Mar 26, 2010
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Ok so I don't know how many of you know this but starting August 2011, there will be a new GRE. It will be 3.5 hours long rather than 3, analogies and antonyms cut, an online calculator, ability to go back and forth between questions...And maybe most importantly, the whole scoring rubric is changing- rather than getting 200-600 per section, it's on a whole other scale.

What will this mean for GRE cut-off scores of 1200 at grad schools? If someone has only taken the new GRE what will that mean for their application? Will they have an advantage or a disadvantage over those who have taken the old one? Personally, since I am not applying to grad school for another 2 years, this decision could be VERY important for me.

What do you guys think?
 

Aura5

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Maybe the stakes will be lower as it starts out. Without 100+ study guides out there yet for this new one, they can't expect everyone to do as well. :confused:

And maybe it'll be a better test. Less like "omg let me see if you can figure out how I'm going to trick you!" That's what the current quantitative section says to me, anyway...sh...
 

Buzzwordsoldier

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About calculators -- what the heck? I thought the object of the test was to evaluate problem solving skills and a general grasp of concepts as opposed to pinpoint computational accuracy.
 
Apr 1, 2010
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About calculators -- what the heck? I thought the object of the test was to evaluate problem solving skills and a general grasp of concepts as opposed to pinpoint computational accuracy.
exactly! by offering calculators, you can almost bet the quantitative section is gonna be tougher. When you didn't have a calc. they couldn't expect you to complex calculations, they were testing your ability to apply the methods and find a way to solve on paper.

i'm glad I took mine when I did. Also having the opportunity to go back seems like a double edged sword. You may go back and check your answers and change ones that u thought were wrong and they turn out to be right, or the other way around (I hate when I don't go with my first answer!)

I dunno just my thoughts. And as for removing antonyms and analogies, I didn't care for them too much but what will replace this in terms of vocab competency?
 

FadedC

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You could make a reasonable argument that the quantatative section should be a little harder though, or at least that it should differentiate more between people at the high end of the math curve. An unusually large percentage (relatively speaking) of the people taking the test get perfect or near perfect scores making it impossible to distinguish between people who are good at math and people who are really good at math. My score in the high 700s on the verbal section put me in the top 1%, but a similar score on the math section didn't even put me in the top 10%.

exactly! by offering calculators, you can almost bet the quantitative section is gonna be tougher. When you didn't have a calc. they couldn't expect you to complex calculations, they were testing your ability to apply the methods and find a way to solve on paper.

i'm glad I took mine when I did. Also having the opportunity to go back seems like a double edged sword. You may go back and check your answers and change ones that u thought were wrong and they turn out to be right, or the other way around (I hate when I don't go with my first answer!)

I dunno just my thoughts. And as for removing antonyms and analogies, I didn't care for them too much but what will replace this in terms of vocab competency?
 
Feb 8, 2010
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Why do you object to calculators so strongly?
Personally, it's because I know I spent hours upon hours upon hours studying without a calculator and that's a huge change to make on the test. How would you compare two candidates who took such different tests?

And, also, I think that math by hand is a lost art.

Finally, in my mind, I liken the GRE math with calculators to the Psychology GRE with google. It's a HUGE crutch.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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When I took the GRE, there was this experimental section that was math with the calculator. They were testing problems out ect. Yes, since I knew clearly (they said it was) it had no bearing on my score, I was tired an all- I did not take it as seriously as I had the rest of my test. I dont remember how much harder the questions were (the stress was off) but it was hard to learn how to use the calculator. It was on-screen, so I dont know if it would be the same for the real GRE.

I like the fact that there will be no analogies, pity I wont be there to take it.

I was the first or second year of the NEW SAT, which added the writing section. Schools for the first year or two were more lax about the scores, especially on the writing section. My guess is if all the applicants to their school are in one general range, they can see how it will play out. If no one applies with a score above 700, then they treat the 600s as if they were 700s. They will be comparing all the scores to what others your year get...
what about that first transition year- where students will have taken the old one and the new one?
 

cara susanna

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People are saying that quant is too easy? That just makes me shake my head. I had so much trouble with that darn section.

I should be supportive of this, but I'm being kind of petty and thinking that if I had to do it without a calculator, so should everyone else!
 
Dec 6, 2009
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Personally, it's because I know I spent hours upon hours upon hours studying without a calculator and that's a huge change to make on the test. How would you compare two candidates who took such different tests?

And, also, I think that math by hand is a lost art.

Finally, in my mind, I liken the GRE math with calculators to the Psychology GRE with google. It's a HUGE crutch.
Percentile ranks.
 

FadedC

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Well keep in mind too that it's not like they are using the exact same questions as before, only now you get to use a calculator. The new questions take into account the fact that you can use one.

Regarding quantatative difficulty, saying that it's too easy is an oversimplification. But you only have to look at the breakdown of scores to see that there is a serious ceiling effect in play there.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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Wowww I totally forgot about percentile ranks, haha thanks Greenpsych

The fact that the math might be harder since you have a calculator is HORRIFYING to me! I'm one of those people who does quite well on the verbal and moderately ugly on the math...it always shocks me how often people do SO much better on the math than the verbal. When you look at school stats of who gets in, I find that I'm always in the mean or above with verbal and about 100 points below on math (with my practice tests), oy.

