GRE® Program Sees Volume Surge in 2012 Peak Testing Period

– Test takers and score users benefit from expanding global footprint and new enhancements

PRINCETON, New Jersey, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The GRE® Program ended 2012 on a high note as it recorded the second-largest peak testing period in its history. In addition, test-taker satisfaction is on the rise as more prospective graduate and business school applicants reported they would recommend the test to a friend.


“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. “We also saw a rise in test-taker satisfaction and attribute much of that to the recent test-taker friendly enhancements.”

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 percent 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 percent of the population with a tertiary education is employed.

With GRE volumes in 2012 totaling more than 655,000 worldwide, the program saw its strongest growth in international markets during the peak testing period. For example, GRE test volume in China and India during this period grew by about 30 percent 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.

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 percent. 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.

For both applicants and higher education institutions, the acceptance of GRE scores by business schools continues to be one of the most talked about changes in MBA admissions. Currently, more than 1,000 business schools now accept GRE scores, including almost 90 percent of the 2013 U.S. 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.

“At Thunderbird, we have been very pleased to see the caliber of students that have applied with the GRE examination. The candidates who take the examination are extremely diverse which provides the opportunity for us, as an institution, to work with candidates from a wide array of backgrounds and undergraduate focus areas,” says Jay Bryant, Assistant Vice President of Admissions, Thunderbird School of Global Management. “We welcome applicants with GRE scores.”

“We are now hearing that business school admissions directors are seeing five to 20 percent of applications being submitted with GRE scores,” says Simone Pollard, Director, Business School Relations, Higher Education at ETS. “As individuals become increasingly aware that business schools welcome GRE scores, we anticipate that the number of GRE test takers applying to business schools will continue to rise in subsequent admissions cycles.”

For more information about the GRE revised General Test, visit

About ETS
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

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