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GRE - Graduate record Examinations

About  GRE:
  • The GRE (Graduate record Examinations) is a standard test for admissions to various graduate schools based in United States, other English speaking countries and business program and graduate programs taught in English across the globe.
  • The test was developed by ETS (Educational testing Service) in 1949.
  • The objective of the exam is to test candidate’s skill in quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing.
  • The GRE test is an online test.
Who can take GRE test:
  • Candidates seeking admission to graduate and business schools from across the globe can appear for GRE General Test.
  • Applicants from different cultural and academic backgrounds take the test where GRE General Test provides a common platform for measuring the candidate’s aptitude.
  • GRE scores are used to supplement bachelor’s degree records, qualifications at graduate level and recommendation letters.
  • Time and place for taking the test
  • The GRE test is conducted at about 700 major test centers across 160 countries.
  • Most of the countries hold the computer based test all round the year on continuous basis.
  • In Taiwan, Mainland China, Korea and Hong Kong, online test is conducted once or twice every month. In the parts of the world where online format is not available, the test is conducted in paper pencil based format thrice a year in February, October and November.
  • The GRE test scores are accepted by numerous business and graduate schools worldwide.
  • GRE scores are valid for 5 years.
  • ETS can send your GRE scores to four universities chosen by you
Paper  Pattern for  GRE:
  • Getting an advanced degree can create many opportunities for students.
  • The GRE revised General Test, which is widely accepted graduate admissions test worldwide — can bring you one step closer to achieving your career goals.
  • And there has never been a better time to take the one test that gives you more opportunities for your future.
  • Introduced on August 1, 2011, the GRE revised General Test features new types of questions that more closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today's demanding graduate and business school programs. It is designed to provide a friendlier, more flexible test-taking experience.
  • Get a look at the structure of the computer-based and paper-based GRE revised General Test.
  • Computer-based GRE® revised General Test Content and Structure
The overall testing time for the computer-based GRE® revised General Test is about three hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.
  • Structure of the Computer-based Test
  • Measure
  • Number of Questions
  • Allotted Time
  • Analytical Writing
         (One section with two separately timed tasks)
  • One "Analyze an Issue" task and one "Analyze an Argument" task
          30 minutes per task
  • Verbal Reasoning
          (Two sections)
  • Approximately 20 questions per section
          30 minutes per section
  • Quantitative Reasoning
          (Two sections)
Approximately 20 questions per section
  • 35 minutes per section
  • Unscored¹
  • Varies
  • Varies
  • Research²
  • Varies
  • Varies
  • An unidentified un-scored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.
  • An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it is always at the end of the test.
  • The Analytical Writing section will always be first, while the other five sections may appear in any order.
  • Test Design Features
  • The GRE revised General Test design features advanced technology that allows you to freely move forward and backward throughout an entire section. Specific features include:
  • Preview and review capabilities within a section
  • A "mark and review" feature to tag questions, so you can skip and return later
  • The ability to change/edit answers within a section
  • An on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section
  • New answer formats, including tasks such as numeric entry and highlighting a sentence in a passage to answer a question
  • To experience the test design features of the computer-based test, download POWERPREP® II software.
  • Paper-based GRE® revised General Test Content and Structure
  • The overall testing time for the paper-based GRE® revised General Test is about three hours and 30 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the second section.
  • Structure of the Paper-based Test
  • Measure
  • Number of Questions
  • Allotted Time
  • Analytical Writing
  • (Two sections)
  • One "Analyze an Issue" task and
  • one "Analyze an Argument" task
  • 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • (Two sections)
  • Approximately 25 questions per section
  • 35 minutes per section
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • (Two sections)
  • Approximately 25 questions per section
  • 40 minutes per section
  • The Analytical Writing sections will always be first, while the other four sections may appear in any order.
  • Test Design Features
  • When taking a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, you are free, within that section, to skip questions and come back to them later or change the answer to a question.
  • There are paper-based equivalents for most of the new question types, including text completions and numeric entry.
  • Answers are entered into the test book, rather than a separate answer sheet.
  • You will be provided an ETS calculator to use during the Quantitative Reasoning section; you may not use your own calculator.
  • To familiarize yourself with the paper-based test, try the full-length practice test in the Practice Book for the Paper-based GRE® revised General Test (PDF).
Validity of  GRE Test:
ETS and the GRE® Program make ensuring the fairness and validity of GRE tests throughout the test development, administration and scoring processes a high priority.
To ensure that these goals are reached, ETS has developed a meticulous system of internal checks and balances, and audit teams routinely verify that all tests and services meet rigorous professional standards such as those outlined by the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association and National Council on Measurement in Education.Fairness concerns are an integral part of the development and scoring of all tests.
