Perks of taking the GRE

    Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
    Study Abroad Expert

    The Graduate Record Examination, commonly referred to as GRE, is the widest accepted standardized test for masters, doctoral, and fellowship programs across top universities in the US and in the world. What makes this exam unique is that it can be taken year round and candidates have the option to send only the best GRE scores. Taking the GRE opens up numerous possibilities for students who have completed their undergraduate degree and plan to study abroad for further education. More than a 1000 graduate schools in the US alone accept the GRE. Additionally, top universities in the UK, Australia, Singapore, and Europe consider GRE scores an intrinsic part of your admission application. 

    Given below are some of the most beneficial aspects of taking the GRE test:

    Extensive Acceptance

    The GRE test is the most widely used exam for graduate admissions. More than 1300 business schools accept the GRE for MBA and other professional graduate programs in 94 countries. GRE is also being accepted by top law schools for J.D. (Juris Doctor) programs in the US. Currently, around 50 law schools in the US consider GRE scores for admissions, including law schools at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia.

    The advantage of GRE’s wide acceptance is multi-fold. Not only can students apply to a wide range of graduate programs, it also provides a time-window for uncertain candidates to ponder upon their final choice of program. Additionally, with a GRE score students can apply to dual degree graduate and professional programs such as JD/MBA.

    Students targeting specific masters or doctoral programs can also take the GRE Subject tests if they are going for a program in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and English Literature.

    GRE scores are considered for scholarships and other sources of funding across various graduate schools and fellowship programs. A high GRE score increases your chances of landing a scholarship.

    User-friendly Testing Features

    GRE is the only computer-based test that allows you to skip, mark, review, and change your answers. This allows users to reattempt questions they had difficulty answering initially. With the GRE Scoreselect feature, students have the option to send only their best scores to prospective graduate schools. Since GRE general tests can be taken upto 5 times in a year with a minimum gap of 21 days between two consecutive tests, students have ample opportunities to prepare for the GRE and get a desirable score. These unique features make the GRE one of the most user-friendly tests in the world. 

    Additionally, the GRE has no age limit. This means that people can take the GRE at any point in their life provided they pay the registration fee (205 USD) and possess an undergraduate degree.

    Compensatory Benefits

    GRE’s exam pattern includes analytical writing,quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning sections that test a candidate’s overall ability and aptitude to successfully complete a graduate program. The weightage of GRE scores is more than 20% in most graduate admissions. GRE scores provide an additional perspective to judge a candidate’s ability. A complete graduate application for admission comprises various components such as undergraduate GPA, work experience, letters of recommendation, etc. However, a competitive GRE score (300+) can compensate for a low GPA. 

    It would be excessive to say that GRE scores alone can guarantee admission to a desired program. However, with a high GRE score your chances of admission increase. Many graduate schools also provide scholarships to admitted candidates with a good GRE score.

    Validity & Score Reporting

    GRE scores are valid for 5 years. This allows enough time for applicants to apply for graduate school admissions once they have appeared for the test. Additionally, GRE scores can be sent to multiple institutions for a minimal fee. Official scores of the GRE are available 10-15 days after taking the test. However, students can see their rough score immediately after the exam and decide whether or not they want to send those scores to the designated institutes.

    Additional Perks

    It is not just taking the GRE that helps candidates forge a successful career, but scoring good on the test that really brings out the most beneficial aspects of the exam. A below average GRE score might result in disapproval of your student visa in the US, whereas a good GRE score might ease the approval of your visa application. ETS (Educational Testing Services), the organizing body of GRE also sends your test scores to employers if asked, increasing your chances of getting hired. 

    Moreover, with ample of free and inexpensive study material available for GRE preparation, it is only dedication and a well-planned study schedule that students require to score well on the GRE. Many test takers report that GRE is not as complex as GMAT or LSAT. Although the verbal section of the GRE can be a hard nut to crack for non-native speakers of English, with regular practice and the right study material, scoring high on the GRE is not a herculean task. 

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