GRE Exam Pattern in 2024: Latest & Updated


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Shireen Parhee

Lead, Content Marketing

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) which conducts the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) recently announced a change in the GRE exam pattern. From September 22, 2023, the GRE exam paper pattern, scoring, and timings will change. 

For students planning to take the GRE in 2024, it is important to understand the new GRE format. 

Knowing how it differs from the old GRE exam pattern and marks will help students properly prepare for the exam. 

Whether you want to do an MBA, get into a law school, or learn about the GRE exam pattern for MS, this guide has you covered.

GRE new format for 2024

What is the GRE exam pattern for 2024?

The key change in GRE’s new pattern, effective from 22nd September 2023, is that the exam would be shorter. 

The GRE General Test, which used to take 4 hours, will take less than 2 hours now. However, the GRE exam total marks still remain the same. 

That doesn’t mean you’ll have to answer the same number of questions in less time. The number of questions has also been reduced. This keeps the average time given to solve each question roughly the same. 

Any extra sections or a break have also been removed.

More importantly, you will get your GRE scores faster, in 8–10 days. Earlier it used to take 10–15 days to get the results.

What remains the same in the new paper pattern of GRE exam?

The GRE General Test’s concept still remains the same. The test mirrors the thinking required in today’s tough graduate school courses. 

The GRE new pattern is still designed to evaluate your language, math, critical thinking, and writing abilities.

Let’s take a look at the specific changes in each section and what it covers.

GRE verbal exam pattern

The GRE verbal exam format remains the same, it assesses your ability to:

  • Pick out key points
  • Differentiate between major, minor, and irrelevant details
  • Summarise text
  • Grasp the structure of a passage
  • Comprehend the meaning of individual words, sentences, and whole texts
  • Understand connections between words and concepts

GRE quantitative exam pattern

There have been no major changes in the GRE exam pattern for the Quantitative Reasoning section either. It still evaluates your skills in:

  • Understanding, interpreting, and analyzing quantitative data
  • Solving problems with mathematical models
  • Applying basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis concepts

Section-Level Adaptation 

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are still section-level adaptable like before. This basically means that the difficulty of the second section changes based on how you perform in the first section.

So, for example, if you do well in the first section, the next section will be harder.

However, your score is adjusted based on how many questions you answer correctly and the difficulty of the sections.

Moreover, this setup lets you:

  • Go back and forth within each section
  • Mark questions to revisit later
  • Change your answers anytime


GRE analytical writing exam pattern

As per the new GRE exam marks pattern for analytical writing, you are still required to:

  • Clearly explain complex ideas
  • Back up your ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • Maintain a clear and focused discussion
  • Use proper standard English writing

It is the first section of the new GRE format. The order of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections vary. 

Earlier the section had 2 questions: “Analyze an Issue” and “Analyze an Argument”. The latter has now been removed, resulting in only 1 question that you’re required to answer.

GRE exam pattern and marks

As discussed previously, the number of questions and the test time have been reduced in the new GRE exam pattern. 

But the score scale and GRE exam pattern total marks have not changed. 

  • You are still graded out of 170 for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. 
  • You are still graded out of 6 for Analytical Writing.
  • The scoring processes for all three measures also remain unchanged.

This means each question counts more toward your final score as per the new GRE format.

GRE exam latest pattern timing


Let’s understand the time per section for the GRE exam’s latest pattern.


Measure Sections Questions in each section Time (in minutes)
Analytical Writing 1 1 30
Verbal Reasoning 2 12 18
15 23
Quantitative Reasoning 2 12 21
15 26


On-site and at-home paper pattern of GRE exam

The GRE General Test at Home, commonly called GRE at-home test is a remote proctored version of the GRE.

Introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, it allows candidates to take the test from the comfort of their homes. 

The GRE exam paper pattern remains the same in either format that you choose. Even in the shorter new GRE format the number of sections, scoring, and timing remain the same.  



1. Is the new GRE exam pattern valid for international education?

Absolutely. The new GRE exam paper pattern is completely valid and widely accepted for international education purposes. Universities around the world will be using the GRE new pattern just like the old one. 

Note: Arrangements have been made by ETS to ensure parity in the scores of candidates who attempt the GRE new format and the older GRE exam paper pattern. 

Also, the GRE new exam pattern and marks will be valid for securing international education loans. 

To make the most of your GRE scores and increase your chances of getting the best possible loan options for your international education, you can use the FundRight platform. 

FundRight helps you showcase your academic readiness and financial credibility to lenders, and get the best offers from 15+ banks and financial institutions. 

Save up to 23 lakhs on your education loan. Find your best offer.


2. What is the fees for the GRE new pattern?

Though the GRE exam pattern has changed, the fee remains the same. 

3. Does the new GRE exam paper pattern also have a  10-minute break?

No. The shorter GRE exam pattern is less than 2 hours long and thus, does not include the 10-minute break.

However, if you’re taking the test at a test center and feel the need for a break, you can still take one. 

But remember: The timer will keep running even if you take a break. 

And the at-home GRE tests do not have any option to take any such breaks

Of course, time adjustments are available for those who have a special test accommodation approval due to a disability or health issue. 

4. Will the new GRE pattern also have the GRE Diagnostic Service? 

Yes, the new GRE pattern will still offer the GRE Diagnostic Service for free. 


What is GRE Diagnostic Service?

The GRE Diagnostic Service is a valuable tool that helps test-takers see how they did on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning parts of the GRE. 

Available 2 weeks after the test date, it shows which questions you got right and which ones you missed. This helps you understand your strengths and where you need to improve for subsequent tests, if needed. 

5. Will I have to change my test prep for the new GRE exam paper pattern?

No, you don’t need to change your GRE test preparation much for the GRE exam pattern for MS. The GRE new pattern has the same sections and question types as before. 

The new test preparation materials specifically for the GRE new pattern were made available in September 2023. However, you can still use the existing Official GRE Prep available at This means you can continue with your current study materials and methods without major changes. 

Picture of Shireen Parhee

Shireen Parhee

A creative producer turned content marketeer, Shireen has a flair for weaving words into compelling stories and bringing them to life through captivating videos. A vivacious leader, she naturally inspires her team, driving them to surpass expectations with her positive energy and insightful feedback. Boasting over a decade of experience across different forms of media, she is on a mission to create memorable content that will leave a lasting impact for years to come.

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