Alberto Acereda is the Executive Director of Higher Education at the Global Education Division at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ. He has overall responsibility for the ETS Assessment Solution Portfolio that focuses on undergraduate and graduate higher education, with special emphasis in innovative solutions to the higher education community. Prior to joining ETS in 2012, he worked for nearly 20 years in several universities in the United States, both as a research professor and as an administrator.
Studying at the graduate level abroad can be a life-changing experience for students. From enhancing global connections to experiencing new cultures, the benefits to one’s education and career are significant. It is not surprising that the number of students earning a degree outside of their home country has multiplied over the past few years.
Students know that university experience abroad can help them acquire the knowledge to succeed, while providing flexibility to adapt their career path as their interests grow and change. With institutions accepting applications, and people seeking some sense of normalcy, students are still keen to study abroad. One of the main eligibility criteria for getting into universities abroad remains: clearing an admissions test. With several graduate admissions tests available in the market, which tests to go for, where and how, is something that students are trying to figure out.
ETS launched the GRE® General Test at home solution to provide additional testing options for students. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test offered in test centers, so all test preparation materials are still relevant. The at home test uses artificial intelligence and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®. The test enjoys the same global acceptability, flexibility and pricing which underscores its student friendliness and adds to its overall appeal.
While other graduate admission tests like GMAT® also offer at home options, there are other intrinsic and unique features which make the GRE General Test more convenient for test takers. For instance, students can take this test five times in a rolling 12-month period while the GMAT can be taken at home only once. Considering the ongoing pandemic, this flexibility is critical for prospective graduate students looking to improve upon their scores.
Those choosing the GRE General Test will find it offers them the option to use more of their own personal test-taking strategies. Unlike GMAT and LSAT ®, the GRE test allows students to skip questions, return to them later and change answers. Another key feature of the GRE General Test is the ScoreSelect® service option, giving test takers the ability to send schools only the scores that they want to submit to the colleges of their choice. This gives students control over what schools see and what they don’t see when it comes to their GRE scores. In contrast, GMAT requires the student to designate score recipients before testing even begins which forces a student to share their scores before they even know how they performed on the exam.
ETS was the first testing company to release an at home graduate admissions exam. The option to test at home provides students with a solution to allow them to continue to pursue their educational goals without disruption. According to data shared by Harvard Business School , a record 22% of enrolled students submitted a GRE score to enter Harvard’s MBA program.
What also distinguishes the GRE General Test from other assessments is that it cuts across disciplines. It is accepted for courses ranging from law to business to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and humanities. This gives prospective test takers the option to choose from a variety of fields and not exclude other career options at the earlier stages of their educational journey. In today’s day and age, the importance of specialization cannot be undermined, taking a dual degree such as an MBA/master’s of public policy is something a lot of students explore. In such cases, the GRE General Test is the better choice as it allows students to take one test to apply to dual-degree programs.
The flexibility offered by the GRE General Test is critical for prospective graduate students looking to do their best on test day and gain admissions into the program of their choice. The GRE General Test is the better option for students as they pursue their higher education dreams amid the pandemic and beyond!