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Paper-based or computer-based?


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I am debating if I should take the GRE test paper-based or computer-based. Anyone want to weigh in what works best, in general? I personally have studied almost entirely paper-based and I use scratch paper a lot. Looking up and down from a computer to scratch paper might produce more transferring errors than a paper-based test.

Also, is the computer-based new revised GRE still an adaptive test (adapting to prior responses)?


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I don't think the PBT is even an option where I live.

For practice, if you use the Powerprep software, you'll be set for the CBT.

And the new GRE is adaptive by section, i.e., the second section's difficulty is determined by how well you do on the first section (also note that the experimental section can make it difficult to figure out how well you're doing and which section is which, so just keep calm and do your best throughout the test).

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PBT not an option here in the states, but hypothetically if I had the choice, I would take the computer-based test. With the PBT I personally would struggle with hand-writing the AW section for two 30-minute sections, I hardly write these days (mostly typing) and am sure I would have some writers cramps!!! Plus much easier to edit your AW essays with the computer-based test.

Not sure how a calculator is handled for the PBT (possibly not allowed), but it is included on the computer-based. Not that I use the calculator much (takes too much time in general), but it did come in handy a couple of times. Might be something else to consider...

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I am international and have taken both tests. I preferred Computer based for a few reasons:

1) Typing on a computer vs. hand written

2) It was MUCH easier to concentrate just being in front of a computer rather than in an examination room with 100 other people. (For this same reason it felt like less of a big deal and i did much better).

3) It's easier to keep track of stuff you are not sure about by marking the questions

4) Getting scores right away

5) You get 1 min breaks between sections. there are no breaks in paper based, except for the long 10 min break.

6) You get to schedule it yourself, and can take it in the afternoon if you choose to.

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It is still adaptive, but no longer by question; instead, it's by section. The experimental section is usually absurdly easy compared to the others, that's how you know it's the experimental one.

In practice, I don't think there's much difference between the CBT and PBT, especially since now, you can go back as well.

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