Newer opportunities and awareness among students has contributed to a 30% rise in the number of students taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in 2012.
According to test administrator ETS, 67,500 students in India took the test in 2011. This number jumped to 87,750 in 2012 - an increase of 30%.
"While registrations for the GRE revised General Test were slow in early 2012, once we hit the August-December peak testing period, registrations began to climb. In fact, they quite exceeded our expectations," said David Payne, vice president, higher education division, ETS.
GRE score is a mandatory admission criteria in most graduate and business schools in United States of America (USA). The number of GRE and English efficiency examinees has been increasing over the years, but the jump seen in 2012 was unprecedented.
The ETS has attributed it to various reports linking higher education with employment. "The increase in GRE test takers can also be a response to the numerous recently published reports that reinforce the benefits of graduation, including its link to employment. For example, the number of jobs requiring an advanced degree is expected to rise by 20 per cent between 2012 and 2020," ETS officials said.
Colleges in Delhi University too have seen a higher number of students demanding copies of undergraduate transcripts, another document required for application in foreign countries.
"A large number of scholarships are being advertised because of which more and more students are applying. The number of students who are applying abroad, especially for their Master's, has certainly increased," said a professor at Lady Shri Ram College.
The rise, however, has not been witnessed in India alone.