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GRE exam set to get tougher next year

With the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) becoming tougher from next year, the clock is ticking for those who plan to go to the US for higher studies.

This year itself there has been a significant jump — to 42,000 from 35,000 in ’04 — in the number of Indian students who have taken the GRE, and, if current indications are anything to go by, many more students are expected to take the plunge before the new pattern comes into force from next year.

Come October ’06, the GRE, the gateway to pursuing a masters or doctorate programme for most subjects in US universities, is undergoing a major transformation.

“Since the scores are valid for a period of time, we are anticipating a 20% increase in the number of test takers in the next few months,” says Soumitra Roy, managing director-India, Prometric Testing Private.

The new internet-based test will have different types of questions in new formats for each of the three sections — verbal reasoning, analytical writing and quantitative reasoning.

“The test is being revised to make it more competitive with greater emphasis on more complex reasoning skills that are closely designed to graduate work. It will include questions involving real life scenarios and data interpretation questions and more focused writing questions,” says Mr. Roy.

With the addition of new sections, the duration of the test will almost double from the present two-and-half hour to over four hours. In addition, the verbal and quantitative sections will have new score scales.

Instead of continuous testing, the exam will be administered on fixed dates in a year worldwide, and each version of the revised test will be used only once.



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