The global pandemic and travel restriction have not changed the ambition of students and their efforts to study abroad. The GRE home Test is allowing students to continue applying to international and domestic universities by taking the test from their homes.
BW Businessworld speaks with Alberto Acereda, the Executive Director of Higher Education at the Global Education Division at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ, about studying abroad, changing in the GRE format and its growing acceptance by Indian universities.
What are some of the trends you have noticed among students interested in studying abroad?
We continue to see an uptick in the numbers of students applying for graduate programs abroad as the world slowly reopens. There is still great interest in the various graduate, business and law programs, both in India and abroad. The at-home solution has helped to provide a seamless opportunity for students to pursue their study abroad goals. In fact, to date, we have received more than 338,000 registrations for the GRE General Test at home.
What are the main concerns prospective students have in applying to foreign universities during the pandemic?
The global pandemic has impacted the educational landscape around the world and has made it more difficult for students to plan for the future. While we have seen some students postpone their plans, we have seen other students eagerly take advantage of the increased opportunities and better admission chances at top universities that may be available to them in this unique situation. The GRE General Test at home provides students with flexibility and access to a key part of the holistic admissions process that helps to ensure that they stay on course to reach their dreams during the pandemic and beyond.
How has the GRE test adapted/changed over time?
Last April, ETS was the first in the industry to deliver a secure, remotely-proctored test solution in collaboration with industry leader, ProctorU®, to make the GRE General Test available to test takers from the safety of their homes. ETS and ProctorU developed a robust security mechanism and score users can be confident in the validity of test scores earned by test takers worldwide.
What does this new format entail?
The content and format of the GRE General Test at home is the same as the content and format of the GRE General Test administered at test centres. This means that test takers do not need to change how they prepare for the test. In addition, the at-home test uses the same score scales, score report and score reporting options, which benefits score users.
Considering the ongoing pandemic, flexibility and affordability are important for prospective graduate students looking to improve upon their scores. The GRE General Test is the least expensive higher education assessment which makes it the most affordable option for test-takers. The test is also offered around the clock, making it a convenient test option. In addition, it is the only higher education assessment that is exactly the same as the test given in a test centre.
Finally, both the GRE General Test taken at test centres and the at-home test is accepted by thousands of graduate, business and law programs around the world. The test is the one admissions test that can be used to apply to a range of master’s, specialized master’s in business (e.g. MiA, MiDA, MiM), M.B.A, J.D. and doctoral programs. That means prospective graduate students only need to take one test to have a world of options within reach.
What is the impact of Indian universities accepting GRE scores going to have on the testing and its format?
Several of the top business schools in India accept GRE scores for various graduate degree programs. We are continually looking to increase our acceptability at B-schools in India, similar to how we’ve done so in other markets as shown by the thousands of B-schools that accept GRE scores in top-ranked MBA programs according to The Financial Times, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek. An up-to-date list of MBA programs accepting GRE scores in India can be accessed here by selecting “India” from the drop-down menu on the website.
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