Roshan Sunthar



GRE Syllabus 2023

GRE Syllabus 2023

The GRE syllabus consists of three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. GRE General test syllabus measures a candidate’s verbal reasoning ability, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. If you’re aiming for higher education like CSE or MS abroad, you must note that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) conducts GRE in two formats; GRE General Test & GRE Subject Test. The GRE exam syllabus for each test is different regardless of computer-based or paper-based GRE testing.

In this blog, we provide you with information on the latest GRE syllabus 2023 for the general and subject tests, GRE exam pattern, best preparation tips, best books, and everything you need to know to achieve good scores.

Most importantly, in the post Covid-19 pandemic, ETS has initiated the GRE at Home facility for students to take up GRE at their convenience. For those who need the safety of their homes, ETS allows them to do so by using their Aadhar Cards as part of their student ID. It was started on July 1, 2021, while doing the GRE registration process.

GRE Test Formats

The GRE test formats are of two types: GRE General Test and GRE Subject Tests. Both these test formats measure different skills.

  • GRE General Test - The GRE General Test is a standard computer-delivered test, testing your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. 
  • GRE Subject Tests - For specific courses, GRE Subject Tests measure your extensive knowledge of any of the subjects. It supplements your college undergraduate records and other academic qualifications.

GRE Exam Syllabus

The GRE Syllabus 2023 includes mainly the GRE writing syllabus, GRE verbal syllabus, and GRE quant syllabus. 

GRE Exam Pattern Question Types Number of Questions Allocated Time Score Range
GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • Analyse an Issue task
  • Analyse an Argument task
1 + 1 = 2 60 minutes (30 minutes per task) 0-6 (in 0.5 point increment)
GRE Verbal Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Text Completion
  • Sentence Equivalence
20 + 20 = 40 60 minutes (30 minutes per section) 130-170 (in 1 point increment)
GRE Quantitative Reasoning
  • Quantitative Comparison
  • Multiple-choice
  • Numeric Entry
20 + 20 = 40 70 minutes (35 minutes per section) 130-170 (in 1 point increment)

What are the Skills Tested in GRE 2023?

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

GRE Syllabus for Quantitative Reasoning

gre syllabus for quantitative reasoning

GRE Quantitative Reasoning syllabus includes four different question types:

  1. Quantitative Comparison Questions
  2. Multiple-choice Questions - Select One Answer Choice
  3. Multiple-choice Questions - Select One or More Answer Choices
  4. Numeric Entry Questions

Apart from that, there are also a list of topics included in the GRE Quant Syllabus as follows:

S No. Topics S No. Topics
1 Profit and loss 12 Statistics
2 Speed, Distance and Time 13 Probability
3 Ratio and Proportion 14 Volume and Surface Area
4 Permutation and Combination 15 Lines and Angles
5 Triangles 16 Polygon
6 Coordinate Geometry 17 Circles
7 Powers and Roots 18 Order of Operations
8 Linear Equations 19 Number Properties
9 Percentage 20 Pipes, Cisterns, Work, Time
10 Simple and Compound Interest 21 Quadratic Equations
11 Quadrilateral 22 Sets Theory

The quantitative reasoning section assesses the candidate’s ability to understand, interpret and analyse quantitative information, use basic mathematical skills & concepts of algebra, arithmetic, probability, geometry, and statistics, and finally, find solutions using elementary mathematical models. This GRE quantitative reasoning section contains 40 questions from 4 question types, 70 minutes to complete and a score range of 130 - 170 (in 1 point increment).

Don’t worry after seeing these topics. You can easily prepare for these topics using the best books for GRE Quant available in PDF and hard copies. 

GRE Syllabus for Verbal Reasoning

gre syllabus for verbal reasoning

GRE Verbal Reasoning Syllabus involves three types of questions:

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Text Completion
  3. Sentence Equivalence

In addition to that, the following topics are included:

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

The verbal reasoning section assesses the test taker's ability to analyse the essay and understand the meaning of words, sentence structure, and relationships between words and concepts. And to know the reason behind incomplete data, conclude from the author’s assumptions/ perspective. Then finally, select the important and relevant points, summarise and write them. This GRE verbal reasoning section contains 40 questions from 3 question types, 60 minutes time, and a score range of 130 - 170 (1 point increment).

To cover all these topics in detail, you need to get the best books for GRE Verbal.

GRE Syllabus for Analytical Writing (AWA) Section

gre syllabus for analytical writing

In the GRE syllabus for Analytical Writing (awa), two question types are included:

  1. An analyse an issue task
  2. An analyse an argument task

The GRE analytical writing section measures the student's ability to comprehend complex ideas, support with relevant reasons/examples, review different claims with evidence, maintain a coherent, focused discussion and control over the aspects of standard written English. This GRE analytical writing section contains two (2) questions, 60 minutes time duration, and a score range of 0 - 6 (0.5 point increment).

