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A shorter GRE for better experience to reduce anxiety


New Delhi: The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) will now be of one hour 58 minutes instead of three hour 45 minutes duration. According to Educational Testing Service (ETS), the move will provide the test takers a better experience and reduce anxiety and fatigue. Beginning September 22, the GRE General Test will be the shortest and most efficient test for admission to top graduate and professional programmes, including business and law.
The new test has removed the “Analyze an Argument” task in the analytical writing section and the unscored section, and reduced the number of questions in the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections.
Responding to the TOI’s question on the changes, Amit Sevak, president and CEO, ETS, said: “We want test takers to have a good experience with the GRE test. In September, in roughly half the time, test takers will have a better experience that values their time and reduces anxiety and fatigue. Not only are we introducing a better experience for test takers, we’re retaining the strong validity and reliability schools need for confident decision-making.”
The GRE is used by more than 1,300 graduate and business schools globally and nearly 100 leading b-schools in India to evaluate applicants. The number of GRE takers from India has increased from 67,246 in 2017-18 to 1,14,647 in 2021-22, making it the second largest cohort after the US. India overtook China in 2019-20.
These key changes will impact the questions and pattern of the exam, including less number of questions in each section, essays and removing the “unscored section to test new questions” (an experimental section of 20 questions where a candidate doesn’t get a score.
Stating that the General Test will continue to assess verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills, but in less time, Alberto Acereda, associate vice president, global higher education, ETS, said: ”Changes to the test include removal of the “Analyze an Argument” task in the analytical writing section; reduced number of questions in the quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning sections; and removal of the unscored section. The test will retain all question types with the exception of the Analyze an Argument task. No new question types will be introduced.” The test takers also will receive their score reports faster than ever, in just 8-10 days. The shorter GRE General Test will be available to test takers beginning on September 22, 2023.
Acereda also said that the changes won’t impact the current students already preparing for the present format. He said: “You don’t need to change your study plans, except you do not need to spend time preparing for the “Analyze an Argument” task within the Analytical Writing measure,” while suggesting candidates to can use the existing Official GRE Prep and in addition two shortened POWERPREP practice tests will be available in September. One version, called POWERPREP Online, will be free and provide scores on the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning measures.”

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