The Ivy Coach Daily

September 30, 2021

GRE Requirement for UC Berkeley Graduate Programs

UC Berkeley has suspended the GRE requirement for many of its graduate programs (photo credit: Tristan Harward).

The University of California, Berkeley has suspended its GRE requirement for most of its graduate programs for another year. This will apply to the vast majority of the 125 graduate programs at Cal and it marks an extension of the suspension of the GRE since the requirement was initially suspended due to test cancelations as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The decision, of course, is not exactly welcome news for the Educational Testing Service, which both owns the test as well as administers exams. And yet it doesn’t come as much of a surprise since the testing industry as a whole has come under heavy scrutiny during this pandemic and the dearth of testing requirements has naturally led to a surge in applications. Test cancelations and test-optional policies have all led institutions to rethink if testing requirements really are necessary in the years to come.

As Michael T. Nietzel writes in an editorial for Forbes entitled “Most University Of California At Berkeley Graduate Programs Will Not Require The GRE This Year,” “The move by UC Berkeley is likely to lead to other institutions re-examining, suspending or ending their use of the GRE, which is owned and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). For its part, ETS insists that requiring the GRE is compatible with achieving more student diversity in graduate programs and that GRE scores are valid indicators of graduate readiness. Not only does UC Berkeley have a large number of graduate programs, its reputation as a leader in graduate education makes its GRE decision a likely harbinger of similar moves at other institutions…Momentum against the GRE is growing, based in part on research that’s found it to be a relatively poor predictor of which students will complete science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) doctoral programs.”

Do our readers think UC Berkeley’s suspension of the GRE requirement for the vast majority of its graduate programs will be a harbinger of things to come for graduate programs across the land? Is the GRE on its last legs? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by writing in below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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