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Top 6 Changes Coming to the New GRE

6. See you later antonyms and analogies!

Days spent underneath a dim light flipping through stacks of vocabulary cards may not quite be a thing of the past. Vocabulary is still an integral part of the verbal, especially the sentence completions. But no longer will it have to be you vs. the lone word in capital letters. And the analogies, the pair of words with which you have to form a bridge? Well, let’s just say you can leave your bridges for weekend hikes.


5. You get to use calculators

Gone are the days of tedious calculation on a scratch paper. Now you have a calculator for some of the more complex problems. The GRE is mainly concerned with how you logically think through problems. Their rationale—after all these years—is that mistakes from cumbersome calculation do not reveal so much how you think as they do carelessness.

The takeaway for the test taker? Don’t become overly reliant on the calculator. If the question requires that you multiply 12 x 3, then know your multiples of 12.


4. It’s Longer

The type of sections is still the same. You have your analytical writing, verbal and math section. There will now be two math sections, each with a time limit of 35 minutes and two verbal sections, each with a time limit of 30 minutes. Throw in an experimental section and you will be spending well over 3 hours in the testing room.


3. No more 1600!

Yes, gasp. The days of the 1600 test, 800 for both math and verbal over. The new scale ranges from 130-170 with increments of 1 point. That doesn’t necessarily mean the test is easier; it will just be curved differently.


2. Return to a Problem

Who has not frittered away far too much time on a question? Once you click an answer that’s it. You can’t go back. With the new GRE you can go back to any question you attempted. The caveat: you have to enough time remaining. Once the time is up, that’s it.


1. Multiple Blanks/Fill-in the answer

The old GRE (which is still the current one) was straightforward in terms of the answer choices. Save for quantitative comparison, in which you had five possible answers choices (A-E.) The new GRE is far more byzantine—3 blankers, 2 out of six blankers, etc. But no need to worry, the GRE provides explicit directions before each question type. Just don’t forget to read the directions!



By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

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