The US’ Education Testing Service (ETS) has decided not to revise the format of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a prerequisite for admission to most US colleges.
Registrations for the tests, which were stopped last month for students in India and China, are set to re-open this week and individuals will be able to take it as early as 1 August.
ETS, a not-for-profit institution that administers the test, revises the format periodically to ensure that test-takers do not get too familiar with it. ETS said it had dropped its plans because it couldn’t ensure a roll-out across many countries by September, when the first of the new-format tests would have been held.
“As the launch date approached, ETS determined that despite the aggressive development of our Internet-based testing network, we could not guarantee complete access to all students needing to take the exam,” said David Payne, executive director of the GRE programme at ETS. GRE will,however, incorporate changes in the existing test.
Officials at ETS also said that the cost of the GRE test is expected to increase though the new fee has not been finalized as yet. The test currently costs $160 (Rs7,040) for students in India. ETS had earlier suspended registrations and said that it would stop administering the test from 1 August as it needed a representative population of test takers to test the revised General Test. It has now reopened registrations for this test again.
The new format necessitated students all over the world to take the test, which is administered online, on specified dates. This meant that the network had to be expanded significantly to enable all students to take the test simultaneously. Over 50,000 Indian students took the test last year.
“The GRE Board (decided) to implement many of the planned test content improvements in the future without the access issues associated with changing to an entirely new test delivered over a brand new testing network,” the organization said in a statement.
Madhu Monga was preparing to take the exam last month when registrations closed. “I stopped studying because I was under the impression that the test will only be administered from September,” she said. Madhu now plans to take the test in August.
“Some students who started preparing for the new format are going to be confused by this,” said Sanjay Chaudhary, chief operating officer of IMS, a Mumbai-based training institute. “Our institute too had started offering training based on the new GRE format and now we will have review everything,” he added.
The GRE general test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. GRE scores are a prerequisite for admissions to most masters programmes in US universities.