What Is GRE and TOEFL ?? Who Needs To Give These Exams

Before you even start applying to universities for Master’s in US or any other country as a foreign national, you are supposed to take exams like GRE and TOEFL which are like benchmark exams for the Universities to understand where you stand.Based on your scores in GRE and TOEFL universities take the decision.The cut-off marks for securing admission vary from university to university and from department to department.

Higher scores in these exams increases your chances to Aid, admission to the universities.

These exams are conducted by ETS all around the world, and can be taken at any time.

GRE – Graduate Record Examets_gre

The graduate record examination is one of the two exams you have to take in order to seek admission and financial aid in the universities abroad (mainly US).The computer-based General Test is composed of mainly 4 sections

  1. Verbal Reasoning ( English )
  2. Quantitative Reasoning ( Mathematics ) and
  3. Analytical Writing sections ( Reasoning and Logical thinking ).

Maximum score for sections Verbal, Quantitative is 800. An analytical writing score will be reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments.

Your GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

You may appear again in GRE after one month.

The duration of the exam is 3 Hrs.

Typical Computer-Based GRE® General Test


Number of Questions


Analytical Writing 1 Issue Task * 45 minutes
Analytical Writing 1 Argument Task * 30 minutes
Verbal 30 30 minutes
Quantitative 28 45 minutes

* For the Issue task, two essay topics are presented and you choose one. The Argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead one topic is presented.

The cost for GRE is around $ 170 which varies from country to country, ETS sends your GRE scores to 5 universities free of cost which need to be selected after finishing your GRE.Additional scores reports to additional universities cost $ 15 for each recipient.

For More Info about costs click here.

TOEFL – Test Of English As A Foreign Language.ets_toefl

The TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test ) measures skills in reading, listening, speaking and writing, and requires you to combine 2 or more of these skills to respond to a question.

Structure of the TOEFL iBT

Section Description Testing Time Questions Score Scale
Reading 3-5 passages from academic texts; approximately 700 words long; 12-14 questions per passage. 60-100 minutes 36-70 questions 0-30
Listening 4-6 lectures, some with classroom discussion; each 3-5 minutes long; 6 questions each. 2-3 conversations; each 3 minutes long; 5 questions each. 60-90 minutes 34-51 questions 0-30
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 2 tasks to express an opinion on a familiar topic; 4 tasks to speak based on what is read and listened to. 20 minutes 6 tasks 0-4 points converted to 0-30 score scale
Writing 1 task to write based on what is read and listened to; 1 task to support an opinion on a topic. 50 minutes 2 tasks 0-5 points converted to 0-30 score scale
Total score 0-120

The cost for TOEFL iBT is around $ 165 , The fees varies from country to country and are subject to change.

In the next post I’ll try pointing out what all documents you would need for applying to the universities !!, So stayed tuned for the next post.

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