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The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardised test that is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the United States. Created and administered by Educational Testing Service(ETS) in 1949, the exam aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.
The structure of the computer-based GRE revised General Test consists of six sections. The first section is always the analytical writing section involving separately timed issue and argument tasks. The next five sections consist of two verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and either an experimental or research section. These five sections may occur in any order. The experimental section does not count towards the final score but is not distinguished from the scored sections. Unlike the computer adaptive test prior to August 2011, the GRE revised General Test is a multistage test, where the examinee's performance on earlier sections determines the difficulty of subsequent sections. This format allows the examinee to freely move back and forth between questions within each section, and the testing software allows the user to "mark" questions within each section for later review if time remains. The entire testing procedure lasts about 3 hours 45 minutes. One-minute breaks are offered after each section and a 10-minute break after the third section.