Using GRE® Scores Holistically
"Admissions processes that use standardized assessments, coupled with more subjective measures like essays, internships and interviews, are inherently fairer and more respectful to applicants, while also helping institutions achieve their diversity goals."
Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research and Professor of Psychology and Africana Studies at Tulane University, and Chair of the GRE Board Services Committee
"GRE Analytical Writing scores are the best or second best predictor of graduate GPA, and programs can access applicants’ actual essay responses through ETS Data Manager. These responses are more authentic than personal statements, which are often coached and refined before submitting as part of the application."
Professor of Biology and Former Dean of the Graduate School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Graduate Education Advisor with ETS
"A complete assessment of each applicant is important to identifying the best graduate students for your program. Using GRE scores is essential in having a full understanding of the potential of each applicant."
Professor of Textile Sciences and Former Dean of the Graduate School, North Carolina State University, and Graduate Education Advisor with ETS
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.
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.
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.
A Commitment to Fairness and Equity
Expanding access to graduate education has always been our mission. ETS takes a 360 approach to ensuring its tests are fair, secure and accessible so that every test taker has equitable opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continue Your Journey
Discover the connection between holistic admissions and diversity, and access helpful resources from the graduate community and ETS.