In March 1992, the GRE board announced a new option for test takers: the Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) for GRE. The Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) decides according to your response what question to present you next. It covers the same content and uses the same types of questions as the paper-based test.
A computer-based GRE test is tailored to your performance level and provides precise information about your abilities. At the start of the test, you are presented with a test question of average difficulty. If you answer this right, the next question will be more difficult. But if you answer this wrong, you get an easier question and so on. It is very important to understand that the questions right at the beginning affect your score more than those towards the end. These are the questions that are used to measure your general ability and you are accordingly presented with a question set. Once you have progressed into a test, it is very tough to raise your level and get a better score. So take your time and answer the first few questions to the best of your ability.
Answer very carefully
In the computer-adaptive test (CAT), the computer scores each question before going on to the next question. So you have to answer the questions in the order they are shown on the screen. For this reason, you cannot go back to a particular question once you have answered it.
Computer Skills Required
You will need only minimal computer skills to take the Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) of GRE. You don't need to be computer literate to take the CAT. At the test center, you will have plenty of time to walk through a tutorial that will allow you to practise activities like answering the questions and using the mouse.
Practice before you start
All the skills you require are covered in a hands-on demo tutorial that you must complete before starting the actual timed test. Make yourself comfortable with all the sections of the tutorial before starting the test.
Comparability with paper-based tests
ETS has conducted some research which shows that the computer-based General Test Scores are comparable to scores earned on paper-based General Tests.