2011 was a momentous year for the GRE. At the start of the year it was a dinosaur amongst tests, a rehash of the old SAT, which was built on a military test. Now, we have the new GRE, an up-to-date assessment of the skills students need to be successful in grad school. So what will 2012 and bring?
Prediction #1: More new GRE practice questions
Or at least, here is hoping that ETS releases more practice material besides that found in the current Official Guide in 2012. However, this is no idle whim on my part – ETS has much to gain by releasing more material. Namely, money. As test takers we will have more practice questions, and, by extension, a better sense of type of the questions likely to come up on the test.
Prediction #2: More MBA-bound students signing up for the GRE
Already I have students asking me whether they should take the GMAT or the GRE. For the quant wizards the answer is easy. For those who feel their verbal skills are stronger, the new GRE may allow them to display their strength.
Prediction #3: Instant Score
Nobody wants to wait to know his or her score. Speaking of the GMAT, test takers are able to see their scores at the end of the test (competitive advantage, perhaps?). So my prediction is the new GRE will allow you to see your scores the minute you finish the test.
Prediction #4: More Economist and New Yorker subscribers
I’m not the only GRE tutor touting the benefits of reading in context. Many of the major prep test companies are singing the same vocabulary-boosting tune. And most of the time, it is these two magazines that they recommend. So if you haven’t already, visit their sites. And if you just can’t get enough – that is, you want access to all of their content – then you can subscribe.
Prediction #5: Un-updated/Mediocre New GRE Prep from Most
I know this sounds cynical, but if the old GRE is any indication, the prep books from Princeton Review and the like will go unchanged year after year. Oh, wait I take that back. The picture on the cover will change, as will the number next to the edition, but the contents will remain the same (yes, this includes all the typos from first editions).
Prediction #6: Continued Ascendancy of Online Prep
Even if the publisher makes significant changes to stay abreast of the test, the publisher has to wait an entire year to release a new edition. As for errors in books, students will have to put up with them. Unless, that is, students use the web.
Magoosh, for one, offers prep that is updated and refined whenever necessary. That is if anything is ambiguous in our content or explanations we can change the material to make sure. We typically response to your requests in less than 24 hours, which is a whole lot quicker than a year!
Together with forums (urch.com) and blog posts (such as this one!), the web is becoming the place to prep, as the Kaplans and Princeton Reviews of the world are slowly going the way of the mega-bookstores. Sorry, Borders!