Current GRE vs Shorter GRE

Current GRE vs Shorter GRE: Which Test is Right for You?

The GRE General Test, known worldwide as the premier assessment for graduate and professional program admissions, is undergoing a significant transformation. Starting from September 22, 2023, the GRE General Test will be shorter, faster, and more streamlined, empowering test-takers to submit their applications sooner. In this blog post, we will explore the similarities and differences between the current GRE and the upcoming shorter GRE, assisting you in making an informed decision about which test best aligns with your needs and preferences.

Both the current GRE and the shorter GRE are accepted by thousands of graduate, business, and law schools for a wide range of programs, including master’s, MBA, JD, and PhD degrees.
Skills Measured: Both the current and shorter GRE assess your abilities in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing.

Question Types:
The question types in both the current and shorter GRE are largely the same, with one exception: the shorter GRE does not include the “Analyze an Argument” essay task in the Analytical Writing section.

The current GRE has a duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes, while the shorter GRE is completed in just 1 hour and 58 minutes. The reduced testing time in the shorter GRE allows for increased efficiency and better focus.

The current GRE consists of two Analytical Writing essay tasks, two Verbal Reasoning sections with 40 questions in total, two Quantitative Reasoning sections with 40 questions in total, one unscored section with 20 questions, and a scheduled 10-minute break after the second hour. In comparison, the shorter GRE includes one Analytical Writing essay task, two Verbal Reasoning sections with 27 questions in total, two Quantitative Reasoning sections with 27 questions in total, and no scheduled break.

The current GRE can be taken at test centers, with availability in hundreds of centers across 160 countries. On the other hand, the shorter GRE offers the convenience of being available for at-home testing, accessible 24/7.

The fees for both the current and shorter GRE remain the same.

Test Taking Experience:
Both the current and shorter GRE allow test-takers to navigate back and forth within each section, mark questions for review, change answers as desired, and utilize an on-screen calculator during the Quantitative Reasoning sections.

Both assessments offer accommodations for individuals with disabilities or health-related needs. It is essential to apply for accommodations and receive approval before registering for the test. Accessible test prep materials are also available.

While specific preparation materials for the shorter GRE will be released in September, existing materials can be utilized for preparation due to the similarities in content and question types. ETS provides numerous free and affordable options for test preparation at

Score Scales:
Both the current and shorter GRE use the same score scales, ensuring the scores can be interpreted consistently across individuals who have taken the test before and after September 2023.

Unofficial and Official Scores:
Upon completing the test, both the current and shorter GRE provide unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores immediately. Official scores for both tests are typically available within a time frame of 8-15 calendar days.

Reporting Scores to Schools:
Both assessments offer four free score reports with additional reports available for a fee. The scores are reportable for five years, providing flexibility if you decide to change your graduate major or pursue different programs in the future.

Which Test Should You Take?
Ultimately, the decision of whether to take the current or shorter GRE depends on various factors. If your application deadlines are early October or sooner, it is recommended to opt for the current GRE to ensure timely score delivery. However, if deadlines are not a determining factor, consider personal preferences such as test duration, comfort with writing, and preference for the number of questions.

In conclusion, the shorter GRE offers enhanced convenience and efficiency without compromising on the essential skills and assessments. The decision between the current and shorter GRE ultimately depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. Regardless of your choice, the GRE team is committed to assisting you in achieving your best performance on test day. Take advantage of the available preparation materials, monthly webinars, and support channels to equip yourself with the necessary tools for success.

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