GRE Exam Changes Arrive In August 2011

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The Graduate Record Exam or GRE is a standardized test and admission requirement for many grad schools. Score high on the GRE and you will have made a compelling case for admission especially at those schools that put a significant weight on test scores.

Established in 1949 and managed by Educational Testing Service, the exam is about to undergo a profound makeover, including changing the scoring scale and adding an hour to the test. If you take the test by July 31, 2011, you’ll be given the current test, but after then the new test and a new way of preparing for the test will kick in.

Thanks to a head’s up from Kaplan Test Prep, we’re sharing with you some of the more notable changes taking effect in August including:

  • 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 less geometry, but 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 GRE’s Verbal section won’t include antonym and analogy questions, but will include in-context questions that test reasoning skills, in addition to vocabulary.
  • The current GRE is adaptive at the question-level: answer a question correctly, and the next question is more difficult. 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.

Of additional interest to students taking the GRE, you’ll want to take your test before August if you need your scores before November 2011. Kaplan Test Prep reports that students taking the new test in August, September and October will not get their scores before November, perhaps presenting a big problem for students seeking early or midyear admission to grad school.

Source: Kaplan Test Prep

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