Changes in 2011 cause a GRE rush

Anxious students try to clear GRE before the test pattern undergoes modification

The announcement of changes in the testing pattern of GRE has prompted many candidates like Sharan to take the test before August 2011. Educational Testing Service (ETS), which conducts the test, announced recently the testing pattern would change from next year.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a computer-based test which is used for admission of a few graduate schools in the US and other countries.

"GRE scores are valid for five years. So, it is better to take the test before they introduce the new pattern. I don't want to take a risk by waiting till next year. It is better to be more careful," says Sharan, a second year engineering student.

Many students have already started preparation for the test, which could be taken on any day. "It is better to prepare for the test earlier than waiting till the last minute. I am planning to take the test this year itself," says Archana Mishra, who has already registered.

Key Changes

Some of the new changes places less reliance on vocabulary out of context and emphasise reading more. There will be no antonyms and analogies. Candidates will be able to edit or change answers and skip questions and go back to them later within a section. This will give students freedom to use more of their traditional test-taking strategies.

There will be new types of questions in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections. New question types like filling in a number or providing more than one response when asked will also be added.  

Experts point out that the changes can make the test tougher.

Negative perception

"There is a surge in the number of candidates appearing for the test this year. Adding more reasoning questions will make it tougher for the students,” says Biruda Virkud, senior manager, International Products, South India, Career Launcher.     

Most students perceive changes in a negative manner. I would recommend students to take the test before the revised pattern is introduced, she added.

Ajay Arora, director of TIME coaching institute seconds her views.

"The fear of the unknown often prompts students to take the test earlier. This has been the case whenever a new pattern is introduced. Students often want to play it safe and take no risks," he says.

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