China and the GREs – What Would You Do?

By now you may have heard that tens of thousands of Chinese students have had their October GRE scores canceled by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  The problem? An administrative error caused the ETS to administer an old exam by accident.

Understandably, affected students are not too pleased, and some are reportedly considering a lawsuit against the ETS.

Tara Cheng took the GREs in China last year.  Here’s her reaction:

As a previous GRE test-taker, I know exactly how hard and torturing the process of preparation is, especially for people whose native language is not English. I can still recall vividly spending nearly half a year walking alone from the library to my dorm with a heavy load of test materials in the chilly night of Beijing.

The cancellation of the test result is indeed a disaster for Chinese students because the GRE is only held twice a year, in June and October, within mainland China.  That means you have to be successful within two tries, otherwise your application would probably be delayed to next year. As many Chinese students have been saying, it is indeed disappointing and unfair that test-takers are punished by the fault of ETS.

But things are not that bad because ETS will hold a new exam to make up for the canceled one, which will allow students to catch up with the application deadlines of most schools in America. For applicants with an early deadline, I suggest you to talk to schools you are applying as soon as possible and keep them updated with your happenings. Most schools will figure out a way to deal with your case, probably by accepting the unofficial score temporarily or other ways. I am truly sorry to hear about this, but I believe those test-takers will give a better performance in the upcoming re-held exam.

How would you have reacted if this had happened to you?  Do you know someone who’s been affected? We’ve been having a conversation about it on Facebook.