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News from the Test-Maker: Send Your GRE Scores to Potential Employers

July 11, 2013 by

ETSBeginning in December of 2012, ETS (the test-maker behind the GRE) began a three-year pilot program to determine what potential use GRE scores have in helping employers make hiring decisions.

What’s behind this decision? While GRE scores are currently used only to evaluate candidates for graduate school and fellowships, the test-maker realized that increasing numbers of job applicants are using their test scores to stand out to employers – the practice has become widespread enough that LinkedIn offers its users the options of adding test scores to their profiles.

So what does this mean for you – will top GRE scores now need to be prominently featured on your resume in order to get a job? ETS has provided very specific guidance to employers who are using GRE scores to help evaluate job applicants. Some of the guidelines include:

  • Pay attention to differences in percentiles, instead of differences in numerical scores. ETS is encouraging employers to look at the percentile rankings for scores that applicants submit in order to compare applicants, rather than trying to make a distinction between score differences of 1 or 2 points.
  • Treat quantitative, verbal, and essay scores distinct scores instead of as part of one overall score. Graduate programs differ in how they use scores for each section of the GRE, and the same should be true of employers. Employers are advised to understand what skills each section of the GRE tests, and to make their own decisions about how each score will allow them to evaluate applicants.

It will be a couple of years before ETS has enough data to determine whether it should go full-force with this initiative, but it certainly pays to plan ahead – if you’re testing within the next couple of years to pursue an advanced degree, adding your scores to your post-degree employment applications could be a common practice by the time you graduate. Putting in the time to prepare thoroughly now could benefit you for years to come!


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