Poets and Quants reported last month that The Ohio State University will no longer accept at-home GRE scores due to concerns about cheating.

Says the article:

“Business schools have overturned acceptances to dozens of African MBA candidates after they were suspected of cheating on the virtual GRE. The cheating scandal on the at-home GRE test, introduced during the pandemic, has caused some MBA admission officials to lose confidence in the security measures put in place by the Educational Testing Service, the administrator of the GRE.”

Programs mentioned in the article include The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

An assistant Dean at Carlson is quoted as saying:

“At least 25 people in Nigeria succeeded in getting their scores through and then it scaled after they told other applicants. It is a testing issue, not a cultural or geo-political issue.”

Officials from The Ohio State University have asked ETS to audit recent results.  That audit was ongoing at the time P & Q published the article.

 

Here’s the GRE Coupon tracker!  I’ve also got a TOEFL coupon tracker.

Update:  The code CC25A or CC25T should get you a Rs.4777 discount (maybe more) in India.  I don’t know the validity period.

Update:  Someone else got an email from ETS which suggested that the code COMEBACK-70 would give them a $70 discount.  Again, registration must be completed by July 4, 2024.

Update:  According to an email I just got from ETS, the code COMEBACK60 is good for a $60 discount.  Registration must be completed by July 7, 2024 (the test can be after that date, of course).

Update:  Try the code GRESUMMER60 to get a $60 discount.  It may not work in every country, but should certainly work in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.  Today is June 26, 20124.

Update:  The code GREBUS50 will get you a $50 discount on GRE registrations completed before July 31 of 2024.  Details here.

Update:  According to people all over social media, the code COMEBACK70 will get you a $70 discount on GRE registrations.  Today is April 28, 2024 and it works.

Update:  ETS emailed me today (March 23) to tell me that CC24 is still good for an INR 1000 discount.  India only, obviously.

Update:  ETS launched a new Instagram campaign with some discount codes.  Check the descriptions of the following videos for the codes:  here, here and here.  Complete the registration before March 15.

Update: ETS just announced on social media that the code NEW2024 is good for a $50 discount on registrations for test dates before April 30 of this year.  I am not sure when the code expires.  Test-takers in India should probably use INDNY24 or BI2024 to get a discount of ₹ 4000.

Update: My man John Healy went to the big ETS event in Italy this month and got the coupon code ITALYGRE23 which is good for a $30 discount in Italy only.  It must be used before December 31.  Smart people might try changing the country name to discover discounts for other places.

Update: The code GREBF23 is good for $75 off registrations (USA and Canada only) before March 31 of next year. That’s the best deal on the test I’ve ever seen.  The code will work until November 27, apparently.  Worth trying a day or two after, though.  It’s a GRE Black Friday sale!

Update: I got an email from ETS India that says the code CC24 is good for a discount of INR 1000.  Only in India, obviously.

Update: The code GRE4LAW will give you a $60 discount on test dates before December 31, 2023. More details over here.  Someone on Reddit asked ETS and, yes, this can also be used by people not going to law school. 🙂

Update:  According to the social media accounts of ETS Global, the code GRE602023 will get you a $60 discount if you register for a test date before September 20.  People in India should use INDTEST2023 instead.

Update: I think the SOCL20 code ($20 discount) has been extended until the end of April.  Leave a comment if it works for you.

Update: Get a $20 discount on the GRE by using the code SOCL20.  This one is valid until March 31, 2023.  I got it from the ETS social media accounts.  It worked for me when I tested it today (March 23).

According to social media, you can use the coupon code NEWYEAR50 to get a $50 discount on the GRE General Test.  I don’t have a terms and conditions link, but I think registration must be completed before January 31, 2023.  The test must be taken in:  Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Guam, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, or the United States.  I tested this with a registration for a test center in the USA and received the discount.

Let me know with a comment down below if it works for you.

GRE coupons don’t come up very often, but I will update this page if I find any more.  Bookmark it and come back later.  And, of course, please share any active codes you locate.  Note that I also track TOEFL coupon codes, which are pretty common.

Some readers might have noticed that GregMat’s YouTube channel is offline.  According to Greg, that’s due to a copyright strike filed by ETS.

