Why the GRE test? The History of a Graduate School Entrance Test

Graduate school entrance tests are one of the first steps in pursuing an MBA degree. At George Mason’s School of Business, an official GMAT test score or GRE test score is required for admission to the Mason MBA program (GMAT/GRE waivers may be considered).

History of GRE

The Graduate Record Examination or GRE has been administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) since 1949. The GRE test measures

  • verbal reasoning
  • quantitative reasoning
  • analytical writing
  • critical thinking skills

Universities around the world use this graduate school entrance test as part of the selection criteria for graduate admission.

In 2011, the GRE test was updated to create an adaptive exam where performance on the early sections determines the difficulty of later sections presented on the exam.

The GRE lasts three hours and forty minutes. Students have the opportunity to take the exam up to 5 times in a year (with a minimum of a 21 day break between exams).The verbal section assesses reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and vocabulary usage. The quantitative section assesses mathematical knowledge and reasoning skills. The analytical writing section consists of two different essays, one on an issue task and one on an argument task.*

Take a look at the infographic below for more details about the GRE exam.

Located in the metro Washington, D.C., area, George Mason’s MBA Program, prepares the next generation of business leaders through a rigorous, stimulating business and management curriculum based on a global perspective, industry demand, and leadership. It prepares MBA graduates with the skills they need to pursue the careers they want.

Mason’s MBA program is ranked #74 on the “Best Part-time MBA” list by U. S. News & World Report. Dedicated career services staff offers personalized career consulting services to students during the MBA program and alumni after graduation.


when to take the GRE test


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Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Business. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

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