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The new types of questions in the revised pattern are supposed to test the skills needed in graduate and business schools programs.The earliest versions of the GRE tested only for verbal and quantitative ability.
The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered at Prometric testing centers.
In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GRE scores varies widely between schools and departments within schools.
The computer-based verbal sections assess reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and vocabulary usage.
The verbal test is scored on a scale of 130–170, in 1-point increments.
For a number of years before October 2002, the GRE had a separate Analytical Ability section which tested candidates on logical and analytical reasoning abilities.
This section was replaced by the Analytical Writing Assessment.The importance of a GRE score can range from being a mere admission formality to an important selection factor.The GRE was significantly overhauled in August 2011, resulting in an exam that is not adaptive on a question-by-question basis, but rather by section, so that the performance on the first verbal and math sections determines the difficulty of the second sections presented.The next five sections consist of two verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and either an experimental or research section. The experimental section does not count towards the final score but is not distinguished from the scored sections.Unlike the computer adaptive test before August 2011, the GRE General Test is a multistage test, where the examinee's performance on earlier sections determines the difficulty of subsequent sections.Overall, the test retained the sections and many of the question types from its predecessor, but the scoring scale was changed to a 130 to 170 scale (from a 200 to 800 scale).The Graduate Record Examinations was "initiated in 1936 as a joint experiment in higher education by the graduate school deans of four eastern universities and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching." In 2006, ETS announced plans to enact significant changes in the format of the GRE.The ETS stated, however, that they do plan "to implement many of the planned test content improvements in the future", although specific details regarding those changes were not initially announced.Changes to the GRE took effect on November 1, 2007, as ETS started to include new types of questions in the exam.According to ETS, the GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning.The content of the GRE consists of certain specific algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and vocabulary sections.