GRE Experimental Section

Posted by on September 10, 2013 in GRE, GRE Tips and Strategies | 0 comments

The new GRE experimental section can be either a 30-minute long verbal section or the 35-minute long quantitative section. The revised GRE experimental section contains new questions that ETS is considering for future use.

Although, the score of GRE experimental section does not count, the experimental section looks very similar to the other scoring sections. In short you cannot differentiate the experimental section on the revised GRE from the rest of the test. Hence it is strongly recommended to do all sections equally well on the GRE test.

Let’s look at some important known and unknown facts about the GRE experimental section.

What is the GRE Experimental Section?

Experimental section of the new revised GRE consists of either a Math’s section or a verbal section. The score of Experimental section on the new GRE does not count towards your final score. For a test taker it is impossible to identify the experimental section. In case you saw 3 Math’s sections this means your experimental section was one of the quant sections and vice versa. The experimental section can be right in the beginning, in the middle or in the end. The fact remains that one would never able to recognize which section is the experimental section and which is not.

Can we skip the new GRE Experimental Section?

In short the answer is NO. As I mentioned earlier you cannot know which section is experimental. To complicate things further, it is not always that you will receive an experimental section. Sometimes, you may just not have it at all.

There is also a quasi-experimental section that you can attempt after giving your test. However, the chances of attempting this drop down since most of the students opt out of it since they have already spent more than three grueling hours on the GRE.

Never try to guess the experimental section!

If you think that you have a great instinct and you can use it to find out the experimental section during the test then my advice would still be NOT to use it. You should always try and maintain a positive mindset and try to do every question, every section in the test.

At times students do encounter some weird probability or geometry problems and they start guessing that this section is probably an experimental section. What would happen if you guess the wrong section? This could greatly hurt your overall score on the GRE. So be careful!

ETS (the one who create the GRE exam) wishes to test the highest level of capabilities of students i.e. to see up to which maximum level a student can reach to clear/ top the GRE! Therefore they will twist you, tear you, and stretch you to test your test taking limits.

Will your performance on the Experimental section change the difficulty level of the next section?

Your performance on the GRE experimental section has no effect on the next section. The GRE does not adapt on the experimental section and it has absolutely no bearing on your final score and performance.

Is the Experimental section the same level, easier or difficult than other sections?

Unfortunately we cannot tell. There is not much information shared by ETS to get a prediction on that. Generally I have heard that the experimental section is most likely a difficult section. But this is based on my personal test taking experience.

Final words

Many students believe that if they get an arcane sequence problem, then probably the section is experimental section. Well, this is not the truth. However, if you are having a hard time in solving a question, you can always skip it for the moment and come back to it later.

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