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By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Officials shorten GRE exam by nearly two hours

Hatchet File Photo
The University’s admit rate dipped to 38.7 percent this year as part of University President Thomas LeBlanc’s 20/30 Plan.

Officials are shortening the GRE General Test, a standardized exam often required to apply for graduate school, from nearly four hours to just under two.

Educational Testing Service officials, who administer assessments for schools and universities, announced they will shorten the GRE exam from three hours and 45 minutes to one hour and 58 minutes starting in September to reduce test-takers’ anxiety and fatigue and provide them a better experience that “values their time,” according to an ETS release last month. The change makes the exam the shortest and “most efficient” test for graduate school admissions, according to the release.

The exam, which consists of an analytical writing section, a quantitative reasoning section and a verbal reasoning section, will take nearly half the time to complete after officials decided to remove the unscored section of the exam and the “Analyze the Argument” task in the analytical writing section, according to the release. The release states officials also reduced the number of questions in the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections.

Test-takers will receive their scores “much faster” after completing the exam — within eight to 10 days of taking the GRE General Test instead of the previous 10 to 15 days — as a part of “planned future updates” to the exam, according to the release.

“As we continue to introduce product innovations, we’re committed to balancing two things — maintaining rigor and validity, while improving the test-taker experience,” ETS CEO Amit Sevak said in the release.

The School of Media and Public Affairs, the Elliott School of International Affairs, the School of Business, the College of Professional Studies and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration do not require a GRE score for graduate admissions, according to their admissions websites. GRE requirements for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and the Milken Institute of Public Health are program specific, according to their admissions websites.

GW Law accepts GRE scores instead of LSAT scores if students have not taken and do not plan to take the LSAT, according to the law school’s admissions website. The Graduate School of Political Management requires applicants to submit a GRE score only if their undergraduate GPA was below a 3.0, according to their admissions website.

The release states that test-takers will also have access to new test-prep materials designed for the shorter test in September.

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