Adapt to the Changes

Written by Overseas Education Consultant and Study Abroad Career Counsellor in Mumbai, Karan Gupta

 

The revamped GRE General Test will be offered for the first time in October 2006.The length, content, format, scoring, and frequency of the test will be altered.


Each of the three sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing — will have different types of questions and new formats. ETS expects the changes to increase the validity of the test. The changes will also provide graduate schools with better information on an applicant’s performance, address security concerns, and new technology to make better use of computer-enabled questions.


“The changes to the GRE General Test are significant,” says David Payne, Executive Director of the GRE Program in ETS’s Higher Education Division. “The new test will emphasize complex reasoning skills that are closely aligned to graduate work. We’ll include more real-life scenarios and data interpretation questions, and new, more focused writing questions. In addition, the Verbal and Quantitative sections will have new score scales. This will improve the GRE test’s usefulness to students and graduate schools.”


The new GRE General Test will be slightly over four hours long. The extra time is necessary because the test will change from a computer adaptive test (CAT) to a linear computer based test (CBT), which means that more questions are needed to test varied difficulty levels. 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.

“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,” Payne explains. “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.” 


The traditional point scale of 200 to 800 on the verbal and quantitative sections will be replaced. The new scale will have 40 to 50 scale points and will be centered somewhere between 120 and 179. The final range may vary slightly, depending on the results of field testing that will conclude in November.


Each version of the revised GRE General Test will be used only once. 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 test volumes in a region will decide the number of administations in it.


The revised GRE General Test will be administered in the ETS global network of Internet-based test centers through Thomson Prometric. 


Comparison between the New GRE starting October 2006 and the one till September 2006


Subject Current GRE through September

Duration 2½ hours 4 hours

Score 200-800 120-179*

2006

New GRE starting October 1,

2006

Pattern Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)—the

difficulty of each question is based on

students' performance on previous

questions

Almost every day 30 times per year

*ETS may change this 120-179 scale

slightly. Analytical Writing will still be

scored on a 6-point scale.

Computer Based Test (CBT)—each

student taking that administration

receives the same questions in the

same order

Administration

of test

Content

Verbal One 30-minute section · Two 40-minute sections

Quantitative One 45-minute section · Two 40-minute sections

Analytical

Writing One 45-minute essay and one 30-

minute essay

· No analogies and antonyms

· More critical reading

· Sentence equivalence questions

· Less geometry

· Data interpretation and word

problems have been added

· New on-screen calculator will be

available

· Two 30-minute sessions with one

essay each

· Essay questions will be more

specific

· Grad schools can now see the

actual essays


TOEFL


New Internet-based TOEFL in India Begins April 2006

In 1998 the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) changed the content and format of the test to more accurately measure test-takers’ English language ability.


Due to this change, there is a new scale for the scores on the computer-based test:

- Old Score Scale- Paper-based test: overall score from 310 to 677

- New Score Scale- Computer-based test: overall score from 40 to 300

The computer-based test is divided into three sections. The above score is the overall score. For the three sections the scale is:

1. Listening (0-30)

2. Structure/Writing (0-30)

3. Reading (0-30)


You will also have to write an essay that will be independently rated by two qualified readers. They will give you a score between 1 and 6. This score will be incorporated into the Structure/Writing score.

Your score is based on how well you do on the questions and how many you answer. You will receive more credit for correctly answering a difficult question than for correctly answering an easy question.

 

OLD SCORES NEW SCORESW SCORES ABILITY LEVELY LEVEL

677(max) 300(max) Advanced

600 250  

550 213 Good

500 173  

310(min) 40(min) Poor


In April 2006 students will arrive at Thomson Prometric testing centers and other educational institutions across India to take the first Internet-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Developed by ETS, TOEFL iBT reflects the academic English used in higher education. It is the first large-scale English-proficiency assessment to be delivered over the Internet. 


The test is recognized by more than 5,200 colleges and universities worldwide. It is widely known as the leading academic English assessment. Unlike other English-proficiency tests, TOEFL iBT does not treat the English-communication process as consisting of separate tasks. The test measures all four language skills and, most importantly, it uses an integrated-skills approach in which test takers need to:

-read, listen, and then speak in response to a question

-listen and then speak in response to a question

-read, listen, and then write in response to a question


According to The Institute of Psychological and Educational Measurement (IPEM) the ETS representatives in India: “TOEFL has emerged from being a test of language comprehension to a comprehensive assessment of a student’s ability to communicate productively in an academic environment. The next generation of TOEFL testing will asses communicative competence in English focusing on all four language skills. This means that there will be a full congruence between developing academic English proficiency and preparing for TOEFL, which is a welcome change for both teachers and students.  So, in order to do well on TOEFL in the future, students will need to learn how to communicate productively in speaking and writing in addition to actively listening and reading.”


Students can take the exam at Thomson Prometric test centers and at other Internet-based university and educational settings. The TOEFL iBT was first offered in September in the United States.  Other countries will follow according to a phased plan.


For more information on gre and toefl log on to:


www.ets.org/gre.

gre-info@ets.org


THE NEW SAT


The new sat includes:


–a student–written essay


–analogies eliminated

–shorter reading passages added

–new content from third year preparatory math

–quantitative analysis eliminated


The new SAT is different, not necessarily harder. The test still measures reasoning ability and problem-solving skills. The writing section will test the students' organization and expression of thought.


Sections OLD SAT NEW SAT

Duration 3 hours 3 hours 45 minutes

Critical Reading -75 minutes

Two 30-minute

sections and one 15-

minute section

Math 75 minutes

Two 30-minute

sections and one 15-

minute section

70 minutes

Two 25-minute

sections and one 20-

minute section

70 minutes

Two 25-minute

sections and one 20-

minute section

Writing 60 minutes

35-minute multiple

choice (one 25-minute

section and one 10-

minute section) and

one 25 minute essay

Variable Section 30 minutes 25 minutes

 

Karan Gupta is the leading international education and career consultant in Mumbai, India. Since 1999, he has given career counselling and has helped thousands of students with study abroad and get admission and visas to universities and colleges in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and EU and also helps them get scholarships, loans and financial aid. In addition to aptitude tests and career counselling, his firm also provides training and coaching for the GMAT, GRE, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE exams. Karan Gupta is the best study abroad career counsellor, consultant and career guidance expert in Mumbai.

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