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The mode splitting induced by birefringence in an InGaAs/GaAs/AlGaAs vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) has been studied by reflectance difference spectroscopy (RDS) at room temperature. The mode splitting, anisotropic broadening width, and the anisotropic integrated area of the cavity mode are determined. Uniaxial strain on the order of 10-4 is introduced to tune the mode splitting. The mode splitting can be linearly tuned by the uniaxial strain, which agrees very well with theoretical calculations using a Jones matrix approach. We demonstrate that the RDS is a powerful, nondestructive tool to study the cavity anisotropy of VCSELs.