GRE undergoes significant changes

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the test many college students must take when applying to graduate schools, has recently undergone extensive changes and a new version will soon replace the current exam.

According to Educational Testing Services (ETS), the company that administers the GRE, after four years of extensive research and redesign, the newly developed General Test is the most significant revision in its 60-year history.

The GRE, combined with other requirements, provides a common measure for comparing and evaluating graduate school applicants.

The primary reasons behind the test's recent changes are to address security issues associated with continual testing, focusing on more of the skills necessary for graduate study, and providing faculty with better information on a student's performance. Overall, the new test will better predict a student's ability for the level of graduate study work, the company said on their Web site.

Some key changes to the GRE include available testing dates, types of questions and formats, and the increased time requirement overall. The new version of the GRE will be offered approximately 35 times a year. The number of tests offered in a given region will depend on the need-base of that specific location. This differs from the current availability of the test which is normally offered most weekdays and weekends. The verbal, quantitative, critical thinking and analytical writing sections will have new types of questions and formats, including two 30-minute analytical writing segments, two 40-minute quantitative sections, and two 40-minute verbal sections. The overall length of the test will increase from 2.5 hours to 4 hours total. "The revised GRE General Test will emphasize the skills related to graduate study, which in many ways are the same skills students will use when they complete their graduate education and begin their professional careers," said GRE Executive Director David Payne.

These changes are significant for students at Geneseo. For juniors Emily Hurley and Taryn Hand, the new test means buying different review books and changing their preparation strategies. "No review books for the new GRE are out yet," said Hurley, "the only review books I can find are for the old GREs, which makes me want to take those instead," she said. Hand expressed her concern about the new test version. "It's like the new SAT was when it first came out, and no one knew what to expect," she said.

The new GRE will be offered for the first time in early September. Registration for the new test begins July 1. The current GRE test will not be offered after July 31, and there will be no tests administered between August and mid-September. Additional information about the new and old GREs is offered at, and comparisons between the two versions are outlined at