GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination and is administered by Education Testing Service (ETS). It is a multiple-choice entrance test that graduate schools in English speaking countries, (eg. United States, United Kingdom, where medium of instruction is English) use for admission of students into their graduate programs.
GRE has general test and subject tests as well. The General Test measures abilities in verbal, quantitative and analytical fields which are needed for graduate or business school. This year there is change in the GRE exam format.
Students who are taking new GRE now on have an advantage of friendly design for the computer-based test. The test features advanced technology that allows students to freely move forward and backward, edit or change answers and skip questions, all within a section, and use an on-screen calculator. These features were not as a part of the earlier test. There are new types of questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, many featuring real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking of an individual.
The Subject Tests measure achievements in specific fields of study. Subject tests are offered in the following Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English Literature, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. Some universities require these subject test scores in addition to the general test when applying to the Ph.D. program.
ETS can send your GRE scores to a maximum of four universities chosen by you. The costs of sending these scores are in-built in the fees that you pay for appearing in the test.
Inside the new GRE 2011
The GRE General Test has three distinct sections: Quantitative Section, Verbal Section and Analytical Writing Assessment Section. The test is available as Paper based and Computer based. Most test takers thee days prefer the computer based format.
In old GRE format, Analytical writing section was always first in the test, followed by Verbal, Quantitative and Research section. But in New Revised GRE either of the sections could be first. If there is a Research section mostly it always appears at the end of the test. The computer-based test takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Test format for computer-based test:
||No. of Questions
| Analytical Writing
(1 section with 2 separately timed tasks)
|One "Analyze an Issue" task and One "Analyze an Argument" task.||30 minutes per task (30mins + 30mins = 60 mins)|
| Verbal Reasoning
|Approximately 20 questions per section.||30 minutes per section (30mins + 30mins = 60mins)|
| Quantitative Reasoning
|Approximately 20 questions per section.||35 minutes per section (35mins + 35mins = 70 mins)|
|Unscored||Vary from test to test||Vary from test to test|
|Research||Vary from test to test||Vary from test to test|
There's a 10-minute break following the third section and a 1-minute break between the other test sections.
GRE Scoring pattern
With the new GRE, the most important change is the in the scoring system. Current day GRE has 10-point increments and new pattern will have to 1-point increments. According to ETS the purpose for compressing the reporting metric is simple: to produce scores that dont exaggerate small performance differences between examinees.
The new GRE pattern score scale for the GRE revised General Test:
- New GRE Verbal: 130170 score scale, in 1-point increments (current GRE pattern 200800 in 10-point increments).
- New GRE Quantitative: 130170 score scale, in 1-point increments (current GRE Pattern 200800 in 10-point increments).
- Analytical Writing will continue to be reported on the same 06 score scale, in half-point increments.
Tips to crack the new GRE
- Be aware of the type of questions that will appear in the GRE Test and how long each section is and the time limits. This will help you pace yourself through the test.
- Devote just the right amount of time to each question. Maximising marks in a given period of time should be the aim. Do not rush. The questions at the beginning affect score more than those towards the end.
- It is essential that you remain calm and relax before going to the test. A person who is relaxed usually does much better than a person who is tense during an exam. Get enough sleep before the day.
- Getting to the test centre on time is vital. In fact you should try and get to the test center 15-30 minutes before time. Taking a test drive to your test center exactly a week before might be a good idea. This will give you a rough idea of the traffic conditions at the time and day of your GRE.
- Students are not allowed to bring any sheets of paper to the GRE test centre but are provided scratch paper by the center. Make effective use of this to make quick notes or for solving math questions.
- Keep your cool all the time, even when you don't know the answer. Once students panic, even answer to the easiest questions can be wrongly attempted.
GRE revised General Test (computer-based and paper-based) can be taken only once every 60 days, and no more than five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if a student cancelled his scores on a test taken previously. If he takes only the paper-based GRE revised General Test, he can take it as often as it is offered.
How to register for GRE
The GRE General Test is offered in many countries some of them are United States, Canada, India and many other countries as well. Students need to register for the test as early as possible in order to get the required test date. The appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should take care of the details required while registration and choose the nearest testing location available. The GRE exam registrations can be done in the following ways:
1. Online Registration | 2. Phone Registration | 3.Regular Postal mail
All the best for your GRE prep.
The new GRE 2011 - Video Overview
Article credits: Rediff India