USC: Continuing and Professional Education

Information for specific audiences:


GRE Exam Prep Course


Join the University of South Carolina's Test Prep experts for a comprehensive 24 hour GRE Preparation course. This course is offered in a classroom setting and meets on the USC Columbia Campus in Columbia, SC. Our expert Test Prep instructors cover Reading Comprehension, Sentence Completion, Analogies, Antonyms, Problem Solving, Quantitative Comparison, Analytical Writing, and a comprehensive review of the mathematical concepts tested on the GRE General Exam.

 University Test Prep's GRE Prep course includes:

  • 24 Hours of classroom instruction
  • Proven study plans
  • Expert Instruction from experienced teachers
  • Comprehensive Study Guides/Workbook
  • Official Student Textbook: "Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test"


Upcoming Sessions

 Course: PD16-2141: GRE Exam Prep Course
 Dates: Monday and Wednesday: 06/06/16 - 06/29/16
 Times: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 8
 Notes: The course location and directions will be emailed approximately one week before the course begins.


 Course: PD16-2228: GRE Exam Prep Course
 Dates: Monday and Wednesday: 10/19/16 - 11/16/16
 Times: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 8
 Notes: Class will not be held on Oct. 31. Class location and directions will be emailed one week before the course begins.


 Course: PD16-2227: GRE Exam Prep Course
 Dates: Sundays: 09/18/16 - 10/30/16
 Times: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 6
 Notes: There will not be class on 10/16. Class location and directions will be emailed one week before the course begins.

Interested in learning more? Join Our Mailing List


GRE Course Plan

Session 1: Introduction to the GRE
Computer Adaptive Testing
Quantitative Comparisons
Picking Numbers
Session 6: Quantitative and Verbal
Circles and Polygons
Reading Comprehension
Session 2: Quantitative
Session 7: Quantitative and Verbal
Coordinate Geometry
Volume/surface area
Reading Comprehension
Session 3: Quantitative and Verbal
Session 8: Quantitative and Verbal
Data Representation
Session 4: Quantitative
Percents and Averages
Rates, Ratios, and Proportions

Comprehensive Review
Process of elimination
Analytical writing
Session 5: Quantitative and Verbal
Lines, Angles, and Triangles
Sentence completion



Hear what recent participants have had to say about our course...

"I feel really confident in taking the GRE. Instructor was extremely accomodating." -Summer 2015

"Instructor did a great job teaching helpful tips and tricks to take the test faster. Made it easy to ask questions." -Summer 2015

"Instructor did a great job, very patient, knowledgeable and accomodating-truly cares about us." -Spring 2015

"I loved the class structure. I loved that even though class is 3 hours, each class wasn't boring and the pace was good." -Fall 2014

"Great instructor. He prepared me with a lot of strategies and tools that i'm sure will help me when I take the GRE." -Fall 2014

"Very helpful. Gave me an outline as to what to study and did a great job of giving test strategies and giving a thorough review of waht I need to know for the test." -Fall 2014

"Great class, highly recommendable. Teacher is very knowledgeable, patient and helpful." -Summer 2014

"I really enjoyed this class. The instructor was extremely helpful in teaching and showing how to think about each problem logically." -Fall 2013

"The instructor did a great job. He made a not so enjoyable subject enjoyable in class." -Fall 2013

"The instructor was extremely helpful and patient. I would recommend this class to everyone who is going on to graduate school. Thanks for a great course." -Summer 2013

 "I feel much more prepared to take the GRE than I did before I took it the first time. The Strategies and material review were helpful." -Summer 2013

 "The instructor was prepared for class, efficient, knowledgeable and positive. Class was very beneficial to students like myself who need a reintroduction to certain academic areas like geometry." -Fall 2012

"Great job keeping everyone engaged. Instructor encourages students to think problems through for better understanding. Group discussions were helpful."
-Fall 2012

"I learned a lot from the course, I liked the format of the class, switching between verbal and math to break up the time. Reviewing the high school math and learning helpful tricks/tools to go about solving them was very beneficial."
-Fall 2012

"I don't think I would have passed the exam without your class. You were very supportive and provided many insightful tips for strategies on taking the exam. I am extremely satisfied with my results and I know the course was worth every penny." -Spring 2012

 "The class was extremely helpful that reintroduced basic math skills that many of us have forgotten." -Summer 2012 





Frequent Questions about the Revised GRE


What is the GRE revised General?

The GRE revised General is a standardized test that is used by many graduate programs and business schools as part of the application process.  The test is administered by computer, but the GRE revised not computer adaptive.  The GRE measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

The GRE revised General is now the standard format of the “GRE”. As of August 1, 2011 the GRE revised General replaced the GRE General. The test may also be referred to as the “GRE” or “GRE General”.


What has changed about the GRE?

A lot has changed with the new format of the GRE, including the exam content, formatting, and scoring.  However, the core of the exam is basically the same.  The changes are intended to improve the exam’s ability to measure critical reasoning skills and assess likelihood of success in graduate school – the same goal the exam has always had.  The exam will still consist of three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. Each section has undergone some sort of change.

