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All Need To Know

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) access your ability to prosper at graduate-school level studies, exactly like the SAT and GMAT access your ability to succeed at undergraduate schooling. Your score on the GRE is one of the primary factors used by university admissions officers for determining whether or not to admit you into their programs. As such, it is important to ready yourself for the GRE and pass very well.
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GRE Format

Developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS), the GRE exam has many similarities to the SAT. Both are now computer adaptive tests (CAT); no need to bring a pencil, pen or paper to the test site. In a CAT, you answer one question at a time; your answer to each question determines the difficulty level of the next question. As you answer questions correctly, the computer program increases the difficulty of your questions; when you answer a question wrongly, the computer program provides another of the same difficulty or a slightly reduced difficulty. Eventually, the computer program will tell you your score based on the correct level of your skill in that area.

Analytical Writing
(2 tasks for a total of 60 minutes)
Verbal Reasoning
(2 sections for a total of 60 minutes)
Quantitative Analysis
(2 sections for a total of 70 minutes)
A free-response (or essay) format is used in the analytical writing section to measure your ability to write complex thoughts in clear, precise English prose.
The skills you need to demonstrate in this section include:
• Evaluate claims and evidence
• Develop a complex, coherent argument/discussion
• Support ideas with reasons and example
• Write using standard punctuation and grammar
For this section of the test, you will need to write an essay or argument for each of the two tasks. You should be able to type and use a basic word processing program (no, the word processor does not have grammar or spell check – you have to supply those skills on your own).
For most international students, this section is normally difficult. Although the GRE exam will prompt you to demonstrate a sophisticated command of written English, the free response format allows you to craft your answer in whatever ways highlight your strengths.
The verbal reasoning section uses a multiple choice format to measure your command of English vocabulary and reading comprehension. It is very similar to the SAT and ACT reading comprehension tests, although the questions are generally more evaluative and needs a finer command of the subtleties of the English language.
The skills measured in the verbal reasoning sections of the GRE exam include:
• Analyse multiple layers of meaning (both literal and figurative)
• Knowing the difference between significant and irrelevant information
• Knowing and accommodating for authorial bias / perspective
• Identify and analyse the structure of a text (chronological, spatial, process)
• Knowing the meanings of words and phrases
For most international students, the verbal reasoning section will be more challenging, mostly for those students for whom English is not their main language. This section demands a blase level of English comprehension; however, don't despair. As with any test, preparation is the key to success. If you have concerns about the GRE exam and your English, that just means you take more time in preparing before you sit for the exam.
The quantitative reasoning sections also uses different choice format to measure your ability to perform basic and complex mathematical calculations. This section is the most similar to the SAT and ACT tests, in both style and question difficulty.
The skills measured in the quantitative reasoning sections of the GRE exam include:
• Understanding quantitative data (both as tables and graphs
• Analysing data (statistics, probability)
• Applying basic mathematical skills (arithmetic, algebra, geometry)
For most international students, the quantitative reasoning section will be the easiest to master and requires the least preparation. However, that does not mean you should take it lightly. You should invest some time in reviewing basic mathematical formulas, with special emphasis on statistical and probability analysis.
Together with the general revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE), there are subject-specific exams you can take. The GRE has specific tests on the following subject areas:
• Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Literature in English
• Mathematics
• Physics
• Psychology
These tests are not mandatory. Please research about the university to which you are applying to determine if they want you to take a subject area test. But, even if your program does not need a subject-area GRE test, you might decide to take it and submit the scores – with the hope that your excellent score will help you stand out from the other applicants.
You can register to sit for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in a variety of ways. The easiest method to register is on-line by creating a GRE account. However, you may also register for the GRE exam by mail or by phone.
The cost to take the general GRE is currently $185 (N76,127); each subject tests costs $150 (N61,725). There are also lots of additional services (such as test preparation services) that are available to you for additional fees.
Your performance on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) will earn a numeric evaluation for each of the three testing subsets:
Analytical Reasoning
0 – 6 in half point increments
Verbal Reasoning
130 – 170 in single point increments
Quantitative Reasoning
130 – 170 in single point increments
It is nearly impossible to advise you what score you should aim for (beyond stating “as high a score as you can”). Each university has its own expectations for GRE scores. The best way to set a GRE goal is to research the programs to which you are applying.
GRE exam scores are valid for five years after the test administration. Within that timeframe, you can request (for a fee) ETS to transmit your scores to any universities you'd like.
Candidates who have appeared for their GRE exam can access their GRE scores by logging into their GRE account using their credentials.
Your official GRE test scores will be available in your account on the GRE website 10-15 days after your test date. They will be sent to the universities of your choice within three weeks of your test date. Once the results are out, you will receive an email from ETS that your official GRE result is available in your account.
One important thing to know about your GRE fee is that it enables you to send your scores to up to four colleges or scholarship programs. If you are taking the computer-delivered GRE exam, then you will be asked to select the score receivers at the test center. In case you chose the paper-delivered GRE format, you will be asked to select your score receiving colleges on your admission ticket or during registration.
On the day of the test, once you complete the GRE test and view the unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores, you will be asked to choose the score recipients you wish to share your GRE exam scores with.
It is critical that you bring your registration information and photo identification with you on the day of your test administration. Because your GRE exam score can determine whether or not you get a Masters’ degree or PhD, test security is absolutely essential. For that reason, you may not bring your cell phone, PDA or any other electronic device into the testing center.
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