ETS Cancels Plans to Launch Revised GRE Test

PRINCETON, N.J. 

The Educational Testing Service has cancelled plans to launch the revised Graduate Record Examinations General Test because of problems related to “test taker access.”

ETS officials said in a statement they originally planned to launch the revised GRE worldwide in September but will now continue its current testing format.

“As the launch approached, ETS determined that, despite the aggressive development of our Internet-based testing network, we could not guarantee complete access to all students needing to take the exam,” said Dr. David G. Payne, executive director of the GRE program.

But officials at the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, or FairTest, say the cancellation “is the latest example that the ETS has repeatedly tried to rush computerized exams into the marketplace before they were ready for ‘prime time.’”

“They pushed these flawed products to increase test-maker income, not improve assessment quality or meet students’ needs,” said Robert Schaeffer, FairTest’s public education director.

FairTest, an organization opposed to standardized tests, has documented numerous problems with ETS’ computer-administrated exams. It noted problems with the new Test of English as a Foreign Language, launched in early 2006, that resulted in many overseas students not being able to take the test in time for application deadlines.

FairTest also noted that nearly 1,000 scores on the GMAT were miscalculated in 2000, but students were not informed until after business schools had already rejected many of the applicants.

But according to GRE officials, problems guaranteeing complete access to the new Internet-based test outweighed the benefits of immediately moving to the new format.

Registrations in countries like China, India and Japan, will be reopened and registrations for the current GRE will continue elsewhere.

“The decision to cancel the revised GRE best serves the interests of test takers and the graduate institutions that use those scores to make admissions decisions,” added Payne. “After much debate and evaluation, it became clear that the current format offers students more convenient and flexible opportunities to test when and where they choose, while still providing score users with valid predictors of test takers’ preparedness for graduate school study.”

Diverse staff reports

 

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