The Future of the GRE
New Question Types
As of this publication, ETS is trying out one new Math question type and
one new Verbal question type on the computer-based GRE General Test. If you take
the test on computer, you may see one of these question types, but not both. As
this book goes to press, these new questions are unscored, but that will likely
change at some point in the future. Therefore, be sure to go to www.gre.org for
the latest information as your test date approaches.
Here’s a brief look at these first new question types to debut on the GRE.
Math: Numeric Entry
This question type requires you to enter a numeric answer either into
a single box, or into two boxes for answers in fraction form. The math in
these questions is the same as that tested in the standard Problem Solving
question type you’ve learned about in this book. The major difference is
that the choices will be missing, and you’ll have to enter your answer using
the computer’s mouse and keyboard. You’ll need to pay careful attention to
rounding instructions, and to the units required for the answer. For
example, if you calculate an answer as 17.62 but they ask for the answer to
be rounded to the nearest integer, you must enter 18 into the box to receive
credit. Similarly, if a problem is worded in feet, but the word
yards appears after the entry box, you must be sure to
convert your answer into yards or you’ll get the question wrong.
Here’s an example of what a Numeric Entry question will look like if
you come across one on your test:
||Machine A builds 8 bolts in 4
hours, Machine B builds 3 bolts in 30 minutes, and Machine C
takes apart 3 bolts in 1 hour. If all three machines operate
simultaneously and independently, what will be the net gain
in bolts after 10 hours?
Click on the answer box and type in a number.
Backspace to erase.
In case you’re wondering, the answer is 50. At the rates indicated,
Machine A will add 20 bolts to the tally, Machine B will add 60, and Machine
C will dismantle 30, for a net gain of 50 bolts.
Verbal: Text Completions
Text Completions are basically ramped-up versions of Sentence
Completions. However, the differences are significant: Instead of consisting
of a single sentence with one or two blanks, Text Completions are one to
five sentences in length and contain either two or three blanks. Moreover,
each blank comes with an independent list of three words or
phrases to choose from to fill the blank. We say independent because unlike
Sentence Completions, what you select for one blank does not influence what
you choose for the others. Naturally, the words you select must work
together to create a coherent sentence or short paragraph, and
all of your selections must be correct to receive credit.
In other words, there is no partial credit—you must answer each blank
correctly to get the point.
An example will clarify what this new question type is all about. Try
For each blank select one entry from the corresponding
columns of choices. Fill all blanks in the way that best
completes the text.
||Colleagues knew FBI
counterintelligence official Robert Philip Hanssen to be
(i) anti-communist, so
it came as a great surprise to many when he was accused
of spying for Russia for 15 years. As punishment for his
(ii) , believed to be
among the worst security
(iii) in the bureau’s
history, Hanssen was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The correct answers are fervently,
perfidy, and breaches.
The information here is correct as of the date of publication. For
more information, strategies, sample questions, and updates on plans for
these and other new GRE question types, go to www.gre.org.