As more and more graduating seniors debate their future prospects, it may be important for them to know a few things about the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).
A revised general test will launch worldwide in August 2011. In addition, there is a growing trend of MBA programs accepting the admissions test.
“The GRE revised general test will be more test-taker friendly, include more real-life scenario questions and be more closely aligned to the skills students need to succeed in graduate school,” said Tom Ewing, director of external relations at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in an e-mail interview.
Ewing said that to help students prepare for the new test, ETS will provide free test preparation materials this July.
Specifically, the revised General Test will feature less dependence on vocabulary knowledge alone, an elimination of antonyms and analogies and the option for test-takers to go back and change answers before moving to the next timed section.
While there are a lot of expensive preparation courses that prey on student’s fears of needing to do their best at all costs, the best way to prepare for the test is to use many of the free materials available from ETS, Ewing said.
Meanwhile, a greater amount of MBA programs are accepting the GRE as an admission requirement to their programs. Currently some 340 of the world’s leading MBA programs accept the GRE, an increase of over 60 percent from last year.
The Harvard Business School is one such school that is now accepting the GRE, beginning with the Class of 2012.
“Harvard Business School wants to have a broad pool of applicants,” said Jim Aisner, director of media relations for the school.
Aisner said the school is now accepting the GRE because they wanted to encourage people who weren’t thinking about business school to think about applying for a Harvard MBA.
“The reason for the growing use [of the GRE] is that MBA program admissions officers report that using the GRE improves the size, diversity and quality of the applicant pool,” Ewing said.
The GRE is also cheaper than the GMAT, the current test for business schools, and is more widely available around the world, Ewing said.
CHINTAN DESAI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.