Graduate School Re-vamped ... Again
April 3, 2007 8:00 PM
On Monday the Educational Testing Service (ETS) canceled plans to launch its revised Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general test. The decision was made in consultation with the executive committee of the GRE Board.
In a press release, GRE officials said problems guaranteeing complete access to the new Internet-based test outweighed the benefits of moving to a new format. The revised GRE was set to begin in September, but instead the company will continue to offer the test worldwide in its current computer-based continuous testing format.
Graduate schools use the results of the GRE to measure the success of a student if he or she was enrolled in a graduate program. The GRE consists of subject test and general test.
“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 in a press release.
The primary reason for canceling the test was access. The previously proposed plan called for the test to be administered on a world wide network of 3,200 Internet based testing centers, however ETS officials did not believe that full access to the general test could be safely assured.
“While the graduate community supports, and in fact helped develop and pilot the revised GRE general test, they have also stated that they are satisfied with the current GRE general test, until such time as improvements in the future without the access issues associated with changing to an entirely new test delivered over a brand new testing network. ETS is being responsive to their best interests,” said Payne.
ETS is a nonprofit organization that administers tests worldwide. In addition to administering the GRE, ETS also administers the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
Kaplan, a testing company that helps students prepare for tests such as the SAT and the GRE, had been revising its curriculum to adjust to the new GRE.
Kaplan spokesperson Russell Schaffer said the cancellation of the revised test was certainly unexpected.
“Fortunately for students the change in plans won’t have much impact on them, as students have not yet started preparing for the revised test,” Schaffer said.
Schaffer also said the decrease in the number of days the GRE would be offered was a deciding factor for the ETS to cancel its GRE revision.
Schaffer said the good news for students is that the GRE will not become more costly or challenging, as it was slated to have become under the revised test.
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