General GRE vs. Revised GRE

AriAstronomer
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 4:53 pm

General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Hey guys, this is in response to a previous thread, but I figured since it was getting off topic and maybe other people would be interested in seeing this, I figured I would put a more related thread title.

AriAstronomer wrote:
siroy.sam wrote:How do you find this new revised test? Do you find the verbal and maths section tougher than the previous format? Would you consider this new text completion and Sentence equivalence questions slightly challenging as compared to the earlier vocabulary test? Please share your views and analysis as it will be very helpful to all the people who would be taking the test in near future including myself.

Yeah, I'd be happy to share my opinion. So I have never done the general GRE, but comparing the formats, I think the revised one is much better, at least for physicists.

Quantitative: For starters, it makes the math alot easier for physicists. I mean, assuming that they keep it at the high school math level, regardless of the question they throw on the quantitative, we'll have the best chance of solving it, but with an on screen calculator it makes percent problems and big multiplication problems easy peasy. My most likely cause of doing badly on the quantitative would be careless errors, and the calculator solidifies that. Not to mention, you don't have to spend extra time memorizing timetables and whatnot.

Verbal: Again, I haven't done the old test, but it seems a bit more to our advantage to have words in context of sentences than just flat out definitions and comparisons. A word in the context of a sentence can only ever help you (I feel like). There were some long passages on my practice test that were really long and challenging, and I cannot say if they were harder/easier than the non-revised general test, but my intuition says that you're going to find hard questions on either test.

Analytical: Since it was an online computer marked practice test, they didn't give me an analytical score, so can't tell you much about that. I also think this is probably the section that has changed the least between the two formats.

Extra: I think it's really advantageous for us to take the revised also because it doesn't 'choose as you go' so to speak, but you are given e.g. 20 math questions to answer in 35 minutes, and you can scroll through, go back to questions, etc. When I took my practice test, in both sections I had used this, and specifically in the quantitative section it made the difference probably between a 750-800 range and 700-750 range. On four separate questions I didn't understand them right away, came back to them after doing the other questions, and solved them all before the time ran out. If i was forced to answer those questions before seeing another one I think I would have panicked a bit, not to mention probably have gotten them wrong, and then given an easier question to solve next, vs. predefined chosen questions.

Minovsky
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

One thing I would like to point out is that I think the grading of the Revised GRE seems more 'fair.' In the old version, if you got the first question wrong then all your other questions would be worth less. If you got one near the end wrong, they wouldn't count it against you. In the revised edition, all your questions carry equal weight. If Kaplan can be trusted, I took old and revised practice tests with them. On the old version, I got ~600 on the quant and ~450 on the verbal. On the new version I got 750-800 on the quant and 540-640 on the verbal. What's interesting is that my raw score for the revised quant was less than my raw score for the old test. Also interesting, I got the same number of questions wrong in both sections on the revised, yet completely different score ranges.

On my revised practice test, $\frac{n!}{k!(n-k)!}$ was needed on at least 4-5 questions. Perhaps something to put in active memory for the test. Other than not remembering $_nC_k$, all the questions I got wrong were due to careless mistakes, either in computation or not reading the question correctly. The key is to be careful and pay close attention.

Putting the vocab in context makes those questions much more reasonable.

While you are given a predetermined set of questions, you are given two sets of both verbal and quant. Based on my practice test, the relative difficulty of the second set is based on your performance on the first set. Over 50% of the Q questions in my second set were labeled "high difficulty" compared to only 10% on my first set (I did well on the first set).

For most people on this board, you shouldn't have to study much of anything for this test (is you're feeling really gung-ho you can study vocab and write esays). That being said, it probably is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the test by taking a practice exam. Its still a test, and its best not to walk into a test cold.

siroy.sam
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:57 am

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Thanks guys. This information is indeed very invaluable. I hope all other people in this forum must also be equally finding this discussion very interesting and exciting.

Minovsky
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

After having actually taken the GRE, here are my thoughts.

The order was A, Q, V, Q, V, Q. One of the Q sections was an experimental section where ETS field tests questions. Each section has a predetermined set of questions, and the difficulty changes by each section, not by each question like on the old test. That being said, I was seriously worried I screwed up on the Q since the second two sections were at about the same level/maybe even easier than the first section. My second V was noticeably more challenging than the first. You have 35 minutes for each section, but that should plenty of time. Even in the verbal sections I finished with ~10 minutes on the clock.

