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ETS is short for Educational Testing Service. It is a private organization which undertakes work related with educational research, assessment development, test administration, test scoring and provides instructional products and services. This work the ETS gets from its clients, the College Board being its largest one. The most significant and important work undertaken by it is the development and conduct of various standardized examinations like the TOEFL, SAT, TOEIC, GRE etc.. In fact most of the entrance tests you are likely to appear for during your higher education are developed by ETS.
It is a completely private and independent company; it is neither under the government nor the Princeton University. It claims to be a non-profit organization and justifies the claim well by the kind of work it does. It is non-profit in its purpose, outlook and values. Though it is self-supportive and makes enough money to carry on its research work, it aims at providing high quality education service and in its own sense it serves public.
ETS is run by a very professional staff having training and expertise in education, psychology, statistics, psychometrics, computer sciences, sociology, and the humanities. Also its Board of Trustees governs its work closely and regulates its quality and standard. It has over 2500 employees across its offices in some 200 countries. Besides its headquarters in Lawrenceville, New Jersey the ETS has offices in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
One of the most significant tests administered by it is the GRE. It is short for Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It is a test which you need to clear in order to take admission in a graduate course in colleges and universities across English speaking countries. Thanks to the standardized test developed by ETS the students are judged equally and their scores can be compared for admission purposes. This makes the job of college admission authorities easier as they can be fair in providing admission and all the deserving students get a fair chance of admission in the college of their choice. Also it is good opportunity for students coming from different socio-economic backgrounds as they get a chance to get admission based on merit and not bias. Your scores of GRE, along with other capabilities and achievements like the school records, your performance in co-curricular activities, teacher recommendations, course work etc are considered by colleges in order to give admission.
Hobsons U.S. is an organization that helps colleges and universities to elevate their enrollment strategies. ETS has lately formed partnership with Hobsons U.S. to introduce new features in the Search Service. The search service helps institutions providing graduate courses to search from a database the names, scores and addresses of prospective students based upon the institution's preferred criteria. So it will now become easier for colleges to pick and choose the students of their choice. And if you score well in the exam you are likely to be called in by good colleges themselves!
In this exam you will have to appear for three sections: Verbal Section, Quantitative Section and Analytical Writing Section. The verbal section judges how well you can comprehend written material in English. It tests your knowledge about usage of English grammar and your reasoning and interpretation skills in English. The quantitative section judges your ability in Mathematics. The test is based on algebra, arithmetic, geometry and data analysis. The analytical writing section tests how well you can present your views and how well you can analyze an argument using logic. The test has multiple-choice questions, except for the analytical writing section which is a written part. The new feature of this exam is that two new types of questions will be included in the computer based GRE General Test in November 2007. Initially ETS planned to launch an entirely new format but the latest plans are to introduce the change in phases.
The exam is now a Computer Adaptive Test in most of its centers. In such a test the computer adapts the question paper according to the responses given by you. It might sound strange, but this system works in a very organized manner. One question is displayed on the computer screen at a time. The first few questions are of medium difficulty. If you answer correctly then the computer comes to know that you are intelligent enough to handle difficult questions and hence the subsequent questions selected by the computer, especially for you, will be of higher difficulty level. Likewise if most of your answers are incorrect then the subsequent questions will be of an easier level. Throughout the test the computer presents a question based on the response you give to the previous question. Hence the computer adapts the test according to you. Thus it should be your endeavor to answer questions correctly so you are asked difficult questions. Your final score depends on the difficulty level of the paper presented to you in addition to other properties of each question. If at the end of the test you feel that your scores will not be up to the mark, you can opt to cancel your scores and nullify the test. The test will then not be scored and you can register again for the test. If, however you change your mind and intend to reinstate your cancelled scores, you can request for it within two months from the date of the test.
GRE scoring for the computer adaptive and the paper test is quite similar. The only difference occurs due to the fact that the paper test does not adapt according to you as the computer based test does.
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