How long is the GRE Exam?

Many students who are not familiar with the GRE test ask this question a lot: how long is the GRE test? Based on the students’ feedback, we have come up with a complete rundown of the entire test along with Sections, number of questions, and time allotted for each.

The overall time duration for the Computer-based GRE test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The test contains six sections in total with a 10-minute break following the third section. However, you need to spend more than that time in the test center. 

Following is the breakdown of each and every section.

Biographical Information

So, how long does the GRE take? At the beginning of the test, you are to fill out a form that collects your biographical information.

This is a brief activity and will hardly take you 10 minutes to get over with.

Total Time = 10 minutes

After you are done with the biographical information, let’s see actually how long the GRE test is.

Analytical Writing (One Section)

This is the first section of the GRE Test. This section comprises two tasks. You get 30 minutes to attempt each one of them. The two tasks are as follows:

  •       Analyze an Issue – 30 minutes.
  •       Analyze an Argument – 30 minutes.

Total Time = 60 minutes

Verbal Reasoning (Two Sections)

The portion of Verbal Reasoning consists of two sections. You get 30 minutes to attempt each one of them. Each section contains 20 multiple-choice questions for you to answer in the given time.

  •       Section 1 – 30 minutes.
  •       Section 2 – 30 minutes.

Total Time = 60 minutes

To experience GRE Verbal Questions, visit ScholarDen.

Quantitative Reasoning (Two Sections)

So, how long is the GRE test’s Quantitative Reasoning section? The portion of Quantitative Reasoning consists of two sections. You get 35 minutes to attempt each one of them. Each section contains 20 multiple-choice questions for you to solve in the given time.

  •       Section 1 – 35 minutes.
  •       Section 2 – 35 minutes.

Total Time = 70 minutes

To experience GRE Quant Questions, visit ScholarDen.

Unscored Experimental Section (One Section)

The GRE test includes an unidentified and unscored section. It does so for experimental purposes. Moreover, the questions in this portion are tried out as an experiment for the future GRE tests or for validity.

This section comprises 20 multiple-choice questions. This section of the test doesn’t count towards your score. While solving the test, you would not know which section is unscored. Therefore, you will have to solve the entire test as if it is counting towards your score. The unscored section can be verbal or quantitative. Depending on that, it will take you 30 or 35 minutes to solve it.

Total Time = 30 or 35 minutes


Identified Research Section

Sometimes, an Identified Research section replaces the Unscored Experimental Section. This section consists of research-based questions. It does not count towards your score and exists only for ETS research purposes.

The Analytical Writing section is always the first one on the GRE test. The remaining 5 sections (2 sections of Verbal Reasoning, 2 sections of Quantitative Reasoning, and 1 Unscored Experimental section) may appear in any order. This makes the unscored experimental section indistinguishable. At the end of the test, you can tell if this section was Verbal or Quantitative (based on the number of each type of question you answered). However, even in that case, it is not possible to tell exactly which 20 multiple choice questions were experimental. You should solve every section as if it is counting towards your score. The Identified Research section (if part of the GRE test) will always come at the end. This makes it distinguishable from the rest.

Total Time = 30 or 35 minutes


There is a one-minute break after every section except the third one. Similarly, after the third section, there is a break of 10 minutes.

Break after every section = 1 min


Total Time = 4+10 = 14 minutes

Accept/Reject Your GRE Score

Before you know your score; you get a chance to cancel it. In addition, If you decide to cancel it, you will never know how much you scored. Basically, this will cancel your entire test experience, and you will have to go through the entire process again. Moreover, after taking the test, many people underestimate themselves and think they performed worse than they actually did. This feeling often pushes people to go for this option. However, as per the GRE experts, it is not advisable to ever cancel your GRE score.

Total Time = 1 minute

Selection of Schools

This gives you the option of selecting the GRE scores you want to send to specific schools/universities.

You can choose 4 universities to which you can send your scores.

You can either send your recent score (from the Current Test Administration) to the schools of choice or your score from all Subject Test Administrations for which you have registered in the last five years.

Selection of Schools = 5 minutes

Receive score

At the end of the entire process, you get to receive your unofficial GRE test score.

Total Time: 1 minute

How long does the GRE take?

So, how long is the GRE Exam? The test itself is 3 hours and 45 minutes. However, the total time that you spent at the test center is around 4 hours and 2-7 minutes.

Total Time for the GRE Test = 3 hours & 45 minutes

Total time at the test center = 4 hours & 11 OR 4 hours & 16 minutes

Next Article: Looking for the GRE Step By Step Guide?

While studying for the GRE, keep the time in mind and perform practice tests within the time constraints to better simulate the real GRE. Ensure that the prep books you are using also account for the time limits. Good luck!