Understanding the GRE Exam Syllabus and GRE Model Paper


The GRE exam is your ticket to pursuing your Masters’s degree overseas. The scores you obtain in the exam are crucial for acquiring a position in the university/college of your choice. Hence, you must put in efforts for your preparation right from the start. Your preparation for the exam should follow a systematic approach so that you complete studying the entire syllabus within the stipulated time. A good study plan is a key to helping you prepare for the exam in a planned manner. It should include scheduling a time for learning all the sections equally, revising all the important concepts, taking mock tests, solving model papers, and more.

The GRE Model paper gives you a real-time experience of how the actual exam would look like. It also helps you to gauge how quickly you are able to answer the questions in the exam and whether you are able to complete all the 3 sections — Quantitative Analysis, Verbal Analysis, and Analytical Writing — within the given time period. Another advantage of the GRE model paper is that it helps you to estimate your strengths and weaknesses. You will be able to figure out which topics you will need to spend more time on and which topics you are confident about.

These model papers are designed to help you get a clear picture of the way the exam is actually conducted. The actual GRE exam is computer-adaptive and so is the model exam — each section’s difficulty is based on your performance in the previous section — thus, giving you the actual exam experience. You will get acquainted with this mode of testing and there will be no surprises on the day of the exam. It is recommended that you time yourself while attempting these model papers so that you understand how much time it takes for you to complete each section of the exam.

There are many model papers available on the ETS website and even online, which you can access before you attempt your exam. These papers will also give you an idea about the types of questions you will come across in the exam.

Before attempting the Model Papers it is essential that you are familiar with the GRE exam Syllabus. So, let’s familiarize you with the syllabus.

GRE Exam Syllabus

The GRE exam is mainly categorized into 3 main sections. The types of questions for each segment are given below:

  • Analytical Writing –  Analyse an Issue, Analyze an Argument
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Comparison Questions, Multiple Choice Questions (Select one choice or more than one choice), Numeric Entry Questions.
  • Verbal Reasoning – Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, Sentence Equivalence.

      The GRE Exam Syllabus for each section is listed as follows:

Quantitative Reasoning

  • Geometry – Triangles (all types), quadrilaterals, area, polygons, three-dimensional figures, Parallel and perpendicular lines, The Pythagorean theorem, volume, etc.
  • Arithmetic – Exponents and roots, percentage, ratio, types of integers (divisibility, prime numbers, remainders, etc), decimal representation, estimation, the number line, sequence of numbers, etc.
  • Algebra – Solving linear equations, rules of exponents, solving quadratic equations, coordinate geometry, solving linear inequalities, graphs of functions, etc.
  • Data analysis – Mean, interquartile range, combinations, standard deviation, mode, median, interpretation of data in multiple formats, quartiles and percentiles, basic probability, permutations, etc.

 Verbal Reasoning

  • Parallelism and Modifiers
  • Verb tense
  • Adjectives, Nouns, Pronouns
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement

Analytical Writing

As already mentioned earlier, Analytical Writing has 2 main questions:

  • Analyze an Argument – In the Analyse an Argument task, you will be presented with an argument statement. You will be required to analyze the author’s argument in a logical manner, point out the strengths and weaknesses in the argument. This is only to test your ability to critically analyze the point of view presented in the argument and not to express your own opinion.
  • Analyze an Issue –  On the other hand, for the Analyse an Issue task, you will be given a topic of general interest. You will be expected to analyze the issue raised in the statement and provide your own views. You can either write in support of the statement or against the statement.

We trust that you have gained sufficient knowledge about the GRE Exam Syllabus and Model Papers from this article. So start your preparation soon, answer the exam to the best of your ability and make it into the college/university of your choice. All the Best!