GRE Syllabus 2023: Check Section-wise Syllabus, Important Topics, No. of Questions & Allotted Time


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Rahul Singha

Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Aug 31, 2023 17:19 IST

GRE Syllabus 2023: The GRE exam syllabus is made up of three sections – GRE Analytical Writing, GRE Verbal Reasoning, and GRE Quantitative Reasoning. The GRE exam syllabus measures the verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills of candidates that are necessary for success in higher education. Candidates wanting to pursue graduate studies abroad are required to qualify for their Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and achieve good scores. In order to do so, candidates must be well-versed with the latest GRE syllabus, to begin with. Candidates looking for GRE preparation tips, can opt for our GRE Preparation guide or follow our GRE 4-week study plan to ace their next GRE exam. Read on to learn more about the GRE Exam Syllabus 2023.

GRE Syllabus for General Test in 2023

GRE Exam Syllabus 2023: The GRE 2023 syllabus for General Test has been curated to measure the test takers' verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills — skills that have been developed over a period of time and aren’t related to a specific field of study but are important for all. Here is the GRE Syllabus 2023 which is broadly divided into three sections – GRE Analytical Writing, GRE Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.

GRE Syllabus 2023

GRE Exam Pattern Number of Questions Allotted Time

GRE Analytical Writing Section

Question type: Analyze an Issue task and Analyze an Argument task.

1 + 1

(One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze an Argument" task)

60 mins

(30 minutes per task)

GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

Question type: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence.

20 + 20

(Two sections with 20 questions per section)

60 mins

(30 minutes per section)


GRE Quantitative Reasoning

Question type: Quantitative Comparison Questions, Multiple-choice Questions and Numeric Entry Questions

20 + 20

(Two sections with 20 questions per section)

70 mins

(35 minutes per section)

What are the Skills Tested in the GRE?

The skills tested in the GRE exam are as follows:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) skills
  2. Quantitative Reasoning skills
  3. Verbal Reasoning skills

GRE Exam Syllabus 2023: Analytical Writing (AWA) Section

The GRE analytical writing section aims to measure the test taker's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, examine claims and accompanying evidence, sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion and control the elements of standard written English. The syllabus for GRE Analytical Writing includes two separately timed analytical writing tasks of thirty minutes each:

  • Analyze an Issue: This requires you to present an option on the issue of general interest with specific instructions on how to respond to that issue.
  • Analyze an Argument: This requires you to evaluate a given argument according to specific instructions

GRE Exam Syllabus 2023: Verbal Reasoning Section

The verbal reasoning section aims to measure the test taker's ability to analyze and draw conclusions from the discourse, reason from incomplete data, identify the author's assumptions and/or perspective, select important points, distinguish major from minor or relevant points, summarize text, understand the structure of a text, understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts and understand relationships among words and concepts.

List of topics covered under the GRE verbal syllabus includes

  • Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism 

The GRE Verbal Syllabus is divided into three parts:

  1. Reading Comprehension: For the Reading Comprehension questions, candidates are required to answer passages based on three different subject areas – humanities, natural science, and social science (Business). The exam contains multiple passages. Candidates are required to read and analyze the passage carefully before answering any questions. Also, do not be discouraged if you encounter an unfamiliar passage. It is about how well you can understand and answer the questions. Remember: All the questions can be answered based on the information provided in the passage. The section tests your ability to understand what you are reading.
  2. Sentence Equivalence is all about your ability to complete a paragraph based on incomplete information. Candidates are required to choose two ways to complete the sentence that have the same meaning while also being grammatically correct.
  3. Text Completion is all about your ability to form a complete picture from the text presented. Both Sentence equivalence and text completion assess the candidate's grasp of vocabulary. However, just knowing the words will not help you ace this section. You need to be well aware of the meaning too. 

GRE Exam Syllabus 2023: Quantitative Reasoning Section (GRE Math Syllabus)

The quantitative reasoning section aims to measure the test taker's ability to understand quantitative information, interpret and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical models, and apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics.

