GRE changes increase exam length

Beginning in August, the Educational Testing Service will no longer be administering the current format of the Graduate Record Examination and only the Revised GRE will be available.

“We’ve been working on revising the GRE General Test for about eight years. We’ve undertaken a massive public communication process to universities, test takers, score users and others that began more than a year ago” said Tom Ewing of ETS, via email.

The GRE is a standarized test that is an admissions requirement into graduate school. It is offered via computer at testing centers.

One of the notable differences students will encounter between the current GRE and the Revised GRE are changes in scoring. In the current GRE, the verbal and quantitative section’s score between 200-800.

In the Revised GRE, scoring scale for the verbal and quantitative section will be 130 to 170 in one point increments. The analytical writing will be scored from zero to six. This puts the whole exam at a 130-170 score range.

The section questions will also change, and each section in the current GRE will be revised.

Reading Comprehension questions will replace the antonyms and analogies in the GRE verbal section. In addition, the revised GRE will be extended to four hours from three.

One of the most discussed differences, though, is that test takers will be allowed to skip questions and return to them later, meaning that aspects of exam that test adaptability have been removed.

Test takers will now be allowed to use calculators, but not all students are pleased.

“I’m going to take advantage of the GRE before the change occurs in August. I heard that the new test is going to let testers use calculators, which means the math sections are going to be even more difficult,” said production senior, Monique Andy. “Math is not my strongest subject, so I got to take the test that’s going to help me.”

“The ETS and the GRE Board wanted to update the exam so that it more closely reflected the skills and abilities people will need in graduate and business school. We also wanted the test to contain more real-life scenarios and less test questions that relied upon vocabulary out of context,” said Ewing.

“Students taking the revised test will find it a bit longer, but certainly more test-taker friendly and more representative of graduate and business school-level work,” Ewing said.

The new exam will not be available until August 1, and students can still take the current GRE format until that date.

GRE Scores are valid for five years from the test date. Therefore, even though the GRE format changes in August, students can apply using the score for the current GRE for up to five years from now.

“This mix of score reporting will be most prevalent in the first year of the revised test, but can continue for the next five years until prior scores are no longer valid. It’s important for you to know that all official GRE scores are valid and should be considered with equal preference in your admissions decision,” said ETS in a statement. “However, if an applicant presents two sets of scores, use the new score as part of your consideration for admissions, since the revised test is more closely aligned with the skills needed in graduate and business school programs.”

UH offers programs in GRE prepartion through the department of Continuing Information,

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