GRE Examination & Scoring
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What is GRE?
The Graduate Record Examination is a multiple-choice admission test for applicants to graduate schools. The test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), under the sponsorship of the Graduate Record Examinations Board.
How GRE is organized
The graduate record examination (GRE) is administered on computer and is between two and three-quarters and three and a quarter hour long, depending on which question type you get on your experimental section. The exam consists of three scored sections with different amounts of time allotted for you to complete each section.
SCORING : With computer-based tests, you are given a set of questions with a difficulty level that is specifically designed to match your ability level. The process for calculating a score incorporates the statistical properties of the questions, as well as the number of questions you answer and answer correctly.
The analytical writing section on a scale of 0 -6 in half-point increment .The verbal and quantitative section each yield a scaled score within a range of 200 to 800 on either section, no matter how hard you try. Similarly, it’s impossible to get a score lower than 200 on either section.
A quantitative score of 600, for example might be ok if you’re applying to a humanities program; but if you’re applying to science or engineering program, it would be low at most of the school. Even a score of 700 in quantitative is relatively low, for many selected programs in the science or engineering.
The relative frequency of high scaled scores means that universities pay great attention to percentile rank. What you need to realize is that scores that seemed good to you when you took the SAT might not be all that good on GRE. It’s important that you do some real research into the program you’re thinking about.
Many schools have cut-off scores below which they don’t even consider applicants.
A final note about percentile rank: the sample population that you are compared against in order to determine your percentile is not everyone else who takes the test the same day as you do.
ETS compares your performance with those of a random three-year population of recent GRE test-takers. Your score will not be affected by the other people who take the exam on the same day as you. Always remember “Your only competition in this classroom is yourself”.