If anyone at ETS is reading this, listen up.  You shouldn’t do this sort of stuff.  In order for your tests to thrive you need a vibrant community of Youtubers, prep providers and book authors.  This is especially true when you’ve got a test like the GRE that is on the ropes.  I know, I know, you’re thinking “we don’t need that sort of community because we sent branded bluetooth speakers to some Instagram influencers!”  But seriously, you do need it.  Greg was your very best GRE ambassador, and was quickly becoming your best TOEFL ambassador.  Especially among people in your #1 target demo (young people from India).

Update:  The copyright-striked Vince Kotchian too. So dumb.  The dude was just on “Tests and the Rest” saying decent things about the GRE.

In case ya missed it, here is an email I got from ETS about their GRE sale for Black Friday:

Through Nov. 27, get the following deals:

Note that to take advantage of both the test and prep discounts, you’ll need to make two separate purchases, as our system allows for only one promo code per transaction.  

Note that this is only good for registrations in Canada and the USA.  The code will stop working at the end of November 27, but might be worth trying into November 28 given time zone issues.

I was happy to learn that ETS is running a summer sale for the GRE.  Use the voucher code “GRE602023” to save $60 on all registrations for test dates before September 20 of this year.  This code will be valid “until supplies last.”  You can also use the code “GRE502023” to save $50 on a second registration for dates up to December 31 of this year.

Note that these codes may not work for people in India.  If you are in India, use the code INDTEST2023 to save money until July 31.

If you are reading this blog post far in the future and the above codes are expired, try SOCL20.  That one often provides a $20 discount.

Changes are coming to the GRE subject tests. They are:

  1. After the April 2023 administration, the Chemistry test will be discontinued.
  2. The Physics and Psychology tests will be shortened to two hours.
  3. After April 2023, the Mathematics, Physics and Psychology tests will be offered on computer at test centers, and via at-home testing.

Read about these changes on the ETS website.

The subject tests have really  been whittled down to just the basics.  The Biochem test was eliminated in 2017, while the Biology and Literature tests were eliminated in 2021.

The latest Times of India report provides most of the heretofore unknown information about the TOEFL/GRE cheating issue. It indicates that although ETS completed its sting operation in November, the results were reported to local police “only after two months.” It was in that time that the ringleader left for the USA, where he continued to operate the cheating ring. There he remains, apparently.

Careful readers of the last few “Times” articles will now have a pretty clear picture of how the cheating went down. I’m loathe to write a “how to cheat” guide on LinkedIn, but if anyone from ETS (or another testing organization) is still in the dark send me a private message and I’ll lay it out for you. For what it is worth, it tracks with some of the low-tech methods described in the “Rest of World” article about cheating in China. Recall how one cheater was described as simply standing beside the test-taker (and eating skewered meats) as the test was underway.

It may be time to temporarily pause at-home testing for tests that are heavily dependent on multiple choice questions.

Sorry. I don’t have time for breathless sarcasm this morning.

More bad news from Hyderabad, as reports indicate that suspected test cheat Guna Sekhar has departed India for the United States of America.  It is unclear what Mr. Sekhar is doing in America, but he may be cheating on tests.

Thankfully, though, police have nabbed Sekhar’s associate, A Kiran Kumar.  They’ve also collared five members of an unrelated gang of test cheats.

Meanwhile, authorities have pieced together the modus operandi of these cheats.  Says the Times of India:

“Once a client contacted them, Shravan and Aditya collected their details and arranged an at-home test at their friend’s place in Hasthinapuram in the city. Sai Santosh and Kishore hid under the table of the candidate and clicked photos of the questions appearing on the computer screen on their cell phone. They shared these with Aditya and Shravan via WhatsApp. The duo provided the answers which would be shown to the candidate, Cyber Crime ACP KVM Prasad said.”

In case you have trouble following that, here’s how it may have worked:

  1. The cheats advertised their services.
  2. When contacted by a test-taker, the cheats arranged for the test-taker to take the test at a special home.
  3. Two cheats hid under the desk during the test. They took photos of the test questions.
  4. The photos were quickly sent to two other cheats who solved the questions and sent back the answers.
  5. The answers were communicated to the test-taker.

