Graduate exam to see changes later this year

The Graduate Record Exam will be revised in August 2011 to challenge students who wish to continue their academic career as graduate students.

In August, the test will be given differently, will have a different scoring method, and will have new questions in two sections.

According to Scott Higgins, Dean of Graduate School and Research, new test features include, “a new computer-based test that lets you edit or change your answers, skip questions and more, all within a section – giving you the freedom to use more of your test-taking strategies… and an on-screen calculator.”

The test has been reconstructed to help students to study and learn knowledge and answers that will better suit them in the graduate school of today.

“There are new types of questions,” said Higgins, “in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, many featuring real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do in today’s demanding graduate and business school programs.”

The new scoring system makes it easy and less confusing for graduate schools to compare results between applicants. Verbal Reasoning will be on a 130-170 scale with one-point increments. The Quantitive Reasoning will be on the same scale with Analytical Writing still on the original 0-6 score level with half-point increments.

Higgins said that the exam was changed to accommodate students.

“The existing computer-based general examination was not as test taker-friendly,” said Higgins. “The question format needed to be focused on assessing critical thinking skills, and the scoring system did not reflect clear differences in the student’s performance when compared to others.”

While the new formats accommodates and assists, it also challenges students because of the new questions.

“All of the challenges will not be known until the first examinations are scored and results analyzed,” Higgins stated. “It appears to me that ‘reading for information and understanding’ will become more important in responding to the multiple choice questions that follow the written scenarios.”

The change is most inconvenient for graduate program faculty. They must analyze the new scoring system and decide how it applies to their institution as means of a student’s success and understanding of the content. Seeing as no one will know the full extent of the test’s changing until the first scoring, the pressure will be put on when test results come in and answers for students will be needed back under a certain deadline for admission.

Because of this, for students who need their test results back before November 2011, they need to take the test as soon as possible and before August. Students who take the exam during the period from August to September will receive scores back by mid-November.

If you would like more information about the revised Graduate Record Exam, check out