Kaplan Test Prep Survey: GRE® Acceptance Among Business Schools Hits Record High; Most Say GRE Option Helps Them Enroll More Non-Traditional MBA Students

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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kaplan Test Prep’s 2016 business school admissions officers survey finds
that 92 percent accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT®,
giving aspiring MBAs more flexibility than ever in deciding which exam
to take to get in*. This all-time high percentage in Kaplan’s annual
survey represents a huge jump from its 2009 survey — the first year
Kaplan asked the question — when only 24 percent of business schools
said they accepted GRE scores.

But despite increased acceptance of the GRE among business schools,
there’s a point of consideration for MBA applicants who are considering
this option: The GMAT might still give applicants an edge at some
schools. Twenty-six percent of admissions officer say those who submit a
GMAT score have an admissions advantage over those who submit a GRE
score. Only 2 percent say GRE takers have the advantage; the remaining
73 percent say neither exam taker has the advantage, essentially
unchanged from Kaplan’s 2015 survey.

Business schools have contended that accepting the GRE as an alternative
to the GMAT — long the only accepted admissions exam –widens the pool
of applicants beyond students from ‘traditional’ MBA backgrounds like
finance, banking or consulting. Kaplan survey data supports this notion
and finds that schools have been successful in this effort, with 61
percent saying offering the GRE option has resulted in the enrollment of
more students from nontraditional backgrounds. The GRE has not, however,
significantly contributed to business schools enrolling more female
students (25 percent), students of color (24 percent), or low income
students (16 percent). It’s important to note, unrelated to the GRE,
that the percentage of female
at top business schools has increased over the past several
years and there are other efforts underway to
increase the number of students of color
; and the GRE alone isn’t
the only reason business schools have enrolled more students from
non-traditional MBA backgrounds.

“One reason acceptance of the GRE continues to grow seems to be because
it generally broadens the application pool to include prospective
students who might bring a different set of experiences and skills to
business school and the business world, which is important as the
economy continues to diversify. It’s also possible that business schools
that don’t offer the GRE option may lose excellent prospective students
to schools that do,” said Brian Carlidge, executive director of
pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “We continue
to stress to students to understand that some schools are still
reluctant to give both tests equal cachet, even though they accept both
exams. Our advice is to gather intel and ask admissions officers if
their program has preference for one exam over the other.”

*The survey was conducted between August 2016 and October 2016 of
admissions officers at 224 business schools in the United States. Among
the 224 business schools are 18 of the top 50, as ranked by U.S. News &
World Report.

GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission
Council™. Kaplan materials do not contain actual GMAT items and are
neither endorsed by nor affiliated in any way with GMAC. GRE ® is a
registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service, which neither
sponsors nor endorses this product.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com)
is a premier provider of educational and career services for
individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the
world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of
online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital
products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized
tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and
graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys,
physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and
graduate admissions consulting services.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company


Kaplan Test Prep
Russell Schaffer, 212-453-7538