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'What is the difference between the new and old GRE?'

Last updated on: July 10, 2012 07:00 IST

'What is the difference between the new and old GRE?'

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Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communications, GRE programme at Educational Testing Service (ETS) explains the difference between the old and new tests and offers advice on how to prepare for the exam.

In 2011, the Graduate Record Examination, which is a multiple-choice entrance test to determine student's skills for graduate schools in English speaking countries, became a computer-based test.

Education Testing Service (ETS), the organisation that administers the test also made some revisions to better align it with the skills that students need in order to be successful in today's graduate and business schools.

In an online chat with readers, Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communications, GRE programme at Educational Testing Service (ETS) fielded questions related to the new GRE and offered advice on how to prepare for the exam.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:


Dawn Piacentino says, Good Afternoon, My name is Dawn Piacentino and I'm here today to answer your questions about the GRE Program. Please feel free to submit your questions at this time and I will do my best to answer as many as possible.
deepak asked, how do you compare the new and old GRE?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The GRE revised General Test offers you a friendlier, more technically advanced test that is designed to provide graduate and business schools with even more useful results. Test takers around the world have expressed their enthusiasm for the test-taker friendly design features because they provide a better testing experience.

You not only have the freedom to move back and forth, edit or change answers, skip and return to questions, all within a section; you also have the ability to use more of your own test-taking strategies. The on-screen calculator is an additional advantage. New questions emphasize real-world scenarios and there is less reliance on vocabulary out of context, adding to the appeal of the revised test.
prop asked, how can I beat GRE?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
If you are asking about how to prepare for the test I can tell you that the GRE Program offers a variety of free and low cost test prep materials. The free materials are available at www.takethegre.com/prep.

Download the POWERPREP® II Software to experience a simulated test-taking experience, take a practice test, and become familiar with the test directions, question types, on-screen calculator, testing software and test design. Low cost printed material is also available, such as The Official Guide to the GRE® revised General Test from ETS, the makers of the test.
malti asked, in which website do we find scores for GRE(Minimum) prescribed by the universities in US

Dawn Piacentino answers,
In order to learn about admissions requirements, including GRE score requirements, you need to visit the websites of the schools to which you are applying.
grechat asked, hey, does ETS offer free test material to students?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
I just provided some information in response to a question from prop. In addition to the Powerprep II Software, you can access test taking strategies, a math review, and other information at TaketheGRE.com/prep.
Ramen Ghosh asked, Why does one need to prepare for GRE when the GRE is just a test meant for ruling people out in admissions? The important things are recommendations, and your statement of purpose. Not things like GRE and TOEFL. Right?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The GRE General Test is designed to provide fairness and access for test takers worldwide. It provides a common measure in which to compare applicants from different regions of the world and different educational systems.

Numerous studies have shown that the GRE General Test is a valid predictor of success in graduate and business school. The test provides independent information beyond recommendations and undergraduate grades to assist admissions professionals in making their decisions regarding who best to admit to graduate programs.

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AJ asked,
why the changes in the test format...? will score before 2011 will be invalid now..?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The GRE General Test was revised to better measure the skills that students use in graduate and business school. Scores from the prior GRE General Test will continue to be reportable for 5 years. We provide concordance tables our website and we also provide estimated scores on the new scale directly on the score reports. This information is intended to help users understand the relationship of scores on the prior and revised tests.
sk asked, How many universities accept the GRE score worldwide and can you brief us about the eligibility criteria for the same

Dawn Piacentino answers,
Approximately 3,200 institutions around the world accept GRE scores. It is important for applicants to visit the websites of their prospective graduate and business programs to understand their admissions requirements.
Shyamali asked, Hi Dawn, please explain to me the difference between GRE and SAT.

