U.S. News MBA Rankings Survey to Gather GRE Data This Year

U.S. NewsScore one more point for Educational Testing Service (ETS) in its effort to take market share from the GMAT as the preferred test for business school admissions. 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.

Morse stopped short of promising that U.S. News‘s 2012 MBA rankings (which will be published next spring) will contain GRE data, but said that 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 have an incentive to include or exclude GRE data to manipulate their rankings, similar to what law schools have been doing with their employment data? It will be interesting to see.

While we still believe that the GMAT is the best predictor of how someone will do in business school, there’s no denying that ETS has made impressive strides this past year in promoting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. 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, it’s still difficult to justify choosing the GRE over the GMAT. We’ve written about this decision at length, and still feel the same way.

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