Practice GRE Questions and What You can Expect in the Exam

practice gre questionsIf you are a college graduate or graduating soon and you intend to go on to graduate school or business school, then chances are you are getting ready for the General Record Examination General Test. The GRE scores can help you add weight to your graduate school application and can even help you get a scholarship to help you pay for your education. The purpose of the GRE exam is to ensure you are prepared for graduate work. The test therefore measures verbal reasoning, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. The Introduction to the GRE course offers you a great introduction into the GRE exam. This course tells you what’s on the GRE, it gives you breakdowns for both the math and verbal sections of the GRE and it offers stress management techniques and tips for exam day.


The GRE tests a wide variety of skills to ensure you are ready for graduate school. Although there are no specific subjects involved in the GRE exam, the exam aims to test your skills in the following academic areas:

  • Quantitative reasoning

  • Analytical writing

  • Critical thinking skills

  • Verbal reasoning

GRE Test Questions – Analytic writing

This portion of the GRE tests your analytic writing and critical thinking skills. The purpose of this section is to see if you have the ability to argue complex ideas. It tests your ability to think logically, reason out various options as well as testing your ability to be able to contrast and communicate complex ideas and arguments. There are two tasks under this section of the examination. The first task consists of a thirty minute issue analysis task and the second task consists of an argument analysis task. Each section allows thirty minutes for the task.

The issue task provides you a current issue of general interest. The tasks then asks you to consider the issue and the complexities of the issue and asks you to discuss your thoughts on the issue. Topics include government, society and politics. An example of an issue question is:

“It’s good when a celebrity falls from grace because the situation focuses attention on areas that we generally would not discuss.” Write your response to this statement and state to what extent you agree or disagree. Make sure you include compelling reasons and examples.

The argument task is fairly similar to the issue task. In the argument task you are asked to evaluate an argument that is based on sound logical reasoning. It differs from the issue task in that it asks you to evaluate an argument rather than creating one.

Effective communication requires good grammar skills. To improve your grammar skills, sign up for the Advanced English Grammar course from Udemy. This course contains over fifty lectures that will teach you how to communicate your thoughts in a grammatically correct manner. It is aimed at ensuring students know the difference between professional, academic and informal situations with regards to grammar and it covers both basic and advanced grammatical skills.

GRE Test Questions – Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section tests your basic mathematical skills, your understanding of mathematical concepts and also tests your quantitative reasoning skills. The section covers topics in four broad categories including:

  • Basic arithmetic skills

  • Algebra skills

  • Geometry skills

  • Data Analysis skills

Basic Arithmetic

The basic arithmetic skills part of the exam covers a wide variety of topics including divisibility, prime numbers, integers, exponents and roots, factorization, estimation, absolute values, decimal representation, ratios, percentages, sequences of numbers and remainders.

An example of a test question in the basic arithmetic section is:

Compare the following columns and state whether column A is greater than, equal to or less than column B

2a + b = 17

b – 3 = 2

Column A

a + 4

Column B

b * 2

The solution:

To calculate if column A is greater or column b is greater, we first need to solve for a and b. Solving for b is simple:

b – 3 = 2

b = 3 + 2

b = 5

Now that we have b we can solve for a:

2a + b = 17

2a + 5 = 17

2a= 17 – 5

2a = 12

a = 6

Now we need to solve for column A and B so Column A equal:

a + 4  = 10

Column B:

b * 2 =10

The columns are therefore equal.

The Algebra Portion of the test

The algebra portion of the skills test can include topics covering simplifying algebraic expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, graphs of functions, functions, solving algebraic word problems, equations and inequalities, intercepts, factoring and operations with exponents

An example of a question you might expect in this section of the exam includes the following:

If x + 2y = 8 and y – x = -2 then solve for x and y


If you add the two equations together then the x values cancel each other out and 3y = 6 therefore y = 2. Now you can substitute y into the equation to find x, so x equals 4.

Geometry Skills

The geometry portion of the exam can includes the questions about triangles including isosceles, equilateral triangles, and thirty, sixty and ninety degree triangles. It can include questions on quadrilaterals, polygons, and circles. It may include perpendicular lines and parallel lines. It may also include area, volume and perimeter questions. It may include similar and congruent figures and it may also include questions on the Pythagorean Theorem.

An example of the type of question you can expect in the geometry section is as follows:

Calculate the area of the following triangle:

The formula for the area of a triangle is Area = ½ base x height.

So area is ½ times 11 times 4 = ½ times 44.

The area of the above triangle is therefore 22.

Data Analysis Skills

The data analysis portion of the GRE questions can cover the following topics:

·         Statistics including median, mode, mean, standard deviation, quartiles, percentiles, range and interquartile range

·         Interpretation of tables and graphs including bar graphs, circle graphs, line graphs, scatter plots, box plots, frequency distributions

·         Probabilities including compound events, random variables, probability distributions, independent events and elementary probability

For a great introduction to statistics, sign up for the Introductory statistics, Part1: Descriptive Statistics course. This course contains over twenty four lectures that will teach you the basic concepts of statistics. It includes lessons on descriptive statistical methods to summarize and analyze data. The course will teach you how to use the empirical rule for analyzing data, and how to calculate the correlation coefficient and interpret data using different methods of sampling. It also includes the concepts of mean, median and standard deviation.

GRE Test Questions – Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning portion of the test aims to test your verbal and written analysis abilities. It tests your ability to analyze grammatical concept, sentence parts, and it also tests your ability to identify relationships between words and concepts. The verbal reasoning section of the test contains three categories of questions: the reading comprehension, text completion and sentence equivalence questions.

The reading comprehension section tests your ability to understand the meaning of words and sentences within a certain context. It tests your ability to understand concepts presented in paragraphs and in larger texts. It tests your ability to differentiate between minor and major points and your ability to communicate their differences. It also test your summarization abilities and your ability to draw conclusions based on the texts given.

The text completion portion tests your ability to pair the right words within the context of a given passage. The skill tests your verbal skills as well as your reasoning skills by requiring that you fill in missing phrases or words within a given passage. Generally passages contain one to three blank spaces and they provide alternatives for those spaces and you will be required to select the most appropriate words or phrases for those blanks.

The sentence equivalence portion of the test, tests your ability to read a passage in context and then select two or more words that can be used to complete the sentence and that leads to the same overall meaning if used.

The most important tip for you with regards to the verbal section of the test, is to take your time and read questions carefully with constant regard to their meaning.

Ace Your GRE Exams

The key to success is preparation. Only register for the exams once you are confident about your skills and abilities and once you’ve tried a few practice GRE questions and exams.

Enroll in the GRE and GMAT Math – So Easy a Child Could Do It course to make sure you are ready for the mathematical portions of the GRE exam. This course offers over eighty lecture to help you master quantitative problem solving. The course contains both GRE and GMAT questions along with fully explained solutions to ensure you understand how to solve these types of questions.