How Long Is The GRE Test? GRE Exam Tips

If you plan on taking the GRE, one question that you may ask is, “How long is the GRE test?” The Graduate Record Examination is a test by Educational Testing Service commonly needed for admission to graduate programs in the United States and other countries. It measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. 

Knowing that a lot depends on the outcome of your GRE, it’s critical to grasp the exam’s format, structure, and time. In this post, we’ll look at the duration of the GRE, how it’s constructed, and some valuable hints for acing the exam.

This book will offer you all the knowledge you need regarding the GRE test, whether you’re a seasoned test-taker or a first-time GRE taker. So, let’s get started!

Overview of the GRE Test Format

The GRE test is a computer-based exam comprising three main sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The first section of the GRE is always the Analytical Writing section, which consists of two subsections.

The second section of the GRE is the Verbal Reasoning section, which consists of two subsections of 20 questions each.

The third section is the Quantitative Reasoning section, which consists of two sections of 20 questions each. The final section of the GRE is an unscored section, which could be either a Verbal or Quantitative section.

How Long is the GRE Test?

The GRE test, including the break, takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The Analytical Writing section takes one hour, while the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections take 35 minutes each.

The unscored section can be anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes long. After the unscored section, there is a 10-minute break. The GRE also includes an optional research section, which could be 30 to 35 minutes long.

Breakdown of the GRE Test Sections

The GRE Test is divided into sections namely Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Unscored Section. These sections contain questions that you need to answer to pass the exam. Here we go with a breakdown of GRE test sections

Analytical Writing

The GRE’s Analytical Writing section consists of the Issue and Argument tasks. The Issue task requires you to write an essay on a given topic. In contrast, the Argument task requires you to analyze and critique a given argument. Each lesson takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Verbal Reasoning

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section assesses your ability to comprehend and interpret textual content. This exam is divided into two portions of 20 questions each. It takes roughly 35 minutes to complete each of these subsections.

The questions in this part assess your ability to comprehend the literal meaning of every word in a context, examine conceptual relationships, and identify the significant ideas in a passage.

Quantitative Reasoning

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning section assesses your ability to comprehend and interpret quantitative data. This section is divided into two subsections of 20 questions each, with just 35 minutes to finish each. This section’s questions assess your ability to comprehend mathematical concepts, interpret and analyze data, and solve problems through mathematical reasoning.

Unscored Section

The unscored section of the GRE could be either a Verbal or Quantitative section. The ETS uses it to test new questions and gather data for future tests. This section is timed and is anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes long.

Breakdown of the Duration of Each of the GRE Test Sections

Analytical Writing Section Time

The essay and the argument essay are the two pieces you must write for this section. You can finish your essay for first writers in less time than the 60 minutes allotted for this section. Always look for solutions to finish the essay as quickly as possible.

To get ready, you can practice tests at home. Avoid wasting time by not going to the exam green without knowing what the topic and argument essays entail. Many students believe that this GRE test section is the most difficult.

Verbal Reasoning Section Time

The verbal reasoning test consists of two sections, each with 20 questions, and it must be finished in 60 minutes. With 30 minutes allotted for each phase, you will have 1.5 minutes to answer each question.

Unless the experimental portion is included in the verbal section, the two sections will not be combined. Pacing through the passages while reading can be difficult.

Quantitative Reasoning Section Time

The test-taker has 70 minutes to complete each of the two portions in this exam, also known as the math section. Each segment has 20 questions, and you have 35 minutes to attempt them. Keep in mind that accuracy is crucial for this section.

Experimental Section Time

The experimental section lasts for 30 to 35 minutes. If you have the experimental section in the quant section, you might spend longer in the testing facility because the math section has five more minutes than the verbal reasoning component.

You will save time, though, if you are proficient in math. Sometimes the experimental section will say that this is an “identified research question,” but It might not always be identifiable. To be on the safe side, answer the questions as though they are all being graded.

