The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test will take less than two hours to complete from September, roughly half the time of the current test, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced on Thursday.
The test takers will also receive their official scores within 10 days.
Among the major changes being introduced in the test are -- removal of the "analyse an argument" task in the Analytical Writing section, reduced number of questions in quantitative and verbal reasoning sections and removal of "unscored" sections, the ETS said.
While the earlier test duration used to be 3 hours and 45 minutes, the duration from September onwards will be 1 hour and 58 minutes. At present, the test takers get official scores within 15 days.
"The changes we are announcing today underscore the emphasis we place on keeping our customers at the centre of all that we do. As we continue to introduce product innovations, we are committed to balancing two things – maintaining rigour and validity, while improving the test-taker experience," said ETS CEO Amit Sevak.
ETS conducts the English language test TOEFL and GRE.
The GRE General Test is among the most widely used tests for admission to graduate and professional programmes, including business and law.
It assesses the verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that are essential for success in most graduate-level programmes.
GRE scores are an essential part of holistic admissions because of their unique role in the application as the only research-based, fair, and objective measure of cognitive skills.
Registration for the shorter test is now open for test dates beginning September 22, 2023.
India is the second largest market for GRE test takers after the United States. During 2021-22, 1.24 lakh candidates had taken the test in US while the number stood at 1.14 lakh in India.
According to Kunal Dasgupta, Chairperson, Admissions and Financial Aid, IIM Bangalore, the reduced test duration was needed to adapt the test to the current times.
"At IIM Bangalore, GRE is one of the assessments for consideration. Look forward to the new version, which proposes a reduced test duration that reflect ETS' commitment to prioritising the needs of test takers.
"We congratulate ETS for adapting the GRE General Test to the current times while ensuring that it remains as reliable as ever for institutions and test takers alike," Dasgupta said.
Beginning in September, test takers can access official GRE test prep resources and practice tests designed for the newer streamlined test.
Since the shorter test has the same question types (except for the removal of the Analytical Writing "analyse an argument" essay), test takers can continue to use the existing Official GRE Prep materials.
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