‘GRE measures skills important for success at the graduate level’
Updated on Nov 7, 2014 - 4:22 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das

Boasting an increasing popularity among Indian test takers, GRE is displaying record test takers of more than 90,000 annually in the country.

In this interview with Careers360, Dawn Piacentino, Director of Communication and Services, GRE Program at ETS, talks about the factors that has led to such rise.

Piacentino also discusses about the changes made to the GRE exam pattern and the impact it has had on the test takers.

 Below are the edited excerpts from teh interview:

Careers360: Can you give an estimate of the number of students appearing for GRE from India?
Dawn Piacentino: In 2013, GRE volumes in India increased by more than 70% over 2012, recording annual GRE test volumes greater than 90,000 from that region alone. We have not yet released 2014 data.


Careers360: What according to you are the factors behind the increase in GRE takers?
Dawn Piacentino: The GRE revised General Test is the world’s most widely accepted admissions test for graduate and business schools.  No matter what advanced degree a test taker is considering, he or she will have more opportunities for success with the GRE revised General Test. In fact, in addition to the thousands of graduate schools around the world accepting GRE scores for their master’s and doctoral programs, more than 1,100 business schools worldwide also accept GRE scores for admission to MBA, specialized master’s and other graduate business programs. The test measures the skills that are important for success at the graduate level: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing. 


Careers360: What are the recent changes in the exam pattern of GRE?
Dawn Piacentino: When the GRE revised General Test was introduced in August 2011, it represented significant changes.

Some of the enhancements include the following:

  • Less reliance on vocabulary out of context, more emphasis on reading — and no antonyms and analogies
  • New navigation features, including the ability to edit or change answers and skip questions and go back to them later, within a section, giving students the freedom to use more of their own personal test-taking strategies
  • New types of questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, many featuring real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking they’ll do in today’s demanding graduate and business school programs
  • New question types, like entering a number or selecting more than one answer choice when asked, so they can better demonstrate what they know
  • The introduction of an on-screen calculator for the Quantitative Reasoning section.

The GRE revised General Test also has new score scales for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures. Scores for those measures are reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments. Scores for the Analytical Writing measure continue to be reported on a 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments.

In addition, it is important to note that the ScoreSelect option was introduced in July 2012. Now students can select the scores from their history that they want to send to institutions.


Careers360: How does the change impact the students appearing for GRE?
Dawn Piacentino: The GRE revised General Test better reflects the kind of thinking students do in graduate or business school and provide an even better test-taking experience. The new types of questions more closely align with the skills needed to succeed in today’s demanding graduate and business school programs.


Careers360: The GRE is increasingly giving competition to GMAT for admission into business schools. What is ETS doing to give GRE an edge over GMAT?
Dawn Piacentino:
The GRE revised General Test is the ONLY admissions test that is accepted by graduate and business school programs worldwide, giving test takers more opportunities for success.  It is also the only test that features a test-taker friendly design that lets test takers use more of their own testing strategies.  The GRE revised General Test also features the ScoreSelecttest takers decide which scores to send so if they take the test once or more than once, test takers can send only the scores they want schools to see.


Also Read:

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GRE Preparation Tips

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GRE E-Book: Complete Guide to the Test

Suggested Reading

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Questions related to GRE

Showing 433 out of 433 Questions

how to prepare for GRE? Which foreign countries (colleges) provide a scholarship on the basis of its marks if I want to pursue msc abroad?

lubhan cherwoo 23rd Feb, 2020

Getting a scholarship is more difficult than admission into a university and so you have to stand out of the crowd, details about universities and how to proceed further are mentioned below,

1. Check US News, (Edulix)

2. Go through the eligibility and prerequisites of those universities

3. Find out those Universities which match your profile and interests.

4. Try to apply in the early bird application of universities. (Sometimes applying earlier can enhance your chances to get a scholarship) .

5.Go to the "Financial Aid" section of universities website to know about scholarships.

But a high GRE score may not guarantee you a scholarship but a low GRE will reduce your chances to get one.


hi I always want to crack GRE is that possible

Fareeha 17th Feb, 2020

Hi aspirant!
Yes, you may be able to crack the GRE exam easily with hard work and determination.

Please check the link below which has the much needed information about the exam, pattern and syllabus. Hope it helps. Good luck!



I am a student of galgotias university and my gre score is 310 and having 8+ cgpa in mechanical engineering. I done two intenships one from DRDO and other one from Indian railway. Also i had done two research paper. What are my chances of getting technical university of Munich or Berlin.?

dheeraj reddy 14th Feb, 2020

Hi sajal

As far as CGPA is considered, you meet the minimum requirement stated by both the TUs. Also as you know, for selection, your overall profiles matters. I see you have mentioned 2 research papers. They would add a great value to your application if they are relevant to the Masters you are applying.

GRE is not mandatory for TU Berlin and most of the programs in TUM too.

You would need an IELTS score of minimum 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 88 for clearing language requirements.

You would need German language proficiency of atleast C1 level ( only if you are applying for a course with German taught modules). Also even for english taught programs, having a basic German proficiency of A2 level would greatly help in your application.

For TUM, they might conduct a further aptitude assessment depending on the strength of your application.

Your internships would add value only if they are relevant to your field of study (the Masters you are applying).

Apart from the above mentioned, Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) / Letter of Motivation and Letters of Recommendation would also have a key impact on your application. Make sure you describe well how your past experiences ( internships, research exp, any work exp) and the masters program you are going to undertake would help in your future goals.

I hope I was helpful to you. Remember again , your overall profile matters. Don't be discouraged if you fall short in any one of the aspects.

With research papers, internships, you are already ahead of several applicants. You have a good chance for any Masters degree relevant to Mechanical Engineering. Goodluck!


Sir, I would like to do my masters in biotechnology for that what type of GRE test should I apply I mean like GRE general test or GRE subject test (biology)

Swatika Sharma 24th Jan, 2020

Hello Greeshma,

As you didn't mention anything so I'm expecting you to be an undergraduate or you are pursuing it. First of all, I recommend you choose what you want to accomplish in future: Do you want to do your postgraduate, Abroad or in India itself?

GRE (Graduation Record Examination) is a universally comprehended exam which is supervised by ETS ( Education Testing Services). GRE examination is taken by future aspirants for postgraduate programs in foreign universities and its score are approved in over 160 countries colleges and universities across the world. GRE exam is conducted in two types such as- GRE general test and GRE subject test.

GRE general test is the primary requirements for most of the postgraduate programs in Abroad or in India which consists of verbal perception, analytical writing and quantitative reasoning while GRE subject test is specifically for subjects which you are looking for like biology.

In India, there are very few technical colleges which are accepting GRE scores but for not the same course you are opting for, while there are so many colleges or universities in Abroad which approved or accepted GRE scores.

In my opinion, the GRE general test should be given for admission in Postgraduate programs.  Along with the GRE general test, it's best for you to give the subject test (in biology ) which give extra weightage to your academic record either it's your choice.

Hope its help!!


Graduation in dental surgery(5yr)+3 yr work ex. Masters in hopsital admin(2 yr) + 3 yr of work ex. Wish to pursue PhD in health allied course in USA. Am i eligible to apply also how much GRE score would be required to apply for a good university?

Fareeha 17th Feb, 2020

Hi aspirant!
Yes, you are definitely eligible to pursue PhD from USA.

Kindly look up for edibility criteria for the colleges where you wish to apply. Some colleges do not require GRE scores for admissions in PhD. The criteria differs in each college.

However, you may have to appear for TOEFL/IELTS. Usually scores between 98-120 is accepted in most of the colleges.

Good Luck!

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