Know All About the GRE Experimental Section! — CATKing Educare

Is it another GRE section?

Yes and No. The GRE experimental section is another section in the GRE exam, but it does not have a different syllabus. Sounds confusing? Let us explain.

  • As is obvious from the term unscored, this experimental section doesn’t count to your GRE exam total marks
  • There will be no indication for you to figure out if a particular section is a regular section or an experimental one
  • There is no particular order in which the GRE experimental section appears in the exam. It can appear randomly, right after the AWA section, in the middle of the exam or at the end of it

What is the objective of the GRE Experimental Section?

Considering the section is not adding any value to your total marks, you might wonder the reason behind putting this section in the GRE exam. Well, this section serves as a research palette for ETS, who designs the GRE paper. It helps them to try out new questions and experiment with the difficulty level of questions in a real test-taking scenario. Using the feedback of how aspirants performed in this section, they will use the questions for future tests.

Why engage the current test-takers for this testing?

It is simply because ETS needs a large sample to test the veracity of the questions. To make sure they are not too easy/difficult or different from the existing GRE question paper format. If it is given to a control group in an artificially created environment, the reactions and thus the ability to answer those questions will be much different. Every day thousands of students attempt GRE. Based on the experimental section questions which they attempted or skipped, got the correct answer, and the time they took for attempting, ETS decides whether to include the questions in future tests.

Is this section similar to the GRE Research Section?

The objective of both the GRE Experimental Section and the Research section is same. ETS gives Verbal or Quant questions in these sections to assess their potential usage for future tests. Again, both the sections are unscored.

Does every test-taker get the Experimental Section in GRE?

Well, not really. Most of the candidates either get the GRE Experimental Section or the GRE Research Section. The two sections will never appear together. So, if you are a little lucky, you might get the Research section and may choose not to attempt it. However, only at the end of the exam, you will come to know which one you got. So, attempt all the sections with equal sincerity.

Is the Experimental Section harder than the other sections?

This can be a concern, considering the ETS tries out potential questions in order to gauge how students will perform in a real test. However, there is no specific difficulty level for the experimental section. It can vary from being easy in some papers to difficult and semi-difficult in other papers. The good part is you do not have to worry about that as the score doesn’t count towards your final marks in the GRE exam. Also, ETS doesn’t make the section apparent to test-takers, so that they can capture the real-time data. Hence you won’t find a drastic change in the difficulty level.

Is this section computer adaptive?

No, it is not. As this section is solely for ETS’s own benefits, your performance here doesn’t affect the question standards of other sections.

How should you approach the Experimental Section?

Don’t Approach, Just Attempt. That is the best, and probably the only way to do it.



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