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New GRE Format 2012

The New GRE is still an infant. At only seven months, the new GRE is still an unknown to many. People wonder whether both sections have changed, whether antonyms are still lingering about, and whether there really are questions in which there is more than one correct answer.

Below I will answer these questions (and more) regarding the format of the new GRE. Specifically, I’ve taken the ten most frequently asked questions for this long test and put them in one place.


1. How many sections are there, and how many question are there on each section?

There are two verbal sections, with roughly 20 questions each. There are two math sections, with roughly 20 questions each.


2. How long do you get for each section?

You will have 35 minutes to complete each math section. You will get 30 minutes to complete each verbal section.


3. Can you skip questions, and if so how do you come back to them?

You can skip questions on the new GRE, in both the math and verbal sections. The new GRE has a scroll function, which allows you to flag a question so you can easily come back to it at a later point in time. Indeed, there is a separate screen in which you can click on any of the 20 questions on the section. That way you don’t have to go back and forth sequentially between questions, which would take a long time.


4. Do the questions become difficult if you answer each one correctly?

No. Questions within a section differed on the old GRE. On the new GRE, the questions you get on a section are fixed, regardless of whether you answer them correctly or incorrectly. Using the scroll function above you can answer any question in any order.

The GRE is adaptive, but only between sections. This makes the new GRE a section-adaptive test.


5. How does the new GRE adapt between sections?

Depending on the number of questions you correctly answer on your first math or verbal section, will determine the second verbal or math section you get. You can get an easy section (if you didn’t do well on the first section), a medium section (this is consistent with the Powerprep II software), or a difficult section (if you did very well on the first math/verbal section).


6. What is the experimental section? Will it be graded?

You may get an experimental section when you take the New GRE. This section may come first, it may come last. There is no way of determining which section was the experimental section. However, if you had three verbal sections on the actual test, then one of them was an experimental section.

This section will not be graded. Nonetheless, do not try to guess which section this is. If you are wrong, the consequences will be catastrophic on your score.


7. What are the new question types on the verbal?

The verbal section will have about four to five Sentence Equivalence questions. There will be about six Text Completions. A Text Completion can have one, two, or three possible blanks. To get any credit for the question, each of the blanks must be correct.

The rest of the questions will be Reading Comprehension questions. A new question type in the Reading Comprehension sections requires you to evaluate a logical argument, which is usually presented as a short paragraph.


8. What are the new question types on the math?

The math section will include Numeric Entry – you must enter your answer into a box. There are NO answer choices. There will also be question type in which you will have to select any one of three answer choices (meaning all three could be correct).


9. Which questions have multiple answer choices/multiple correct answers?

The only questions on the verbal that will have multiple correct answers are Sentence Equivalence questions. (Text Completions will only have one correct answer for each blank). Sentence Equivalence questions will always have EXACTLY two correct answers.

In Reading Comprehension you will usually have one or two questions per section that will have three answer choices. Any of these three answer choices (meaning one, two, or all) can be correct.

In addition to the question type mentioned in #8, the quantitative section will contain a question or two in which you have to select all of the answers that apply. Sometimes this question can have as many as 10 possible answer choices, making a lucky guess highly unlikely.


10. What about the essays?

The essays are almost identical, save for one major difference: the Issue Task now has a time limit of 30 minutes versus that of 45 minutes for the old test. The Argument task still has a limit of 30 minutes.

And if you’re still wondering about specifics of the test, check out our free GRE Guide!

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