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GRE Exam Pattern 2024 Computer vs. Paper-Based Format

In 2024, GRE test takers will still have the option to take the exam on a computer or paper. 

While the overall test structure remains consistent, there are some variances between the computer and paper experiences that are useful to understand.

Taking time to understand the GRE exam pattern 2024 for the format you plan to sit for can help you effectively manage your time and preparation strategies.  

Computer-Based GRE Pattern

The computer-based GRE General Test has six sections:

  • Analytical Writing – One 60-minute section with two writing tasks 
  • Verbal Reasoning – Two 30-minute sections with 20 questions each 
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Two 35-minute sections with 20 questions each
  • Unscored – One variable-length unscored section

The computer test allows skipping questions and changing answers within a section before time runs out. The unscored research section does not count toward the final scores.

Paper-Based GRE Pattern

The paper-based GRE General Test has six sections:

  • Analytical Writing – Two 30-minute sections, with one writing task per section
  • Verbal Reasoning – Two 35-minute sections with 25 questions each 
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Two 40-minute sections with 25 questions each

The paper format does not have any unscored sections. Test takers must work on the designated section during the allotted time frame without skipping questions.

Key Differences

Here are the main differences between computer-based and paper-based GRE exam pattern 2024:

  • Availability

The computer GRE is offered year-round at centers globally, providing abundant scheduling options. 

The paper test is only offered on select dates in areas without computer access, limiting date/location choices.

  • Section adaptivity

The computer GRE tailors the second Verbal and Quantitative sections based on performance in the first sections. 

Do well in the first sections, and the following sections get harder. Struggle in the first sections, and the next sections get easier. This allows for a more precise score. 

The paper test does not adapt – everyone receives the same questions in the same order, regardless of performance.

  • Flexibility

The computer test provides more flexibility in skipping questions and changing answers within a section. 

You can flag questions to revisit later and strategize based on your strengths/weaknesses. 

With the paper format, you must work through each section sequentially in the allotted time without going back.  

  • Tools

The computer test has an on-screen calculator and scratch paper for the Quantitative sections. This can save time and reduce math errors. 

The paper test provides physical calculators and scratch paper, requiring you to manually input calculations.

  • Score reporting

With the computer test, you receive unofficial Verbal and Quantitative scores immediately after finishing. 

Official scores are available online in 10-15 days. Paper test takers must wait about five weeks for official scores for all sections.  

  • Question types

While both tests cover the same concepts, the computer GRE may include additional interactive question formats that are not possible on paper. 

Understanding the question types for your chosen format is key. Joining a good GRE coaching centre near Kolkata, like Frame Learning, can help you understand such question types.

Also Read: Importance of GRE for 2025 Application for Masters (MS) in the US 

Final Thoughts

Determine which format best suits your testing style and accessibility needs. 

Then, thoroughly understand the GRE exam pattern 2024. Study its unique structure, available tools, flexibility in pacing, scoring timeline, and question types. 

Tailor your prep strategies to match.  

While demanding, acing GRE format you choose is possible with consistent, thoughtful preparation. 

If you need guidance, sign up for GRE coaching in Kolkata. GRE coaching classes in Kolkata by Frame Learning can help you with preparation.


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