Many business schools accept both GMAT and GRE test results as part of their admissions requirements. To decide which exam is best for you from Gmat vs Gre, learn about the differences between the two. A cheerful student from a business school stands in a library holding her phone while wearing a striped dress.
You may have noticed that many schools require test scores as part of their admissions requirements when you’re applying to graduate business programs. You will frequently have the choice of submitting your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score.
This article will examine each exam in greater detail and discuss why you might take one exam over the other—or none—to strengthen your graduate program application.
What is the GMAT?
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) administers the GMAT, a frequently used test for admission to MBA programs and business schools. The exam gauges one’s capacity for critical analysis and reasoning, which are necessary for success in prestigious graduate business programs.
In a rolling 12-month period, you may retake the GMAT at a testing facility up to five times (no more than eight times total). You are allowed one retest for the GMAT online exam.
Whether you’re taking the GMAT in a testing centre or online will affect the format. The in-person version has four sections, and you can arrange them in one of three ways depending on your strengths and preferred testing method.
1. Analytical Writing
The exam’s analytical writing section requires you to analyze and compose a critique of a given argument in a single 30-minute writing assignment. It is graded in half-point increments from 0 to 6 points.
2. Integrated Reasoning
The Integrated Reasoning section (which does not appear on the GRE) assesses your capacity to analyze data and find solutions to challenging problems. This section consists of a 12-question, 30-minute section (mostly multiple choice). You’ll be required to look over and evaluate data from various sources, including tables and graphs, and to work out quantitative and verbal problems. The score is given in one-point increments, from one to eight.
There are 31 multiple-choice questions in this 62-minute section. A few examples of questions are “Data Sufficiency” problems, which ask you to decide whether you have enough data to answer a specific question, and quantitative problems. Six to 51 points, in one-point increments, are possible to earn.
The 65-minute Verbal Reasoning section consists of 36 questions that are intended to gauge your proficiency in reading, comprehending, and analyzing written materials. You’ll be asked questions about reading comprehension, critical thinking, and sentence correction, among other things. Six to 51 points, in one-point increments, are awarded for this.
You can only use a simple online calculator for the Integrated Reasoning section. You may use a whiteboard (for at-home testing) or a provided laminated notebook with dry-erase markers (for testing centres) to solve problems in the Quantitative Reasoning section. You cannot skip GMAT questions and return to them or change your answers.
What is GRE?
Numerous graduate institutions, including law and business schools, consider the GRE administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) when deciding who gets into their programs. Your verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing abilities will be assessed on the exam.
Up to five attempts at the GRE may be made in any 12-month rolling period (once every 21 days). You can select which test results are sent to the schools you’re applying to if you take the exam more than once.
The GRE consists of three scored sections and a potential experimental or unscored section. The section on analytical writing will always come first, but you won’t be aware of the placement of the other sections or which one isn’t scored.
1. Analytical Writing
This section has two separately-timed, 30-minute writing tasks. You’ll be asked to formulate your position on a subject and assess another person’s position. Scores for this section range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments.
2. Verbal Reasoning
The Verbal Reasoning test is divided into two sections of 20 questions, each lasting 30 minutes. This section will consist of three questions: reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence. Scores range from 130 to 170 and are given in one-point increments.
3. Quantitative Reasoning
This exam section includes two sections of 35 minutes with 20 questions each and is intended to test your fundamental math abilities. Math, algebra, geometry, and data analysis are the topics covered. Multiple-choice questions with one or more possible answers, numerical entry, and quantitative comparison questions are all possible. Scores range from 130 to 170 and are given in one-point increments.
During the Quantitative Reasoning section of the exam, you are permitted to use an on-screen calculator. Each section allows you to go back and forth, change your responses, and mark questions for “Review” if you want to return to them later.
Is the GMAT vs GRE Right for Me?
It’s common for business schools to accept GRE scores as part of their admissions requirements, although most applicants to business schools opt to take the GMAT rather than the GRE. This implies that you can select the test that best demonstrates your academic strengths. Here are a few things to consider when deciding what is best for you.
1. Academic Objectives
The GRE is accepted in a wider range of degree programs, so if you’re considering different graduate programs or want to keep your options open, you should consider taking it. Taking the GMAT will show your dedication if you want to attend business school.
2. School Requirements
Many schools accept either score, but it’s a good idea to verify admissions requirements ahead of time. Ask an admissions representative if they have a preference between the two exams.
3. Academic Strengths
The GMAT may provide a better opportunity to highlight your strengths if your math abilities are stronger than your verbal abilities. If you’re a good writer, think about taking the GRE. For non-native English speakers, the GRE can occasionally be more difficult due to the vocabulary required.
4. Testing Method
The GRE format lets you jump around and review your responses if you prefer. This could boost the confidence of some test-takers.
5. Performance on Practice Exams
Taking a practice test for each test is one way to determine which one you’re best suited for. Take them separately under conditions that are as real-world as possible. You’ll have a better idea of which you feel more at ease after taking and scoring your exams.
6. Score Reporting
If you take the GRE more than once, you can send different scores to different schools. Schools receive all of your GMAT scores. Many programs only take the highest score into account.
7. Career Aspirations
Some employers, especially investment and business consulting firms, require GMAT scores as a part of the hiring process. Do your homework on these requirements if you have specific target employers. You might avoid having to take the GMAT during your job search if you take it before applying to business school.
Quantitative Comparison on the GRE and Data Sufficiency on the GMAT are two “oddball” question types on both exams that will require some practice to become accustomed to. People who are good at analyzing data presented in charts, tables, and text to solve complex problems and have strong quantitative and analytical abilities do well on the GMAT.
In contrast to the GMAT, the GRE’s math section is typically simpler and offers calculators for all quantitative questions. Test takers with strong editing skills may favor the GMAT’s verbal section, while those with strong vocabulary skills may favor the GRE.