GRE Use Increasing in MBA Admissions

When the boom hit a few years ago to begin including the GRE as a testing option for MBA admissions, uncertainty among applicants ran high. The idea of allowing students to take only one exam as they contemplate going for an MBA versus another advanced degree is a solid one. However, many candidates wondered: would business schools view GRE scores with the same regard as the long-trusted standard, the GMAT?

According to new data released by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the GRE, more MBA applicants than ever before chose the GRE revised General Test to meet admission requirements during the 2012-13 testing year. Nearly 10% of individuals who took one of the two leading business school admission tests and indicated MBA as their intended degree objective, opted for the GRE.

Melissa Korn‘s recent story on this increase for the Wall Street Journal reports that one in five applicants to Yale School of Management submitted GRE scores this year. SOM admissions director Bruce DelMonico tells Korn that figure is double the rate of 2010.

The article goes on to note an increase at UT McCombs School of Business as well, where 14% of applicants to the full-time program submitted GRE scores this year, compared to just 10% for the class of 2014.

Here at Stacy Blackman Consulting, we noticed a similar uptick in our recent online survey of 675 MBA applicants, the results of which are shared in the Wall Street Journal piece.  We found that 7.7% of respondents were interested in the GRE, up from 4% last year, while the share planning to take the GMAT fell to 92.4% from 96.3%.

David Payne, vice president of global education at ETS, believes greater numbers of MBA applicants will choose the GRE because of its many benefits, which include a ScoreSelect option that lets you decide which GRE scores to send to the schools you designate, and its test-taker friendly design.

“We have heard from schools that they are seeing anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of their MBA applicants presenting GRE scores, and we expect this number to continue to grow,” Payne says.

For some applicants, this news may set to rest any doubts about submitting the GRE rather than the GMAT with their MBA application. After all, the admissions committees are adamant about giving equal weight to both exams. However, until more schools begin publishing average GRE scores alongside the GMAT scores of admitted applicants, many MBA hopefuls will likely continue to hedge their bets and use the tried-and-true GMAT instead.

You may also be interested in:

GRE vs GMAT: Which test is right for you?

SBC Scoop: GRE trumps GMAT?



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