Posted by: Louis Lavelle on February 4, 2011
The new and improved Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is on its way, and for those who are taking the test either in addition to or as an alternative to the GMAT for b-school admissions, timing will be everything.
Christine Betaneli, a spokesperson for ETS, which administers the GRE, says that students who need their GRE scores before November should take the old-style GRE no later than July, which means they should probably start getting ready now.
If they take the newer version in August, September, or October, they won’t receive their scores until mid-November, she said. That could make it difficult to retake the test (if you’re unhappy with your scores) and meet 2012 application deadlines. In order to ensure score accuracy ETS needs to collect a statistically significant sample of completed tests and analyze the tests before releasing the scores.
Starting in December, Betaneli says, GRE will return to its current practice of reporting scores within 10-15 days of the test date (six weeks for paper tests).
Kaplan Test Prep is advising applicants to take the old-style test. Says Liza Weale, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs at Kaplan: “Our advice to students: if you can take the current GRE do so—it’s to your advantage.”
Currently more than 400 full-time MBA programs accept the GRE , including many top schools. Starting Aug. 1, the GRE will include many modifications, including a new scoring scale, a more difficult quantitative section, an on-screen calculator for complex math problems, and a verbal section that tests reasoning skills in addition to vocabulary. Kaplan estimates that it will take about an hour longer than the old-style test.