Graduate programs striving to admit the most qualified and diverse classes can do so by ensuring their admissions review processes consider insightful and trusted metrics like GRE General Test scores. Waiving the only common, objective measure in a holistic review process will inherently make the process less fair and equitable as the likelihood of implicit bias increases. Instead, admissions decision makers have an obligation in holistically reviewing applicants to consider a multitude of variables, including ones that reliably indicate an applicant’s readiness for succeeding at graduate-level work.
Recently, there have been studies suggesting that not too much weight should be placed on GRE scores.
The Educational Testing Service agrees with this premise, as the scores do not and cannot offer insight about all qualities that are important in predicting academic success or in confirming undergraduate achievement. Unfortunately, though, these studies have sometimes been misunderstood to suggest that there is no role for GRE scores as part of a holistic review. The value in a process designed to look at the whole applicant is not to argue for certain components over others, but to explain why a multitude of considerations, including GRE scores, should be included. Recent research argued against too much reliance on GRE scores and noted that ETS agrees that admissions should be more holistic. But being truly holistic means including all relevant and useful information about an applicant’s skills, background and experiences, including GRE scores. Some scholars have suggested that correlations are low between GRE test performance and future degree completion.
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