Sample GRE questions
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the United States.
The exam aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam..
There are 3 sections of the GRE:
and analytical writing.
GRE sample questions:
Reviving the practice of using elements of popular music in classical composition, an approach that had been in hibernation in the United States during the 1960s, composer Philip Glass (born 1937) embraced the ethos of popular music in his compositions. Glass based two symphonies on music by rock musicians David Bowie and Brian Eno, but the symphonies’ sound is distinctively his. Popular elements do not appear out of place in Glass’s classical music, which from its early days has shared certain harmonies and rhythms with rock music. Yet this use of popular elements has not made Glass a composer of popular music. His music is not a version of popular music packaged to attract classical listeners; it is high art for listeners steeped in rock rather than the classics.
1:The passage addresses which of the following issues related to Glass’s use of popular elements in his classical compositions?
- How it is regarded by listeners who prefer rock to the classics
- How it has affected the commercial success of Glass’s music
- Whether it has contributed to a revival of interest among other composers in using popular elements in their compositions
- Whether it has had a detrimental effect on Glass’s reputation as a composer of classical music
- Whether it has caused certain of Glass’s works to be derivative in quality
2:The passage suggests that Glass’s work displays which of the following qualities?
- A return to the use of popular music in classical compositions
- An attempt to elevate rock music to an artistic status more closely approximating that of classical music
- A long-standing tendency to incorporate elements from two apparently disparate musical styles
Answer 2: A and C
The figure above shows a circle with center C and radius 6. What is the sum of the areas of the two shaded regions?
- Quantity A is greater.
- Quantity B is greater.
- The two quantities are equal.
- The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
Answer 1:: D
Answer 2:: A
The Analytical Writing measure tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. It assesses your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. It does not assess specific content knowledge.
The Analytical Writing measure consists of two separately timed analytical writing tasks:
- a 30-minute “Analyze an Issue” task
- a 30-minute “Analyze an Argument” task
Analyze an issue
The first task on the GRE is the discussion of an issue. The topic is intentionally open to interpretation, so that you can marshal your arguments in support of a position. It is rather like a debate. A good essay of this type will give highly specific reasons for a point of view, and back up its thesis with suitable examples. Minor errors in spelling punctuation or grammar will not prevent your getting a good mark – poor logical flow and vagueness will.
Analyze an argument
The second task on the GRE is the analysis of an argument, which tests your ability to find flaws in apparently logical arguments. It does help if you have a basic familiarity with the terms of logic, so that you can successfully identify the premises and assumptions on which a conclusion rests. Here the mark you obtain is directly linked to your ability to evaluate the logic of the given argument and address the specific instructions you are given. With a little training and practice, this task is actually easier than the issue.