70% more take GRE as Job Prospects fall

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70% more take GRE as Job Prospects fall

Receding job opportunities have prompted Indians to look overseas. There has been a 70% surge in the number of Indians taking the Graduate Record Examination ( GRE ) for admission to postgraduate studies abroad. The number of candidates from India grew from 33,504 in 2011 – 12 to 56,782 in 2012 – 13.

A report ‘Snapshot of the Individuals Who Took the GRE revised General Test’, shows India’s increase is much higher than China’s 45% or the 6% rise in US candidates. Candidates from India comprise the second largest group of test takers, after the US ( 3,37,782 ) with China ( 42,357 ) in the third place.

Many educational institutions use GRE scores to select students for admission to postgraduate courses across disciplines, from engineering and social sciences to management.

Data in the ‘Snapshot’ report is based on more than 500,000 test takers, who appeared for the test between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. “There has been an improvement in the US economy, so fewer people are apprehensive about going there,” said Anand Kannan, MD of online coaching academy GREedge.com. “They are more positive about getting jobs at the end of their studies.”

In fact, there has already been a spike in foreign enrollment at US graduate schools, with admissions growing at the fastest pace since 2006, and experts say Indian students have fuelled this increase.

Schools witnessed a 40% jump in new students from India in the fall admission season, outpacing the 1% and 2% increases in 2012 and 2011, according to US media reports.

Of the total GRE test takers from Asia, approximately 44% were from India and 39% from China. There were more candidates in the age group of 18 – 22 years this year, and more were looking to pursue courses in natural sciences. Non-

US citizens now represent approximately one-third of all candidates taking the GRE.

Overseas education consultants said easing of visa norms by the US could have helped boost the numbers. “It’s a bit easier, so students feel encouraged to apply for higher studies there,” consultant C B Paul Chellakumar said.