Comparison Chart of GRE Changes

GRE has been one of the most fundamental tests for abroad aspirants; universities accept students with a good GRE score as it depicts their quantitative and verbal skills unquestionably. But just like any other standardized test, GRE also had to go through a series of changes from the past few years as they’re trying to make the test more inclusive, reliable and applicable to what the universities need or require in their incoming students.

While the old GRE test format was much simpler than the revised one, there have been some rational and significant changes that will help recognize the student’s factual capacity. The verbal reasoning in the old format was very elementary as it only had questions based on synonyms, antonyms and reading comprehensions but the new test has many other logical insertions. The quantitative part of the GRE test hasn’t seen any changes except for multiple-choice questions and some numeric entry changes.

The table below constitutes the changes between the old GRE test and the revised GRE test formats:

Particulars Old GRE Test Revised GRE test
Duration of the test 3 Hours 3 Hours 45 Minutes
Scoring range 200-800 points with 10 points 130-170 points with 1 point increment.
Split testing Yes No
Quantitative part It had only one section comprising of 28 questions. It has two sections and has 20 questions in each sector.
Quantitative type Problem-solvingData solving Both in MCQ format. MCQ single choice.MCQ one or more choices.Numeric entryQuant comparison
Analytical writing (No changes) One issue essayOne argument essay One issue essayOne argument essay
Verbal reasoning type AnalogiesSentence completionReading comprehensionSynonyms and antonyms Reading comprehensionSentence equivalenceText completion
On-screen calculator No Yes
Test structure Simple Logical

The revised GRE test allows the student to skip, change and attempt difficult questions later. This peculiarity is not available in other important standardized tests like GMAT as of now.

If the test taker has given his/her exam before August 1, 2011, then their scores have to be converted into the newly revised format because their scores would have been marked on a different range completely. Though your scores would’ve been expired by now, you will still carry the credibility of the score but you won’t be able to send it to any official website or university application.

However, regardless of everything conversion of your scores is important because it gives you a brief idea about your performance in the current test. It necessarily needn’t be a 100% accurate but it helps you know your Achilles’ heel.

If you scored 800/800 in quant previously it’d only be 166/170 in the present test which doesn’t mean you are less capable than someone who scored 170/170 now, in fact, research has shown that it was more difficult to score full on the old GRE test compared to the revised one. And as the versatility of the tests has changed, it requires different approaches for both the tests affirming that the strong performers of the old GRE test might not be that strong in the revised format.

In conclusion, the whole idea behind the conversion is for examining where your score stands against the requirements of the universities/colleges that still haven’t converted their score requirement to the new format.

Article summary:

This article talks about the difference between the old GRE test and the revised GRE test and states the changes between the test formats. It even talks about the importance and reasoning behind conversion of old scores to new ones.

Image captions:

  • Comparison chart of the GRE changes
  • Your expired old scores will actually help you score better!