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How Long Is The GRE?
By Riley Stoltenburg Updated on February 27, 2024
Rick Lopez, M.Ed. Rick Lopez, M.Ed.

How Long Is The GRE?

The length of the GRE is one of the first things people want to know about the exam

Once you’ve made the decision to take the GRE, it’s essential to learn as much as you can about the exam. To be best prepared, you’ll want to develop a study plan and learn how long the exam actually takes. That way you know what to expect come test day and feel comfortable entering the exam center.

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How Long Is The GRE Test?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is administered under strict supervision and security measures, and takes about 1 hour and 58 minutes in total to complete, not including breaks.

Information Section

You will start with ten minutes to fill out your basic information. However, you do not have to use the full 10 minutes offered. When filling this out, be aware that the information you provide may be sold to certain entities who might in turn send you information about their programs.

If you don’t want ETS to sell your name, you have the option to click on a box that tells ETS not to share your information. After you complete the information section, you will have five sections total to complete.

GRE exam length

Analytical Writing

The exam begins with Analytical Writing, which includes one assignment. The Issue Essay requires you to write on your stance regarding a topic that is provided in the prompt.

Verbal & Quantitative Reasoning

This part of the exam consists of four sections altogether and a total time of 88 minutes in which to complete it. There are 54 questions total across the four sections.

You’ll have 41 minutes to complete the two Verbal Reasoning sections and 47 minutes to complete the two Quantitative Reasoning sections.

Generally speaking, you should probably spend no more than 70-90 seconds on each of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning questions. These sections will appear in any order, and although the questions for these sections are multiple-choice, the question format tends to vary, so be sure that you understand what response is required before answering.

The number of questions you answer correctly will determine your overall score for these sections. Points will not be subtracted from a score if you answer a question incorrectly. This means you can skip questions if you do not know them, however, it is best to answer every question (even if it is an educated guess) in order to earn the best possible score.


There is no longer a 10 minute break on the GRE. When tackling practice tests during your test preparation, be sure to mimic the real GRE and not take any breaks, just like the real thing.

This will help train your mind and body for the test.

Experimental/Research Section

There is no longer an unscored, experimental section of the test. Previously, the ETS used the experimental section to test different questions formats and concepts, but that is no longer the case. The ETS removed this section in order to shorten the exam for test takers.

The Order Of The GRE

The exact order of the exam sections varies in terms of the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections.

You should expect to always start with the Biographical Info, following with the Analytical Writing Sections back-to-back, and then the Quantitative and Verbal Sections in random order.

How Long Does The GRE Take In Total?


Once you have completed the five sections of the GRE, you have five minutes to send your exam results to the school(s) for which you applied and require your score for admission.

By including the informational portion of the exam, sending select schools your results, and going through security/check-in, you should expect to spend around 2 hours and 15 minutes in order to complete the GRE.

As such, be sure to get there on time and clear out your schedule for that day to prioritize the test and its timely requirements. With commute to the testing center, it could be three or more hours.


How long does the GRE take?

The official exam length is 1 hour and 58 minutes. Including the check-in process and school selection portion of the exam, be prepared for the entire GRE testing process to take around 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

How is the GRE exam length compared to other tests?

The GRE is a fairly standard length entrance exam at around 2 hours. It is about the same length as the GMAT and LSAT, but much shorter than the MCAT.