What are the new features in revised GRE?

After a lot of discussions, research and deliberations on modification of the GRE format since 2008, finally ETS has modified the format of GRE and it is now called as revised GRE. In this article you will find all the new features introduced in the revised GRE test.

Availability of Calculator in revised GRE
For the quantitative reasoning section, a calculator is now available for the benefit of the test takers. Basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can be implemented by the revised GRE test takers. The availability of a calculator is the most positive step taken by the ETS which has brought a smile on the revised GRE test takers face. Some of the reasons why a calculator has been introduced in the revised GRE Quantitative section are as below: 
  • More practical values which can be in the decimal form
  • Introduction of statistical analysis questions which require a calculator
  • Revised GRE Quantitative section time can be reduced with the introduction of a calculator
  • A better alternative to GMAT for B-schools, as GMAT still doesn’t use a calculator.
  • New question types in revised GRE quantitative section will require a calculator. For example, a new question type in which values need to be inserted in a blank box by the test taker requires the use of calculator. The answers in these questions are expected to be of decimal value.

User friendly features in the online revised GRE test

In the old GRE, the test taker did not have the facility to skip a question, browse through the questions, mark and come back to the question, so on and so forth. Once a question is displayed on the screen, the test taker had to answer the question before moving on to the next question and the difficulty level of the next question was based on the correct answer given to this question. To solve all these problems of the GRE test taker, ETS has introduced a lot of user friendly features which will help the test taker get a better exam taking experience. The features are:
  • The revised GRE test taker can now skip through the questions in a particular section.
  • One can mark the question and come back to it later in revised GRE 
  • One can go to any question in a particular section of the revised GRE through a question list. So, if you have missed any question, you can simply click on that question to answer it.
  • Introduction of new buttons in the revised GRE User Interface- mark, review, back, next and calc. All these buttons are new features in the revised GRE and are added to make the revised GRE test taking experience more user-friendly and convenient.
  • Editing of the answers is now possible. You can modify your answer if you find later that it is incorrect.
  • Revised GRE is now section level adaptive. Hence questions in an entire section will not be dependent on the answers to the questions in that section. Irrespective of the correct or incorrect answers, the questions in an entire section will remain of a particular difficulty level

Revised GRE is no longer question based adaptive but it is section level adaptive

GRE is an adaptive exam in which the difficulty level of the questions is based on the correct or incorrect answer to the previous question. Suppose if you answer incorrectly, the difficulty level of the next question will be lower, but your score for that question will also be lower. Similarly, if your answer to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is higher giving you higher score.

But in the revised GRE this adaptive nature based on every question is completely removed. Now the adaptive nature is introduced with respect to every section. So, the revise GRE is section level adaptive. All the answers to a section (quantitative or verbal) are measured and a raw score is calculated based on the correct or incorrect answers. This raw score is used to decide the difficulty level of the questions in the next section (quantitative or verbal). The raw score of quantitative section is used to decide the difficulty of quantitative section and raw score of verbal section is used to decide the difficulty of verbal section. 

New question types in Verbal Reasoning of revised GRE
In the revised GRE, new question types are introduced in the verbal reasoning section. The new question types are as follows:
  • Sentence Equivalence Questions
  • Text Completion Questions
The main reason for this change in question types is to make the questions more in line with the use of English language in day to day scenario and daily conversations. In the old GRE, the questions like antonyms and text equivalence were heavily dependent on the vocabulary. It tested the knowledge of students with respect to unheard words in the English language. As a result students had to mug up long list of English words. But this has been changed in the new format. The new format includes questions like Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion. Although these questions test the vocabulary, they are more analytical questions. Also Reading Comprehension questions are increased considerably. The passages asked are also increased in the revised GRE.

New question types in Quantitative Reasoning of revised GRE
In the revised GRE, new question types are introduced in the quantitative reasoning section. The new question types are as follows:
  • Statistical and Distribution questions
  • Graphical representation questions
The inclusion of calculator has brought about the leverage of increasing the difficulty level of the Quantitative section of the revised GRE. Hence the questions such as Statistical and Distribution questions are introduced in the revised GRE. Similarly graphical representation questions which were earlier part of the data interpretation questions in the old GRE are also included in the revised GRE.

New scoring system for Revised GRE
The score scale of GRE was initially 200-800 in both quantitative as well as verbal reasoning. This has been now modified into a lesser 140-170 score scale for both sections. For a detailed scoring system of revised GRE click on Revised GRE scoring system