ESL Halts Plans to Revise GRE Test


If getting into a graduate school wasn’t enough stress for the UC Irvine students graduating this June, think about having to deal with a whole new test that even your professors are clueless about.
Luckily, students can drop some of their consternations about testing. After a discussion with the Executive Committee of the Graduate Record Examination board, the Educational Testing Service has halted its plans introduce a new revised GRE General Test, which had been expected to be in effect this coming fall.
The new GRE would have taken four hours to complete instead of the two and a half hours it does now, be administered fewer times in the year, focus more on reasoning and critical thinking in both the verbal and quantitative sections and would no longer be computer-adaptive, meaning the questions wouldn’t be arranged on how well a student had answered the previous question. ETS decided to revise the GRE in order to better thwart cheating.
In 2002, two Columbia University undergraduate students were caught intercepting GRE questions by attaching a device to a computer at a testing center and transmitting them to a laptop in a van. Cheating on GRE exams has not only been evident in the United States but has become a worldwide problem.
In 2001, ETS had launched an investigation and found that GRE verbal scores had become inflated in China, Taiwan and South Korea due to students posting the questions and answers they had memorized onto Web sites.
Yet, in a statement released by ETS, the main reason for canceling the revised exam was that ETS officials could not guarantee full access to the test for students.
‘The decision to cancel the revised GRE General Test best serves the interests of test takers and the graduate institutions that use those scores to make admissions decisions,’ said David Payne, executive director of the GRE Program at ETS.
‘After much debate and evaluation, it became clear that the current format offers students more convenient and flexible opportunities to test when and where they choose, while still providing score users with valid predictors of test takers’ preparedness for graduate school study.’

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