By: Stacy Bailey
After announcing great changes to the Graduate Record Exam this September, the Educational Testing Service announced April 2nd to cancel plans to modify the exam.
“ETS has reevaluated their plan and have decided that the risks outweigh the benefits of changing the test,” said Ben Baron, Vice President of Graduate Programs for Kaplan Test Preparation and Admissions. “There was a lost flexibility and access to the test by changing it.”
According to Baron, the test was scheduled to change because of a loss of security in the old test. Yet ETS has decided to cancel the changes because students would have less access to taking the test.
Due to a change of format, the test would extend itself from a two and a half hour test to about four hours. Also, instead of offering the test almost every day of the year, the test would be offered about 35 times a year.
“We are happy that ETS has decided to take a step back and examine things,” said James Crane, assistant dean of Graduate Studies. “They did not have enough participation in testing centers to launch the new test.”
The change would have changed the test from a computer adaptive test to a linear test. A computer adaptive test is one that tailors specifically to the test taker and asks questions based on their previous answers. A linear test is uniform for every test taker and usually takes much longer than a computer adaptive test.
“There wasn’t going to be enough testing centers for all the people to take the test,” said Janice Robinson, special projects coordinator of Graduate Studies. “The test was only going to be administered at the same time all around the world.”
According to Robinson, ETS is still looking at revising the test, especially their analytical questions, but no change is currently scheduled.
“The reality is that by canceling the change they are not addressing the security issue,” said Baron. “From our perspective, we hope they will continue to address it.”
According to Baron, this is good news for students. They will continue to have a more convenient, shorter and familiar exam. He recommends that students take the current GRE exam before it is changed to avoid possible changes to the format, question types, scoring scale and administration.
For more information about the cancellation, go to www.kaptest.com/gre.