List of topics covered in the GRE Quant Syllabus includes the following (GRE Math Syllabus)


  • Property and types of integer
  • Powers and roots
  • Statistics
  • Estimation
  • Number properties
  • Percentage
  • Exponents and Roots
  • Ratio and proportions
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Arithmetic Operations


  • Lines and angles
  • Circles
  • Triangle
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Polygon
  • Three-dimensional figures
  • Area, Perimeter, Volume
  • Angle Measurements

Data Analysis

  • Descriptive statistics such as Median, Mean, Range, Mode, Percentiles, etc.
  • Interpretation of data based on graphs, circle graphs, scatter plots, etc
  • Probability
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Sets Theory


  • Exponents
  • Algebraic Expressions – Factoring and Simplifying
  • Equations and inequalities
  • Linear and Quadratic inequalities
  • Linear Equations
  • Quadratic equations
  • Word Problems
  • Speed, Distance, and Time
  • Profit and Loss
  • Coordinate geometry
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GRE Subject Test Syllabus 2023

The GRE exam syllabus 2023 for Subject Test consists of the following subjects:

GRE exam 2023 syllabus: Biology (Discontinued since May 2021)

The test consists of approximately 190 five-choice questions related to Biology. The topics include:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Organismal Biology
  • Ecology and Evolution 

GRE 2023 syllabus for Chemistry

The test consists of approximately 130 multiple-choice questions related to the four fields into which chemistry has been traditionally divided

  • Analytical Chemistry (15%)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (25%)
  • Organic Chemistry (30%)
  • Physical Chemistry(30%) 

GRE exam 2023 syllabus: English Literature (Discontinued since May 2021)

Each edition of the test consists of approximately 230 questions on poetry, drama, biography, essay, short story, novel, criticism, literary theory, and the history of the language.

  • Literary Analysis
  • Identification
  • Cultural and Historical Contexts
  • History and Theory of Literary Criticism 

GRE 2023 syllabus for Math

The test consists of approximately 66 multiple-choice questions drawn from courses commonly offered at the undergraduate level.

  • Algebra (25%)
  • Calculus (50%)
  • Additional Topics (25%)

GRE 2023 syllabus Physics

The test consists of approximately 100 five-choice questions, some of which are grouped in sets and based on such materials as diagrams, graphs, experimental data, and descriptions of physical situations.

  • Classical Mechanics (20%)
  • Electromagnetism (18%)
  • Optics and Wave Phenomena (9%)
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (10%)
  • Quantum Mechanics (12%)
  • Atomic Physics (10%)
  • Special Relativity (6%)
  • Laboratory Methods (6%)
  • Specialized Topics(9%)

GRE Psychology Syllabus

The test consists of approximately 205 multiple-choice questions. Each question in the test has five options from which the examinee is to select the one option that is the correct or best answer to the question.

  • Biological (17-21%)
  • Cognitive (17-24%)
  • Developmental (12-14%)
  • Social (12-14%)
  • Clinical (15-19%)
  • Measurement/Methodology/Other (15-19%)

GRE Test Formats

The GRE exam has two test formats - GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. The GRE syllabus is different for each.

  • GRE General Test: General Test is the standard exam that tests students’ verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills.
  • GRE Subject Test: For more specific courses a GRE Subject Test might be required by the college, as the GRE Subject Test focuses on judging the candidate’s expertise in specific fields.

GRE General Test Pattern

GRE Exam Pattern: Even though one is aware of the GRE Syllabus and knows all the answers, failure to manage time can lead to an incomplete exam. This is where the importance of being familiar with the GRE Exam pattern is of utmost importance. The GRE exam syllabus is divided into three main sections, namely, Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The total time given to complete the GRE computer-based test is three hours and 45 minutes. 

GRE Exam Pattern for Computer-Delivered Test

For the computer-based pattern, each of these sections is further divided into two sub-sections with forty questions in total (Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning). GRE Analytical Writing has only one section that contains two tasks with a time duration of one hour. Apart from these main sections, there are two other variable sections included in the computer-based pattern exam. This section is followed by a ten-minute break after the Quantitative Reasoning part is complete. However, these two variable sections- The Unscored and Research sections- are not included in the final GRE Scores.