Note that ETS will provide schools with a conversion chart to help them compare scores on the old GRE format with the GRE revised scoring format. ETS could not do this if the skills and materials were significantly different.


Why did ETS decide to change the GRE?

ETS states that the new test is better for the exam taker and the universities that use the GRE to evaluate applicants.  The new revised GRE places more emphasis on data interpretation and critical thinking skills.  The test also includes a new scoring matrix, which is intended to help schools compare differences between students in a more meaningful way.


Is the new GRE harder than the old version of the GRE?

The revised version of the GRE is going DIFFERENT than the old version of the GRE, but not necessarily harder.  The GRE is scored relative to the performance of all test takers, meaning that your performance is still measured in comparison to others seeking entry into graduate school.  While some components of the new format may be considered harder by some test-takers, other components may be considered less difficult.  This will vary from individual to individual.


Who should take the GRE?

The GRE is used by programs in a variety of areas of study, including most social sciences, education, and some business schools. Check with the programs you are considering and find out whether or not they require or accept the GRE.

The GRE revised is increasingly being accepted by business schools for entry into MBA and related programs.


Do I need to take the GRE General, or one of the GRE Subject tests?

Most programs require the GRE General. In addition to the GRE General, there are also subject-specific GRE exams.  These subject tests are used by specific areas of study. These tests are sometimes required IN ADDITION to the GRE General. These tests are intended for students that have extensive backgrounds in an area of study.  Tests include: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. We do not offer preparation for the subject-specific tests. Find out more information online at:


What is tested on the GRE?

  • Analytical Writing – 2 questions answered in essay format:
    • 1 Analysis of an Issue
    • 1 Analysis of an Argument


  • Verbal – Focuses on the your ability to analyze and evaluate written material
    • Reading Comprehension – read a short passage and answer questions
      • Multiple choice – select ONE correct answer
      • Multiple choice – select ONE OR MORE correct answers (multiple right answers)
      • Select in passage – select a portion of the passage that answers a certain question or meets a requested criteria.
    • Text Completion – fill in omitted words or phrases for given passages
      • Each sentence may have multiple blanks.
    • Sentence Equivalence – single sentence, select the 2 best answers that complete the sentence and are alike in meaning.


  • Quantitative - Tests problem-solving ability using general mathematics skills – arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
    • Quantitative Comparison – reason about relative sizes or perceive that not enough information is available
    • Problem Solving – Standard Multiple Choice questions – Select ONE answer choice
    • Multiple Choice Questions – Select ONE or MORE answer choices
    • Numeric Entry (Gridded Answer) Questions – Require completion by filling in a box instead of selecting a multiple-choice answer.
    • Data Interpretation – Given information you must interpret, usually using charts or graphs


How is the GRE revised scored?

·         The scale for the GRE is 130 – 170 per section for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections.

·         An additional score of 0-6 will be given for the Analytical Writing.


What is a good score?

It depends.  A good score is defined as one that gets you into the program you want, not by a number.  Check with the programs you are considering, and ask them if they have a minimum and an average for everyone in the program to get a better idea of what a good score will be for you. A 150 on each section will be the 50th percentile.


How much does it cost to take the GRE?

GRE Registration…...    $195, but the price changes frequently.*

Rescheduling Fee        $50 (within 3 days of appointment date)

Changing Test Center  $50

Cancellation: Check GRE Website

*Current as of 1/2014. These figures change frequently. Check GRE website


How do I contact GRE?    

General Inquiries: 8am – 7:45pm Eastern Time

1 – 866 – 473- 4373


Can I take a practice test?

Yes. Practice tests are available free from ETS, the writers of the GRE. 

Download the Powerprep2 software from the GRE website:

Note: A computer with Microsoft Windows is required (The software is not compatible with Mac.)


How do I register for the GRE?

Register online at or

Register for the computer-based test. 



Related Links:

GRE: This computer based test is offered at testing centers through out the year. For more information about the test and to register, visit their website

University of South Carolina Orientation & Testing Center: To register to take the GRE on Tuesday through Friday on the USC Columbia Campus. USC Orientation & Testing Center is located in the Russell House Student Union in room 345.  

University of South Carolina Admissions Office: To apply to USC, admisson process, deadlines, and to contact an admissions counselor.

University of South Carolina Visitor's Center: Schedule a campus tour!

University of South Carolina Financial Aid & Awards: To learn about financial aid or an award and to apply.

Darla Moore School of Business: Learn about the programs offered, admission requirements, schedule a visit, and to contact a counselor.

University of South Carolina Graduate School: View programs offered, an application, and to contact a counselor.

University of South Carolina Career Center: Located on the 6th floor of the Darla Moore School of Business. Career Center offers services with finding hands-on experience, locating full and part-time employment opportunities, career fairs, job shadowing, mock interviewings, counseling, career assessments, and workshops.



If you would prefer to register by phone, please contact us at (803) 777-9444.


Other important links:

Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-9444 • Contact Us