Who Are The Test Takers Of The GRE and Should You Take It?

Earning a bachelor’s degree is a significant life milestone that deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated. Some individuals prefer to pursue a master’s degree. Graduate courses are beneficial for gaining the practical knowledge and competitive edge one needs to succeed in the job market. Obtaining a higher education is a proven way to decrease unemployment rates. Law school, MBA programs, graduate-level study, and doctoral degree involve sticker application requirements. One common requirement in graduate schools is the GRE. Analytical writing skills, critical thinking skills, and quantitative skills are evaluated in this exam. It is a valuable addition to your requirements for higher chances of acceptance into graduate schools. If you’re planning to enter graduate school, this article will help you determine if you should take the GRE by showing different test takers worldwide.

Why Do People Take the GRE?

Graduate school admission is the primary reason why people take the GRE. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test for prospective graduate students. GRE is required by some graduate, law, or business schools. Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing are all tested in this test. It is the most commonly required for grad school admissions because it helps schools determine whether or not college graduates will be a good fit for their graduate program and school.

Who Takes the GRE?

Aspiring graduate students for MBA, law school, master’s degree, and Ph.D. programs are people taking the GRE. GRE General or Subject Tests are needed for the admissions requirement of some schools worldwide.

What are the intended graduate majors of GRE examinees?

The majority of GRE test-takers are applicants of the following programs:

Intended Graduate Major

Percent of GRE Test-Takers







Humanities and Arts


Life Sciences


Physical Sciences


Social and Behavioral Sciences






No Major Provided


The table above shows that most students desire to take graduate majors relating to the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and social sciences field of study. (1)

What are the intended graduate degrees of GRE examinees?

The intended graduate degrees of GRE test takers can be found below:

Intended Graduate Degree

Percent of GRE Test-Takers

Master’s (M.A., M.S., M.Ed.)




Doctorate (Ph.D., Ed.D.)


Postdoctoral Study


Other/No Response


The above information shows that the expected higher-level education of GRE test takers is Master’s- or PhD-program-bound, more and more MBA and law programs. Moreover, GRE was well known when schools began accepting standardized tests aside from LSAT and GMAT.

What is the average education level of people who take the GRE?

The following is a list of the average education levels of GRE examinees:

Current Educational Level

Percent of GRE Test-Takers

College Sophomore


College Junior


College Senior


College Graduate (not currently a student)


First-year Graduate Student


Second-year Graduate Student


Master’s Degree Recipient (not currently a student)




No Response


The table shows that some test takers are not bachelor’s degree holders. In order to take the GRE, you do not need an undergraduate education, but most GRE test-takers are either in the process of finishing or have already completed their undergraduate studies. It’s possible that those who took the GRE computer-adaptive test with a higher level of education are retaking the GRE for score improvement or their scores have expired. (2)

Read more: How long are GRE scores valid?

Where is the location with the highest number of GRE test takers?

The GRE is offered in different countries. There are many testing centers worldwide. Here are the following countries with large numbers of GRE test takers:

World Region/Country

Percent of GRE Test-Takers

United States








Other Regions/Countries


The above information showcases that the United States has the most number of GRE examinees. It is due to the reason that GRE is mostly required for American graduate programs. However, graduate programs in the United States are appealing to many people around the world, and as a result, a sizable portion of GRE test takers come from other countries. Some schools in other countries also demand an average score for GRE and other standardized tests as criteria for admission.

What is the average gender of GRE test takers?

Female test-takers outnumber male test-takers in the United States, accounting for half of the total GRE examinee population. 46% of all GRE test-takers are male. 4% didn’t indicate their gender on the exam. Among international test-takers, it’s mostly men who take the GRE exam, which is 60%. 39% are women, the average GRE test-taker.

What is the age requirement for GRE test takers?

There is no age restriction for taking the GRE test.

What is the average age of GRE test takers?

The average age of GRE test takers is the following:


Percent of GRE Test-Takers

Under 23








Over 40


The table above shows the typical age of GRE examinees. Many undergraduates decide to take the GRE during or immediately following their undergraduate degree which explains more numbers of ages under 23. Under-25-year-olds make up the majority of GRE test-takers. Those who return to graduate school after taking a gap year or to work or pursue other interests are more likely to be slightly older. (2)

What are the factors to assess if you should take the GRE?

Below are the following factors test-takers need to assess if they should take the GRE:

  1. Assess what types of programs you are interested in. For professional degrees, such as an MBA or a law degree, the GRE is less likely to be required because these programs prefer to accept scores from their own tests rather than the GRE. There has been a shift in this regard among business schools in recent years. The number of people taking the GRE has increased over the years to apply to business schools. Many business schools now accept GRE scores instead of the GMAT as a prerequisite for graduate admissions. Some graduate school applications also demand actual test scores for the GRE.
  2. Check the policies of the programs or graduate study you’re aiming for. When deciding whether or not to take the GRE, the policies of the programs you’re considering are probably the most important factor. The GRE may or may not be required by any of the programs you desire. If that’s the case, making a decision becomes much simpler. Check the admissions page of the program’s website or speak to someone in admissions for more information on whether the GRE is required for enrollment.
  3. Evaluate your certainty in applying to graduate school. Think carefully about the pros and cons of grad school before you prepare for the GRE and other required tests by your dream school. The biggest question is whether you can handle the responsibilities and difficulty level of another higher degree. To do well on the GRE, you’ll need to devote a significant amount of time and money to study. When you’re not sure if you want to go on to take an advanced degree, it can be frustrating to spend so much time and money on the GRE and not fulfill it. (3)


  1. https://www.prepscholar.com/gre/blog/who-takes-the-gre/
  2. https://www.kaptest.com/study/gre/who-takes-the-gre/
  3. https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/how-decide-when-take-gre