Can You Skip Questions On The GRE? GRE Strategies!

We’re here to answer your question about whether or not you can skip questions on the GRE. The simple answer is yes; you can skip questions on the GRE. ETS designs the test to allow you to skip a question. However, we will go into the ins and outs of when it’s better to guess or leave it blank.

When to start studying for the GRE is a question that keeps popping up. You can get a good idea of where your weaknesses are after taking one full GRE practice test on the ETS website.  Once you figure out what you need help with, you can purchase some GRE study tools and perhaps an online course like Magoosh.

Is it necessary to answer every question on the GRE?

Typically you should skip a question if you are having trouble with it. Since you get 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the GRE test, you don’t want to spend too much time on one question. For instance, questions that you look at for more than 35 seconds without a solution will be tough for most people. Another reason to leave the GRE question blank is recognizing that you won’t reach the answer in time. However, it is always essential to go back to the ones you skip and use the process of elimination to solve the problem.

The GRE has 6 Sections, and they in the Following Categories

Analytical Writing – Analytical writing has two sections, are, and each has a time constraint of 30 minutes.

Verbal Reasoning – They split the verbal reasoning into two sections, ns and ETS, giving you 30 minutes for each one. There are 40 quantitative reasoning questions in total.

Quantitative Reasoning – Quantitative Reasoning has two sections, and ETS gives you 35 minutes for each one. There are 40 quantitative reasoning questions in total.

Unscored/Research Section – The timing of this section varies.

black women studying on a laptop for the GRE

How many questions are on the GRE?

The GRE has 80 questions and two analytical writing questions, which involve writing two essays. The quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning each have 40 questions, making it 80 GRE questions.

Before planning your study regimen, you can familiarize yourself with the GRE by doing free GRE practice tests.

Should You Guess on the GRE?

With this GRE breakdown in mind, we will help you figure out when it’s better to guess vs. leave a question blank.

However, the best answer is not always to skip a question. If you recognize that there are parts of the question that you can figure out, spending your remaining time working through the GRE question might be worth it.

Many students take the GRE at home now, and skipping questions is a GRE strategy. Make sure before test day that you get the proper GRE whiteboard size.

Can Skipping Questions Help You?

Yes, skipping questions will help you with the GRE. After first solving the most straightforward questions correctly, you can take your time with more difficult ones. The skipping questions strategy will allow you a comfortable margin of error when answering tricky questions. The process will also allow you to gain some positive momentum by answering more straightforward questions quickly. If, instead, you spend too much time on a tricky question, you may start to panic and get stressed out when you can’t figure out the answer in 1-2 minutes.

After you skip questions on the GRE, you will go back to all of them and choose an answer. Don’t spend too much time on any question; you want to answer as many questions as possible. Therefore going back to the ones you skipped and taking a guess is a good idea.

You can flag any question you want to skip and go back to it later. Remember that you can only go back to questions within the section you are working on. For example, if you finish one quantitative section and are now working on the problems within the analytical writing section, you cannot go back to the quantitative section. You can only go back to questions you skip before moving on to another section. Instead, answer all the easy ones, then move on to the missed questions.

How to Calculate Your GRE score

When learning how GRE scores are calculated, you will see how skipping questions is a GRE test strategy.

The GRE test gives you 1 point for every correct answer. Keep in mind that the GRE is an adaptive test. For example, if you answer 30 questions correctly in the first verbal reasoning section, but they were easy questions, your final score will be different from someone who answered 30 questions that were a mix of hard and easy.

The analytical writing is scored from 0-6 in half-point increments. ETS scores the quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning parts in one-point increments, with a maximum possible score of 170 for each. 

If you get all of the verbal,l reasoning, and quantitative questions correct, you will receive a raw score of 40 for each section. However, the raw score is then computed into an actual score using an algorithm that puts different weights on each question. So iftwo2 people both got a raw score of 30, their final score may be different depending on the number of correct questions they answered along with the difficulty level of each question.

After you finish the first section within either quantitative or verbal reasoning, the computer will select which section to move on from based on how well-paced and accurate you were in the first section. The sections all contribute equally towards determining the final score, so no one part makes up more than 25%!

The second section adapts to more complex or straightforward questions based on how many correct answers you got in your first section.

Can you skip questions on the GRE to strategize?

Yes, because the more correct answers you get, the higher your raw score. You want to answer correctly as many questions as you can. Try to answer all the easy and medium questions in the first section. If you spend too much time on one question and start panicking, you will not be in a good state of mind. Part of the strategy to score high on the GRE is to stay calm, and if you answer the easy questions first and then go back to the harder ones, you will have more confidence. The primary goal is to accrue as many points as possible before the timer expires.

When you take practice tests through ETS or Magoosh, you can practice skipping GRE questions, flagging them, and going back. After you finish all the easy questions, start going back through the ones you missed.

Do wrong answers count against you on the GRE?

No, they calculate your GRE score by the number of correct answers. You do not get points taken away if you answer a question incorrectly. However, the more questions you answer correctly, the higher your score. So if there is a tricky question, skip it; skipping questions is a good GRE strategy because it will allow you to get to another question quicker that you can hopefully answer correctly.

Familiarizing yourself with the test beforehand by taking as many practice tests as possible is a good idea. If you take a few timed practice tests before the actual test day, then nothing will take you by surprise.

Does the GRE require you to answer every question? [Can You Skip Questions On The GRE?]

Yes, after you skip a question, you need to go back to it later. Otherwise,e you will automatically be marked wrong for the question you do not answer.  Most GRE test prep books and courses will help you strategize eliminating answer choices as the last resort. After you answer all of the easy questions, you will be going back through the harder ones and making a strategic guess.

One thing to remember is that, on average, you have 1.5 minutes for each question. Some are harder and require more time, but the average is 1.5 minutes per question, no matter how difficult a question is. You can take 15 seconds to answer an easy question and then use that extra time towards one of the more difficult questions. If you are running out of time on one section, your best bet would be to try and skip as many questions within that section as possible so you can keep answering questions correctly.

Is there a GRE wrong answer penalty?

No, there is no penalty for a wrong answer. The more answers you get right, the higher your score. So, do a lot of practice tests and make sure you are well-rested. Do not spend 5 minutes on one single question. If you spend too much time on one question, you will run out of time and probably not get to some easy questions.

How long do GRE scores take to come back?

Immediately after taking the GRE, you can see your unofficial verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning scores. You will not see the analytical writing score until you get your official GRE score back. The official GRE final score is available 10-14 days after the exam. You can log into your ETS account, and your score will be there.

college students taking the GRE at a testing center

How to guess on the GRE

Learning how to guess the GRE is a strategy many test prep companies will teach you. If you answer 14 out of the 20 questions correctly in the first Quant section, you will have to guess six questions. You should be able to get at least 1-3 of these six guesses correct with little effort. For the other ones, you will have to use a process of elimination. There are techniques for eliminating answers that you will learn by signing up to Magoosh or reading through the practice problems in a GRE practice book.

Final Thoughts on “Can you skip questions on the GRE”?

Yes, you can skip questions on the GRE. It is test-taking to use because it will help you get through problems more quickly and give you enough time to go back and make a strategic guess. The GRE is not a mystery, and there are many practice tests, online courses, and books that help you become familiar with the layout of the test. Becoming familiar with the test is the #1 way to ace the GRE.