Increasing acceptance of GRE scores leads to surge in test-takers in India | – Times of India | IIT EXPERT



India recently surpassed the US in the number of students taking the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) for the first time in over 80 years since the inception of the test. Data from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) revealed that during the 2022-23 testing period, India recorded the highest number of GRE test-takers with 1,13,304 individuals, followed by the US with 97,676 and China with 57,769.

Five-year validity

“The GRE’s five-year validity and increasing acceptance by universities worldwide, including for programmes specific to business and law, has significantly contributed to its popularity among Indian students,” says Sachin Jain, country manager, ETS India and South Asia.
Recognising the need for a more streamlined and user-friendly testing experience, ETS had introduced a shorter version of the GRE test in September 2023. This modification aimed to reduce the duration of the test without compromising the quality or integrity of the assessment. “This change allows test-takers to focus, and overall have a less stressful experience. In addition, test takers received their official GRE general test scores in 8-10 days after the test date which was previously 10-15 days. Hence, with quicker reporting, candidates can organise their applications better to study abroad and are more likely to have enough time to retake the exam and enhance their score if needed. All these reasons lead test-takers to choose GRE,” says Jain.

Diverse acceptance

“The surge in Indian test-takers can be attributed to many factors, chief among them being the increased recognition of GRE scores by several business schools in India. Traditionally, the admission criteria for international students relied solely on Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores. However, a noteworthy shift has occurred as Indian institutes, including the IIMs in Calcutta and Bangalore, Mumbai’s SP Jain Institute of Management, and the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, now accept GRE scores,” says Karunn Kandoi, chief experience officer at ApplyBoard.
There has been a significant shift towards internationalisation in higher education. This trend is driven by various factors such as globalisation, advancements in technology facilitating easier communication and travel. “Globalisation plays a significant role as there is an increasing need for skills that are competitive on a global scale. This has led universities to create more diverse and inclusive academic environments to prepare students for the global workforce. International collaborations between universities help in enhancing opportunities for knowledge exchange and research. All these factors attract students to study abroad,” says Jain.
“Another driving force is the desire among students for cultural enrichment and the opportunity to view their field of study from different global perspectives. Seeking education abroad allows students to broaden their horizons and enhance their personal and academic growth,” adds Jain.
As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, having a GRE score can enhance a student’s profile and provide a competitive edge when seeking employment in diverse sectors, says Nandini Shah, a GRE aspirant. As Indian students increasingly aspire to make their mark on the international stage, the GRE stands as a key enabler of these ambitions, she adds.
First introduced in 1936, GRE is a standardised test for admission to graduate schools. Widely recognised by universities worldwide, the test measures analytical writing, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning skills of students seeking admission to graduate and business schools in the US, the UK, Canada, China, and several European countries.





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