Educational Testing Service (ETS) today announced that 2009 GRE test volumes smashed the previous record with global registrations topping 675,000, a 9 percent increase over the prior year.
In a year where 2009 first-time U.S. graduate admissions were up 6 percent and GMAT test volumes grew by 1 percent, the GRE test’s record-setting year indicates strong worldwide appeal of the GRE General Test, according to company officials.
“Clearly students across the globe are seeing the value of taking the GRE General Test to pursue a graduate degree or business degree like an MBA,” says David G. Payne, VP and COO for College and Graduate Programs at ETS.
“We are pleased to see the results of our direct outreach really igniting people to pursue graduate education. Volumes are up almost everywhere — domestically and in major international markets like China and Europe,” adds Payne. “We also saw double-digit growth from many traditionally underrepresented minority groups in 2009. Quite simply, our applicant pool continues to expand and diversify as more and more people take the GRE test worldwide.”
Payne points out that one of the year’s biggest stories — and one that was widely covered in the media — was the dramatic increase in the number of MBA programs accepting the GRE General Test. In 2009, there was a 68 percent increase in the number of business schools accepting GRE scores for their MBA programs. The GRE program also reports that the number of GRE test takers planning to go to business school doubled.
“MBA programs are telling us that they need to broaden and diversify their applicant pools to meet the demands of today’s global economy. And they see accepting GRE General Test scores as a great way to reach hundreds of thousands of potential candidates that they could miss if they accepted only the GMAT scores,” Payne says.
Because the GRE General Test can be a single ticket to both graduate and business school, Payne expects significant growth in the coming years from students who choose to take the GRE test to apply to MBA and other graduate programs. “In this economy especially, the flexibility to use one test for admission to both graduate and business programs is great for students who want to ensure that they have options. It’s a huge benefit to them.”