GRE Score Reporting Changes: Good or Bad?
If you plan to take the GRE test, you may be interested to know that soon you can select your best score to send to colleges.
Educational Testing Service will roll out the new option, called ScoreSelect, in July 2012. It will apply to you whether you have taken the test within the past five years or plan to do so in the future, so you should get to know the new option.
How Does ScoreSelect Work?
Currently, the colleges you apply to for graduate school receive all the GRE test scores you have gotten in the last five years. This means that even if you retake the GRE test several times to improve your score, every result will be viewed by the colleges you apply to.
However, as of July 2012, you will be able to decide to send either all scores from the last five years, or just the most recent test score. These options are free, and the latter option may help you if you have improved your score on your latest test, since you are allowed to choose it after seeing your scores on the day of the exam.
But what if you have taken the test three times and are happiest with the second score? In this case, you can wait until after the day of the GRE test to send one particular score, though there is a fee for this. If you are happy with the results of more than one test, you can choose to send a few GRE test scores to graduate schools.
The schools will know only about the GRE test scores you choose to send, so they will not have any idea if you have taken the exam several times. The new rules apply to the GRE subject tests and the general GRE test.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
The most obvious benefit of the modification is that you may improve your chance of being accepted to a selective college for graduate school since you can send only your highest GRE test scores if you choose.
An additional benefit is that students may choose to take the GRE test earlier than usual because they do not have to report all scores. Previously, some students may have been afraid to take it too early in their undergraduate years, especially since they felt they needed all the study time they could get.
For example, if you previously planned to take the GRE test after graduation, you may now decide to take the chance earlier, such as during your sophomore or junior year, since you can simply not report those scores now. In addition, you gain experience each time you take the test, which may lead to a higher score.
On the other hand, the change may mean that colleges will simply become more selective. This may mean that if you do not send only the highest GRE test scores, you will be at a disadvantage since the average test score will have increased.
In addition, it costs money to send only certain test scores, unless you simply choose to send the most recent one. This may mean you feel forced to spend money just to compete with other students, and this may not be fair to those without the extra cash to spend.
Regardless, the change in the GRE test score process will likely excite many students considering applying for graduate school. Are you one of them? Do you plan to send in only your best GRE test scores?