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The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world largest educational testing and assessment organisation, has reported a significant increase in Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) taken in 2013. With more than 731 000 tests taken last year, ETS has noted the second highest number of GREs since its introduction in 1949.
One major reason for this increase lies in ETS’ expansion in Asia, more notably India which has been deliberately targeted in recent years. Alone 90 000 GRE tests were taken in India, which represents an increase of more than 70 % on comparison to GRE test numbers in 2012. Overall, international GRE volumes went up by 30 %, mainly due to a significant increase in Asia alone with 35 %. Yet, the increase in GRE tests taken in India might to some come as a surprise. Considering the depreciation of the Indian Rupee currency and the decreasing number of Indian student enrolment at UK higher education institutions (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2013 & January 2014) a further drop in Indian international student numbers did not seem unlikely. Despite the 70 % rise in GRE tests taken in India, it is unclear to which extent this will have an effect in international student numbers, as the Indian higher education market is relatively volatile.
However, the significant increase in GRE tests taken in India cannot and should not be exclusively linked to potential student enrolment in the US. In addition, the number of GRE tests taken only provides useful information for graduate enrolment, i.e. student enrolment for a master’s or doctoral degree mainly in the field of business administration. Although GREs are a common admission requirement for graduate schools in the US, an increasing number of business graduate schools and programmes outside the US have opted for inclusion of GRE in their admission procedure. The number of higher education institutes outside the US accepting GRE results increased by 12 % and now amounts to 245. In India, currently only 14 business schools make use of GRE.