Length and Duration of the Whole GRE Exam

Below is a table that illustrates how long it takes to finish the GRE test in its entirety, including a breakdown of how long each component of the test lasts:

GRE SectionQuestionsTime
Analytical WritingTask 1: issue analysis30 Minutes
Analytical WritingTask 2: argument analysis30 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning 120 Questions30 Minutes
Verbal Reasoning 220 Questions30 Minutes
Quant/Math Reasoning 120 Questions30 Minutes
Quant/Math Reasoning 220 Questions30 Minutes
Break10 Minutes
Experimental/Research Unscored sectionVaries30-35 Minutes
Totals2 Task & 40+ Questions3 hours 45 minutes

GRE Tips for Time Management

One of the most essential skills for acing the GRE is time management. if you fail to effectively manage the time given to you for your exam, you stand a high chance of not passing the exam. Anyways, this is not a problem because I have here some time-management suggestions to help you succeed throughout the exam:

Pace Yourself

Pacing oneself is an essential strategy for managing your time during the GRE. To finish all of the questions before the time limit, you’ll have to get started swiftly and efficiently. Check the time you have left for every part and adjust your speed proportionately.

Only Spend a Little Bit of Time on One Question.

If you become stranded on a question, spend only a little time attempting to solve it. Continue to the next question and return to it later if you have time. Remember that every question matters, so making the most of your time is critical.

Use the Scratch Paper Provided

The GRE provides scratch paper to help you solve problems and take notes. Use this paper to jot down formulas, make diagrams, and keep track of your progress.

Take Advantage of the Break

The 10-minute break between sections is an excellent opportunity to recharge and refocus. Use this time to stretch, take a deep breath, and clear your mind. You’ll return to the exam feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next section.

Create an Essay Outline

Even though the time may seem limited, you should always outline your essay. Don’t spend more than three minutes outlining each essay; instead, make a list of the key points you want to cover.

Three paragraphs should separate the introduction from the conclusion of the essay. After that, you jump right to the body and then subsequently compose the intro and conclusion.

Pick a Guessing Letter

If you attempt every question, your chances of scoring highly go up. You should always pick one letter from the five options as your guessing letter.

Skip Difficult Questions

Although you can answer every question, you can skip challenging questions as you move through the test and come back to them later. Avoid staying on tough questions that you don’t know how to handle, as they can be wasting your time. Skip these and focus on the questions you can instead.

Use the Elimination Process

Use elimination to pick one solution from the various possibilities because that will restrict the options to the closest answer. Cross out erroneous answers and remain with choices that are almost the same.

GRE Question Answering Techniques to Cut Down on Test Duration

In order to succeed on the GRE test, you must be well-prepared. The key technique is understanding what is anticipated in each part. In accordance with your joining program, you should decide which GRE section is the most important for you. You’ll know where to focus your efforts if you know where your program places the most attention.

Always keep in mind that the GRE’s focus is on the solution rather than the procedure. Most questions on the GRE test will contain multiple-choice answers, so you can respond to questions by eliminating possibilities, making a directly educated guess, and then putting in the results.

It would be beneficial if you weren’t afraid to use the tool you’re utilizing to respond to the questions. Before responding, you should always make sure you comprehend the topic and its requirements because, in most cases, these questions are designed to test your deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills.

If a question seems difficult to answer, you can choose to skip it and return to it later. You can mark questions you want to go over again if you’re taking the test on a computer with the “mark and review” option. It’s significant to note that you may only answer these questions again within the allotted period. Additionally, if there is still time, you can go back and edit your responses.

Strategies for pacing yourself during the GRE test

Get a Timer

Using a timer during the GRE is an excellent method for maintaining tabs on your time. You can use a traditional timer or a phone timer app. Set the alarm for each section and track how much time remains.

Skip Difficult Questions

If you encounter a complex question, save time figuring it out. Continue to the next question and return to it later if you have time. Remember that every question matters, so making the most of your time is critical.

Use the Process of Elimination.

For answering multiple-choice questions, the process of elimination is an excellent method. Remove the answers you know are erroneous, then select the correct answer from the choices left.

Be Strategic with the Unscored Section.

