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New Offerings from ETS – Changes in the GRE to Pay Attention to in 2012

Yesterday ETS made some important announcements regarding score submissions. During a Q&A session that followed, it also discussed the release of some new products that many GRE aspirants will be interested in.

Official Guide 2nd Edition

Coming this August to a local bookstore near you (of which there are precious few) is The Official Guide for the revised GRE test. Though ETS is mum on just how many new questions the book contains, a CD-ROM offering an update to the PowerPrep test is included.

I hope that ETS includes a decent number of fresh questions, instead of recycling most of them (for those who are also studying for the GMAT, you may notice that this lack of fresh question is exactly what the 13th Edition Official Guide tried to pull off).

Fresh question should give us more insight to how the GRE has changed, and how it may probably change in the future. My guess, mainly based on student feedback, is that the content on the verbal section especially is different from that in the current Official Guide. Reading passages tend to be more convoluted; Text Completions run for as many as six sentences.


Updated PowerPrep II

The updated PowerPrep II software will be released in Aug. 2012, along with the Official Guide. The good news is the test will contain two tests. If one of those tests is the existing GRE test, ETS is not divulging (at least to the best of my knowledge).

The new PowerPrep software will not indicate the level of difficulty of each question. However, the test will still be section-adaptive. So after completing the first section you will get either an easy or difficult section. That said, it appears that there are three level of difficulty on the second section for both verbal and math.

While ETS has not explicitly admitted this, it seems, based on fiddling around a bit with the existing PowerPrep test, that there are indeed easy, medium and difficult sections.

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6 Responses to New Offerings from ETS – Changes in the GRE to Pay Attention to in 2012

  1. Aparna May 18, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    Any idea when the book will be released? First week of August or mid August?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Aparna,

      Actually, I am not sure…but I will keep everyone posted as soon as I find out :).

  2. Pemdas@BTG May 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    I cannot say much about RGRE, but from I what have experienced in Kaplan’s MST – my first trial on that – there were three quant sections too. The first one I killed, the second I did my best on and was hoping the practice test won’t give me un-scored section like in real exam. Then the third quant section came and I just relaxed hoping that this must be experimental one. What was my surprise to learn that the third section adapted by Kaplan’s was not un-scored but pooled into my score. The third section was if not strange at least weird and I thought this must be experimental one, and it was not. The questions in the third section required my operating with logic and not pure math, the questions required me to think and not calculate, they were placed in strange order, like geometry followed by complex probability, etc. Eventually, it came to the end with score 168 in math, but I need to work further in the verbal section as I have much improvement avenue here.

    I guess the RGRE will be the same, it will trick or lure us into thinking that we have experimental section to do, while in fact this will be scored section.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

      Hi Pemdas,

      I wouldn’t necessarily trust Kaplan’s test to serve as a guidepost for the actual test. I find that often students make such a game out of trying to guess which section is the experimental one that they lose focus of the greater goal: doing as well as you can on each question.

      Nonetheless, thanks for the insights from the Kaplan test :).

  3. mapi May 8, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I agree it’s time for some new stuff because in my offical test last week I had an experimental quant section with 90% of question types that I never saw before.
    The bad thing was that this was my first section and I had some trouble with this and I got a bit nervous, but also in the “normal” section I saw some new types of questions.

    One more question, do you recommend the GMAT Quant section for preparation?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 8, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Hi Markus,

      That’s very interesting! Of course I know you are not able to share any more details. But when you say ‘new question types’ do you mean something on the scale of 4-blank Text Completions with five answers each, or do you simply mean concepts that you did not see covered in any of the practice materials?

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