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GRE: Graduate Records Examination

The GRE-CAT represents the only interactive HPAT because it selects questions for you based on your performance. F irst, it begins each section with a question of average difficulty. If you get that question right, then the computer shows you a harder question next. However, with a wrong answer, the GRE-CAT asks an easier question. As you choose correct answers, the questions will increase in difficulty. If you make some mistakes, the test will adjust and start asking easier problems. Consequently, the CAT literally adapts to your performance this way.

Each GRE-CAT question will not affect your score equally . How much a question raises or lowers your score depends on when the question appears in a section. Earlier questions affect your score more, than those later in the section. The computer makes larger scoring jumps in the beginning of a section to approximate your scoring level. Then, it makes smaller jumps as it fine-tunes your score. High scores emerge only when a student answers enough medium problems correctly to see the hard problems.

A CAT has to be this way because everyone gets a differ ent mix of easy and hard questions. The adaptive format allows a score based on the level at which you answer questions correctly about 50 percent of the time. So the overall number you get right is not as important as the level at which you start getting about half the questions wrong.

Unfortunately, you see only one question at a time on the GRE-CAT. Once you answer a question it affects your score, for better or worse. Therefore, you can not go back to any questions. This prevents skipping aro und within a section. Instead, do your best to get a question right the first time you see it.

Test Sections

The GRE-CAT contains questions of the following types: verbal, quantitative (math), and logic. The test consists of four or five sections. Three sections count toward your score. The scored sections, presented in any order, appear as indicated below:

Time (min)

In addition to these three scored sections, an experimental section that looks like one of the three scored sections does not count toward your score. Do your best on all sections because you can not identify the experimental section. The optional fifth section, called the "Research Section," does not count toward your score either. Since it is optional, why bother completing it? Finally, take as long on any one question as you like, but pace yourself to answer all the questions in each section before time expires. With a penalty for unanswered questions, you should answer every question, even if this includes random guessing to finish on time.

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