GRE Practice Test Questions

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination, or at least it used to; it seems that Educational Testing Service, the company that develops the test, has decided that it wants people to just refer to it as the GRE from now on. The exam is widely used by both business schools and graduate schools as an admissions test. Applicants who do well on the GRE and have a strong undergraduate academic record can expect to receive acceptance letters from top tier schools, while those who perform poorly may find themselves shut out of graduate study altogether.

In August 2011 the GRE was completely redesigned. The current version is known as the Revised General Test. Some question types that were on the old format have completely disappeared, and the adaptive testing is different, too. On the old GRE test, the computer adapted after each question. On the new one, the adaptivity is section by section. According to ETS, the changes made the GRE friendlier and more flexible. (A paper version is available for those whose documented disabilites prevent them from taking the computer version.)

There are three parts of the test - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Each of these three consists of two sections. The Analytical Writing, which always comes first, is comprised of an Analyze an Issue written essay, and an Analyze an Argument written essay, each of which is 30 minutes long. The Verbal Reasoning consists of two 30 minute sections, each of which contains 20 multiple choice questions. The Quantitative Reasoning also has two sections of 20 multiple choice questions, but each section lasts 35 minutes.

Because the computer now adapts after each section, instead of after each question, test takers can go back and forth within a section if they're having trouble with a particular question. They can mark questions they want to come back to later, skip ahead or go back to answer other questions, and change any answers within the section. On the Writing test, scores range from 0 to 6; on the other two portions, scores range from 130 to 170. On the 2011-2012 exam, mean scores were 150.8 on Verbal, 151.4 on Quantitative, and 3.7 on Writing. One nice feature of the new GRE format is an option to choose which scores you want sent to your chosen schools. On the computer version, test takers receive their scores immediately after testing. They can choose to send only that score to universities, or all their scores from the last five years. No matter which option you choose, you'll want to be thoroughly prepared in order to get a very high score.

Practice Questions

Directions - Questions 1-3: For each blank select one entry from the corresponding column of choices. Fill all blanks in the way that best completes the text.

1. He believed that in order to (i) _________ the problem fully, he would need to understand all of its (ii) _________.

2. The author's novel was (i) _________ but she managed to develop numerous (ii) _________ fully and enjoyably by its end.

3. The rumors were (i) _________ and she welcomed the opportunity to (ii) _________ them.

Questions 4 and 5 are based on this passage.

It might be surprising to discover that Europe's first republic pre-dated the turn of the 11th century, long before Europe would see the rise of another such system. Around 870 AD, settlers from Norway began arriving in Iceland, and they eventually established a government system that gave all free men on the island a voice in legislative and judicial affairs. In approximately 930 AD, the leaders of Iceland created the Althing, considered the oldest parliament in the world. This system, and Iceland's identity as a republic, remained in place until 1262, when the decision of the Althing agreed to the Old Covenant and placed Iceland under the authority of the king of Norway. Iceland would not become a self-governing republic again until 1944, when the people of Iceland voted to end their political relationship with the kingdom of Denmark.

4. The passage indicates which of the following about the development of republics in Europe?

  1. Monarchy was a far more common system of government for most of Europe's history.
  2. The republic in Iceland ultimately was unable to withstand subjugation by another nation.
  3. It would be many years before another republic would develop in Europe.
  4. The republic that developed in Iceland lacked the stability it needed to survive.
  5. The modern republics in Europe have far more sophistication than Iceland's early republic.

Consider each of the three choices separately, and select all that apply.

5. The author of the passage fails to explain which of the following pieces of information that would complete the material within the passage?

  1. When Iceland converted to Christianity and thus infused Christian ideas into their political system.
  2. Why the first settlers to Iceland left Norway to seek out a new home.
  3. When Iceland came to be part of the kingdom of Denmark.

Directions: Compare Quantity A and Quantity B, using additional information centered above the two quantities if such information is given, and select one of the following four answer choices:

  1. Quantity A is greater
  2. Quantity B is greater
  3. The two quantities are equal
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given

A symbol that appears more than once in a question has the same meaning throughout the question.

Line A is represented by the following equation:

10y + 20x = 50
GRE Practice Question 6 GRE Practice Question 7

Question 8 pertains to the following equation. Consider each of the four choices separately, and select all that apply:

√(x2 + y2) = 5
x2 - y2 = -7

8. If x and y satisfy the above system of equations, then which of the following are possible values for x3 + y3 ?

  1. 21
  2. 25
  3. 37
  4. 91

Questions 9 and 10 pertain to the following diagram:

GRE Practice Question 8-9

Figure NOT drawn to scale

Circle A represents students who major in liberal arts at a certain university. Circle B represents students who major in the life sciences at that university, and circle C represents engineering majors at the same university.

