The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Program ended 2012 recorded the second-largest peak testing period in its history. GRE volumes in 2012 totaled more than 6,55,000 worldwide, the program saw its strongest growth in international markets during the peak testing period.
As individuals seek higher education opportunities at home and abroad the number of GRE score-using institutions continues to grow. In 2012, the number of graduate and business schools using GRE scores grew by more than 14%. Many of these new score users were Asian and European institutions, adding to the list of thousands that accept GRE scores for admission to their graduate-level programs.
GRE test volume in China and India during this period grew by about 30% compared to the prior year. This trend may impact upcoming admissions cycles as the globally diverse GRE test-taker population applies to graduate and business schools in 2013, said a release.
“While early 2012 registrations for the GRE revised General Test were slow, once we hit the August-December peak testing period, registrations began to climb, exceeding expectations for that period,” said David Payne, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Higher Education division at ETS.
The uptick in GRE registrations in the latter part of the year may also be a response to the numerous recently published reports that reinforce the benefits of graduate education, including its link to employment. For example, the number of jobs requiring an advanced degree is expected to increase by 20% between 2012 and 2020. In addition, a 2012 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that on average, across OECD countries, 84% of the population with a tertiary education is employed.
Currently, more than 1,000 business schools now accept GRE scores, including almost 90% of the 2013 US News & World Report Top 100 business schools in the United States and seven of the top 10 institutions on the Financial Times 2012 Global MBA Ranking.
“We are now hearing that business school admissions directors are seeing five to 20% of applications being submitted with GRE scores,” says Simone Pollard, Director, Business School Relations, Higher Education at ETS.