How Long is the GRE

Close up of man hands typing on a laptop keyboard on a desk at home or office

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test used by many graduate schools and business programs to evaluate applicants' readiness for advanced study. It is now shortened by half from almost 4 hours to nearly 2 hours by reducing the length of each section and removing the experimental section, one of the essays, and the scheduled break.

Structure of the Shortened GRE


The shortened GRE consists of three types of sections:

  • Verbal Reasoning (2 sections)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections)
  • Analytical Writing (1 section)

Time Allotted for Each Section

Analytical Writing 1 essay task 30 minutes
Quant Section 1 (Routing) 12 21 minutes
Quant Section 2 15 26 minutes
Verbal Section 1 (Routing) 12 18 minutes
Verbal Section 2 15 23 minutes

Types of Questions

The types of questions on the shortened GRE are the same as those on the longer GRE. They are as follows:

  • Verbal Reasoning Section: Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence
  • Quantitative Reasoning Section: Problem Solving and Data Interpretation
  • Analytical Writing Section: Analyze an Issue (note that the Analyze an Argument task has been removed)

Scoring System

The scoring system for the shortened GRE is the same as the regular GRE. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increments, and the Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments. The total score is the sum of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores, on a scale of 260-340.

The shortened GRE is a more streamlined version of the regular GRE, designed to be more efficient and convenient for test-takers. Understanding its structure is key to preparing for and performing well on the exam. Test-takers should familiarize themselves with the types of questions on each section, the time allotted for each section, and the scoring system to maximize their chances of success.