ETS GRE eUpdate


GRE® eUpdate

August 2014



Dear Colleague,

With vacation season winding down, you are likely gearing up for another busy year. We thought this would be the perfect time to share some valuable recruitment tips, as well as the latest GRE® news.

We begin with a recent ETS analysis on GRE test-taker trends and performance that will be of special interest to those who advise students. In addition, many of our readers are actively finding new ways to attract applicants early in their decision-making process and we have some helpful recruitment tips especially for you. Finally, don't miss the news about some just-released ETS publications and upcoming events.

Wishing you a successful start to the new academic season!


The GRE Program team


GRE® Repeaters Show Score Gains

Since 2012, the number of people taking the GRE® revised General Test a second time grew considerably, and a new analysis by Educational Testing Service (ETS) revealed that most people who took the test a second time did better. Score improvements were noted on the Verbal Reasoning measure and on the Quantitative Reasoning measure.

"Performance differences, however, vary by individual and might occur for a variety of reasons including test-day jitters or how prepared he or she felt," said Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communications and Services for the GRE Program at ETS. "Not everyone's score goes up, but in a study of the GRE test takers, on average, those who took it a second time increased their scores."

Some of the interest in testing a second time stems from the 2012 introduction of the ScoreSelect® option. With this option, individuals who take the GRE revised General Test to apply to graduate or business schools around the world can take the test more than once and can choose to report only their best sets of scores. That is an important benefit, according to a recent survey of GRE test takers. Furthermore, the survey showed that awareness of the ScoreSelect option has grown significantly in the last year, and nearly eight out of 10 test takers who responded said they thought the ScoreSelect option was valuable.

Students can take the GRE revised General Test once every 21 days up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period, but only a small percentage of test takers took the test more than twice.

"Many of the changes that we have introduced have been designed to bolster students' confidence so that more people will take that step toward graduate or business school," said David Payne, ETS Vice President & COO, Global Education. "That means that individuals can approach test day with a backup plan. If they feel they did their best right away, that's terrific, but about 20 percent of people in 2013 did try again. The ScoreSelect option enables a person to take it again and send schools only their best scores."

GRE scores currently are accepted by thousands of graduate-level schools worldwide, including more than 1,100 business schools that now accept GRE scores for admission into their MBA programs.

For more information about GRE tests and services, please visit The analysis referred to above is available upon request; please contact Jason Baran at


Maximize Results during the Busy Recruitment Season with these Helpful Tips

The GRE® Search Service, powered by Hobsons, is a valuable recruitment tool that can help GRE score users reach prospects who have demonstrated graduate-level readiness through their GRE® test performance. With about 30 criteria to select from, you can customize your marketing campaign with the RIGHT message depending on your needs and a student's future plans.

For example, you can create powerful marketing messages and customize by segments according to when prospective graduate and business school applicants plan to enroll — that way, you can reach them precisely when it's optimal during their decision-making process. You can encourage those with more immediate plans to attend an upcoming campus event for more direct engagement with your program or help prospects with longer timelines learn about your program, sharing information that helps them understand the benefits and unique culture of your institution. And remember, along with using the timing criteria, you can incorporate other criteria that are important to you, such as intended graduate major, undergraduate major, grade point average and many others. Highly targeted campaigns help to produce a good return on investment!

The GRE Search Service is a crucial part of our enrollment strategy. Search results enable us to effectively and efficiently target those prospective students deemed most likely to matriculate and progress to graduation, which guarantees we're wisely investing our recruitment dollars. We've found no other source capable of delivering a targeted, pre-qualified prospect for only 43 cents on the dollar!

—Tristam Aldridge, Director of Graduate
Admissions, Georgia Southern University

It's easy to get started in time for this recruitment season. Take just a few minutes now, to set up your account. Or learn more at an upcoming webinar.

More Ways to Boost Your Recruitment Efforts

  • Free Publicity for Your Upcoming Information Sessions: The busy recruitment season is also an ideal time to leverage this new benefit from the GRE Program, especially for GRE score users. Have your school's graduate recruitment events publicized — for FREE — on the official GRE revised General Test page on Facebook®. It's a perfect way to reach more than 400,000 prospective graduate and business school students and their friends! Simply submit your event information at least 45 days prior to your event date and we'll take it from there!
  • Especially for Business Schools Using GRE Scores: To make sure highly qualified GRE test takers ready for business school know that you welcome GRE scores, review this quick list and raise your visibility. You can also use this graphic on your website or in other digital communications, and program it to link to to help prospective applicants quickly find the GRE information they need.


Read about Interpreting GRE Scores — Updated Guide Available

The GRE Program recently released the 2014–2015 GRE Guide to the Use of Scores (PDF), an annual publication that is a go-to, practical resource for every graduate and business school program that uses GRE scores. The 2014–2015 edition includes updated score interpretation, statistical and percentile rank information to assist you in comparing applicants, and best practices to help you and your colleagues with using GRE scores appropriately. Be sure to download this updated edition and share it with your colleagues!


Read about GRE Research — New Publication Issued

The Research Foundation for the GRE revised General Test: a Compendium of Studies, now available on the GRE website, is a comprehensive collection of the extensive research efforts and other activities that led to the successful launch of the GRE revised General Test in August 2011. Gain an understanding of the efforts that were critical in making the most trusted assessment of graduate-level skills even better!


Upcoming Events for Advisors and Educators

GRE Test Preparation Workshop for Campus Educators

September 22, 2014: Philadelphia, PA

GRE Educate Webinar series:

September 9, 2014: An Overview of the GRE revised General Test

September 16, 2014: A Closer Look at the GRE Verbal Reasoning Measure

September 23, 2014: A Closer Look at the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Measure

September 30, 2014: Brand new! A Closer Look at the GRE Analytical Writing Measure


Recruitment Corner

Did you know that use of the GRE Search Service by graduate and business schools peaks this time of year? Don't wait! Create your account now and start reaching prospects who are right for your program.

Tip! Make sure students know you accept GRE scores for your graduate or business school program. Download our Free GRE Poster (PDF) and post it on campus — including your Admissions office.


GRE Events and Resources


Check our website, or email the GRE Program Team.




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