Mumbai: Karan Gandhi stays in Borivli, a Mumbai suburb that is a short distance from the Graduate Record Examination centre in Andheri, where those aspiring to study in the US take a qualifying test. Only, the 21-year-old isn’t taking the test there; he is flying to Kathmandu in July to take the test.
On Thursday, Education Testing Service (ETS), which conducts the examination, required for admission to masters programmes in US universities, announced that registrations to the test had been closed in India and China due to a large number of applications. The current version of the test is set to retire in July —most such tests are changed every once in a few years to ensure that test-takers do not get too comfortable with the pattern—and the rush of applicants for the July GRE, the last before the new test debuts in September, may have something to do with this, according to David Payne, executive director, GRE, ETS. “We have observed a 10-20% rise in the number of students,” he said, “but this is a normal trend every time changes are made to the tests; students want to avoid the changed pattern.”
Every year, an average of 52,000 Indians appear for GREwhich scores people on the basis of their performance in the test as well as their relative performance as compared to others. “The score scale is based on people and representation from Indian students is critical,” said Payne, explaining that the registrations for the July test had also been closed. to ensure that enough people appeared for the September edition.
The move is being touted as “discriminatory.” by students and has invited much criticism“The whole country is being shut out of GRE,” said Simran Thadani, a former test-taker who is now a GRE tutor.
“This seemingly discriminatory approach will only open other avenues (for students) in other countries,” said Sunil Rai, joint director, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. Pratibha Jain, who counsels students on overseas education opportunities, however, said students were wrong to term the development, racist. “The existing facilities for taking the tests are full in India and China and that’s why the registration has been closed,” she said.
Gandhi realised that two weeks ago; however, he starts on a year-long job assignment in August and decided not to wait till September. There’s the cost of flying to Kathmandu, but he believes it is worth it. “The test which usually costs about Rs. 7500 will cost me about two times as much but is still better than losing a year,” he said.
— Hindustan Times