9. What does A∪B represent?

  1. Only the subset of liberal arts and life science double-majors
  2. All liberal arts and life science students
  3. Only liberal arts students
  4. Only life science students

10. What does A∩B represent?

  1. The subset of liberal arts and life science double-majors
  2. All liberal arts and life science students
  3. Only liberal arts students
  4. Only life science students

ANALYZE AN ISSUE

You will have a choice between two Issue topics. Each topic will appear as a brief quotation that states or implies an issue of general interest. Read each topic carefully; then decide on which topic you could write a more effective and well-reasoned response. You will have 45 minutes to plan and compose a response that presents your perspective on the topic you select. A response on any other topic will receive a zero. You are free to accept, reject, or qualify the claim made in the topic you selected, as long as the ideas you present are clearly relevant to the topic. Support your views with reasons and examples drawn from such areas as your reading, experience, observations, or academic studies.

GRE readers, who are college and university faculty, will read your response and evaluate its overall quality, based on how well you do the following:

  • consider the complexities and implications of the issue
  • organize, develop, and express your ideas on the issue
  • support your ideas with relevant reasons and examples
  • control the elements of standard written English

You may want to take a few minutes to think about the issue and to plan a response before you begin writing. Because the space for writing your response is limited, use the next page to plan your response. Be sure to develop your ideas fully and organize them coherently, but leave time to reread what you have written and make any revisions that you think are necessary.

Present your perspective on one of the issues below, using relevant reasons and/or examples to support your views.

Topic No: 1

'All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.'

Topic No: 2

'Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.'

Answers and Explanations

1. B, F: The correct answer is choice B (address) and choice F (intricacies).

2. A, E: The correct answer is choice A (brief) and choice E (characters).

3. C, D: The correct answer is choice C (odious) and choice D (refute).

4. C: In the first sentence, the author notes the following: 'It might be surprising to discover that Europe's first republic pre-dated the turn of the 11th century, long before Europe would see the rise of another such system.' This statement clearly indicates that Iceland's republic came well before another in Europe, so indeed it was 'many years' before another republic emerged in Europe. The author of the passage mentions a monarchy in Norway and Denmark, but this mention alone is not enough to assume that monarchy was the more common system-based only on the information in the passage. The information in answer choices B and D focuses solely on the republic in Iceland, and this counters the question with its focus on the development of republics in Europe. Additionally, the author mentions that Iceland is currently a republic, but this mention alone is not enough to comment on modern republics in Europe or on the level of 'sophistication' that defines them.

5. C: The last two statements in the passage state the following: 'This system, and Iceland's identity as a republic, remained in place until 1262, when the decision of the Althing agreed to the Old Covenant and placed Iceland under the authority of the king of Norway. Iceland would not become a self-governing republic again until 1944, when the people of Iceland voted to end their political relationship with the kingdom of Denmark.' As Norway and Denmark are definitely different nations, the author fails to explain how (and when) Iceland came to be part of Denmark; the lack of information creates confusion for the reader. Answers choice A and B contain information that, while potentially interesting, offer nothing of substantial value to the topic of the passage. It is not necessary to know when Iceland converted to Christianity, and there is little use in digging deeper to find out why settlers left Norway and went to Iceland in the first place.

6. A: Write the equation for Line A in slope-intercept form: y = mx + b where m is the slope and b is the y-intercept.

10y + 20x = 50
10y = -20x + 50
y = -2x + 5

Therefore, the slope of Line A is -2 and the y-intercept of Line A is 5. Hence quantity A is greater.

7. C: The ratio of the sides of both triangles is 3:4:5. Therefore, x = 4 and y=12. Since y/x = 3, both quantities are equal.

8. C: and D: First, solve the system of equations for x and y. Begin by solving the first equation for x2.

√(x2 + y2) = 5
x2 + y2 = 25
x2 = 25 - y2

Next, substitute the equation for x2 into the second equation.

x2 - y2 = -7
25 - y2 - y2 = -7
-2y2 = -32
y2 = 16
y = 4, -4

Substitute either value for y into the second equation:

x2 - y2 = -7
x2 - 16 = -7
x2 = 9
x = 3, -3

Since there are two possible values each for x and y, x3 + y3 has four possible values:

(3)3 + (4)3 = 27 + 64 = 91
(-3)3 + (4)3 = -27 + 64 = 37
(3)3 + (-4)3 = 27 - 64 = - 37
(-3)3 + (-4)3 = -27 - 64 = - 91

The first two values are choices C and D.

9. B: A∪B is the union of A and B. The union of two sets is all elements that are in either A or B or both. Therefore, A∪B is the set of all liberal arts and life science students.

10. A: A∩B is the intersection of A and B. The intersection of two sets is the set of all elements that are in both A and B. Therefore, A∩B represents the subset of liberal arts and life science double-majors. According to the diagram, this intersection also represents students who have part-time jobs, but this is not included among the answer choices.

By Lindsay Downs

Last Updated: 07/28/2014

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