Students are frequently apprehensive about studying abroad, and most of this concern comes from the applicant’s insufficient knowledge, including which English proficiency test to take GRE vs. TOEFL.

Most education institutes abroad require an English proficiency test before you are enrolled in their course. 

That’s where the debate between GRE vs. TOEFL comes in. How do you know which one is the ideal test for you? Which is better- GRE vs. TOEFL?

Chhundu Training Institute, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about GRE vs. TOEFL to help you make an informed decision about your future!

GRE vs. TOEFL: What is GRE Test?

GRE vs. TOEFL : What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a computer-based standardized exam that Bhutanese graduates require as part of the admissions process while applying for further studies abroad.

GRE scores are mainly used to determine undergraduate GPA and to evaluate a candidate’s admissions record.

Who should take the GRE Subject Tests?

GRE vs. TOEFL: Subject Tests

Bhutanese graduate students who completed a graduate program/ graduates use Graduate programs use the GRE for admission to Masters and Doctoral programs. This applies almost across the board, from science to the humanities. 

GRE Subject Tests focus on how well you know these specific subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Math, Physics, or Psychology. Students who plan to study in one of these programs must take a subject test.

How long is the GRE Test?

GRE vs. TOEFL : Good GRE Score

When comparing the test time between GRE vs. TOEFL, the GRE test takes less time. 

A GRE general test lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes, whereas a GRE topic test might take up to 2 hours and 50 minutes to complete. 

On the other hand, the TOEFL exam has a total time limit of 3 hours and 30 minutes, with a 10-minute break halfway through and the check-in process.

How many sections are there in the GRE test?

The GRE is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) divided into three sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative Section, and Verbal Section. 

Here’s a breakdown of what each GRE section includes.

  1. Verbal Reasoning (Verbal)
  • Two sections, each 30 minutes long, with 20 questions per section
  1. Quantitative Reasoning (Quant)
  • Two sections, each 35 minutes long, with 20 questions per section
  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
  • One hour, split into two 30-minute tasks
  1. The GRE Verbal Section
GRE vs. TOEFL: Verbal

The Verbal Reasoning section includes text completion, fill-in-the-blank questions, critical reading, and sentence equivalence. 

To do well in this section, it helps if you understand complex vocabulary in context, have strong reading comprehension skills, some formal logic, and more-than-basic knowledge of English grammar.

  1. The GRE Math Section

The Quantitative Reasoning section has three main question types: problem-solving, quantitative comparison, and numeric entry. 

Quantitative comparison asks you to compare two quantities and determine which one is larger. Quant is mainly set up as a reasoning test. 

However, you will need to review the basics like integer properties, exponents and roots, word problems, and basic geometric properties, including circles or triangles.

  1. The GRE AWA Section
 GRE vs. TOEFL: Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment requires you to write two essays. The essays are always based on real-world, straightforward examples.

  • The first essay is an “argument” essay, where you have to examine a given a different person’s argument. You then write on what more information you believe is necessary.
  • The second type is an “issue” essay, in which you take a position and make an argument of your own about a specific issue.

Write a well-structured essay with a clearly defined thesis and well-reasoned examples that convincingly show your well-expressed position. 

Understanding GRE Scores and Percentiles

Before you take the GRE, you must familiarize yourself with GRE test scores. This is because few institutes will look at your GRE scores on the Verbal and Quant multiple-choice portions, usually giving one more importance.

Here’s a breakdown of the GRE score range and what constitutes a strong GRE result.

  • When you receive the score report, you will also receive a number indicating the percentage of people you scored better than (in these GRE percentile charts, look to the right of the score for the percentile rank).
  • If you score in the top 90% in both Math and Verbal, you are a competitive candidate, even at competitive schools. A less competitive institute will require 50%. 

Want to learn about the minimum GRE test score required at your ideal university? Contact us at CTI today for a one-on-one session with our professional counselor!

GRE vs. TOEFL: What is TOEFL?


The TOEFL test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the most widely accepted English proficiency tests used for admission purposes in more than 150 countries. 

The TOEFL is a standardized test that assesses a university applicant’s English language skills whose first language is not English. The ratings assess overseas students’ capacity to communicate in English in an academic setting.

Why Should Students Take TOEFL Exam?

GRE vs. TOEFL: Exam

Similar to GRE tests, students who want to study in a university or graduate school in an English-speaking country must take the TOEFL test.

The TOEFL test has acceptance in more than 11000 universities and institutions, including Canada, Australia, the United States, the UK, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe. 

Therefore, students willing to take the TOEFL test must know the available types or modes of tests, structure, and scores.

Types of TOEFL Tests

GRE vs. TOEFL: Types

Candidates can choose two types of TOEFL tests based on convenience. 

  1. TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT)

It is the online version of the TOEFL examination that Bhutanese candidates can take at authorized test centers across the country.

More than 98% of students take this mode of TOEFL test.

  1. TOEFL Paper-delivered Test (PBT)

ETS has relaunched this TOEFL iBT paper-based test in certain countries and has two examination sessions.

  • The Reading, Listening, and Writing tests will occur at test centers, and the candidates must take this test on paper. 
  • The Speaking test will occur at the candidate’s home at the computer, which a human proctor will monitor. 
  • Candidates must take the test within three days of the written test. 
  • Test takers must have the proper equipment and environment before registering for this test.

What is the TOEFL Test Structure?

 GRE vs. TOEFL : TOEFL Structure 

Before registering for the TOEFL, students must understand the TOEFL structure.

Students unsure about the questions or exercises posed in these four sections can read on to learn more in-depth.

TOEFL Reading Section

  • Candidates must read 3 – 4 passes of 700 words.
  • They have to answer ten questions from each passage.

TOEFL Listening Section

  • Candidates have to listen to 3 or 4 lectures about various academic areas. Each passage is 5 minutes long.
  • In addition, applicants must listen to 2 or 3 conversations that focus on everyday campus interactions with other personals.
  • Every listening passage comes with a set of questions.     

TOEFL Speaking Section

This section comprises four tasks. One task is Independent, and three studies are Integrated. 

TOEFL Speaking Independent task

  • The Independent task requires candidates to answer questions from their personal experiences or opinion.

TOEFL Writing Section

The TOEFL writing section includes two tasks: an Integrated writing test and an Independent writing test.

  • In the Integrated writing test, candidates must read a short passage related to academic study.
  • Students must next listen to a lecture segment to analyze the details or arguments in the reading text.
  • Candidates must write a summary that includes critical points presented in the lecture. In addition, they must explain and connect points mentioned in the reading passage.  

Is TOEFL a better choice for you? We offer TOEFL coaching classes with professional tutors to help you ace your exam!

We are confident that you can now make an informed decision about your future by answering the most frequently asked questions about GRE vs. TOEFL!

While both GRE vs. TOEFL tests have a writing component, there are significant differences in how they are assessed. 

Taking an English proficiency test is one of the most important aspects of studying abroad, and there have recently been various accessible choices, including GRE vs. TOEFL.

Ready to make the first step towards your study abroad goal? Read Which TOEFL countries are the best for you


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