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I've been doing some speculating and thinking on what the revised GRE score ranges actually mean. I am going to propose a simple hypothesis I've been rolling around in my head, and I'm curious to see what flaws/improvements others can see. After all, we need something to occupy our minds until November. Given what we know, the revised GRE has been spitting out 100 point ranges for those not bounded by 800 (i.e. 580-680) and smaller ranges for those bounded by 800 (i.e. 720-800). We also know that the highest possible score at this point is 750-800. Based on the information provided by ETS concerning the score ranges, the scoring practices on PowerPrep II, and the scoring table in ETS' book, I am going to make the assumption that these scores are raw scores based on the scoring rubric of the old GRE prior to weighting for difficulty of questions. This implies that the score is computed rather simplistically (i.e. # wrong on the quantitative section equals some single-valued score for that section). Then, ETS runs their algorithms to weight each question for the exam by the percentages of people who get certain questions right/wrong. This obviously cannot be performed consistently until enough people have taken the exam -- hence, making us wait until November for scores and dropping the price to encourage more people to take the exam. This leads me to believe that they haven't weighted the unofficial score ranges yet, whatsoever. Further, I am going to suggest that the score ranges are centered on the single-value of the raw, unweighted score. The ranges, then, should be interpreted at the midpoint with 50 points on either side to account for the difficulty of the exam. Thus, a 650-750 on a difficult test might reflect a true score greater than 700. Conversely, a 500-600 on an easy test might reflect a true score less than 550. Additionally, the 750-800 range is more realistically 750-850, thus the lower half of the 100 point range reflects the possibility that an 800 was achieved on a relatively easier test and would be subject to deflation. I think this theory accounts for the improved precision as the range moves towards 800. I guess the real benefit of this, if it holds any water, is that we can assign some subjective belief about how difficult our individual exam was (relative to PowerPrep as a baseline), to determine where our actual score will fall within the range we were given. A note of caution: I am hesitant to speculate on how this will map to percentiles. The entire argument above is based on the assumption that the score ranges (out of 800) can be estimated by the raw score (number of questions right/wrong) obtained. Thus, the percentiles are determined largely independent of the raw score -- which has historically been the case. And then, depending on how ETS wants to shape the distribution of new scaled scores (out of 170), they'll assign these scores according to the percentiles they want to represent. Thoughts? Comments?
Ive been studying (3.5 weeks) for the GRE using a hand-me down Princeton Review GRE Manual (6.3) for practice sets, and what I thought was a relevant strategy book, Princeton Review's "Cracking the GRE 2011 Edition". In the "Cracking" book it mentioned the New GRE and suggested that the book I was using would be adequate for either test, the main argument being that the content can't change drastically as this is a standardized test, and those who take it earlier than August can't be judged on a completely different scale than those who take it after. I'm strong in Verbal, so I have been focusing on quantitative preparation and have drilled extensively with the questions from the old format. The last practice test I took was on August 5th, and I assumed that this test was practice for the New GRE as well. However when I went to access the practice tests again this evening, I saw that the test was a completely new format, my old practice test score had disappeared. There were some quantitative questions that I didnt really recgonize or plan for. Also the built in calculator and extra buttons really threw me off. And on the verbal the emphasis is placed much more heavily on reading comprehension, which was not where the bulk of my preparation took place. I have a test scheduled for August 30th, this coming tuesday. Should I snag a copy of the new book and learn what I can about the new format over the weekend? Or should I take the New GRE for investigative purposes and not accept my scores? I feel as if the new test has more drastic changes than I anticipated. Any opinions?
So, I just gave the revised GRE Test on 2nd and since I am from India, the access to books on new gre which I had was for a limited amount of time. Nonetheless, in the end they showed my range in the old format and it was around 700 in quant and 530 in verbal(this hurts, since i don't really know what went wrong)....I have to wait till November for the new revised scored but I am confused about how to go about judging the score...should I give it again?? I have a B.A(hons) in political science with a 61%(first class) average score and an M.A in Development studies with a GPA of 4.56/6 (Grade A). I am planning to apply to P.hd courses in political science (with emphasis on political theory/political philosophy)...I was planning on applying at Princeton, Yale, Notre Dame and Boston college. I also have work experience of around a year with few reputed international research organisations. Can anyone suggest me how badly do I need to retake the GRE for getting through pol theory in the above mentioned colleges..also if someone could suggest me lower ranked places for good theory courses??