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Why change In GRE postponed until 2007

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Why change In GRE postponed until 2007

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The ETS, which contemplating the change in GRE, even announced the date of implementation once again given the relief of shy to the students by delaying its implementation for exactly a year. The highly anticipated and complex changes to the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) will begin in October 2007 rather than October 2006, a whole year later in the fall of 2007, company officials announce last week.

Another wave of changes has swept over the Graduate Record Examination according to the Educational Testing Service, which, beginning in October 2006 delayed until October 2007, will affect the approximately 400,000 U.S. students who take the test annually. "It will undergo its biggest overhaul from October 2007 in the 57 years of GRE history. ETS believes the delay will better serve test takers and graduate institutions across the country as ETS transitions from the current computer- and paper-based forms of the test to the new Internet-based (iBT) version.

"The higher education and graduate communities are excited about the revised GRE," explains Mari Pearlman, Senior Vice President of ETS's Higher Education Division. "They worked with us to create this revised test, and they are looking forward to using this test. The new launch schedule will enable us to complete the expansion of our Internet-based testing operations worldwide."

The change was announced last year, but details have not been released until now. These changes will impact important aspects of the test such as score range; the type of questions asked how the officials will evaluate the scores, and more.

Madeline Hamblin, director of the Office of Graduate Affairs at the University, said that the delay was sensible. "I think it was a good move," she said. "It would not be wise to start a new test before test centers were set up."

Test development, design and field testing will continue for the new GRE test. The new iBT delivery platform is already being used to deliver the innovative new Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam worldwide. ETS plans to improve student access to its tests by adding thousands of testing sites worldwide in the next two years.

The GRE exam measures critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and are not related to any specific field of study.

Changes to the GRE exam included: greater emphasis on higher cognitive skills and less dependence on vocabulary, expansion of computer based tasks, on-screen four-function calculators with square root features, and more focused questions to ensure analytical writing.

Highlights of Changes which ETS Considering: >>> The new GRE General Test will be slightly over four hours long, an increase from the current two-and-a-half-hour exam. It will also no longer be offered in a computer-adaptive format, where the difficulty of the test is determined by the test taker's right or wrong answers. Instead, it will be offered in a linear format, in which every student takes the same exam.

>>> Unlike the current exam, each version of the revised GRE General Test will be used only once, and no test takers will encounter the same questions on different dates. Instead of continuous testing, the exam will be given 29 times a year worldwide. The number of administrations in any given region will depend on the test volumes in that region.

>>> The revised GRE General Test will be administered in the ETS global network of Internet-based test centers and through Thomson Prometric, the world's largest computer-based testing network.

Changes in the Verbal and Quantitative Score Scales

The new score scales will have 40-50 scale points. The scales will increase in one-point increments and will be centered between 120 and 179. The actual score ranges will be finalized in 2006 based on field test results.

>>> A concordance table to compare old and new Verbal and Quantitative scores will be available.

>>> The analytical writing section will continue to be scored using a six-point holistic scale.

'These changes are intended to make the GRE General Test a more accurate gauge of how qualified prospective students are to do graduate-level work," David Payne, Executive Director of the GRE Program in ETS' Higher Education Division explained recently to the Signal. "We'll also offer more interpretive information to graduate deans and faculty, including providing access to test takers' essay responses on the Analytical Writing section."

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