To master these question types, use the best books for GRE Analytical Writing that offer useful tips and techniques. 

GRE Subject Tests Syllabus

The GRE Subject Tests Syllabus include the following disciplines:

  1. Physics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Mathematics
  4. Psychology

The GRE Subject Tests are in a paper-delivered format with a time duration of 2 hours and 50 minutes. 

GRE Subject Tests’ Syllabus: Section-Wise

GRE Subject Tests’ is a paper-based examination that is conducted by ETS three times a year. The GRE Subject Test also contains different sections that are intended to measure your knowledge in a particular subject.

Please note that this test is an additional qualification that can help you stand out from the other candidates.

GRE Chemistry Syllabus

Chemistry in the GRE Subject Tests consists of approximately 130 multiple-choice questions. It’s syllabus includes:

1. Analytical Chemistry - (It covers 15%)

  1. Data Acquisition and use of Statistics
  2. Instrumental Methods
  3. Solutions and Standardization
  4. Homogeneous Equilibria
  5. Environmental Applications
  6. Heterogeneous Equilibria
  7. Radiochemical Methods

2. Inorganic Chemistry - (It covers 25%)

  1. General Chemistry
  2. Ionic Substances
  3. Covalent Molecular Substances
  4. Metals and Semiconductors
  5. Concepts of Acids and Bases
  6. Chemistry of the Main Group Elements
  7. Chemistry of the Transition Elements
  8. Other Special Topics

3. Organic Chemistry - (It covers 30%)

  1. Structure, Bonding and Nomenclature
  2. Reaction Mechanisms
  3. Functional Groups
  4. Organometallics
  5. Other Special Topics

4. Physical Chemistry - (It covers 30%)

  1. Quantum Chemistry and Applications to Spectroscopy
  2. Thermodynamics
  3. Dynamics

GRE Mathematics Syllabus

Mathematics syllabus or GRE Math syllabus in the GRE Subject Tests’ contains 50 percent from calculus and its applications, 25 percent from algebra, linear algebra, abstract algebra and number theory, and the remaining 25 percent from the other areas.

This subject contains approximately 66 multiple-choice questions that are taken from the following:

1. Calculus - (It covers 50%)

  1. Differential and Integral Calculus
  2. Calculus-based applications
  3. Coordinate Geometry
  4. Trigonometry
  5. Differential Equations

2. Algebra - (It covers 25%)

  1. Linear Algebra
  2. Abstract Algebra
  3. Number Theory
  4. Elementary Algebra

3. Other Additional Topics (It covers 25%)

  1. Discrete Mathematics
  2. Introductory Real Analysis
  3. Other Topics

GRE Physics Syllabus

Physics in the GRE Subject Tests’ consists of approximately 100 five-choice questions. The syllabus for this subject includes the following:

  1. Classical Mechanics - (It covers 20%)
  2. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics - (It covers 10%)
  3. Quantum Mechanics - (It covers 12%)
  4. Electromagnetism - (It covers 18%)
  5. Special Relativity - (It covers 6%)
  6. Laboratory Methods - (It covers 6%) 
  7. Optics and Wave Phenomena - (It covers 9%)
  8. Atomic Physics - (It covers 10%)
  9. Other Specialised Topics - (It covers 9%)

GRE Psychology Syllabus

Psychology is one of the interesting subjects in the GRE Subject Tests. It approximately contains 205 multiple-choice questions. The Psychology subject includes:

1. Cognitive - (It covers 17 - 24%)

  1. Language
  2. Learning
  3. Thinking
  4. Memory

2. Developmental - (It covers 12 - 14%)

  1. Emotion
  2. Language
  3. Learning, Intelligence
  4. Perception and Cognition
  5. Social, Personality
  6. Socialization, Family and Cultural
  7. Nature-Nurture
  8. Physical and Motor
  9. Theories, Applications and Issues

3. Measurement/Methodology/Others - (It covers 15 - 19%)

  1. Measurement and Methodology
  2. General

4. Biological - (It covers 17 - 21%)

  1. Physiological/Behavioural Neuroscience
  2. Sensation and Perception

5. Clinical - (It covers 15 - 19%)

  1. Clinical and Abnormal
  2. Personality

6. Social - (It covers 12 - 14%)

  1. Theories, Applications and Issues
  2. Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships
  3. Group and Intergroup Processes
  4. Cultural or Gender Influences
  5. Evolutionary Psychology, Altruism, and Aggression
  6. Social Perception, Cognition, Attribution
  7. Social Comparison
  8. Emotion, Affect, and Motivation
  9. Conformity, Influence, and Persuasion
  10. Behaviour and Attitudes

GRE Biology Syllabus (Discontinued since May 2021)

In the GRE Subject Tests, the Biology Test was discontinued in May 2021. It is currently not conducted by ETS. This test comprises nearly 190 five-choice questions. The Biology syllabus includes:

  1. Ecology and Evolution
  2. Organismal Biology
  3. Cellular and Molecular Biology

GRE English (Literature) Syllabus

The Literature in English subject test consists of roughly 230 questions. It’s syllabus includes:

  1. Identification
  2. Cultural and Historical Contexts
  3. History and Theory of Literary Criticism
  4. Literary Analysis

Besides that, there are various sub-topics given like poetry, theatre, biography, literary theory, the essay, short story, linguistic history, novel and criticism. However, the Literature in English subject was discontinued in May 2021, similar to the Biology test.

