What do changes to the GRE General Test mean for your business school application? | TopMBA.com

What do changes to the GRE General Test mean for your business school application?

By Laura L

Updated Updated

Each year, ETS develops, administers and scores over 50 million tests in over 180 countries, preparing graduate management applicants to succeed in their business education.  

In September 2023, the company will introduce a new GRE® test that will be shortened from almost four hours to under two, making it the shortest general skills test for admissions to graduate and professional programmes.  

What is changing? 

Registration for the new GRE® exam is open now and from 22 September 2023, the shorter test will be available and will feature three 45-minute sections: 

  • Analytical writing – one section and one essay task lasting 30 minutes 

  • Quantitative reasoning – two sections with 27 questions in total lasting 47 minutes 

  • Verbal reasoning – two sections with 27 questions in total lasting 41 minutes 

The same three measures remain in the new test as the current version, but fewer questions will be included in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections. The analytical writing section remains, as the company believes it’s more important than ever to have an authentic applicant writing sample in the age of ChatGPT®. Though, the number of essay tasks will reduce from two to one. 

ETS has advised that current preparatory materials and resources are still relevant and valid to succeed in the new exam, though updated resources will be available later in the year. Applicants can access free and low-cost prep materials on the ETS website and attend a free, monthly preparation webinar

As well as changes to the test itself, official scores will be available faster, in just eight to 10 days. According to ETS, these changes will be the first of several planned updates to the GRE General Test – all intended to create a better user experience that values test-takers' time and effort as they apply for business school.  

Why are these changes happening? 

The changes have been introduced because of user feedback, and as a result of discussions with the assessment development and psychometrics teams at ETS. The aim is to create a better experience for test-takers amid application anxiety and fatigue.   

“The changes we’re announcing underscore the emphasis we place on keeping our customers at the center of all that we do,” said Amit Sevak, CEO at ETS. “We’re committed to balancing two things — maintaining rigor and validity, while improving the test-taker experience.” 

New changes to the GRE exam are being rolled out as the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) introduces its new test, GMAT Focus Edition, bringing both exams up to scratch with the needs of today’s applicants and business schools.  

Alberto Acereda, assistant vice president for global higher education at ETS said: “We are improving the GRE General Test experience for test takers based in part on valuable insights we’ve received from test takers and graduate-level programmes focused on streamlining the admissions process. We stepped up to meet these needs and the GRE test is now the shortest and most efficient way to demonstrate the graduate-level skills that are the foundation for future success in graduate, business and law studies."

Will the new test impact my business school application?  

According to ETS, the new GRE test will continue to measure the same skills and maintain the strong quality and security you would expect, with valid and reliable scores for confident decision-making by institutions.  

Score scales will also stay the same, so performance can easily be compared between the new and previous tests. 

Acereda added: “The shorter GRE test provides the same valid and reliable scores that ETS is known for by graduate, business and law school programmes around the world. We’ve maintained the GRE’s rigor so admissions teams can select candidates who have what it takes to enrich graduate-level programmes and schools." 

The new GRE® test will be rolled out from 22 September 2023. There will be no difference to the way applicants register for the test. Those with an appointment before that date will take the current test and those with an appointment from 22 September will take the shorter test.  

Fees will remain the same as the current exam as part of ETS’s mission to create a better testing experience.  

For further information and advice, head to the ETS website.  

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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