Dawn Piacentino answers,
SAT scores are used for admission into undergraduate programs. The GRE revised General Test is used for admission into graduate-level programs.
sayanban asked, how many times does gre exam occurs in a year?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
In India, the GRE revised General Test is offered as a computer-based test on a continuous basis throughout the year. To find test dates and locations in your region, visit our registration website at http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/.
gre asked, why cannot GRE be used for Management admissions and wy do we have to go far a separate GMAT when both are fundamentally same?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
It is true that both tests measure the same skills; verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning critical thinking and analytical writing. In fact, the GRE revised General Test is currently accepted by more than 850 business schools worldwide, and that number is growing every day.
yo asked, Why is the Quant section of GRE so simple? Why not put in some actual math there instead of asking the prospective grad stud 1+1=_ ?

Dawn Piacentino answers, The quantitative reasoning measure is designed to assess the reasoning skills of individuals across a variety of majors from the sciences to humanities and arts. It assesses basic mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
Prerit asked, For now what's the highest score of revised GRE?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The score range for the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning measures is 130-170 in 1-point increments. The score range for the analytical writing measure is 0-6 in half-point increments.
priya asked, Is GRE now applicable for admissions in Business schools?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
Yes. More than 850 business schools worldwide accept GRE scores for admission into their MBA programs. For a full list of business schools that accept GRE scores visit http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/mba/programs/.
g asked, can you share some more details about the NEW GRE pattern?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The total time allowed for the computer-based GRE revised General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes, and has six sections with a 10-minute break after the third section. The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.

The Analytical Writing section is always the first section, while the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections can appear in any order. An unidentified unscored section that does not count toward a score may be included and may appear in any order. An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it will always be at the end of the test.

The questions in the GRE revised General Test have a variety of formats. Some require you to select a single answer choice, others require you to select one or more answer choices, and still others require you to enter a numeric answer. Before answering a question, make sure you understand what type of response is required. The GRE revised General Test offers you a friendlier, more technically advanced test that is designed to provide graduate and business schools with even more useful results.

The test-taker friendly design features provide a better testing experience. You not only have the freedom to move back and forth, edit or change answers, skip and return to questions, all within a section; you also have the ability to use more of your own test-taking strategies. The on-screen calculator is an additional advantage. New questions emphasize real-world scenarios and there is less reliance on vocabulary out of context, adding to the appeal of the revised test.
Dawn Piacentino says, I wanted to share some information about the new ScoreSelect option which is intended to help test takers approach test day with more confidence knowing they can decide to send the scores they feel reflect their personal best. The ScoreSelect option will be introduced in July 2012. It will be available for both the GRE revised General Test and GRE Subject tests and can be used by anyone with reportable scores from the last 5 years. For more information on how the ScoreSelect option works visit http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/scoreselect/.

Suman asked, Is the GRE score acceptable to TOP business schools worldwide?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The GRE revised General Test is accepted by more than 850 business schools around the world including many of the world's top ranked MBA programs. And, it is the only test that enables students to apply to both graduate and business school programs. A full list of business schools that accept GRE scores is available at http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/mba/programs/.
corp asked, Can you refer any guide book to prepare for GRE Exam?

Dawn Piacentino answers,
The GRE Program offers a variety of free and low cost test prep materials. The free materials are available at www.takethegre.com/prep. Download the POWERPREP® II Software to experience a simulated test-taking experience, take a practice test, and become familiar with the test directions, question types, on-screen calculator, testing software and test design. Low cost printed material is also available, such as The Official Guide to the GRE® revised General Test from ETS, the makers of the test.
Dawn Piacentino says, Before we end this session I wanted to tell you about another exciting change effective July 1, 2012 onwards. It is important to the GRE Program and to the GRE Board that we promote diversity, equity and inclusion. As such, we re-evaluated our pricing to shift to one global price for all test takers worldwide regardless of where they test. The test administration fee for the GRE revised General Test will be US$175 worldwide. This is good news for test takers in India.

Dawn Piacentino says, Thank you for all your great questions. I wish you the best of luck in your graduate and business school endeavors.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier



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