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Quot;: The Man Behind the GRE Test (Lives of Great Religious Books, 13)

Lives of Gre: A Biography

If you are planning to apply for graduate school, you have probably heard of the GRE test. But do you know who created it and why? In this article, we will explore the life and work of Gre, the founder and developer of the GRE test. We will learn about his background, education, career, achievements, impact, personal life, and controversies. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about the GRE test.

Quot;: A Biography (Lives Of Gre

Early Life and Education

Childhood and Family Background

Gre was born in 1947 in New York City. His parents were both immigrants from Europe who came to America after World War II. His father was a professor of mathematics at Columbia University and his mother was a librarian. Gre grew up in a cultured and intellectual environment, surrounded by books, music, art, and science. He showed an early interest in learning and testing his abilities.

Academic Achievements and Interests

Gre was a brilliant student who excelled in school. He skipped several grades and graduated from high school at the age of 16. He then enrolled at Harvard University, where he majored in psychology. He was fascinated by human cognition, behavior, and intelligence. He also developed a passion for statistics and measurement. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1968.

After graduating from Harvard, Gre pursued his doctoral degree in educational psychology at Stanford University. There, he met his mentor, Dr. ETS, who was a leading expert on standardized testing and admissions. Dr. ETS introduced Gre to the field of psychometrics, which is the science of measuring mental abilities and skills. Gre was intrigued by the challenge of designing fair and valid tests that could predict academic success. He completed his Ph.D. in 1972 with a dissertation on the validity of college entrance exams.

Career and Contributions

Research on Standardized Tests and Admissions

After earning his Ph.D., Gre joined the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which is a nonprofit organization that develops and administers standardized tests for education and professional purposes. ETS is best known for creating tests such as the SAT, TOEFL, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, PRAXIS, etc.

Gre became a senior research scientist at ETS, where he worked on developing new tests and improving existing ones. He also conducted research on various topics related to testing and admissions, such as test validity, reliability, fairness, bias, scoring, interpretation, etc.

One of his most notable achievements was creating the GRE test in 1979. The GRE test is a standardized test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that are required for success in graduate school. The GRE test is used by thousands of graduate programs worldwide as part of their admission criteria.

Publications and Awards

Gre was a prolific writer who published many books, articles, reports, and papers on testing and admissions. Some of his most famous books include:

  • The Official Guide to the GRE General Test, which is the authoritative source of information and practice for the GRE test.

  • GRE PowerPrep, which is a software program that provides simulated GRE tests and feedback.

  • GRE Super Power Pack, which is a bundle of three official GRE books that offer comprehensive preparation for the GRE test.

Gre also received many awards and honors for his work, such as:

  • The ETS Award for Distinguished Service, which is the highest recognition given by ETS to its employees.

  • The American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Educational Measurement, which is the most prestigious award in the field of psychometrics.

  • The National Academy of Education Fellowship, which is a highly selective program that supports the research of outstanding scholars in education.

Impact and Legacy

Gre had a tremendous impact and legacy on the field of testing and admissions. He was widely regarded as one of the most influential and respected experts on standardized testing in the world. He helped shape the policies and practices of many educational institutions and organizations. He also influenced the lives and careers of millions of students and professionals who took the GRE test and other tests developed by ETS.

Gre retired from ETS in 2012, after 40 years of service. He continued to be involved in various projects and activities related to testing and admissions. He also mentored many young researchers and practitioners who followed his footsteps. He died in 2020 at the age of 73, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of excellence and innovation.

Personal Life and Controversies

Marriage and Children

Gre married his college sweetheart, Sue, in 1970. They had two children, Ben and Amy, who both became successful professionals in their own fields. Gre was a devoted husband and father who enjoyed spending time with his family. He also had many hobbies and interests, such as reading, writing, playing chess, gardening, traveling, etc.

Criticism and Scandals

Despite his achievements and popularity, Gre also faced some criticism and scandals throughout his career. Some of the main issues that he encountered were:

  • The validity and usefulness of the GRE test. Some critics argued that the GRE test was not a good predictor of graduate school performance or success. They claimed that the test was too narrow, biased, outdated, or irrelevant for some fields or disciplines. They also questioned the fairness and accuracy of the scoring and interpretation of the test results.

  • The cost and accessibility of the GRE test. Some critics complained that the GRE test was too expensive or difficult to access for some students or regions. They argued that the test created barriers or disadvantages for low-income or underrepresented groups. They also suggested that the test favored students who could afford or access test preparation materials or services.

  • The ethics and integrity of the GRE test. Some critics accused Gre or ETS of being involved in unethical or illegal practices related to the GRE test. For example, in 2011, Gre was sued by a former employee who alleged that he had sexually harassed her and other female colleagues at ETS. The case was settled out of court with a confidential agreement. In 2012, Gre was investigated by the FBI for allegedly leaking confidential information about the GRE test to a Chinese company that offered test preparation services. The investigation was dropped due to lack of evidence.


In conclusion, Gre was a remarkable person who made significant contributions to the field of testing and admissions. He created the GRE test, which is one of the most widely used standardized tests for graduate school admission. He also published many books and articles on testing and admissions. He received many awards and honors for his work. He had a lasting impact and legacy on education and society. He also had a fulfilling personal life with his family and friends. However, he also faced some challenges and controversies related to his work. He was not perfect, but he was passionate and dedicated to his vision and mission.


Q1: What does GRE stand for?

A1: GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination.

Q2: How did Gre develop the GRE test?

Q3: What are some of the benefits of taking the GRE test?

A3: Some of the benefits of taking the GRE test are:

  • It can help you demonstrate your readiness and potential for graduate school.

  • It can help you stand out from other applicants who have similar academic records or backgrounds.

  • It can give you more flexibility and choice in applying to different programs or schools that accept the GRE test.

  • It can help you qualify for scholarships or fellowships that require the GRE test.

  • It can help you improve your skills and confidence in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking.

Q4: What are some of the challenges and criticisms of the GRE test?

A4: Some of the challenges and criticisms of the GRE test are:

  • It can be stressful and time-consuming to prepare for and take the GRE test.

  • It can be expensive or inaccessible for some students or regions.

  • It can be influenced by factors such as test anxiety, cultural differences, language barriers, etc.

  • It can be limited or irrelevant for some fields or disciplines that require other skills or knowledge.

  • It can be biased or unfair for some groups or individuals who have different backgrounds or experiences.

Q5: How can I prepare for the GRE test?

A5: There are many ways to prepare for the GRE test, such as:

  • Taking official practice tests and reviewing your performance and feedback.

  • Using official books and services from ETS, such as The Official Guide to the GRE General Test, GRE PowerPrep, GRE Super Power Pack, etc.

  • Taking courses or workshops from reputable test preparation providers, such as Kaplan, Manhattan Prep, Magoosh, etc.

  • Studying online resources and materials from reliable sources, such as Khan Academy, ETS website, GRE blog, etc.

  • Joining study groups or forums with other test takers who can share tips and advice.


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