Students should allow up to three weeks for processing and mail delivery.

How do I register for the GRE?

The GRE® General Test is available at more than 1,000 test centers in more than 160 countries. It is offered as a computer-delivered test year-round at most locations around the world. To register for the test, view your scores, and access other services, you'll need an ETS account.

The computer-delivered test is offered year round, and you can register online or by phone. How you register may vary depending on where you will test. Register for the computer-delivered test.

Where do I take the GRE?

View test centers and dates for the GRE General test. For the computer-delivered test, you can also view seat availability, though you won't be able to register without signing into your GRE Account. See Test Centers and Dates.

How do I Prepare for the GRE?

Give yourself one to three months to study for the GRE. Many sources recommend 100-200 hours of test preparation.  

Additional ideas to help:

  • Take two or three real-time simulated practice tests—this is the best way to most accurately replicate the conditions you will experience on test day.
  • Study efficiently by creating a study calendar and focusing extra time on subjects you find difficult.
  • Study one subject at a time. By focusing on one subject, you will be able to digest the material quickly and effectively.
  • Get into a routine and ensure you continue to sleep and eat well.

There are multiple test prep courses available. When deciding between the courses, consider the following:

  • Cost: compare what resources will be available through each test prep course for the expense
  • Location: some test preps are only available online while other test preps will have in-person classes or tutoring available
  • Teaching Style and Structure: Compare the length of the programs, the teaching style, and how the programs are structured.

Helpful Resources and Websites