GRE Syllabus PDF

To keep the GRE Syllabus handy and see whenever you want, download the GRE Syllabus PDF from here.

GRE Exam Pattern 2023

ETS outlined the GRE Exam pattern for 2023, which is pretty much the same as before. To make this GRE test highly-focused and skill-oriented, ETS conducts the GRE that consists of 5 sections (1 unscored) and follows patterns and content as per the following table:

S No Sections No. of Questions Type of Questions GRE Score Range Duration Time in Minutes
1 Quantitative Reasoning 2 sections (20 questions each) 4 130 - 170 (1-point increment) 1 hour 10 minutes 35 (per section)
2 Verbal Reasoning 2 sections (20 questions each) 3 130 - 170
(1-point increment)
1 hour 30 (per section)
3 Analytical Writing (AWA) 2 Tasks 2 0 - 6
(0.5-point increment)
1 hour 30 (per task)
4 Unscored Varies NA NA Varies Varies
5 Research Varies NA NA Varies Varies

If you retake the GRE, you need to follow the same GRE Exam pattern.

GRE Test Pattern for Paper-Based Test

The paper-based GRE General test contains three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The total number of questions is 82 - 80 MCQs & 2 descriptives. The time duration is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Likewise, the GRE subject test consists of only MCQs, having 66-230 questions and the duration of this test is 2 hours and 50 minutes. In the paper-based test, unscored and research sections do not have the variable components. The GRE test pattern is as follows:

S No GRE Sections No. of Sections Question Types Time Duration
1 Quantitative Reasoning 2 sections (20 questions each) 4 35 (per section)
2 Verbal Reasoning 2 sections (20 questions each) 3 30 (per section)
3 Analytical Writing (AWA) 2 Tasks 2 30 (per task)
4 Unscored Varies NA Varies
5 Research Varies NA Varies

GRE Test Pattern for Computer-Delivered Test 

The GRE Test Pattern for a computer-delivered test is similar to the paper-based test. However, in the computer-delivered test, after completing the GRE quantitative reasoning section, the test-taker can take a ten-minute break. Here, unscored and research sections do not have the variable components as they are not included in the final GRE scores.

S No GRE Sections No. of Sections  Question Types Time Duration
1 Quantitative Reasoning 2 section - 40 questions 4 70 minutes
2 Verbal Reasoning 2 section - 40 questions 3 60 minutes
3 Analytical Writing 1 section - 2 tasks 2 60 minutes
4 Unscored Varies NA Varies
5 Research Varies NA Varies

How to Prepare for the GRE Exam?

Before getting into the mode of preparation, first, understand the exam, its requirements, eligibility, GRE score validity, and so on. After doing all these background checks, you will get an idea of what GRE is. 

  1. Know your GRE score requirement - Since many universities offer postgraduate courses like MBA, Mechanical Engineering, ECE, EEE, and so on, you must know their GRE score requirements. It helps you know how competitive it is. 
  2. Fix your target score - After knowing your GRE score requirement, fix your own target score. Make sure it is at least 10 marks above the minimum GRE score required. 
  3. Develop an effective strategy - By following GRE toppers and various subject-matter experts, discover their preparation strategy. Based on that, develop the strategy that suits you the best.
  4. Fix achievable deadlines - Keep achievable targets or deadlines that are enough to start from scratch, practice, and revise.
  5. Start practising with the best books - Always remember to read the best books available in the market. If you’re finding the GRE Syllabus pdf, check if it contains the list of best books for GRE.
  6. Focus on the weak points - While practising, you would know which area lacks expertise or confidence. Give extra attention to that and nail it before the GRE test day.
  7. Track your progress - Keep track of your progress every day. It helps you know where you stand in terms of understanding the concepts, solving problems, etc. 
  8. Maintain positivity throughout the process - Stay positive right from the beginning which eventually boosts your confidence during preparation.

Best books for GRE Preparation 2023

The best books for GRE preparation in 2023 include: Official GRE Super-Power Pack, GRE Prep by Magoosh and Manhattan Review: The Complete Guide. If you’re a serious candidate, you must buy these books. If ETS does not change the GRE Syllabus for 2023, these books also do not change.

