The Education Testing Service (ETS) made waves recently when it announced that it will introduce significant changes to the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test in 2011. With the market for grad school-related standardized testing becoming more and more competitive, and with GMAC planning a new GMAT by 2013, these changes will be interesting to watch.
Among the biggest changes to the test:
- Test takers will be able to skip questions and come back to them later (no the computerized version of the exam; some will still be paper-based in smaller markets), and revisit answers before submitting an entire section. Test takers will love this, but it will be even more critical for them to manage their time carefully.
- The scoring range for each section will change from 200-800 (with score increments of 10 points), to a scale of 130-170, with score increments of one point.
- Antonyms and analogies will be removed from the verbal section , with more reading comprehension added. This certainly reflects ETS’ push to make the GRE more like the GMAT in what skills it tests.
- The geometry section in the quantitative section will be cut down, with additional questions being added related to data analysis. This is another push to test more of the skills that the GMAT also tests.
- Test takers will be able to use ETS-issued calculators, to shift the emphasis from how quickly someone can calculate a number to that person’s actual analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Time-wise, the exam will grow from 3 hours to 3 hours and 45 minutes.
If you’re unsure which test you should take, our advice remains the same: We believe that the GMAT is still the most proven measure of the skills an MBA applicant needs to succeed in the classroom. If you’re thinking about grad degrees and general and are only somewhat interested in earning an MBA, then perhaps the GRE is the better place to start. If you’re sure that a top-tier MBA is what you want, however, the GMAT is still the test for you.