After four years of research, and with guidance from the graduate education community, ETS (Educational Testing Service) is completing the most significant overhaul of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE®
) General Test in the test’s 55-year history. The new GRE General Test will be launched in October 2006. Gerben van Lent
, Director of Strategic Development and Quality Assurance at ETS Europe, explains in an interview what test takers and institutions need to know about the new GRE General Test.
What are the main changes that have been introduced?
The new test will continue to emphasize complex reasoning skills and it will be about 4 hours long. All three sections of the test will change: the Verbal Reasoning section will put greater emphasis on higher cognitive skills and less on vocabulary. The Quantitative Reasoning skills measured will be closer aligned to skills typically used in graduate work, with an increase in the number of ‘real life’ scenarios and data interpretation questions. The Analytical Writing section will have more focused questions to ensure original analytical writing.
What are the consequences for higher education institutions and students?
ETS expects the changes to increase the validity of the test. The changes will also provide universities with more information on an applicant’s performance,address security concerns, and maximize technology to make better use of computer-enabled questions. The new GRE will be administered 29 times per year in the ETS global network of Internet-based test centres. Faculty will be able to view students’ essays along with their scores.
Do you have any plans to promote the new GRE in Europe, in the context of the Bologna process?
With the expected increase in degree mobility in Europe, universities will be challenged to organise their admission procedures efficiently and effectively. In our view, factors such as the increased number of Master courses offered in English around Europe make the new GRE potentially a useful instrument for universities: with its increased emphasis on measuring complex reasoning skills, it facilitates comparing qualifications of applicants from different educational backgrounds and countries of origin.
ETS Europe: firstname.lastname@example.org