Happy Schools Blog is Spreading Panic About New GRE?

Raghuram Sukumar GRE 23 Comments

One of HSB fan has made a point to comment in every article in this blog about Revised GRE 2011 and here is one of his latest comment

Pankaj Says

Don’t believe everything that HSB tells you regarding the new GRE being more difficult than the old GRE.
HSB is unnecessarily spreading panic among GRE test takers.

New GRE has some very good advantages. Contact ETS directly and they will tell you why new GRE is better than old GRE.

You can follow some heated comments exchange between HSB, Pankaj and Others at Take GRE in Current Format. In addition to comments I have posted in above link, I wanted to clarify my view towards Revised GRE.

Current vs Revised GRE

  • Does Revised GRE is better than Current GRE format? Yes, that’s what ETS says and that why GRE format is being modified.
  • 3,004,891 students took GRE in current format (with analytical writing) between 2003 to 2008
  • That’s 3 Million Students (I repeat)
  • Universities have admitted students using the current score for several year now.
  • From Aug 1, 2011 GRE test takers don’t have a choice, only Revised format will be offered.
  • Students have to worry about is getting high score.
  • When you choice between current GRE and revised Exam, you have to make a decision.
  • Why does a student have to care about Revised GRE’s advantages compared to current format?
    • “Revised GRE is better so they have to take it” What about 3+ Million students?
    • What about several million students who took in  GRE so far?
  • Students have to spend their energy on getting high GRE score.
  • Let ETS and colleges worry about GRE format and their advantages and disadvantages
  • As a student you have to worry about finding which is the best way to get high score.
  • I repeat – Current GRE is your best bet to high score.
  • Students from India find it difficult to get high score in GRE Verbal Section
  • Even with good memory skills, you cannot get away with Reading Comprehension (agree?)
  • Revised GRE will have more Reading Comprehension, which makes it tough to get high score.
  • So, as a student you worry about getting high score.
  • Current GRE format is the way to go.

Do you agree to my view? Am I trying to create a panic about Revised GRE?



    1. Hey, this is Shawn Parsons, and I have read on a website that starting in August 2011, the new GRE will become optional and it will then become mandatory three months later in November. I also have read that if you want to take the “old” GRE, make sure to do so by October, 2011. I have been studying for the old GRE up until this time and was determined to take the old GRE. I do no know anything about the new GRE and haven’t studied for it. So I was wondering could you all find ways for me take the old GRE paper-based test between know and November. I was also determined to score 1500 points on the old GRE and I want the to be given the opportunity to do that on the old GRE. I don’t want to lose that opportunity. So please help on that. ETS should give students the option to take either the current GRE or the New GRE for time being or better yet ETS should keep the GRE in the current format for time being. Thanks and have a good one.

  1. Hey, just relax guys,,,, The new power prep is out anyway. so any of em whose gonna take the GRE test can check out both the test patterns & make up a decision according to their choice.

  2. Dear all,

    I Guess this blog is not meant for critics its the place to share things and HSB is just helping us with that. And guys remember the experiences shared by many people over here thats the greatness of this blog so please stop criticizing HSB!!!

  3. ya good analysis, but in my point of view i tend to choose the current GRE pattern to succeed, then after i am now a Btech student planning to write GRE before August of next year as the pattern is going to change>>> i think my score would increase by choosing the current GRE pattern. As i am a fresher to this blog if at all any interested followers….. pls send your valuable suggessions to me via e-mail about the appoach towards my GRE exam.


  4. I know you think HSB is just informing us and we have to make up our own minds. That part is fine with me, but that is not all HSB is doing.

    HSB is presenting the facts of both gre formats in a partial manner. You can make out from the comments that HSB is biased against the new format. Being a popular blog admin, HSB should realise that many followers of this blog may be confused and undecided, and so they will take his opinion as the truth.

    HSB keeps harping on the fact that we "should take the current GRE now". That "we should rush, or seats will be full".

    The GRE testing system is not made to accomodate all test takers of the next 5 years within a span of 10 months. Such things should be kept in mind as it affects the cycle of number of students going into the system, and number of students coming out of the system. I would have expected more responsible statements and advice from the admin of a blog. However, statements and advice from HSB have been irresponsible at best.

    HSB has advised that even 1st year engineering students should rush and take the GRE in its current format. Now that sets the whole system for a tip over. What do you think will happen if all students, from all 4 years of engineering and all 3 years of sceince and humanities were to give their GRE in current format within the next 10 months? Are there even that many number of seats for GRE testing. Students who are applying after 2012, please be considerate and let your seniors give their GRE, else the year after, those seniors who could not take their GRE will be competing with you for admissions and having one year of experience over you. This could be devastating for your admissions as well as theirs. In 2011 and 2012 colleges may not get enough potential applicants since many did not get a seat for the GRE test as the seats were overbooked by 1st year and 2nd year students who not going to apply for next 1 or 2 years. The years after that, there will be a huge flood of applications from all parties, leading to more mistakes and delays in application reviews, admissions decisions and visa interviews. Did HSB realise his advice might delay visa interviews of many candidates 2 years from now? We all know a delay in visa interview could be devastating.

    To back up my earlier posts regarding the staleness of a GRE score passed 2 years, I recall a question being asked in a seminar at the USIEF library in Kolkata. I am sure they will be more knowledgeable than HSB in these matters, because it is what they do and what they specialize in. Their info is practically from the horse's mouth, since they regularly go to the US and meet admissions commitees. They not only focus on providing correct and accurate information to all interested applicants to the US, but they also try to find out information which can improve your applications and give you an edge over others. Their word is official, while HSB's is just an opinion, or a rumour maybe.

    At the seminar, when a student asked if the GRE score would be valid for 5 years, this was the reply he received.

    "A GRE score is valid for 5 years, but good schools look for scores which are not more than 2 years old."

    The USIEF seminar holder may not like to be quoted on this (since it may be against ETS rules), but then again, admission decisions in US colleges are also not on-record, and cannot be scrutinized by ETS or by you. If admissions commitees regard your GRE score as valid but stale, they will never tell you so and you will never be the wiser. However, it WILL affect your admissions.

    In other words, HSB is providing accurate but biased details, while USIEF provides not only accurate information but also advice to give you an extra edge and allow you to give your best shot.

    In the ETS site it says that the new GRE will prove to admissions commitees, More ACCURATELY, your abilities to pursue and complete the course you have applied for.

    Lastly, though the old GRE is a devil you know and the new GRE is a devil you don't know, the advantages in the new GRE can result in very beneficial strategies for test taking. This has not been considered or mentioned by HSB.

    Having taken the Indian CAT PAPER exam earlier, where you can skip questions and come back to them later, I am aware of excellent strategies where that feature can be used to boost your scores. Likewise, this feature of skipping and returning to questions, and other advantageous features of the new format GRE, will result in more effective strategies developed by test prep material and courses to boost scores.

  5. HSB

    GRE is not about sccoring high, it is about percentile. Since the current format encourages higher scores (what with the lowest marks being received to be 400! Basically an attempt at Americanizing a testing system, as with all other systems that exist here), we too look at the test as a placemark for our mnemonic endeavors. However, with the new GRE format coming in vehemently and invariably, the maximum possible score would be less and consequently so will the achieved scores of test takers. But again the criteria for graduate admissions (as far as the GRE is concerned) would be the percentiles on the three sections.

    Since people now score really high (which in current stipulations isn't too difficult), we just look at 1300+ etc to be good scores. Essentially though, the percentile mark for a 1300 score is still in the mid-80s. With the new system, the overall scores would invariably reduce in quantum, but the percentile would not be affected. Kindly try to look at things with this perspective, and not pass a judgment all to quickly.


  6. Dear all,

    I think HSB is trying to present all abouts of GRE current vs revised. It's up to the reader to agree or disagree with the opinion, coz ideas are being posted on the blog to help students get as much information as possible…….nothing else, I presume. Personally I'd love to read and learnt a lot about US education system and necessity of strong test results to get admission. We shall take this issue just like that be informed, know the difference, read ppls opinion and then readers should talk to themselves.

    Keep the good work dear HSB Admin, but there is no guarantee that all readers would agree with your opinions.


  7. Please stop this…why are you actuating people to write the present one and not the revised one…its an individual choice and you are acting nonprofessional in this matter…don't create fear in the minds of people…i had high impression about this site…now its lost.

    1. In what way do you think what I suggested is non-professional? I have given my view on both formats and stated the facts why current GRE is better. It's up to you (readers) to decide which is best.

    2. dude….if someone's trying to help you, please appreciate their efforts and the time the y are investing in this…I think HSB has a good point in saying that try the old gre and if you find it difficult then try the new one…but if you dont give the old gre and find the new format tough then you can, in no ways return to the old format….This is the simple point that HSB is trying to make..And as far as non-professionalism is concerned, this is one of the most helpful sites that I have come across in terms of people's experience…

  8. Hello everyone,

    As far as revised GRE is concerned, I would like to say that it is better to be safe than sorry. HSB has made some very logical and valid points. We can't say anything about the pattern unless we see many people giving the exam and providing their feedbacks. So, why risk a good chance to earn a good score before the pattern is changed?

  9. Hello everyone And HSB Admin ,

    Can any one please suggest me some universities in and around Chicago for my Profile .

    I finished my Bachelors in Industrial production Engineering with 74% Aggregate without Back logs . but now i want to do my masters in Management in Information security

    My Gre Score : 1000 ( Q-640,V-360, AWA-2.5)

    Toefl- 93

    Please do me this favour iam in dead need of universities list from chicago state

    1. hai santhosh,
      i am gland to meet u on site if you're free pls post some tips upon GRE exam to my mail.Pls became i am planning to attempt GRE this time and it is my first task. pls keep in touch

  10. @HSB: I completely agree with you, and also those who are opposing it must keep it in mind that RCs are tough to handle especially like those that come in GRE, that too in a very short time.