The GRE unscored part might be a good time to relax and rejuvenate. But assume you’re feeling confident and have some more time. In that scenario, you can use the unscored area to answer more questions and perfect your pacing.

Best Approach to Answering the GRE Questions

On the GRE exam, there isn’t much time to read, consider, and react to important questions. You must continue to move forward. Establishing a pace for answering questions will help you avoid falling behind.

You only have roughly 90 seconds to respond to each question before moving on to the next one if each part offers you 30 minutes to complete about 20 questions.

GRE Test-Taking Tips and Tricks

Read the Instructions Carefully

Make sure you read the instructions for each section carefully. Understanding the instructions will help you answer the questions more effectively.

Answer Every Question

The GRE doesn’t penalize you for guessing, so answer every question, even if you need help with the answer.

Stay Calm in Looking at the Details.

The GRE assesses your ability to comprehend and analyze concepts rather than memorizing specifics. Avoid getting mired down in information that is optional to answer the question.

Take Break

Taking breaks is essential for focus and avoiding burnout. Use the gap between sections to recharge and refocus.

How to Prepare for the GRE Test

Start Early

Start preparing for the GRE early to give yourself enough time to study and practice. You’ll feel more at ease and confident on test day the more time you have.

Use Study Guides

Many study materials are available to prepare for the exam, including study guides and online resources. Use these materials to help you identify areas where you need improvement and to practice your test-taking skills.

Take Practice Tests

Practice tests are a fantastic method to become accustomed to the GRE format and gauge your progress. Regularly take practice exams to monitor your development and pinpoint critical areas for growth.

Get Enough Sleep

Staying attentive and alert on exam day requires getting enough sleep. The night before the test, make sure you get enough rest.

Wondering What to Bring to the GRE Test Day, We got you covered

How Many Questions Are on the GRE?

There are two essay problems and 100 total questions on the whole GRE. The total amount of questions on each GRE part is listed below:

Analytical Writing: 2 essay tasks
Verbal Reasoning: 40 questions
Quantitative Reasoning: 40 questions
Experimental: 20-40 questions

The number of questions in each GRE exam part is displayed in the following GRE question table.

GRE Test SectionTotal Question
Analytical Writing2 essay tasks
Verbal Reasoning40 questions
Quantitative Reasoning40 questions
Experimental20-40 questions

GRE Test Resources and Study Materials

Many materials, such as study guides, practice exams, and internet resources, are available to assist you in preparing for the GRE. The following will assist you in getting started:

ETS GRE Website

The ETS GRE website is the official website for the GRE. It provides information about the exam, including registration, test dates, and test centers. It also includes study materials and practice tests.

Kaplan GRE Prep

You can prepare for the GRE using several study tools and practice exams from Kaplan GRE Prep. They provide personalized instruction, live online classes, and both.

Manhattan Prep GRE

You can get various study tools and practice exams from Manhattan Prep GRE to aid your GRE preparation. They offer in-person and online courses, as well as private tutoring.

GRE Test Scores and What They Mean

Your academic potential is assessed by graduate schools using your GRE results. When you sign up for the exam, your GRE test results will be forwarded to the institutions of your choice.

The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning parts of the GRE are graded on a scale from 130 to 170. Scores for the analytical writing portion range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. Each team’s average GRE score is around 150.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The application process for graduate schools includes the GRE in its entirety. Success depends on understanding the GRE’s duration, format, and timing.

You’ll be successful in the GRE and reach your academic objectives if you use the advice and techniques in this article. Remember to get a head start, use resources, and practice frequently.

You can pass the GRE and advance in your academic career with the right approach and preparation.


What is the GRE’s duration?

The duration of the exam is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Be ready for the entire GRE testing procedure to take about 4 hours and 30 minutes, including the check-in process and breaks.

How long is the GRE exam in relation to other exams?

At three hours and forty-five minutes, the GRE is a fairly typical length admission test. It is considerably shorter than the MCAT but roughly the same length as the GMAT and LSAT.



So what’s next? Below are some of our other blogs on other insightful topics that can be of help to you.

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