We have posted few blog posts comparing New GRE vs Old GRE. Also, we had heated discussion on why New GRE Exam will be tough. Today, you are going to learn more reason why New GRE will be Tough Nut to crack.
After reading this blog post, please fell free to form your opinion, but I guess you will fall under one of following category
- Glad I decided to take GRE in current format
- I was planning to take New GRE, but looks like I have to take GRE before Aug 1, 2011
- I still feel that New GRE is the way to go.
Please post your comments and opinion about the reason presented in this blog post abut New GRE.
GRE in 2002
Lets go back to 2002 and recollect what happened to GRE test. I’m sure very few readers here will know what happened to GRE Test in 2002/2003.
- Computer Based GRE was not offered due to security breach
- ETS canceled Computer based GRE in China, Hong Kong and offered Split GRE Test.
ETS Press Release
Princeton, N.J. (Aug. 26, 2002) –An investigation revealing improper sharing of questions from the GRE Computer Science Subject Test by students in China, including Hong Kong, and India has resulted in the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Board instructing ETS to cancel administration of the test in these countries and limit administration worldwide.
The security breach is similar to one recently announced that forced the temporary suspension of the computer-based GRE General Test in parts of Asia. As a result of this latest breach, which also involved students illegally sharing memorized questions over the Internet, the GRE Board and ETS have announced that:
the November 2002 administration of the GRE Computer Science Test has been cancelled worldwide, the Computer Science Test will only be administered in December 2002, unlike prior years, there will be no April 2003 Computer Science Test administration, worldwide,the GRE Computer Science Test will not be administered in India and China, including Hong Kong, in the 2002-03 testing year.
This According to the ETS, significant numbers of questions from the GRE Computer Science Subject Test have been illegally revealed to test takers in recent months despite students signing an agreement they would not share questions from the test.
“If we continue to offer this test in these countries where our investigation has revealed students immediately post test questions on the Internet, it will threaten the usefulness of the test both for U.S. graduate admission officers and students worldwide,” said Carole Beere, chair of the GRE Board. “From a fairness standpoint, this is the only action that will allow the large proportion of Computer Science examinees in other countries to demonstrate their capabilities for admissions committees.”
In 2002, there were 862 Computer Science test takers in China, including Hong Kong, and 388 in India. The GRE Board is not permanently withdrawing the Computer Science Test in these countries, according to Beere. It is expected that the Computer Science Test will be offered again in China, including Hong Kong, and India in the fall of 2003.
” The GRE Board regrets having to take this action which is absolutely not an indictment of all Chinese and Indian students. Rather, it is a result of the need to protect the integrity and future usefulness of the Computer Science Test against the unethical actions of a minority of test takers in both countries. Applicants to graduate programs in computer science from those countries are urged to highlight their other key credentials like grade point average in relevant courses, work experience, and letters of recommendation.”
Persons who registered to take the Computer Science Test in India or China in the 2002-03 testing year will be sent a full refund of their test fee. Individuals in other areas of the world who registered to take the test in November will have their registrations automatically transferred to the December administration. Those who prefer not to transfer can obtain a full refund of their test fee by contacting ETS using e-mail at http://www.gre.org/email.html or by calling 1-609-771-7670.
Article in CNN
PRINCETON, New Jersey (AP) — Computer-based versions of the Graduate Record Examination will be suspended in four Asian countries after a yearlong investigation uncovered Asian-language Web sites with answers to the test.
Current and past questions from the graduate admissions exam were illegally obtained by test takers and displayed on Web sites based in China and Korea, according to the Educational Testing Service, which administers the test.
The investigation found that the average verbal scores in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea had risen significantly. Test officials attribute the rise to the Web sites, which were written in Chinese and Korean.
“We looked at score changes in 40 countries and noticed a significant rise in only these countries,” said Carole A. Beere, the chairwoman of the GRE board.
Only the paper version of the GRE General Test will be available in the four countries on the next two testing dates: November 23, 2002, and March 15, 2003. The change is expected to affect more than 55,000 students each year.
ETS would not reveal when the answers were posted on the Internet nor when it noticed scores increasing.
This”Every year we’d get someone from China who had high verbal scores on the GRE then had little or no knowledge of English when he got to the classroom,” added Howard Lijestrand, graduate adviser at the University of Texas.
Bob Schaeffer of Fair Test, which monitors standardized testing, is pleased the computer version of test will be suspended in the four countries. But he said it is only a matter of time before U.S. applicants find out about the Web sites.
The GRE is taken annually by more than 400,000 applicants to graduate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences and engineering.
GRE in 2010/2011
Still GRE in China, Hong Kong are Paper Based Test + Analytical Writing is Computer Based.
- In Paper based GRE format, ETS can frame new questions every time GRE Test is offered.
Now, lets reverse engineer the GRE Test process and reasons given by ETS to cancel computer based GRE Test.
- Students post GRE test questions in forums and websites after taking the test.
- Students from China had high Verbal Score with little or no knowledge of English
- Which implies students were able to use the questions posted to improve their score.
Above scenarios suggests the following can be true
- ETS restricts students from taking GRE more than once per month
- So, we can assume same questions might be repeated within the calendar month (or even after that)
- Without questions being repeated in GRE test, questions posted in websites will not help improve Verbal scores.
Types of GRE Verbal questions
Lets continue to reverse engineer the process.
GRE Exam is multiple choice based exam.. So, its easy to post GRE Verbal Words, synonyms and antonyms. When you complete GRE, its should be possible to remember atleast few verbal words and questions types.
When multiple test takers post questions they remember, then its possible to form a huge database of questions. Other test takers can read those questions, which would result in high Verbal Score.
How can someone remember Reading Comprehension passage and post them?
Why New GRE will be Tough
Did you understand the logic applied to high verbal scores so far?
This is what ETS has to say about New GRE Verbal Section
- Antonyms and analogies have been removed from the test, so there are no questions that test vocabulary out of context.
- New Text Completion questions test your ability to interpret, evaluate and reason from what you’ve read. Text Completion questions test this ability by omitting crucial words from short passages, requiring you to fill them in by selecting words or phrases.
- New Sentence Equivalence questions test your ability to reach a conclusion about how a sentence should be completed while focusing on the meaning of the whole sentence.
- There are more Reading Comprehension questions on the test, including new types of questions, such as selecting multiple correct answer choices instead of just one, or highlighting a sentence within a reading passage to answer the question.
Essentially, ETS have eliminated the way to share and post questions from Verbal section.
Key to above questions types is MORE Reading Comprehension questions.
Is it possible to post an entire RC passage in a forum? It doesn’t matter if the website is in Chinese or any other languages.
Over period of time, one can collect verbal words that will be appear within RC’s and other question types. Since the question types will be reasoning based, its tough nut to crack New GRE question types.
You might go to forum, collect all the words, but words have different meaning based on context they are used.
Now, you have read one more reason why New GRE will be tough. This information might not sound logical and some of you might agree to it 100%. Even if you agree or don’t agree, please share your thoughts about the reverse engineered logic to why New GRE will Tough compared to current format.