Two questions are left unanswered.  How could the cheats take pictures of the test questions from under the desk?  How could they communicate answers without detection from under the desk?

I don’t want to give anyone bad ideas, so I won’t answer the first question.  But I suspect the answer to the second question involves gentle tugging of the test-taker’s toes. Remember that there are five answer choices for each question on the GRE.

Bad news from Hyderabad, as suspected test cheat Guna Sekhar continues to evade capture by police. Says the Times of India:

“Cops are yet to catch the accused, Guna Sekhar, who was approached by the ETS decoy candidate – a private investigator. Sekhar has been changing his location frequently and cops are hoping to locate him through technical surveillance as he had provided a phone number and also received Rs 25,000 as UPI payment.”

Meanwhile, back at the station, officers haven’t yet figured out how he did it:

“ETS had conducted the sting operation in Hyderabad as a test case after coming to know about fraudulent practices being adopted during home-based GRE test by some candidates in collusion with these fraudsters across the country. Though the complainant alleged that the fraudster managed to click photos of the questions on the computer screen and then shared the same with unknown associate through WhatsApp to get answers, investigators are perplexed how this was accomplished by Sekhar as the candidate has to show the entire room to the proctor who keeps watch during the test to ensure there is no malpractice.”

Anyone who spots Mr. Sekhar is urged to contact local police via a written report which displays unity, progression and coherence.

A few weeks ago, “Rest of World” reported on widespread cheating on the TOEFL and GRE in China. Now the Times of India weighs in with news of cheating in India.

Says the paper:

“The Graduate Record Examinatons (GRE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) conducted online in India is now under a cloud with the testing agency filing a case against a ‘ring of fraudsters’ helping Indian students ace the tests. “

And:

“As per the complaint, Guna Shekhar agreed to help the decoy GRE candidate for Rs 25,000. The modus operandi was simple: Shekhar hid in the same room as the candidate taking the test on a laptop, clicked photos of questions on a mobile and after receiving answers from his associates outside, relayed it to the candidate. According to ETS, there are dozens of such organised cheating rings operating across India through the year.”

Over the past month, I’ve gotten many reports of GRE scores being put “on hold” lately.  This is also described as scores going into “administrative review.”  It seems to affect GRE tests taken both at test centers and at home.  It may be connected to recent media reports of cheating on standardized tests.  There are quite a few people on social media complaining about score delays right now.

Your scores might be put on hold due to suspected cheating, or some technical problem during the at-home GRE.  Most of the time the scores are released in the end.  Sometimes they are cancelled and you must take the test again.

Reports indicate that it sometimes takes up to five weeks for the score review process to conclude.  Many people have are worried about missing application deadlines because of this problem.

To talk to someone at ETS about your case, you can contact the ETS Office of Testing Security.  You can call  them at the following numbers:

  • 1-800-750-6991 (in the USA and Canada)
  • +1-609-406-5430 (all other locations)

They answer the phone from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.  When connected, you should be calm and explain your deadlines.  Note that you may have to wait on hold for some time.

You can also email them, but that might take longer. If you want to try, their email address is: TSReturns@ets.org  or communicatetestsecurity@ets.org

I do not recommend using the regular GRE customer support phone number for this problem, but if you want it here it is.

As a last resort, you could try publically tweeting at ETS.  Some people have reported success doing that.  Others have gotten results after filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, though you might need a VPN for that if you are outside of the USA.

 

Remember:  I’m not an employee of ETS. I’m just a guy on the Internet.

Some people get a weird blank screen that says “Select a payment method” when trying to pay for their TOEFL or GRE on the ETS website.

This is usually related to browser extensions (especially adblockers). To resolve it, disable all of your  browser exertions and try again.  You can also use an incognito window, since browser extensions are usually disabled in those.

Most commonly, this is a problem when people are using uBlock Origin, but it could be something else.  Privacy-oriented browsers like “Brave” could also be problematic.

If you are getting a specific error message (error 481, error 101, error 476, etc) you should consult our main guide to payment errors .

Here’s what the blank screen problem looks like: