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Restriction on Number of Applications for GMAT and GRE

Posted February. 05, 2002 09:28,   


As questions on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), which are screening examinations for U.S. graduate schools, were leaked in Korea, the U.S. Educational Testing Service (ETS) reportedly restricted number of times that a person can apply for the tests in order to prevent leakage of questions.

An official of Korean-American Educational Commission, which handles business for ETS in Korea, said on the 4th, "We restricted the frequency of application for the two tests by `5 times for one`s entire life` due to serious leakage of questions in Korea. The restrictions on GMAT began from January 1st, 2002, and on GRE from around July."

Many applicants are protesting as they can now only take the examination 5 times for their entire life.

The leakage of questions reportedly resulted from the change to the computer-based test (CBT) system.

ETS makes a question pool once a month in the early part of the month, and selects questions from the pool every day. Hence, applicants who once took the test early in the month could leak the questions.

Since the testing method was changed to CBT, some applicants and instructors in private educational institutes have provided the questions on the web titled `postscript` after they memorized the questions they took. Educational institutes taught students with these questions, and other applicants checked the questions on the web and got good grades on the test late in the month.

An official of the Korean-American Educational Commission said, "Some applicants employ instructors in educational institutes and let them take a test one day before they themselves take it, expecting they could get a little better grades at the test they take the next day."

The official added, "Some applicants go to China where they think leakage of questions is easier, and others even take a camcorder into the examination room and record the questions."

But applicants and educational institutes protested that the measure of restriction on application frequency is ascribing the agency`s failure of securing questions to applicants.

An official of English Academy A criticized, "Although the agency is responsible for the security of questions, they cannot simply restrict the application frequency and burden the applicants."

One Mr. Kim (28), who is preparing for the GMAT, said, "The restriction on application frequency could make applicants prudent in applying for the test, but it will not prevent the leakage of questions. Some students expect to avoid the restriction by changing their English names."

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com