The many activities that ensure fairness include:
  • involvement of minority educators and representative committees in every phase of the development and scoring processes.
  • multiple fairness evaluations by trained reviewers.
  • routine analyses of test questions to establish that questions do not unfairly contribute to group differences.
  • rigorous training for all persons involved in the development or scoring of test questions to ensure that all examinees have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities.
  • appropriate accommodations (e.g., ZoomText®, extra time) for examinees who may need them.
  • Validity.
  • Validity research and analyses establish that the test measures what it is supposed to measure.
The GRE Program has documented evidence of the following types of validity in GRE tests:
  • construct validity (the test measures the skills/abilities that should be measured)
  • content validity (the test measures appropriate content)
  • predictive validity (the test predicts success)
  • consequential validity (the test demonstrates that adverse consequences are minimal)
  • external validity (the test has the expected relationship with other measures of the same construct)
  • Although ETS works to accumulate validity evidence at each stage of the delivery and scoring process, the initial impetus for validity research comes from feedback from members of the graduate school community, who provide information about the skills and abilities that they consider essential for success in graduate school.
  • Verbal Reasoning Measure
  • The Verbal Reasoning measure of the GRE® revised General Test assesses verbal reasoning skills. These skills have been identified by graduate and business school deans and faculty as critical for success in graduate and business school.
The capabilities that are assessed include:
  • the ability to understand text (such as the ability to understand the meanings of sentences, to summarize a text, or to distinguish major points from irrelevant points in a passage)
  • the ability to interpret discourse (such as the ability to draw conclusions, to infer missing information or to identify assumptions)
Quantitative Reasoning Measure
  • The Quantitative Reasoning measure of the GRE revised General Test assesses quantitative reasoning skills. The skills assessed are consistent with capabilities outlined in the Mathematical Association of America's Quantitative Reasoning for College Graduates: A Complement to the Standards and are based on feedback from faculty surveys.
  • The capabilities that are assessed in the GRE Quantitative
Reasoning measure include:
  • reading and understanding quantitative information
  • interpreting and analyzing quantitative information, including drawing inferences from data
  • using mathematical methods to solve quantitative problems
GRE  Scoring  Pattern:
  • GRE test scores are the total marks acquired in GRE test which can be utilized for taking admissions to various graduate programs in universities and colleges based in UK, Canada and USA.
  • These scores are valid for 5 years. In August 2011, ETS announced changes in GRE exam.
  • Revised GRE exam has a changed exam pattern, scoring format and syllabus.
  • New GRE scoring format
  • As per the new GRE scoring format the scoring scale has been changed.
  • Old GRE consisted of 10 points increments while new GRE scoring format has 1 point increments. The objective of reducing the reporting metric is to give scores that do not inflate small differences in performance of the candidates.
The new GRE pattern score scale:
New GRE Quantitative: 130—170 score scale, in 1 point increments
New GRE Verbal: 130-170 score scale, in 1 point increments
Analytical writing: this section will continue to be measured on the sale of 0-6, in half point increments.
  • Now the possible score is stretched out to 41 which implies that similar number of candidates appearing in GRE test will be assessed under 41 scores than 71.
  • This will further make it difficult for the schools to judge the candidates only on the basis of scores. Candidates will now be required to have a strong application to ensure admission in their desired schools.
  • GRE test Scores
  • GRE consists of 2 formats namely; Computer based test (CBT) and Paper based test (PBT).
  • Both follow same scoring patterns where total marks allotted in a particular section is based on the number of correct answers including the difficulty level of questions.
  • In CBT an applicant is asked to solve a set of questions of difficulty level pertaining to their abilities.
  • The scores are calculated on the basis of number of questions attempted, statistical properties of questions and number of correct answers.
  • In PBT the difference between the difficulty levels of questions is lesser and score equating method is used to adjust the difficulty level among questions. The final score is calculated on the basis of total number of questions attempted.
  • The result of GRE test consists of 4 different scores; overall score and separate section wise scores. The quantitative and verbal sections are measured on a score scale ranging between 130-170 and 1 point increments.
  • Each section is of 800 thus making a total score of 1600 for the first 2 sections. The writing assessment section is calculated separately on a scale of 0-6 with half point increments.
  • The average score for the quantitative and verbal section is 470 and 570.
  • Candidates appearing for CBT can view their scores online generally 15 days after the test date while PBT test takers can view their points 6 weeks after taking the exam.
  • Apart from the GRE scores, report also mentions the percentage of candidates scoring less than you. The new scoring pattern of GRE ensures more reliable Results.