Well, all of us know that the GRE exam is being restructured and those who are planning to take the test in 2011 have the need to know the following things.
What are the major changes?
Is it good or bad?
Good: Well, looking at the changes, one could feel that there are many good things associated with the new GRE pattern. No complex vocabulary and the online calculator are the best things. In the old pattern, those who are good at by hearting things used to score high in verbal. In the new pattern, antonyms were replaced by more comprehensions. It is an indication that ETS is paying more attention to the analytical skills of the test taker. That’s definitely a good news.
Good: Introduction of an online calculator will result in the reduction of silly calculation mistakes that people make while performing simple additions or multiplications. Isn’t ETS considering the calculative power of the test takers? Well, this is again a good thing. Analytical skills are being given more preference to the calculative speed.
No impact: Increments of 1 or whatever the number is, it doesn’t make much difference to the overall score.
Good: Removal of computer adaptive thinking is a good thing. Reason being, everyone does mistakes and if an intelligent student does a silly mistake in the first question , his/her overall score is going to be affected. Similarly, if someone who is not so intelligent answers the first few questions correctly by luck, he/she gets more than what he/she deserves. This is definitely a good thing.
Comparatively Bad: In the new pattern, the test taker can go back and answer unanswered questions. Though it sounds good, it actually changes the mindset of the test taker. In the previous pattern, once a question is answered, the test taker cannot have a second look at the same question. Literally, he forgets about it and concentrates on the current question. However in the new pattern, since the applicant can switch back, the concentration level decreases. While attempting a question, the test taker constantly thinks about the unanswered questions.
Conclusion is, if it is tough for you, it is tough for everyone. Whether it is new pattern or the old pattern, don’t panic. If your skills are good, you can crack either of them or vice versa. Moreover, more good things in the new pattern don’t mean that one has to wait till the next year. Just plan things based on the time available to you. Remember that, even if you are taking GRE now(old pattern), it is still valid for 5 years and universities still consider the old pattern scores even after the new pattern has come into picture.