USC: Continuing and Professional Education

Information for specific audiences:


GRE Online Prep Course


Not living in Columbia? Or Your schedule does not allow you to take a class in a classroom setting. No matter where you are in the country, this GRE Online Preparation course is for you! With this course, you will have the opportunity to take the course from anywhere, you only need access to a computer. Designed for those students who need to take a GRE Preparation course but prefer a non-classroom setting. 

This GRE Online Preparation course has the same great course and material as University of South Carolina's GRE Course but offered in an easy online format. This comprehensive 24 hour preparation course is taught online by our experienced and expert instructors. 

Like our GRE Prep course that is offered in a classroom setting, this online course also covers the same material: 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.


GRE Online Prep Course includes:

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


*Materials will be shipped to the student before the first class starts.


Upcoming Sessions

 Course: PD16-2159: GRE Exam Prep Online Course
 Dates: Tuesday and Thursday: 06/07/16 - 06/30/16
 Times: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 8
 Notes: Course materials will be shipped to you. Online instructions will be emailed approx. one week before the course starts.


 Course: PD16-2160: GRE Exam Prep Online Course
 Dates: Tuesday and Thursday: 07/12/16 - 08/18/16
 Times: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 12
 Notes: Course materials will be shipped to you. Online instructions will be emailed approx. one week before the course starts.


 Course: PD16-2162: GRE Exam Prep Online Course
 Dates: Tuesday and Thursday: 10/20/16 - 11/17/16
 Times: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 8
 Notes: Course materials will be shipped to you. Online instructions will be emailed approx. one week before the course starts.


 Course: PD16-2161: GRE Exam Prep Online Course
 Dates: Monday and Wednesday: 09/14/16 - 10/10/16
 Times: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 Fee: $749.00
 Session(s): 8
 Notes: Course materials will be shipped to you. Online instructions will be emailed approx. one week before the course starts.

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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


Online Courses – Frequently Asked Questions


How do these courses compare to the live face-to-face classes offered on campus?

The Live online classes are very similar to the campus classes. We use the same curriculum and materials, and the same proven strategies to help you succeed on the exam.  You are able to interact with your instructor and participate in the class through the use of online technologies.


How does “Live-Online” differ from other online classes?

Most online classes are asynchronous, which means they are pre-recorded or prepared in advance. Students work through the classes at their own pace or are provided with a new module to review on their own each week. The Live-online classes have a live instructor who is there to teach the class and answer questions in real-time; just like in a traditional classroom setting.


How are the classes delivered?

The Live-online Test Prep class uses software called Adobe Connect. This software allows you to view and hear the instructor, share documents, and interact with the instructor and other students.  While the instructor uses a microphone to broadcast voice over internet protocol (VOIP) students do not need a microphone or camera to participate. Students simply type questions and answers into chat and quiz features built into the modules.


What are the software and system requirements?

All you need to participate in the Live-online test prep class is access to high speed internet on a computer with speakers (or headphones) and Adobe Flash Player version 10.01 or higher, which can be downloaded for free. 


How will I be able to participate in the class? 

The Live-online test prep class allows you the opportunity to interact with the instructors and other students in a variety of ways.  You will be able to ask questions and make comments through the course’s chat features.  In addition, the course will utilize quiz features that allow you to answer questions. You will also have access to your instructor by phone and email, just as you would in our traditional classroom programs.


Will the sessions be recorded?

Yes. The sessions will be recorded and will be available to you to stream.  The streaming video will be available to you shortly after the scheduled meeting date and will remain available for 30 days after the session. 


Do I need to order any textbooks or workbooks?

The Live-online test prep class includes the same textbooks and workbooks as our traditional classroom programs.  A copy of the textbook and workbook will be available for you to pick up at the University’s Continuing Education office or will be mailed to you approximately one week prior to the class begins. 




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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: See GRE website for charges

*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. 


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.


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