New GRE: No more rote learning4 min read
With a brand new format, scoring scale and test-taking interface, the revised GRE General Test attempts to offer much to applicants. With the freedom to move back and forth, edit or change answers, and skip and return to questions, all within a section, candidates have the ability to use more of their own test-taking strategies.
No more analogies, antonyms
In the Verbal Reasoning section of the new format there is less reliance on vocabulary out of context. At the end of the day, memorising vocabulary out of context isn’t going to help in your MBA programme. You will be reading passages, trying to understand the author’s main thesis and conflicting points of view. Now you will be doing a lot of Reading Comprehension types of tasks and if you get better at Reading Comprehension, that’s going to help you in the educational arena and beyond.
The best place to start is on our website. Here test-takers will find sample questions for the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections of the test, free downloadable software that gives students a simulated test-taking experience, and a Mathematics review to prepare them for the Quantitative Reasoning section.
Scoring is more reflective
It used to be 200-800 in 10-point increments for both Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning. So if A scored 620 in Verbal and B scored 600, 620 sounds a lot higher than 600 but its really only two score points and not a significant real-world difference between the two. The new score scale will go from 130-170 in one point increments. Now A’s score would 162 and B is 164. We think the new score scales will minimise misinterpretations of such small score differences. Analytical Writing will be scored from 0-6.
This will depend on the amount of time a candidate has available, and as well as personal preferences for how to prepare. At a minimum, it is important to know what to expect.
Before taking a practice GRE revised General Test, visit takethegre.com and become familiar with the content of the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections of the test.
Take a practice test by using the free software offered by GRE. The software provides a timed test that demonstrates the new design features, including the ability to move back and forth and change answers within a section, as well as the new on-screen calculator.
The questions in the Verbal Reasoning and QR sections have a variety of formats. Some require candidates to select a single answer choice; others require candidates to select one or more answer choices, and yet others require test-takers to enter a numeric answer. When answering a question, candidates should make sure they understand what response is required.
The computer-based GRE revised General Test has a “mark and review” feature that enables test-takers to keep track of questions they would like to revisit during the time provided to work on a section and identify questions they may have skipped. Candidates can view a complete list of the questions in the section, and see an indicator of whether they answered or marked questions for review. Test-takers should budget their time so they can use the “mark and review” feature as an added check before completing a section.
Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores will be determined by the number of questions answered correctly. To maximise scores on these sections, it is best to answer every question. Points are not subtracted for incorrect answers, so it’s better to guess than to leave an answer blank.
Most of the Quantitative Reasoning questions don’t require difficult computations, so test-takers should not use the calculator just because it’s available. They should use it for calculations that are more time-consuming, such as long division, square roots and addition, subtraction or multiplication of numbers that have several digits.
During the Analytical Writing section candidates should be careful to budget their time. Within the 30-minute time limit for each task, allow sufficient time to think about the issue, plan a response and compose an essay.
Save a few minutes at the end of each timed Analytical Writing task to check for obvious errors. Although an occasional typographical, spelling or grammatical error will not affect a score, severe and persistent errors will detract from the overall effectiveness of a candidate’s writing and lower the score. So errors have to be avoided at all costs
There is a 10-minute break following the third section and a one-minute break between the other test sections. Candidates should use this time to replenish scratch paper. Section timing will not stop if candidates take an unscheduled break, so proceed with the test without interruption once it begins.