The Essential Role of GRE Scores

GRE test scores serve a unique role in the admissions process. Among many pieces of information a program may receive about an applicant, only the GRE tests:

  • Provide a standardized measure of the critical thinking, reasoning and analytical writing skills needed for graduate-level study
  • Act as a “check” for more subjective information that can introduce biases, such as the reputation of the undergraduate school and the status of letter writers
  • Yield objective, comparative data that is especially helpful when making tough admissions decisions and comparing applicants, all of whom come from different backgrounds and academic experiences
  • Uphold and adhere to industry standards for quality, research and fairness

For these reasons, the GRE® General Test and GRE® Subject Tests are essential components of holistic admissions.
Learn more with a side-by-side comparison of admissions with and without GRE scores. (PDF)

How GRE Scores Serve Decision Makers

Discover the unique role that GRE scores serve in helping decision makers fairly compare applicants with diverse backgrounds. It’s this distinctive role that makes the GRE General Test a key facet of holistic admissions.

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Four Facts About the GRE General Test

Get our Four Facts download to understand why the GRE General Test is as relevant, fair and valuable as ever for evaluating graduate school applicants.

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Inform Campus Discussions About GRE Score Use

Get answers to questions about GRE test value and validity, test bias and diversity. Access resources that provide clear, research-based evidence that can help address common misconceptions about test use.

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Increasing Understanding of the Test

Watch short videos to discover how each section of the GRE General Test — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing — provide admissions decision makers with valuable evidence of critical skills.

Explore the Three Measures

Get the Most from GRE Scores

Four Ways to Use GRE® General Test Scores to Evaluate and Support Applicants

Are you getting the most out of GRE General Test scores? Here are four lesser known but effective ways that graduate programs are putting this common, standardized measure to good use.

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GRE® Test Validity: Putting it in Perspective

Research shows that GRE test scores are more highly correlated with academic readiness and performance than many correlations from psychology, medicine and everyday life. Scores also tell us which students might benefit from additional support to help them be successful in a program.

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Getting the Greatest Value Out of Test Scores

Lately, many graduate schools have been having discussions about “test-optional” policies in an effort to increase the diversity of their applicant and registered student pools — but evidence shows that programs that have done so do not see improved diversity.

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If You’re Not Using GRE® Analytical Writing Scores, You Might be Missing Out

GRE Analytical Writing essays are likely the most authentic writing samples you will receive from an applicant, and they are often the best or second-best predictor of academic performance.

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Continue Your Journey

Discover the connection between holistic admissions and diversity, and access helpful resources from the graduate community and ETS.

Diversity & Inclusion