Some of the Q questions were laughably simple, they effectively boiled down to "add these two numbers together" and "which linear equation has a negative slope?" In spite of the Kaplan practice test, there were no questions involving large permutations or probabilities. ETS/Kaplan/PR warn that "having a calculator just means more difficult problems." For average test takers maybe, but for physics type people it actually makes all the data problems much easier since you don't have to try to estimate things like 29.7% of 530 million in your head.

Until November, scores presented to you at the end of the test are in 100 point ranges on the old scale. e.g. my scores were V: 570-670, Q: 750-800. I almost had a heart attack because at first glace I thought the 570 was my Q score.

BTW, the ETS preparation book is wrong on one small detail: it says that there are 25 questions in each section when on the actual test there are only 20. The ETS has a handy chart which correlates old score range and raw score, but this is thrown off by the fact that they are assuming 50 questions per subject rather than 40.

siroy.sam
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:57 am

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Hi rather than starting a new thread, I thought it will be better to continue the previous discourse on Revised GRE so that this thread will be informative to revised gre test takers in this forum. I hope this narrative will be interesting especially to those who will be taking shortly.

Yesterday, 16th September, I gave my revised gre at the city of Hydrabad, India as all other center in the country are full at the time of my registration. I had prepared for around two months for this test grappling with lack of resource materials for preparation. As I am somewhat lazy doing the same powerprep II test again and again after doing one untimed and one timed test using powerprep II, I realized that I couldn't manage the time properly. Moreover, around 15 days before the gre test, I discontinued my preparation as I had to prepare for an exam few days before my gre. So, I feel that I was slightly off the track.

On the test day I arrived at the test center 2 hours earlier as I am not familiar with the city and the place as I had to travel more that 1500 km to reach this place from my state. The test didn't go so well as I had time management problem. The AWA which comes first on the test was just typical ETS topic that I am comfortable with. It was followed by a quant and verbal section and a break for 10 minutes before starting next sections. The last was hopefully an experimental quant which was tougher than the previous quants. The verbal sections were very tough and time consuming resulting in messing with RCs that I took at the end of the section. The quant sections were better than the verbal though I had difficulty in some 7/8 problems overall regarding my poor time management.

At the end, I was shock to know that my raw score is in the range of- Verbal: 340-440, Quant: 560-660. I don't know if this score will do any good so far as my application process is concerned. I want to know if anyone in this forum can tell me if this horrible score may affect my application. What shall I do? I had an option to take the re-test sometime in 29/30 Novermber this year if its necessary. Please tell me what I shall do in this juncture. Your suggestions will be highly appreciated.

While writing this text, I am travelling in train to my state.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1199
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

You need to retake that GRE--the stated quantitative score will certainly keep you out of graduate school in the United States (I wouldn't even apply to schools that require the GRE with that score).

To be clear, this applies because you are an international applicant. If you were American, you'd get in somewhere with that score, especially if you had other strong parts of your application. As an international though, you're competing against a near-infinite pool, and there is no reason to take a chance on you with such a score.

AriAstronomer
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Yeah I'd definitely retake that.

Just wrote my general GRE's on the 15th, and I found them fine actually. Essentially 2 weeks before the test I starting doing the powerprep II and doing mostly math practice too from other GRE books (just because I did the revised doesn't mean the math from non revised books aren't useful). I made the hard call to not even look at verbal, and figured my time would be better spent doing more math problems vs. memorizing stupid words. The decision to not memorize words ended up being beneficial. I didn't find knowing more words would have helped really (except for maybe 3 or 4 questions total out of 40), my verbal range I was given was 500-600 - a respectable score for a physicist. Math was 750-800.

lenivix
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

AriAstronomer wrote:I didn't find knowing more words would have helped really (except for maybe 3 or 4 questions total out of 40), my verbal range I was given was 500-600 - a respectable score for a physicist. Math was 750-800.

Are the ranges within which your expected scores are given kind of "random"? Some people on this site seem to have been given ranges, like yourself, say 500 - 600 . I also did the revised exam on the 15th and was given a verbal range within 560 - 660. For the quantitative I was given 710 - 800. Does this mean I'm less likely than you are to have a quantitative score above 750? Just kind of curious about this, I'd have thought the ranges would be the same for everyone once your score falls within said range...

