Admissions & Student Aid

GRE Test Taking Increased in 2011, With Large Gains Abroad

February 08, 2012

The number of Graduate Record Examination tests given last year reached a record high, with sharp increases in test volume coming from China and India, the nonprofit organization that adminsters the test announced on Wednesday.

The Educational Testing Service said it adminstered more than 800,000 GRE tests in 2011, a 13-percent increase over the previous year.

Although the GRE program recorded growth in all "major markets" around the world, according to the ETS, it appeared that demand for the test increased most drastically overseas. The overall uptick in GRE test-taking internationally was about 25 percent, with China and India seeing exam volumes surge by 28 percent and 43 percent, respectively. In addition, ETS reported that the number of GRE score reports sent to international institutions rose by 17 percent.

American students, as a whole, took 10 percent more GRE exams in 2011 than they did in 2010.

ETS officials said in a statement that they attribute the rise in test volume in part to excitement over a new version of the exam, which the organization rolled out in August.

A rise in the number of institutions accepting the GRE also fueled the demand, the officials said. The number of M.B.A. programs accepting GRE scores, for example, more than doubled in 2010. At the same time, about 10 percent more international colleges agreed to start using GRE scores.