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5 Myths of New GRE Pattern 2011 – Negative Marking, Converter ?

ETS will administer the New GRE Pattern starting tomorrow. There have been many misconceptions and questions among students regarding the New GRE Revised General Test like :

  • Will there be negative marking for wrong answers in New GRE ?
  • Is there a formula to convert Old GRE scores to New GRE ?
  • Does Old GRE scores become invalid after new pattern test ?
  • Does each question have different weigtage in New pattern ?
  • Is difficulty of questions presented within a section based on my performance in previous questions in that section ?

This article focuses on clarifying some of these common misconceptions.  For some background, you may read 10 things to know about New GRE Pattern 2011

1. Negative Marking in New GRE pattern 2011 ?

Short answer is NO. ETS does not state anything about negative marking in any of the scoring guidelines of the new GRE pattern .  What it means is, you will not be penalized for selecting wrong answers for any questions.  Only correct answers will be accounted for the raw score (number of questions answered correctly).

2. Convert old GRE score to New GRE 2011 Scores directly with Formula ?

As of today, there is no formula released by ETS to directly convert Old GRE scores(range 200 to 800), to new GRE pattern scores( range 130 to170).   ETS will release a concordance table in November, which will list the Old GRE scores and equivalent New GRE scores, and vice versa. If someone claims, they have a formula to convert Old GRE scores to New GRE scores, it is wrong they just made it up.

3. Does Old GRE scores become invalid after New GRE Pattern ?
Short answer ‘NO’. GRE General test scores are valid for 5 years from the day you took the test. Your Old GRE scores will be accepted by graduate schools for five years since you took the test. For complete details with explanation, read article : GRE Old scores validity after New Pattern ?

4. Does each question in a section carry different weightage / Score  ?

Short answer “No”. As mentioned in ETS website, “All questions contribute equally to final score”. There are two sections in verbal reasoning and two sections in quantitative reasoning measures and all the questions in them are equally weigthed and contribute equally in final score computation.

5. Is difficulty of questions presented within  a section based on my performance in previous questions in that section ?

Is the question confusing ? The answer to above is “NO”. New GRE Pattern is section-level adaptive, unlike Old GRE pattern each section is computer-adaptive. The big difference is, in Old GRE questions presented to you within a section are based on your performance on preceding questions…Whereas, in New GRE pattern, the difficulty of section presented to you is based on your performance in previous section as a whole and not individual questions. All questions in a section contribute equally to the final score and are of equal difficulty.
Do you have any other questions or misconceptions ?

For overview of changes, read  Old GRE vs New GRE side by side comparison


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  1. Hi ,

    I have a question on gre score reporting. I am not well prepared for the new gre test. I heard several reviews from other non- native speakers saying that it is too difficult. My old gre test score was 1030. Say I get the new score displayed on the screen as 400-500 on verbal and 500-550 in quant, which means there is very little probability that I will get more than a 1000 corresponding to the old gre. When the screen as to whether to report these scores or not appears, what should I do. Say I know my range is below 1000, should I say do not send scores? If I send scores, will the university choose best of these two? 1030 and 950 (for eg). ?? Or should I just report both? The universities in california that I am applying to, asks for a minimum of 1000 on the gre.

  2. hi,
    I am newbie in all this GRE preparation. how much time I will need to prepare for the new GRE pattern exam.I am working professional. please advice, August is here. I want to go for Fall 12.tell me the realistic date for my exam.

  3. First, you have to understand the difference between petition based visas and non-petition based visas. The time between successive visa stamping falling in either of these categories is different. For eg., for B1, which is non-petition visa, you can retry the stamping with valid documents again. But in H1/L1, when a visa gets rejected, US consulate sends back request to NVC to revoke petition. So, if you need to go for stamping after rejection, you need a new H1B petition, which would again takes 2-6 months or 15days in PP,accordingly new visa stamping procedure need to be followed.

    hope, this helps.

  4. Hi,
    I just want to know what is minimum time i have to wait between successive visa Stamping? (Say in case for my H1 if my stamping is rejected, after how many days i can attend the next H1 Stamping interview).


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