Guest Author - D. Lynn Byrne, Ph.D.
The GRE, bane of many graduate students to be across the world, may be changing. Rumor has it that the test may be altered so that its more predictive of graduate student performance. Why are they changing a test that's been the gold-standard for many graduate departments for so long? It may have something to do with the fact that Thompson Prometrics, the company that administered the GRE--among other exams--has recently been purchased by ETS (the same people who have made undergraduate life so wonderful with the new and improved SAT).
Changes, if any, won't be effective immediately. The ETS buyout of Thompson Prometrics was rather costly and changes to the compter based GRE could get rather expensive, especially if they tried to make the changes applicable for Fall 08. Or at least that's what the latest news articles seem to indicate. But ETS appears to have some lofty goals for the future.
Some of the rumors flying across the academic mall include making the test longer--though at 2.5 - 4 hours, I'd say the test is already rather lengthy. Rumor also has it that ETS has plans to make the test cheat resistant, by creating multiple versions of the exam. As to how ETS plans to make the test a better measure of anticipated performance, the rumor mill is pretty quiet. But, it apparently has something to do with making the exam more analytical. GMAT anyone?
Again, whether ETS will really change the GRE or not is still very much fodder for the old rumor mill. What graduate students to be do need to take away from today's article is that change will not impact Fall 2007, Spring 2008 or even Fall 2008 exams. What ETS will do to or with this exam in the future... well, that's a story for yet another day.
For those of you about to take, or re-take, this exam, take a look at GRE: The Official Guide from ETS. This study guide is written by the purveyors of the exam. Its nothing fancy--strictly paper--but it more than does the trick.
Until next time!