U.S. News to Gather GRE Data for MBA Rankings

Recently, on his Morse Code Blog, U.S. News Director of Data Research Robert Morse announced that this fall’s U.S. News survey will ask admissions offices detailed questions on GRE test scores and the number and the percentage Class of 2012 students who submitted them.

While Morse did not say that U.S. News’s 2012 MBA rankings will be based on any GRE data, he did say U.S. News “is considering changing its ranking methodology for the 2012 edition of the America’s Best Business Schools rankings… to include both the GMAT and GRE test scores of all M.B.A. students entering in fall 2010.”

In his blog post Morse points out that nearly 27% of the graduate business schools that U.S. News last surveyed are currently accepting GRE scores for admissions. Assuming that U.S. News does eventually decide to include GRE data in its rankings, it will be interesting to see how it manages it given that the majority of top schools still do not accept the GRE. Will it blend GRE and GMAT data by looking just at percentile scores? Will they only include GRE numbers when school report them, and ignore them otherwise? Could some schools try to game the system by deliberately withholding GRE data if it helps their U.S. News business school rankings? Time will tell.

There’s no denying that ETS has made impressive strides this past year in promoting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT, although we still think the GMAT is the best measure of your academic potential in business school. If you’re an applicant, the question to ask is, “What do I want?” If you’re considering a variety of graduate program options (including business school), then the GRE may make sense. If you’re certain you really want to pursue an MBA, though, we still believe the GMAT makes more sense for you.

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