Here’s an Easy Way Identify New GRE Research and Unscored Section

Raghuram Sukumar GRE 22 Comments

Is it possible to identify the research section in New GRE?

Yes, I think is possible to identify the research section in New GRE Exam.

Identifying research section can be split into two folds.

  1. Identify with section will be research section (Verbal or Quantitative)
  2. Identifying which one of the 3 section within Verbal or Quantitative section is research section.

After reading several New GRE experience,there is a pattern that emerged that can be used to identify Part 1 (above)

New GRE Test Structure

Structure of the Computer-based Test

MeasureNumber of QuestionsAllotted Time
Analytical Writing
(One section with two separately timed tasks)
One “Analyze an Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task30 minutes per task
Verbal Reasoning
(Two sections)
Approximately 20 questions per section30 minutes per section
Quantitative Reasoning
(Two sections)
Approximately 20 questions per section35 minutes per section
Unscored¹VariesVaries
Research²VariesVaries

¹An unidentified unscored section may be included and may appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section. It is not counted as part of your score.

²An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it is always at the end of the test.

The Analytical Writing section will always be first, while the other five sections may appear in any order.

New GRE Research – Unscored Section

As you can see first section will always be Analytical Writing. Then there is 5 possible sections.

Of the 5 sections, there can be an Un-scored or Identified Research section.

Thing that would worry any GRE Test taker would be Unscored section.

After looking at New GRE section orders from Test Takers so far who have shared their experiences show one simple fact.

Type of Section that appears next to Analytical Section (Verbal or Quants) could possibly be unscored or identified research section.

For instance consider following examples

  • AWA, Verbal, Quants, Break, Verbal, Quants and Verbal
  • AWA, Quants, Verbal, Break, Quants, Verbal and Quants
  • AWA, AWA, Verbal, Break, Quants, Verbal and Quants
  • AWA, AWA, Quants, Break, Verbal, Quants and Verbal

Update – So, if you get quants after AWA, then you are going to get 3 quants section. one of those 3 will be unscored section.

I’m not saying second section is unscored, I’m saying that you could get 3 sections of same type as second section.

So far all the test takers who have shared their experience had GRE sections in alternating order.

No 2 same sections appeared in succession. Like AWA, Vebal, Verbal, Break, Quants, Verbal, Quants.

Applying the above observation, I concluded that section that appears after the Analytical Writing could be your Unscored or Research section in GRE.

Above observations will not hold true, if the same section appears before and after the break.

Also, I’m not sure if Analytical Writing can appear as experimental section.

Next, would it be possible to identify which of the 3 sections (verbal or quantitative) would be unscored experimental section?

Comments

  1. I gave on aug 30…and i got the order starting with AWA, Quants, Verbal, Break, Quants, Verbal and Quants…but i felt that the  last section quant  is a bit harder…than the remaining…i guess the last section could be the unidentified as the questions that i’ve come thru aren’t the regular ones…

  2. I gave on aug 30…and i got the order starting with AWA, Quants, Verbal, Break, Quants, Verbal and Quants…but i felt that the  last section quant  is a bit harder…than the remaining…i guess the last section could be the unidentified as the questions that i’ve come thru aren’t the regular ones…

  3. I might agree a little bit on this. Most likely what maximum you can guess is that whether the experimental section would be in quant or verbal as I also haven’t heard if anyone got two sections of Verbal/Quant consecutively. So, if you get Verbal after AWA, brace yourself for some more RC reading. But it’s too difficult to guess which one in the order is experimental except if you are pretty good in a section. For ex, if a person is bond in quant and has done first section to his utmost ssatisfaction, s/he can guess to a certain extent if the next quant section is experimental or not.
    On a totally different note, I don’t think you should spend time guessing it 🙂

  4. I might agree a little bit on this. Most likely what maximum you can guess is that whether the experimental section would be in quant or verbal as I also haven’t heard if anyone got two sections of Verbal/Quant consecutively. So, if you get Verbal after AWA, brace yourself for some more RC reading. But it’s too difficult to guess which one in the order is experimental except if you are pretty good in a section. For ex, if a person is bond in quant and has done first section to his utmost ssatisfaction, s/he can guess to a certain extent if the next quant section is experimental or not.
    On a totally different note, I don’t think you should spend time guessing it 🙂

  5. Hi,

    I have been teaching how to crack various tests including the GRE in a reputed Test Prep Company & I can assure you that this is “ABSOLUTE HORSE SHIT” (no offense meant personally to the writer of this stupid post)

    I dare anyone of you who will be taking the GRE to skip the scetion after AWA, based on this post, and confirm that the section after AWA is always the experimental section! You won’t! You will of course attempt all sections – you chicken of a person! Then, why give this ill-advice to the ignorant & confuse them???

    Jeezaloo man! To think that someone would actually appreciate such a load of bull-crap just coz you wasted time reading it! (But of course don’t have the guts to put it into practice)

    PPL, unless ETS says such a thing, you can’t be sure! So, don’t be fooled by such posts!

    Regds,
    Vikram

    1. @Vikram – This post is just a mere observation from new GRE experience shared by test takers. You (and others) have assumed that I have instructed to skip the next section after AWA.
      Can you point out any sentence where I instruct test takers to skip the second section after AWA?

      I see that which sentence could have created the confusion in the post. I have posted an update to make it more clear.

      1. Hello there,
        I totally agree that there is no sentence which indicates “skip the expt section”.
        BUT tell me, what is the point of identifying the experimental section if not to skip? If this is a mere speculation, then you do great injustice by posting it on a forum like this – coz students may depend on info provided by such forums to be very reliable!
        Vikram

        1. Can you send an email using the contact form in the blog. We may be able to work together on my next project.

        2. You’re pretty rude. As a test taker, I personally am just curious to know which one of the sections I took was an experimental one – but I’m done with the test, of course I won’t be planning a way to skip a section – there’s less benefit compared to risk. The author didn’t push any foolish recommendations like that.

    2. Could it be that they score best two out of the three sections. I am thinking so cause I did a math section particular bad and it was the section just after the break. Ye I scored 800

      1. No way! ETS will not be so kind as to ensure that they score the better of the 3 sections! Expt Section is fixed.

  6. No offence but i wonder u had so much time to go thru the experiences and write this stuff but u did not have time to refer to ETS site and figure out that they have said “the AWA section will never come as an unidentified research section”. They say that “if you get an AWA section as an experimental section then it will always be identified”

    It may be the case that no two sections are appearing one after the other but … finally it does not matter as you dont know which one will not be scored. just pray that u get the one you prefer to be the experimental one

    1. yeah I actually did get an experimental AWA section, AFTER the test was over and my results were spewed out. I was asked if I’d “like to take part in a research section for new GRE, blah-blah”. I skipped it 🙂

  7. No offence but i wonder u had so much time to go thru the experiences and write this stuff but u did not have time to refer to ETS site and figure out that they have said “the AWA section will never come as an unidentified research section”. They say that “if you get an AWA section as an experimental section then it will always be identified”

    It may be the case that no two sections are appearing one after the other but … finally it does not matter as you dont know which one will not be scored. just pray that u get the one you prefer to be the experimental one

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