GRE Sections

No. of Sections


Analytical Writing

1 section- two tasks

60 minutes

Verbal Reasoning

2 section- 40 questions

60 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

2 section- 40 questions

70 minutes







GRE Exam Pattern for Paper-Delivered Test

The paper-based GRE exam syllabus includes two sub-sections of each of the main categories- Analytical Writing, Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning. The analytical writing part contains two tasks with a duration of one hour (60 mins). Verbal and Quantitative reasoning each contains two sections and 50 questions with a maximum time limit of 60 and 70 minutes, consequently. The variable sections of Unscored and Research are not included in the paper-based exam.

GRE Sections

No. of Sections


Analytical Writing

2 sections- 2 tasks

60 minutes

Verbal Reasoning

2 sections- 50 questions

70 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

2 sections- 50 questions

80 minutes







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Strategy for preparing for GRE

GRE exam 2023 syllabus: Candidates looking to prepare for their GRE syllabus can check out our detailed preparation guide on the various sections of GRE. Candidates can also benefit from downloadable sample GRE questions for the benefit of the test taker.

When to start preparing for GRE? 

GRE prep tips: Analytical Writing

GRE prep tips: Quantitative section

GRE prep tips: Verbal Reasoning section

Best Books for GRE Preparation

In order to do well in your GRE General Test, it is important to be updated with the latest GRE Syllabus. The costs of studying and preparing for the GRE exam plus the application costs add up to a lot of expenses. The GRE Exam Fee for Indian students alone stands at US$228.  If you are taking coaching classes, even then you will need to purchase an official GRE guide and practice tests. So it doesn’t make a difference whether you will be taking coaching classes or you believe in self-studying; you will need to purchase a few resources to practice GRE sections. So here are the best resources to boost your studies that cover the latest syllabus of the GRE. Read: GRE One Month Preparation Plan

GRE POWERPREP II Software - Preparation for the Computer-based GRE revised General Test – Along with the sample questions, strategies, and tips, this free software includes two full-length practice tests. They have timed tests, which simulate the test-taking experience including user-friendly design features like changing answers within a section, as well as an on-screen calculator.

The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test, Second Edition – The second edition of the official test prep book includes a copy of the POWERPREP II, Software CD along with four complete practice tests, hundreds of test questions, explanations for answers, sample essay responses with user commentary, test-taking strategies and more. This guide is available in print and eBook versions. 

GRE Sample Paper 2023

GRE Sample Test Paper: For the benefit of our readers, we have also collated a set of GRE question papers with answer keys that are based on past year GRE exam papers for the benefit of our readers. The following GRE exam question paper has been sourced from various authentic websites and ETS - the conducting body of the GRE 2023. 

GRE Verbal Reasoning Questions with Answer Key - Set 1 GRE Verbal Reasoning Questions with Answer Key - Set II
GRE Quantitative Reasoning Questions with Answer Key Set - 1 GRE Quantitative Reasoning Questions with Answer Key Set - 2
GRE Practice Test GRE Quantitative Practice Test
GRE Analytical Writing Practice Test GRE Verbal Practice Test

Still got doubts, check out our most frequently asked questions to clear all your queries on GRE Exam. Candidates having doubts can get in touch with us in the comments section below or download the GRE Syllabus PDF attached with the article, which covers the syllabus of GRE along with the latest information on the GRE test offline for you to view at any time. 

GRE Syllabus FAQs

What are the subjects for the GRE test?

Broadly speaking, the GRE test is divided into the Analytical Writing section, Quantitative Reasoning section, and Verbal Reasoning section. However, these categories are made up of multiple topics which are tested during the entire duration of the test. Candidates can refer to the article above to understand the syllabus of the GRE test in detail.

How difficult is the GRE test?

You should understand that the GRE test has been introduced to understand the academic prowess of the candidate. Hence a candidate who has prepared for the GRE test should not consider the GRE as a tough exam but as a benchmark for his higher education.

Is the GRE test required during the current pandemic?

Given the current situation, a lot of universities are doing away with GRE exams for the benefit of the student. We recommend students check the official university website to understand the admission requirements and adhere to the same.

How many times can I appear for the GRE test?

Candidates can appear for the GRE General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period.

What is a good GRE score?

There is no such thing as a good GRE score. Every university would have its own GRE Score cut-off and students are required to achieve scores equal or higher than the set grade. Candidates should note that higher GRE scores would automatically increase their chances of securing a seat in the university and also make them a front runner for any scholarships being offered by the university.

What is the GRE test fee in India?

