The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the entrance exam required by most graduate programs including many physician assistant programs. The GRE is one of many tools that admission committees use to ascertain the suitability of applicants to their schools. The GRE is administered by and overseen by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Note that there is a general GRE exam and a series of GRE subject tests. Physician assistant programs that require the GRE require only the general exam, they do not require students to take any of the subject tests.
to link to the main Web site for the GRE.
The GRE is currently offered year-round on an appointment basis at nearly 500 Prometric test centers within the United States. There are almost 200 additional testing centers distributed in more than 160 countries. Most testing centers offer weekend and evening appointments. It is a computer-based exam.
You must register for the GRE and schedule your appointment 60-90 days in advance of when you want to take it. Each testing center has a limited number of seats on any given day. The closest testing centers to San Marcos are in Austin and San Antonio, but there are a number of test sites located throughout Texas. For the 2019 administrations, the cost to take the test is $205, but partial fee waivers are available if you qualify. Note that in August 2011 a Revised General test replaced the previous GRE test. Click
to read more about the changes in the GRE General test format and scoring system.
to see a list of current testing centers throughout the United States.
to link to the GRE registration page.
The revised GRE consists of a total of four multiple choice sections (two separate sections each of verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning) and the analytical writing section (two written essays - one issue task and one argument task). On the old GRE, the verbal and quantitative reasoning tests result in individual numerical scores of 200-800. The analytical writing test results in a single score from 0-6 in 1/2 point increments. On the revised GRE, the verbal and quantitative reasoning tests result in individual numerical scores of 130-170. The analytical writing test results in a single score from 0-6 in 1/2 point increments.
Revised GRE Exam Structure (Computer-based)
Test 1 Analytical Writing - Analyze an Issue task = 30 minutes
Test 2 Analytical Writing - Analyze an Argument task = 30 minutes
Test 3 Verbal Reasoning = 2 sections - 30 minutes and 20 questions on each section- analyzes your ability to evaluate written material and recognize relationships among component parts of sentences and between words and concepts.
Test 4 Quantitative Reasoning = 2 sections - 35 minutes and 20 questions on each section– questions cover: basic math, algebra, numerical calculations, data analysis, geometry and applied (word) quantitative problems.
To do well on the GRE you should strive for three things:
- Master the content that will be tested.
- Become familiar with the format of the exam itself and understand what kind of information the exam seeks to test.
- Practice taking exams to increase your comfort and familiarity with the exam format and to ensure that you time your progress through each section effectively. ETS provides several tools to registered test takers to help prepare you to take the GRE.