*unrelated...how do you quote people...put their box in your response? I know this is a basic skill and I can't figure it out! :)
 
Dec 19, 2009
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People are saying that quant is too easy? That just makes me shake my head. I had so much trouble with that darn section.

I should be supportive of this, but I'm being kind of petty and thinking that if I had to do it without a calculator, so should everyone else!
i know lol! its such a petty thing... but I have to agree with you... its bs... they should suffer along with us


side note: glad I never have to worry about the GRE ever again in my entire life!!!!
:laugh: MUAHAHAHAHAHA! :laugh:
 

AcronymAllergy

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Well keep in mind too that it's not like they are using the exact same questions as before, only now you get to use a calculator. The new questions take into account the fact that you can use one.

Regarding quantatative difficulty, saying that it's too easy is an oversimplification. But you only have to look at the breakdown of scores to see that there is a serious ceiling effect in play there.
Agreed. And agreed. The current quant portion, as another poster mentioned, seems to have difficulty separating people who are good at math from people who are really good at math. In essence, I would imagine that most math-heavy graduate programs require 700+, with some likely enacting an unspoken 800-only rule.

Adding in a calculator would not give new test takes an advantage; it would simply allow ETS to develop more calculation-intensive problems. It's sort of like the double-edged sword that is a take-home exam--you have more time and resources available, but the questions usually reflect this by being tougher.
 
Jan 14, 2010
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I'm just really, really happy that I wrote it before all these changes. Aside from potential differences in difficulty level of the new test, I think the greatest challenge to anyone writing it in the near future is the lack of available preparation materials. Even if companies like Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc make new materials, they will be based on guesswork at best and I would imagine that ETS won't be selling a whole slew of new prep materials in time... I feel for the next couple cohorts of applicants.
 

Psychology 76

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so i'll be taking the last of the old style of GRE's. sounds like i just missed out :(
 

krisrox

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Cara, the reason we're all dissing the quant section is because even of you score a perfect 800 on the quant section, it's only the 90th percentile. Regardless of an individual's scores on certain sections of the GRE, the verbal section is much more evenly distributed compared with the quant section. I think that an 800 should reflect a top 1-2% of the people who take the exam. That's definitely not the case with the current quant section.
 
Apr 1, 2010
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Lots of mathematically minded students take the GRE, engineers, biochemists, physicists etc., so they probably make up a large percentage of the individuals earning perfect 800 scores. I haven't finished my calculus sequence and still got a 780 (without having taken a math class in years). It really does have to be harder to really determine who knows their stuff and who REALLY knows their stuff.

*edit* I didn't mean to come off as a braggart if thats how it sounded. I was surprised when that QUANT score came up on the screen. I was expecting a 690 or 700 max... so I really think its not an accurate measure.
 
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Mar 24, 2010
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Lots of mathematically minded students take the GRE, engineers, biochemists, physicists etc., so they probably make up a large percentage of the individuals earning perfect 800 scores. I haven't finished my calculus sequence and still got a 780 (without having taken a math class in years). It really does have to be harder to really determine who knows their stuff and who REALLY knows their stuff.

*edit* I didn't mean to come off as a braggart if thats how it sounded. I was surprised when that QUANT score came up on the screen. I was expecting a 690 or 700 max... so I really think its not an accurate measure.
I haven't taken the general test, but I took the Psych subject test (literally) yesterday. I met a few people there who were taking the Math subject test. They said it was required for the schools they were applying to. I asked why, because I thought it was strange there was a subject math test when half of the regular GRE is math. They said that the regular math section is a "joke", and if you get below an 800, you are pretty dumb and should probably choose another field. They were referring to people applying to math/engineering programs though. Apparently, 40-50% of the math subject test is calc and equally hard stuff. The regular GRE is really just high school-level math.

Again, I have yet to take the general test. I'm just going off what these math kids said.


On a side note, I think that if a calculator becomes available, questions will be harder/require more complicated calculations. I agree with whoever made the comment about take-home exams. So true!
 

Markp

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I am glad I only had to take that stupid test once!

Mark
 
Apr 1, 2010
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I haven't taken the general test, but I took the Psych subject test (literally) yesterday. I met a few people there who were taking the Math subject test. They said it was required for the schools they were applying to. I asked why, because I thought it was strange there was a subject math test when half of the regular GRE is math. They said that the regular math section is a "joke", and if you get below an 800, you are pretty dumb and should probably choose another field. They were referring to people applying to math/engineering programs though. Apparently, 40-50% of the math subject test is calc and equally hard stuff. The regular GRE is really just high school-level math.

Again, I have yet to take the general test. I'm just going off what these math kids said.


On a side note, I think that if a calculator becomes available, questions will be harder/require more complicated calculations. I agree with whoever made the comment about take-home exams. So true!
Take it ASAP before the new one. As long as you practice with the princeton review type books you'll be fine. The math is really just high school stuff.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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How do you get above an 800 in the regular test? that's what it sounds like from what those math kids were saying. Oh well, glad I'm done with it. I like my score on both parts but I would like that new verbal section (I hate those analogies)... Can I do a retake with the new verbal and the old math? :D
 

FadedC

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From reading the "math kid" post, it looks like they were talking about getting a 800, not above a 800, which is not possible.