What are GRE/GMAT tests?

These tests are used in the application process for postgraduate courses in the USA, Canada and elsewhere. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the most commonly used, with the Graduate Management Admissions test (GMAT) primarily used for MBA courses or business schools (although more and more business schools are accepting both).

They are also used for entry onto some MSc courses at LSE.

The tests measure your analytical writing skills, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and sometimes, subject specific options. Each section is scored separately with percentile rankings to supplement university entry requirements.

To find out more about the content of the tests, visit:

What is the process?


The GRE General Test is usually taken online but is also available as a paper-based exam. The test is about 3 hours and 45 minutes long and there are three sections; verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. The test has inbuilt flexibility which lets you skip questions within a section, go back and change answers, and choose which questions within a section you want to answer first.

You can register and pay online but must go to a test centre to complete the exam. You can take the test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). You may take the paper-delivered test as often as it is offered.

For computer-delivered tests, score reports are sent to your designated score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date.

For up-to-date details about the test, registration and how scores are reported, visit the ETS webpage for Test Takers. There are also some useful answers to FAQs here.


The GMAT test is computer based and tests verbal, numerical, analytical and written skills. It lasts three and a half hours and has four sections. GMAT is a computer adaptive test where the difficulty of each question will be determined by the answer you gave to a previous question.

You can register and pay online but must go to a test centre to complete the exam. It can be taken once every 16 calendar days, no more than 5 times during a rolling 12-month period and no more than 8 times in total (lifetime).  Your Official Score Report will be available to you within 20 calendar days of your GMAT exam.

For up-to-date information about the test, registration, test centres etc., visit the webpage on the GMAT exam.

How can I prepare for a GRE or GMAT test? 

Preparing for these tests requires a sustained period of study. Some candidates prefer to self-study, others choose online courses or private tutoring. 

There are numerous practice resources available. The following list consists of links to free resources, but many sites also provide further test practice for a fee. This is a small selection of the sites available; a Google search will give you a longer list.


  • Preparation advice from the official GRE site.
  • Chegg GRE Test Prep – offers free expert advice, a practice test, ‘20-minute work-out’ and question of the day.
  • Test-Guide – provides a useful library of practice questions.
  • Magoosh GRE blog – offers a practice test with answers and explanations.
  • Kaplan gives you access to a free full-length practice test.

Other useful resources include:


  • Chegg GMAT Test Prep – offers free expert advice, a practice test, ‘20-minute work-out’ and question of the day.
  • Crack GMAT – offers a free full-length practice test.
  • - GMAT guide – lots of advice including a useful checklist of preparation steps. and a suggested 3-month study plan. Scroll down to ‘Resources for practice tests’ to access a range of free tests.
  • Princeton Review – free practice tests and events, including live online strategy sessions (choose ‘other free classes’ to access a list of sessions).

Other useful resources include:

Once you know what your weaknesses are, you can look for study materials to help you master them.

How can I perform better on the day?




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