  11. I had initially made a comment in HSB's original post about taking the revised version of GRE and i stick to that. I say that this is a personal opinion of HSB and agreeing with it or not is upto those who read it. I still would say GRE in its old format is the best bet for students who are going to take the test. Why step into unclear waters by taking the new pattern when you know what lays ahead in the old one and you have option of taking it. . That is why i think HSB said those who are planning to take might as well take it before next august 2011 cuz you still have about 10 months to go for it and that might be enough time for preparing for the old GRE. HSB has also a very valid point in saying that students should not be the one who worry about the advantages and disadvantages of the new and the current pattern. I think it should be ETS and the univs. Also if you take GRE now that score is still going to be valid for 5 years. So why go into a unknown path when there is a trusted one. Of course this is not spreading of panic or anything just a piece of thought. And i certainly don't agree with Pankaj when he says we ought to ask ETS about the merits and demerits of the new and old pattern. ETS is a commercial organization and GRE is their product. I don't think they would want to highlight the negatives of their product that too a new one. The only way you can really find out how different the new pattern is going to be is from personal experience and taking GRE is gonna affect one's future. So i don't think one would want to experiment in that. And of course all of this is my personal opinion and am not supporting HSB or belittling any one else.


  12. Pankaj, I agree your point that we should not believe everything that pops up on this blog. But it is up to your perspective how you see it. Try to understand what HSB is trying to say, it is emphasizing the fact that GRE aspirants cannot get the avail of current format after Aug 2011, so better to take the test before that. However, they will be having the chance to experience the new format right?

    And every human being is well equiped enough to make his/her own decisions at the end of the day, they will decide when they have to give the GRE.

    HSB is a very good blog,very informative, he is just listing out the positives and negatives of both. I don's see any provocative message in that. If you feel NEW pattern is gonno be easier,just list out and highlight the same as HSB has done. We should not criticize one's good work.

    I feel HSB team is doing good job, i congratulate those pals on same. Keep up the good work buddies:)

  13. HI!

    My view is, " What ever the format of GRE ,you can only do two things"

    1) sharpen your skill, ETS tests only you Skills.

    2) Clear off the illusion that mastering "how to answer a kind of question type will help you with out actually leaning "REAL SKILL needed"

    I can explain why…. that would be lengthy…

    A small hint to focus..


    1) Learn Words meanings, & their contexts

    2) Try to use them for perfection.

    3) Do try to solve as many Quant questions ( Any format ) as you can in less time.

    4) Brush up all your Basic Math

    Do Not's:

    1) Dont waste Much time in trying to solve many Verbal Questions (it wont help except in RC, SC )

    2) Dont think that question format matters you the most ( in fact there is no big formats. silly Antonyms, Analogies RC and SC. They all are basics..)

    3) Dont try to psychoanalyze the GRE CAT, like first questions matters most and last questions are less important, that only applies to a minimum level. ( Students tend to waste time on the first half and failing to answer correctly in the last questions due to insufficient time, mainly on Verbal part, it is counterproductive)

  14. yes its true the GRE is saying but only prediction by HSB that the format will be good or bad is just uneccesary creating commotion created in readers.Did Administrator have tested new format ???? if not then he can't say it whether its good or bad let the your opinion not effect the many who are planning to give the exam in august.If just on scoring system change the administrator have decided the old is too better its just a faulty assumption i Guess.


  15. Well it is limpid that the current GRE format is the best bet to score high. Though quants section will have some advantages, the verbal section is going to be tough, thats for sure as Reading comprehension is more time consuming and difficult compared to antonyms and analogies.Its one`s own perspective to consider giving the test in format they are comfortable with but those preparing for admission in fall 2011-2012 and afterwards should take the test in current GRE format as for spring 2011, will take test in current format only.I have already given GRE once 20 days back got a bad score (1000)but I`m more confident in the current format and i will take it again within a month. So guys HSB is always student friendly,they advise because they have experience,dont be hasty ,think about it review the format and then decide.

  16. No not at all…you are doing a great job by illuminating people about the pros and cons of the format GRE.He is just suggesting and the final decision should be made by the person taking the exam.Whatever way you have to work hard to get high scores in GRE.

    And yes I definitely agree with HSB.RC's are a tough nut to crack and there will be more RC's in new format.In solving them you have to go through the vocabulary bank because you need to know the meaning of a word to read and understand it's usage in RC.

    So what happens in new format is you are doing the same hard job without being able to apply them directly to solve antonyms or analogies.

  17. HSB is an independent blog with no affiliation to US Universities or ETS. So whoever reads these articles should conclude that the details presented here are based on inputs from students of the previous batch and some people who work in US schools.

    HSB prepared an article on the New GRE format based on inputs from some people. Feel free to apply your own discretion to the post. If you believe he is wrong, politely disagree with him. Calling HSB as spreading panic is extreme measures.

    Whenever a new format is introduced there is always certain uncertainity involved in terms of what can be expected on the test. Think about TOEFL CBT to iBT. After sometime it would be fine.

    I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig taking the introductory test. I would rather take the test now or wait for a couple of months after introduction of new format.

    This is my personal opinion.

    – Jack

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