Otters prep for the GRE

California State University, Monterey Bay, held an event via Zoom for students to receive a general overview of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and learn why they may need to take it on April 18. 

The presentation was hosted by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center and was facilitated by Corin V. Gray and Jessica Bautista. 

Gray and Bautista began the presentation with a general overview of the test and what it entails.

The GRE is a test used to evaluate candidates applying for graduate programs. Graduate admissions or fellowship panels use the scores. 

A general test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing, but there are also GRE subject tests that measure the test-taker’s knowledge of a particular subject.

Gray emphasized the importance of students doing their research when considering different graduate programs to see if they require the general test or if they will accept a subject test. 

The test is almost four hours long and has scores reported on analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. 

In most regions, the price of the GRE is $205 per test.

Gray and Bautista recognize the high price of the test and want to make students aware of fee reduction programs offered through different programs like TRIO Student Support Services. 

After receiving your scores, you get four free score reports that you can send to four programs of your choice.

Students were encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity because score reports typically cost $27 per report. 

Gray and Bautista then shared tips for getting started and taking the test.

The most important tip they shared was to start early. Students who register early are more likely to get their preferred testing location and date, and will have more time to study.

Students should expect to undergo strict procedures such as having their photograph taken and a sample of their handwriting collected. It is also possible that you will be searched prior to taking the exam.

Gray and Bautista both shared their negative experiences with the test and now use what they know to help prepare students for their testing experience. 

They push students to avoid taking the test last minute, research their program’s requirements, practice taking the test, and use their resources to learn how to take the test before the actual date. 
To learn more about the GRE, you can go to To speak with a member of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center about educational advising and assistance, visit

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