GRE Testing


When you pass out of school and seek admission in a college, your knowledge is tested by the college admission authorities. They intend to know why they should admit you and leave out other candidates. Colleges consider a lot of aspects while admitting students but the most important criterion is the GRE. Colleges cannot compare students who have studied in different schools and come from different areas and backgrounds, sometimes even from different nationalities. Here testing becomes the most important factor which determines which students obtain admission in a college.

It is considered to be very fair and valid. All students are treated equally and are tested on the same basis. The testing is conducted in numerous countries all around the world but the paper is of the same difficulty level; there is no special paper for any center. Nor is there any consideration for students from different socio-economic backgrounds. All the students appear for the same exam no matter who or where they are. This ensures that the scores of different students can be compared. The colleges can compare the scores quantitatively and select students for admission. The most significant factor of testing is that it is carried out by ETS which is a professional organization and can be trusted because of its credentials.

The testing of GRE includes the testing of your knowledge, reasoning skills, writing skills, logical and analytical abilities, critical thinking etc. This is done in the three sections of the test. The Verbal section aims at testing the capacity of a student to understand English language. This means that the student should be able to comprehend written material and synthesize it, interpret the meanings of words and the interrelation between parts of sentences, analyze the relationship between words and ideas. The Verbal section of GRE contains text completion questions, sentence equivalence questions and reading comprehension questions. Questions on antonyms and analogies have been removed from the new revised test. The questions based on sentence completion consist of incomplete sentences which have to be completed by choosing the most suitable words from a list. The resulting sentence has to be meaningful and grammatically correct. In reading comprehension a passage is given and some questions are asked. The answers have to be lifted from the passage; they will either be obvious or implied. So in the verbal section your vocabulary, interpretation skills, grammar concepts and reasoning skills are tested. The difference in the revised test from the previous one is that, by removing antonyms and analogies, stress is shifted from vocabulary to higher cognitive skills. This section has multiple type questions only and quantifies your knowledge in English language.

The Quantitative Section of the revised test consists of real life problems related to mathematics. The topics are from algebra, arithmetic, data interpretation and geometry. The level expected is that of a student of 10th grade and include concepts of the number systems, percentages, fractions, decimals, quadratic equations, basic coordinate geometry, ratio and proportion, area, volume, probability etc. These topics are related with our daily life and hence their knowledge is expected of any average graduate. The types of questions asked are quantitative comparison questions, discrete quantitative questions and data interpretation questions. The quantitative comparison questions consist of two quantities which have to be compared. These questions require very little calculations, if at all they do. The discrete quantitative questions consist of questions involving actual calculations using formulae and reasoning. Mathematical problems will be given here which have to be read carefully, reasoned out and solved. The data interpretation questions are based on graphs. Here different types of graphs are given which have to be interpreted and some questions might even involve small calculations. The revised test introduces a new type of question which is Numeric Entry questions, which require the students to put the answer into the given field and does not provide multiple choices. The other significant change in this section is that students now have access to an online calculator, which means that quantitative reasoning ability is prioritized over minor mathematical calculations. For those taking the paper based test, the test centers will provide the calculators.

The Analytical Writing Section of the revised test has two sections as before: two essays have to be written on logical argument and critical issue. But the new revised test no more provides options for the critical issue topics. The two topics will ensure that the students are tested on their ability for critical thinking and analytical writing.

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