Indian nationals would be required to pay US $213 to register for the GRE test. Special requests such as late registrations and rescheduling come with an additional cost as is mentioned in the article above.

How is GRE scored?

The Analytical Writing section is scored between 0-6 in half-point increments, the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections are scored between 130-170 points with 1-point increments.

Can a student prepare for GRE in a month?

Candidates are advised to prepare well for the GRE exam before  booking their GRE test slot. Hence, candidates who have appeared for their GRE before or who are well prepared for the GRE can use the one month for revision and appear for the GRE. Others would definitely need a more substantial amount of time to be well versed in the exam.

Can a student crack the GRE without coaching?

Absolutely. Authentic study material from the official GRE website can be used to self-prepare for the GRE exams. Candidates are highly recommended to only source their study material from a trusted source, such as our preparation guide here or the official GRE website.

Can I prepare for GRE on my own?

Absolutely. Candidates wanting to appear for their GRE on their own can achieve qualifying scores or higher by simply being devoted to their cause to the end and taking information from verified sources such as the official GRE website or our preparatory guide, here.

What is the best way to prepare for GRE?

Personally, I feel the best way to prepare for any test including GRE would be to start with a plan in mind. The plan should include a timetable that should cover the entire syllabus and also leave ample room for solving practice papers. Extra attention should be given to topics that are difficult for the candidate while at the same time solving easy sections.

What is the math syllabus for GRE?

The Math Syllabus for GRE includes the following: Calculus (50%), Algebra (25%), and Additional Topics (25%).

Is the GRE syllabus similar to the SAT test?

Conducted by ETS GRE is an exam for Graduate studies whereas  SAT conducted by The College Board is solely for undergraduate studies.

How do I get complete the GRE syllabus and pattern?

Candidates wanting to appear for their GRE can check out our website for the latest GRE Syllabus and GRE Exam Pattern.

Is there any similarity between the GRE syllabus and the GATE syllabus?

While GRE is conducted for students who want to study abroad, the  GATE is conducted for admissions to M.E/M.Tech course in Indian Institutes.

How much time does it usually take to complete the GRE syllabus?

This depends entirely on the retaining capacity of the candidate. A quick learner would take lesser time to prepare as compared to a comparatively slow learner.




Reshmi Kadamati

7 months ago

hi i am architectural student so i need to join cullen university of space architecture college , i.e, university of houston , USA .

Reply to Reshmi Kadamati


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

6 months ago

Hello Reshmi. If you are looking for assistance with university admissions, do reach out to our team of Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors: You can know all about the University of Houston, here:



Akshat Mishra

8 months ago

Hey! The dates given for 2023 for gre 2023 are in Jan,Feb,Mar,Apr,May,June. What if I wish to appear in Sep-Oct? Will this be possible? Does ETS reveal new dates as the months pass by?

Reply to Akshat Mishra


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

6 months ago

Hello Akshat. Yes, GRE dates for September to December have been updated on our GRE exam dates page: Please feel free to go ahead with your GRE slot booking.


Navneet Kaur

9 months ago

Hie, there.I want to Crack the exam of gre for once so that I can commence my application procedure.I donot want to give the exam twice.I want to know the qualifying mark for the gre ?? I need admission in the university, if I have given the gre exam or attempted it.

Reply to Navneet Kaur


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

8 months ago

Hello Navneet. The GRE Cut off would be set by the university you are looking to apply to. However, note that the GRE Cut-off is the minimum score required for submitting your application to the university for admission. This does not guarantee your entry. You will need to score higher than the pres



Vempati Manasa

11 months ago

Hi is awa score in gre important. I got 1 mark in awa . will i get admission

Reply to Vempati Manasa


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

10 months ago

Hello Vempati. Candidates should understand that GRE scores are reported separately. So you would have a scaled score out of 170 for your GRE Verbal Reasoning Section, A scaled score out of 170 for your GRE Quantitative Reasoning section and a score out of 5.0 for your GRE Analytical writing sectio



Shruti Sharma

11 months ago

Hi, How can I book my gre exam slot for second attempt? And how much I have to pay for the same.

Reply to Shruti Sharma


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

10 months ago

Hello Shruti. You need to visit the official website of the GRE exam and log in to your test taker account and register for the exam. The GRE exam fee would be the current fee of the GRE exam: US $213

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