You should be Writing the GRE Now!
February 15, 2011
In six months, aspiring graduate school and business school students will face a vastly different, potentially more difficult, and longer GRE. A change, that according to Liza Weale, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep, should have students rushing to take the current exam while they still can – though not because the test could be harder.
ETS, the examâ€™s administrator, needs to collect a statistically significant sample size of test takers to ensure score accuracy of the new test, so test takers who take the exam in August, September and October wonâ€™t receive their official scores back until November â€“ meaning theyâ€™ll have to wait up to 3 months for their official scores, which may interfere with application deadlines.
â€œThis [wait] will force many to miss application deadlines, and create undue stress for scrambling to retest if theyâ€™re not happy with their scores. If you need your score before November, you must take the current GRE before July,â€ says Weale. â€œOur advice to students: if you can take the current GRE do so â€“ itâ€™s to your advantage.â€
Curious about what else the new GRE will bring? Here are some of the major changes to be featured on the GRE after August 1, 2011:
- The current 200 to 800 point scoring scale, in ten-point increments, will be replaced by a scoring scale of 130 to 170 points, in one-point increments.
- The Quantitative section will include more data analysis. It will also introduce Numeric Entry questions, where test takers must provide an answer without having a selection of choices from which to choose.
- An on-screen calculator will be available for test takers, which will likely mean more complex math problems.
- The new Verbal section wonâ€™t include antonym and analogy questions, but, in addition to vocabulary, will include in-context questions that test reasoning skills.
- The new GRE will also contain a new â€œstrengthen/weakenâ€ reading comprehension question type, similar to those on the GMAT â€“ the primary admissions exam for business schools.
- The new GRE will be adaptive at the section level: the better a test taker performs in one section, the more difficult the next section will be. This new format will also allow test takers to skip questions within a section and come back to them, a function not available on the current test.
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