Fact of the Week: Only About 4 Percent of U.S. GRE Takers Exceed the Average Quantitative Reasoning Score Earned by Examinees in China

Caleb Foote August 31, 2020
August 31, 2020

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Source: Educational Testing Services, “A Snapshot of the Individuals Who Took the GRE General Test,” 2020.

Commentary: Rigorous STEM education is vital for humanity’s future, but the United States has not emphasized it sufficiently. This is underscored by scores in the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE, a standardized exam for prospective graduate students that is administered worldwide. The results reveal a dramatic underperformance by U.S. students that is difficult to explain as being attributable to selection biases. American citizens scored an average of 150.3 out of 180 from July 2018 to June 2019, which was 7.6 points below non-U.S. citizens over the same period. Most starkly, students in China averaged 164.7, a score surpassed by only about 4 percent of U.S. test-takers.