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GRE : Frequently Asked Questions

GRE » Frequestly Asked Questions

  1. When are scores reported?
    Answer :

    If you take the computer-based General Test, you can view your unofficial verbal and quantitative scores at the test center; however, because of the essay scoring process, you will not be able to view your analytical writing scores at that time. Verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores on the computer-based General Test will be sent to you and the institutions you designate within 10 to 15 days of your test administration.

    If you take the paper-based General Test, you will not view any scores at the test center. Verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores on the paper-based General Test will be sent to you and the institutions you designate within 4 to 6 weeks of your test administration.

  2. Should the analytical writing score be combined with the verbal and quantitative scores?
    Answer :

    The GRE Program does not recommend combining the scores on any of the General Test sections. Each section should be considered separately because it provides insight into a different aspect of your abilities.

    My native language is not English. How does the GRE Program recommend that departments interpret my analytical writing score?

    If your native language is not English (ESL) and you do not understand the task posed to you, your performance on all three sections of the General Test will be affected. The GRE Program advises score users to consider a variety of pieces of information about ESL applicants, including TOEFL and TWE scores, to determine whether these students would be able to meet the department's requirements.

  3. How can we know that the analytical writing section is fair for all examinees, including groups that are underrepresented in graduate school?
    Answer :

    The GRE Board has long been concerned that examinee groups not be disadvantaged by any major changes in the General Test. In response to that concern, extensive analyses of group differences in the Writing Assessment were performed before the test became operational in October 1999. These analyses have since been supplemented by data from those who have taken the Writing Assessment as an operational test, and by data from a special research study conducted in April 2001.

    The findings from each of these data sources indicate that there is less difference in the scores of men and women on the Writing Assessment than on the multiple-choice measures. The differences between African American and White examinees and between Hispanic and White examinees are also smaller on the Writing Assessment than on the multiple-choice measures. The difference between Asian American and White examinees is about the same as the difference on the verbal and analytical sections. (Asian American examinees outscore White examinees on the quantitative section.)

  4. How can we know that the analytical writing section is fair for examinees whose native language is not English?
    Answer :

    Test takers whose native language is not English (ESL) naturally find the analytical writing section more challenging, on average, than do native speakers of English. Steps have already been taken to ensure that these performance differences are not due to differences in the cross-cultural accessibility of the topics.

    Special fairness reviews occur for all topics to ensure that the content and tasks are clear and accessible for all groups of test takers, including ESL students. In addition, scorers are trained to focus on the analytical logic of the essay responses more than on spelling, grammar, or syntax. The mechanics of writing are weighed in their ratings only to the extent that these impede clarity of meaning. The analytical writing section taps into different skills than the multiple-choice measures so it may not be surprising that the performance of ESL examinees differs on this section.

    In addition, since graduate school faculty have indicated that analytical writing is an important component of work in most graduate schools, the inclusion of the analytical writing section should increase the validity of the General Test.

  5. How can test takers be compared if the test is tailored to the individual?
    Answer :

    Each computer-based test meets established specifications, including the types of questions asked and the subject matter presented. The statistical characteristics of the questions answered correctly and incorrectly, including the difficulty levels, are taken into account in the calculation of scores. Therefore, it is appropriate to compare scores of different test takers even though they received different questions.

  6. Are computer-based scores comparable to scores earned on the paper-based test?
    Answer :

    Yes. ETS has conducted research studies indicating that these scores are comparable.

  7. Do I need to computer literate?
    Answer :

    No. You can take the test even if you have little or no previous computer experience. The test requires only basic computer skills, and these are covered in the hands-on tutorial you must complete before beginning the official timed test. The tutorial is included in GRE POWERPREP software that will be sent to you when you register. The tutorial will let you try out the functions of the computer (e.g., mouse, scrollbar) that you will need to use during the test.

  8. What is the test fee?
    Answer :

    The test fee will be U.S. $175, which is U.S. $35 more than the current foreign test fee to cover additional costs for a split-test administration. The candidate will pay for the entire test at the time he/she registers to take the Analytical Writing section.

  9. How do you register for GRE General Test in these regions?
    Answer :

    The candidate should schedule an appointment for the CBT Analytical Writing measure through the Prometric Regional Registration Center.

  10. How do test takers schedule their Verbal and Quantitative testing appointments?
    Answer :

    At the Analytical Writing session, the candidate will complete the Background Information Questions, select score recipients, and select a paper-based test center. Once the candidate takes the Analytical Writing section and test data are transmitted to ETS, a registration number and admission ticket for the paper-based administration of the Verbal and Quantitative measures will be generated and mailed to the candidate.
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