The GRE® Program continued its volume growth in 2014. While other graduate school admissions tests saw a decline in volumes for the second straight year, GRE® revised General Test volumes grew by nearly three percent compared to 2013, and recorded double-digit growth among international and business-focused audiences.
U.S. volume continued to be stable in 2014 and international volumes increased a noteworthy 11 percent, including gains of 23 percent in Africa, 11 percent in Asia and nearly 28 percent in Latin America.
Notable trends in 2014 GRE volumes compared to 2013 include:
- GRE volume in India grew almost 20 percent, reaching volumes of more than 110,000 from that country alone.
- Volume in Korea grew more than nine percent.
- The number of tests taken in China remained steady, but the number of Chinese citizens taking a GRE test in the United States has increased.
- The intended graduate major fields of study that experienced the most significant growth in 2014 include Business (18 percent), Physical Sciences (13 percent) and Engineering (11 percent).
“The GRE Program continues to be vibrant. Total annual volumes have grown by 12 percent since 2009 and in 2014 we saw strong interest from test takers in all regions of the world,” says David Payne, ETS Vice President & COO of Global Education. “With the number of institutions accepting GRE scores at an all-time high, students can use GRE scores to apply to graduate programs, MBA programs and specialized master’s in business programs around the world.”
GRE scores are accepted at thousands of institutions around the world, including more than 1,200 business schools accepting GRE scores for their MBA programs. Currently, 93 of the 2015 U.S. News & World Report Top 100 business schools in the United States and nine of the top 10 institutions on The Financial Times 2015 Global MBA Ranking accept GRE scores. In addition, 29 of Bloomberg Businessweek’s top 30 U.S. MBA programs accept GRE scores.
Over the last year, business schools have become more vocal in stating that they consider GRE scores equally with other test scores in the admissions process. According to a recent KaplanSurvey, nearly eight out of 10 MBA programs have no preference between the GRE test and other admission tests.
Payne believes many test takers are choosing to take a GRE test because of its test-taker friendly features. “We want people to feel confident and do their best. The GRE revised General Test enables people to preview questions, skip and go back to more challenging questions, and even change answers, all within a section. We know these features can help test takers get to better results.”
Payne added, “GRE test takers know they don’t need to make an immediate decision about their scores right after taking the test. If for some reason they feel they did not do their best, they can think about it and decide later if they want to retest. This means, that at any point in the five-year period during which their scores are valid, they can choose which test scores they want to report to schools. It’s about helping them succeed.”
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