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  • GRE Video

    Learn the facts and see why the GRE General Test is a smart choice.

About GRE & UofSC

We have the answers to your questions about the content, structure and the types of questions you'll see on the the GRE, as well as the costs and where to take the exam. Graduate school is the next logical step and we have many resources to help you begin the process.  

Common Questions about the GRE

The GRE General is a standardized test that is used by many graduate programs and business schools as part of the application process. The test is administered by computer, but the GRE is not computer adaptive. The GRE measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

Educational Testing Services administers the exam and provides information on their official website for the GRE. The computer based test is offered at testing centers through out the year.

Analytical Writing – 2 questions answered in essay format:

  • 1 Analysis of an Issue

  • 1 Analysis of an Argument

Verbal – focuses on your ability to analyze and evaluate written material

  • Reading Comprehension – read a short passage and answer questions

  • Text Completion – fill in omitted words or phrases for given passages

  • Sentence Equivalence – single sentence, select the two best answers that complete the sentence and are alike in meaning

Quantitative - tests your problem-solving ability using general mathematics skills including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

  • Quantitative Comparison

  • Problem Solving

  • Multiple Choice Questions

  • Numeric Entry Questions

  • Data Interpretation

The scale for the GRE is 130 – 170 per section for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. An additional score of 0-6 will be given for the Analytical Writing. A good score is defined as one that gets you into the program you want, not by a number. Check with the programs you are considering and ask them if they have a minimum and an average for their program to get a better idea of what a good score will be for you. A 150 on each section will be the 50th percentile.

Exam content, formatting, and scoring. However, the core of the exam is basically the same. The changes are intended to improve the exam’s ability to measure critical reasoning skills and assess your likelihood of success in graduate school – the same goal the exam has always had. The exam will still consist of three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

The fee for the test is $205, but the price changes frequently. The rescheduling fee and to change your test center are both $50 (within 3 days of appointment date). Check the GRE website for cancellation fees and other fees.

The new GRE places more emphasis on data interpretation and critical thinking skills. The test also includes a new scoring matrix, which is intended to help schools compare differences between students in a more meaningful way.

The GRE is used by programs in a variety of areas of study, including most social sciences, education, and some business schools. Check with the programs you are considering and find out whether or not they require or accept the GRE. The GRE is increasingly being accepted by business schools for entry into MBA and related programs.

You can contact ETS between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at 1–866-473-4373 or visit their website.

Most programs require the GRE General. In addition to the GRE General, there are also subject-specific GRE exams. These subject tests are used by specific areas of study and are intended for students that have extensive backgrounds in an area of study. Tests include:  Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

Practice tests are available free from ETS, the writers of the GRE. You can download the Powerprep2 software from the GRE website.

Register online for the computer-based test via the ETS website.  


UofSC Graduate School Resources

The University of South Carolina offers a wide range of master's and doctoral degrees and provides the resources you need to help you make your decision. 


Preparing for the GRE is a great first step toward graduate school and if at any time you have questions or need more information, you can ask an expert.

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