Can GRE properly measure performance of a student in Grad school?

Exam: Test Prep GRE Test - Graduate Record Examination Test: Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical Writing


The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is an exam taken by students to get admission in foreign colleges and universities, mostly in United States. The test is conducted and monitored by Education Testing Service. Initially around 1949 the test aimed to measure the verbal and quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking. These skills are attained by the students over a long period of time; it can’t be gained by studying a particular period of time in any school. The format of the exam is objective type having multiple choice questions, the scores of the test is a determining factor for the admission foreign graduate schools and the various department within schools. ETS had made some changes in august 2011 in the question pattern, making the exam more users friendly and less difficult in comparison to other exams. The changed pattern will make evaluation of students easier by the universities, enabling them to choose more deserving candidates. The new pattern is effective since august 2011. According to the GRE team this is largest change in the last 60 yrs of GRE history.

Revised Pattern

The revised pattern of GRE features questions that will reflect your thinking, and the skills that are needed to succeed in the graduate schools. The friendly design of the test enables you to sip questions within the section, allow back and forth for changing the answers and the freedom to choose which section you want to do first. The test of GRE includes three areas Verbal Ability, Analytical Writing Ability, and Quantitative Ability (Mathematics). The general test of GRE successfully predicts the skills and ability of an individual during their high school, but it is not a sure shot measuring test for undergraduate success academically.

The GRE is required for admissions in graduate schools; however it can’t ascertain the success of students in the graduation. In certain universities GRE is avoidable while some stresses on having a GRE score. In United States there is an inconvenience that a student faces. If he/she doesn’t wants to give GRE they have to. According to a study, it shows that the universities of US are missing on talents and sometimes student take GRE as burden. That’s why many students hesitate to apply in US. GRE measures the skills of students that they acquire in high school. The score not a tall measures the success of students in graduate schools.

The GRE test assesses the potential of a student for his achievements in scholastic, professional abilities, and personal achievements. The GRE test may also limit the access to a graduate school for individuals, especially women, students from different tradition and color. Despite of the fact that the GRE scores are primary measure for predicting how successful a student is in graduate school. The GRE score is responsible for providing information for the student capabilities in their application form, but the developer team of the test says themselves that the undergraduate marks are more reliable in predicting the success of the individual in their graduation.

Variation between GRE and Undergraduate score

The test developers often predict the first year graduate degree scores, but they come out to be very weak in predicting correctly. According to a survey by test takers, the test accounted for 9% difference in the first year scores, while the undergraduate predictions are more accurate showing 14% variation, showing that the undergraduate grade are more strong predictor of academic success than the scores of GRE. A study done independently on GRE shows that there is mere 6% variation in the scores of GRE and academic success in graduation that can be predicted.

Several studies have been done to predict the relation between GRE scores and their performance in graduation. The study looked for correlation between the GRE scores and the individuals performance in their graduation that is often checked upon eight signs: four year grade point average(GPA), GPA of first year, faculty ratings, comprehensive scores of exams, graduate degree attainment, completion of graduation, research publications, and the no of times they are published and cited by other authors.

Prediction of GRE scores

Above all the GRE scores cannot predict the time taken by the individuals to get graduate degrees. As GRE is seen as graduate success predictor, how long it takes students have the graduate degree. There are overall three points on which the success of graduate school should be determined. Firstly, the general ability f the students as stated by psychologists, their ability to learn and think. These are measured by quantitative, verbal and analytical ability of students. Secondly, the knowledge of the concerned subject in they study which can be determined by the subject tests of GRE. Third but not last, is the persistence and motivation of the students. These are the qualities that can be measured by the biographical record of the individual. Like if the individual has taken any work that shows his/her drive and decision making ability.

To determine the graduate level success of the individual’s intelligence plays an important factor. According to Psychological Bulletin, GRE scores serves as a measure of IQ and the measuring level that determines whether the student have the courage to succeed in the graduate school. Another research shows that emotional intelligence level of an individual, the person ablity to perceive other persons feelings, shows a predictive value for effectiveness as well as performance in academics.

The GRE score of yours is responsible for your acceptance into a college, but getting the academic success depends on many other factors. Like your internships, project work, GPA of yours, and your hard work. These factors are also considered when you go for job and placement interviews. So study well during your undergraduate course rather then depending on your high GRE score.


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