How Long is the GRE

How Long is the GRE Exam? -Get All the Details Here

GRE is one of the critical global exams for entering a graduate program of your choice at your institution. GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, is a globalized test whose scores act as an index to secure your seat in the best institutions.

Exams like GRE demands practical time management skills. If you genuinely want to perform well in GRE, it is vital to understand how to manage the time during your practice, preparation, and exam sessions. For those candidates who want to know how long is the GRE – The total time of the GRE is 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are 6 sections in the GRE and an additional break of 10 minutes. After you complete 3 sections, you can avail of the break.

How Long is the GRE? – Section -Level Timing

  • Usually, the sections appear in this order:
  • Analytical Writing Section
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Unidentified Sections

It would be best if you adapted well to each section to manage well with overall time management. Verbal and Quantitative reasoning sections are adaptive. They are of average difficulty level. The difficulty level of the subsequent sections will depend on how you tackle the first sections. If you perform well in the first sections, the following sections will be of difficult level adapted according to the student’s capability.

You need to know something about the unscored or unidentified sections of the GRE. The unidentified or unscored sections are the ones that usually appear in order after the analytical writing section. Also, the research section contains some unidentified questions that may consume time variably. When calculating the time for the exam, consider these sections because they can significantly vary the exam duration.

Analytical Writing Section: 60 Minutes

60 minutes are dedicated to the section, but test givers with fast writing speed usually only need 60 minutes to complete. In this section, you have to write essays. Always practice writing enough essays before the exam because it will hasten your writing speed. On exam day, stay confident with the essays. Fidgeting around with this section will cost you plenty of time and effort and affect your entire exam.

Verbal Reasoning: 60 minutes

There are 20 questions in each verbal reasoning section and two sections. So, a grand time of 60 minutes is allotted for this section. The two verbal sections are not back to back but appear in different orders. Pacing with reading comprehension can be truly difficult and demands ample pre-practice.

Quantitative Reasoning: 70 minutes

Each quant section of the GRE is 35 minutes. This section will consume more time than others because it involves maths. If you are too good at maths, it may take some less time. But on average, for most test givers, even 70 minutes seem less when it is quant One of the main goals of the exam is to deal with the quant section.

How Long is the GRE? – GRE Test Timeline

Here is an expected approximate timeline breakdown of the GRE.

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime
Biographical Information+/- 10 minutes
Argument Essay130 minutes
Verbal Reasoning (2 sections)20 each30 minutes each
Quantitative reasoning (2 sections)20 each35 minutes each
Experimental section Varies30 – 35 minutes
1 Break10 minutes
Research SectionVariesVaries
School/program selectionMaximum 45 minutes
Score accepting1 min
Score receiving1 min

This is a generalized structure. There can be significant variations in this distribution depending on the experimental section. For example, maths as an experimental section takes more time than verbal as an experimental section. Always reach the exam center well in advance to avoid last-minute delays and panic. Much time is needed for the check-in and other formalities. So, maintain your own pace.

Timing Tips for GRE

Here are some timing tips for the GRE that will help you ace perfect marks in almost all the GRE sections:

Accuracy is More Important than Speed

Accurate answering is more important than speedy answering. You have to answer right rather than answering fast. This is the ultimate winning strategy for the GRE. Pushing yourself to answer fast is not an ideal solution. Instead, the target should be to answer accurately. Slow down and assess each question carefully. Answer as many questions as you can within the given time but correctly. Don’t indulge in the unnecessary speed game.

Have Enough Time to Attempt All

Not paying more attention to speed does not mean you will be super slow. Always remember that question 41 could be the easiest, but if you are too slow and never reach there, you lose the marks. So, it is best to maintain a moderate speed without unnecessary haste and ensure you can attempt them all. Avoid careless mistakes but take it all in. Having enough time to at least go through all the questions is essential.

Don’t Prioritize Questions Where You are Stuck

Do not spend too much time on one question. The questions you cannot solve or cannot crack even after trying for a long time deserve to be left for the time being. Later on, if you have ample time, you can revisit them. This happens especially with the maths section. Some maths questions are too tricky and take time to solve. If you get stuck, spend a minute or two trying to solve it, If the solution does not seem possible, leave it and move to the next one.

Use the Mark Option Optimally

For better performance and time management, GRE has introduced the feature of mark and move on. If you cannot get an answer immediately, the best way is to mark the question and move on. Marking highlights the question, and you can always keep track of how many questions you have to revisit later on for consideration.


To ace the exam and the timing strategy, you must emphasize ample practice. Practice will improve your exam concert and prepare you for better time management. Always set the timer when practicing mock tests or any past year pacers. Consider time as the significant factor when solving papers. A lot of students are in a dilemma – is the GRE hard? The answer is that it is hard but not impossible to crack. You can easily crack the exam with sustained practice. All you need is a clear understanding of the exam and a good schedule. You can crack GRE even on the first attempt with persistent practice and proper guidance.

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