Minovsky
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

lenivix wrote:
AriAstronomer wrote:I didn't find knowing more words would have helped really (except for maybe 3 or 4 questions total out of 40), my verbal range I was given was 500-600 - a respectable score for a physicist. Math was 750-800.

Are the ranges within which your expected scores are given kind of "random"? Some people on this site seem to have been given ranges, like yourself, say 500 - 600 . I also did the revised exam on the 15th and was given a verbal range within 560 - 660. For the quantitative I was given 710 - 800. Does this mean I'm less likely than you are to have a quantitative score above 750? Just kind of curious about this, I'd have thought the ranges would be the same for everyone once your score falls within said range...

The ETS ranges are given in 100pt increments. Over 700, the low end of the range increases to 750, but the upper end stays at 800. i.e. possible score brackets are: 690-790, 700-800, 710-800, 720-800, 730-800, 740-800, 750-800.

Of course, we won't really know how the new and old scores compare until we see the percentile rankings. (On a side note, why does ETS even bother with giving scaled scores when they could just give a percentile?)

lenivix
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Minovsky wrote:The ETS ranges are given in 100pt increments. Over 700, the low end of the range increases to 750, but the upper end stays at 800. i.e. possible score brackets are: 690-790, 700-800, 710-800, 720-800, 730-800, 740-800, 750-800.

Of course, we won't really know how the new and old scores compare until we see the percentile rankings. (On a side note, why does ETS even bother with giving scaled scores when they could just give a percentile?)

Huh, so does this imply that I scored between 710 and 720, then? Otherwise my range would be 720 - 800, or something? Blehh. I don't really get the point of that either, I agree that they should just give the percentile...

Minovsky
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

lenivix wrote:Huh, so does this imply that I scored between 710 and 720, then? Otherwise my range would be 720 - 800, or something? Blehh. I don't really get the point of that either, I agree that they should just give the percentile...

ETS doesn't actually know what scaled scores they're going to assign to each raw score, so the ranges reflect that uncertainty (a fairly large uncertainty at that, you could be anywhere between the 73rd% and 94th%*). I wish ETS would at least give us our raw score so that we could have something precise to compare. Only two months to wait for the actual reports...

*Based on this data: http://www.testmasters.net/GreAbout/Scoring-Scale

lenivix
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Ah, thanks. Yeah, I guess we'll just have to wait.

midwestphysics
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:37 am

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

I've been hearing so many people talk about the new gre that I had to check some stuff out. It looks like you guys don't have to worry about the new scale, there will be a transition period. So basically ETS will put down your score in both the NEW and OLD scales so that schools can learn the new system, and eventually phase it out to just the new scale. Still, for anyone taking it now that pretty much means they'll see your OLD 200-800 score and base decisions off of that, and just use the NEW 130-170 I think it is to get comfortable with how it translates for the future.

Minovsky
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

midwestphysics wrote:I've been hearing so many people talk about the new gre that I had to check some stuff out. It looks like you guys don't have to worry about the new scale, there will be a transition period. So basically ETS will put down your score in both the NEW and OLD scales so that schools can learn the new system, and eventually phase it out to just the new scale. Still, for anyone taking it now that pretty much means they'll see your OLD 200-800 score and base decisions off of that, and just use the NEW 130-170 I think it is to get comfortable with how it translates for the future.

I think this only applies to test takers who took the old GRE; they would have their old scores reported along with estimations for their score on the revised scale. See here: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/understand. They only say that old scores will appear for old tests.

ETS wrote:For individuals who took the GRE General Test prior to August 1, 2011, the score report will include their Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on the 200 – 800 scale, in 10-point increments, as well as estimated Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on the new 130 – 170 score scale, in one-point increments.

This means that if you took the test after August 2011, you won't even have "old" scores. If you look at the sample score report on the page linked above, you'll see scores for one old test (06/01/09) and one new test (12/03/11). The '09 test has both an old and an estimated new score. The '11 test only has a new score.

midwestphysics
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:37 am

Re: General GRE vs. Revised GRE

Ah, I heard wrong then.