Revised GRE Scoring – Multi Stage Test vs CAT

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Revised GRE Scoring is explained in this blog post.

ETS started offering Revised GRE from August 1, 2011. GRE test offered today is Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). Revised GRE is variant of CAT and its called Multi Stage Test (MST).

Information you are going to learn here today about Revised GRE scoring is something new and most likely this is the first time you will be reading in any blogs or forums.

Revised GRE Scoring Scale

Three scores are reported on the GRE revised Test:

  • Verbal Reasoning score – 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  • Quantitative Reasoning score – 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  • Analytical Writing score – 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments

GRE is Computer Adaptive Test

In CAT, test questions appear based on his or her responses to previous question in a way that targets and maximizes the precision of the estimate of the test takers ability.

Advantages of CAT

Offers a shorter test (time and number of questions) since questions that are too easy or too difficult for a test takers are not administered, unless an item is needed to satisfy some content specification or to avoid overexposure of another item. This “tailoring” of questions to a test takers ability leads to adaptive tests.

Disadvantages of CAT

  1. Test Taker taking a computerized adaptive test are typically not permitted to review their answers to previous questions.
  2. Number of questions exposed in a computerized adaptive test is quite high.
  3. Millions of different test forms are possible from a single item pool and it is, therefore, not feasible for people to review every test form for quality assurance purposes.

Revised GRE Scoring – Multi stage Test (MST)

  1. MST is a compromise between Paper based test and  CAT.
  2. MST is a special case of CAT that allows for item review, reduces the number of items exposed and still maintains all of the advantages of a test delivered via the computer.

Revised GRE Scoring Explained

We have discussed about New GRE Scoring in previous blog post. By know you know that New GRE has 2 sections for GRE Verbal and Quantitative.

Each section is considered as one stage.

First Section is Stage 1 (or called as Routing Stage).

Depending on your performance, the test taker is routed to one of several alternative second-stage tests, each of which consists of a fixed set of questions and differs on average difficulty.

Since its Multi-Stage Test and New GRE has 2 sections. There will be different levels within each stage.

GRE Sections – Stage and Level

Section 1 and Sections 2  will contain 3 levels of questions

  1. Easy
  2. Moderate
  3. Difficult

Moderately difficult level of questions will be given to test takers in Section 1. Based on your performance you will get one of 3 levels in section 2.

  • Score 165 in Section 1, then you will be routed to Difficult Level in Section 2.
  • If you score 135 then you will be routed to Easy Stage 2

Another variation can be

  • Stage 1: Moderately Difficult
  • Stage 2: Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Difficult and Very Difficult

Why Revised GRE is Tough

Now, you have an understanding how how Revised GRE Scoring works, red this to see What makes New GRE Hard Nut to Crack?

In CAT – First few questions determine your score range. You have seen examples of test takers scoring 750+ with several incorrect questions in second part of the test.

In MST – If you got high score in Section 1, you entire set of questions in Section 2 will be under Difficult (or very difficult) category.

Lets say ETS have designed 160 to 170 score range will be considered as Very Difficult Section. All questions in Section 2 will be very difficult. Based on your performance yout score will be determined to be between 160 to 170.

Revised GRE Scoring Accuracy

ETS will collect a statistically significant sample size of test takers to ensure score accuracy of the new GRE test. GRE  test takers who take the exam in August, September or October won’t receive their official scores back until November. In other words, you’ll wait up to 3 months for your official scores.

How I scored 317 in GRE (Video Interview)

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