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 the 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

Considering the amount of time and effort you put for the GRE preparation, we have given the GRE Sample Paper for 2023. It is evident that the GRE exam is becoming competitive day by day. To tackle this eligibility test, you need to take more practice questions. Here are some of the GRE practice questions with answers.

GRE Analytical Writing Practice Questions - Set 1 GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions - Set 1
GRE Analytical Writing Practice Questions - Set 2
GRE Analytical Writing Practice Questions - Set 3 GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions - Set 2
GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions with Answers - Set 1 GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions with Answers - Set 2

Souce: ETS

Countries that Accept GRE Scores

countries that accept gre scores

In all major countries, top universities are accepting GRE scores for master’s degrees. They are:

  • The United States of America (USA)
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • The United Kingdom (UK)

GRE General Test Score Range

The GRE General Test score range for Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning ranges from 130 to 170 in one-point increments. Likewise, the range of scores for the Analytical Writing (awa) section is 0 to 6, in half-point increments.

S No GRE Sections GRE Score Range
1 Quantitative Reasoning 130 - 170 (in 1-point increment)
2 Verbal Reasoning 130 - 170 (in 1-point increment)
3 Analytical Writing 0 - 6 (in 0.5-point increment)
4 Unscored Varies

GRE Exam Score Validity

Like every eligibility exam, the GRE exam score also has validity. If you take the GRE test (GRE General or GRE Subject), your GRE scores are reportable for five (5) years from your test date. If you want to know the validity period for different sections, courses, etc., you can read the GRE score validity that gives everything you need. 

GRE Test Dates

GRE test dates are flexible based on the student’s availability. Since millions of students take the GRE in more than 160 countries, ETS offers a variety of options for testing. You can choose the testing and date that suits you the best. The GRE General Test is mostly conducted as a computer-delivered test, however, if a specific location does not have access to computers, they can do paper-based tests. Moreover, the GRE syllabus is common for courses like MS, MBA, CSE, ECE, etc.

When it comes to India, GRE is a computer-delivered test conducted on all days throughout the year.


Knowing the entire GRE Syllabus is an important step to do before your preparation. Whether you’re aspiring to study Mechanical Engineering, Biotechnology, or Master’s in Computer Science (CSE), always study the fully GRE Exam syllabus. Besides that, you must know the GRE requirement for MS in Canada, the US, Singapore, and other countries that accept GRE scores and start your preparation accordingly. 


1. What is the syllabus of GRE?

The GRE syllabus 2023 has mainly three sections – GRE Analytical Writing, GRE Verbal Reasoning, and GRE Quantitative Reasoning. It measures your verbal reasoning ability, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. The score you get in the 3 hours and 45 minutes of exam is valid for five (5) years from the exam date.

2. Is GRE difficult exam?

Yes. The GRE is considered difficult by most people. They agree that the GRE is harder than the ACT and SAT but not as difficult as the MCAT or LSAT. Compared to GMAT, students wonder which is harder as many MBA programs accept both tests.

3. What is the eligibility for GRE?

Surprisingly, there is no eligibility criteria (age or qualification) required to write the GRE exam. To enter the examination centre, you must carry a valid ID proof. But before applying for the exam, you must check what the GRE score requirement is in the university where you’re planning to study for your master’s / doctoral degree.

4. Is GRE easier than GMAT?

Based on experts’ opinions, GRE is easier than GMAT, because GMAT contains a mathematics section that is tough compared to GRE. Whereas, GRE contains a verbal reasoning section, including reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence questions that reduce the burden of the test-takers.

5. How much does the GRE cost?

The GRE exam cost for the GRE General Test is $205 for all countries except Nigeria, Turkey, China, Australia and India. In India, the GRE General Test’s registration fee is $213 (INR 15,800).

6. What is the GRE Exam pattern?

The GRE exam pattern for the GRE General Tests consists of three sections: GRE Quants, GRE Verbal and GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (awa). Similarly, the exam pattern for the GRE Subject Tests consists of four subjects: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. These two exam patterns are the same for paper-based and computer-delivered tests.

Subscribe and get our weekly updates straight in your inbox.

Recent posts like this


Kanan Team

17 expert preparation tips for success in IELTS Speaking Tests
kanan Blog


Kanan Team

Is studying abroad worth it? Benefits and advantages of studying abroad
kanan Blog


Kanan Team

8 IELTS Courses In Moga That Helps To Achieve Your Dreams
kanan Blog

A truly global higher education partner to learners and education institutions Support learners at every point in their global education journey with reliable services, products and solutions.

Global Headquarters

Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

229, Yonge Street Suite 406 Toronto Ontario, Canada M5B 1N9

Indian Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

132, Habibullah Rd, Satyamurthy Nagar, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

kanan-ftr-phone+91 63570 12000


Copyright © 2023 KANAN.CO All rights reserved.