GRE to be more difficult starting in November

New questions to the verbal and math sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) will be added this November, said Educational Testing Services (ETS).

The verbal section will include an extended text completion section, in which the question will have 2-3 blanks, and independent vocabulary lists for each question. Because there is no partial credit to such questions, one wrong answer in one of the blanks counts as an incorrect answer.

The change to the math section will include a numeric entry question for which students will not have multiple choices.

The additions to the exam are going to be very gradual, with no more than one of the new question types appearing on the November exam. Additional changes will be made during the following years.

Jennifer Kedrowski, GRE Program Manager for Kaplan and University of Miami alumnus, suggested taking the exam “sooner than later” because of the increasing level of difficulty.

She added, “[Students should] be familiar with all question types because it may throw [them] off,” but she said that preparation time for the GRE should still be between two and three months.

Some students who already took the exam are skeptical that the changes will make the GRE more difficult.

“I think the GRE lends itself to simple geometric equations, and filling in a number shouldn’t make a difference,” said Kacey Link, a master’s student. “I think [the GRE] should be harder.”

Some students may ask why the ETS would ever want to make this exam more difficult. They cite the reason as wanting “to make the GRE a better indicator of graduate school success.”

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