what changed on the GRE in 2023

The Shorter GRE: New Test (as of 2023) Half as Long

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) shortened the Graduate Record Exam (GRE®) in 2023. Instead of a 4-hour long exam, test-takers now receive a condensed exam that takes less than two hours to complete, about half the time of the old (pre-September, 2023) test. Read about what changed on the GRE in 2023, and how it affects your GRE prep. We’ll also answer FAQs about the shorter GRE so you know what to expect on test day.


When was the GRE shortened?

As of September 22, 2023, the ETS has been administering a shorter GRE to all test-takers. You do not have the option to take the former 4-hour version of the GRE any longer. This has been the case for all test dates as of September 22, 2023.

[Keep Reading: How Do I Register for the GRE? ]

What changed on the GRE?

While the GRE test was shortened in September 2023, none of the content tested on the exam changed; the GRE still tests the same skills using all of the same question types. However, ETS did remove a few sections and reduced the number of questions in others to shorten the length of the exam. Below, we break down how the GRE changed.

A list of what's changing on the new GRE in 2023.

GRE Changes: Test Length

The most significant change on the GRE in 2023 was the duration of the exam. The former GRE was 3-hours 45-minutes long, but the current, shorter GRE launched in September 2023 is just 1-hour, 58-minutes long.

GRE Changes: Structure

In order to shorten the exam, ETS removed and condensed some of the sections on the GRE. Here’s how the structure of the GRE changed: 

  • Removed the argument essay
  • Removed the experimental (unscored) section
  • Removed the 10-minute break
  • Reduced the number of questions across the Quant sections from 40 to 27
  • Reduced the number of questions across the Verbal sections from 40 to 27
Section TypeStructureNumber of QuestionsEstimated Timing
Analytical Writing1 section1 essay30 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning2 sections27 total questions47 minutes
Verbal Reasoning2 sections27 total questions41 minutes
Total: 1-hour, 58-minutes

GRE Changes: Score Delivery Timing

The final GRE change implemented was the expediency of test score delivery. ETS now sends GRE scores to institutions in 8-10 days instead of the former 10-15 day turnaround time. This helps you submit applications sooner so you can meet tight deadlines.

What stayed the same on the shorter GRE?

Overall, the current GRE is the same as the former GRE – just shorter. None of the content on the GRE changed. The shorter GRE still tests your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills to measure your readiness for graduate studies. Your GRE score continues to be accepted at thousands of graduate, business, and law schools for their master’s, MBA, JD, and PhD programs. Furthermore, the GRE test-taking experience, fees, and preparation for the exam have remained the same between the former and current, shorter exam.

Did the GRE score scale change?

With the significantly shorter exam, some test-takers may be wondering if the score scale on the GRE changed as well. The answer is no, the score scale did not change for the current, shorter GRE. When designing the test change, ETS took great care to maintain the score scale so schools can evaluate GRE scores the same way whether you take the exam before or after the test change.

Why was the GRE shortened?

All of the changes to the GRE were meant to make it easier for students to take the test and send scores to schools. “The changes we’re announcing today underscore the emphasis we place on keeping our customers at the center of all that we do,” said ETS CEO Amit Sevak in ETS’s May 2023 press release. “As we continue to introduce product innovations, we’re committed to balancing two things — maintaining rigor and validity, while improving the test-taker experience.” Clocking in at just under two hours, this shortened GRE will be the shortest test of general skills for graduate and professional program admissions. We here at Kaplan think that these changes will make the GRE a simpler, shorter, and less physically and mentally demanding test.

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