GMAT vs. GRE for MBA

Which Test Should I Take?

Once you’ve decided to apply to business school, one of the first questions you’ll have to deal with is, Should I take the GMAT or the GRE, since business schools are now widely accepting the GRE for admission? There is not a single, easy answer to the question, but this article will present a few important considerations in deciding between the GMAT vs. GRE for your MBA plans.

GMAT vs. GRE: What’s the Difference?

Probably the biggest difference between the GMAT and GRE is the design and purpose of each test. The GMAT is designed almost exclusively for business school admissions and the GRE is designed for admission to a broad variety of graduate level programs. It was only in the last 8 years or so that business schools began accepting the GRE for business school admissions in an effort to attract a more diverse applicant pool. There are, of course, other basic differences in GRE vs. GMAT test structure and test scoring, the details of which would be worth exploring as well: GRE Overview and GMAT Overview. Outside of the structural details, there are other more pressing questions.

Do Business Schools Prefer the GMAT?

GMAT vs. GRE for business schools: shortly after business schools began accepting the GRE, this may have been the case. But in recent years most business schools will accept your GRE score with no reservations or concerns. There may be slight policy differences among individual schools, and there are a handful of programs that specifically require the GMAT, but if a school claims to accept the score of either exam, you should feel free to submit either. The easiest way to clarify policy differences is simply to contact the school’s admissions office directly, and we strongly recommend you confirm with the policies of particular schools before making any final decisions.

GMAT vs. GRE: Which Test is Easier?

GMAT vs. GRE — which test is easier? In general, the GMAT quantitative section is designed for students with stronger analytical skills and who are proficient in interpreting and integrating data from multiple sources such as tables, graphs, charts, and complicated word problems. Thus, the GMAT math tends to be more complex and less straightforward than the GRE quantitative sections, though each test has question types unique to that particular test. On the verbal side, many will claim that the GRE verbal is more challenging because it is primarily vocabulary-based (along with reading passages) and preparation for vocabulary is more time consuming and challenging. The GMAT verbal is centered on grammar and usage rules as well as understanding logic and reasoning. Consequently, many will claim that the GMAT verbal is less challenging to prepare for.

GMAT vs. GRE for Business School: So What’s the Answer?

Here are some further considerations for each of the tests:

Reasons to take the GRE for Business School:

  • You are applying to other graduate programs in addition to business schools
  • You are very confident in your verbal skills, especially in vocabulary and critical reading
  • You are less confident in your quantitative skills
  • GMAT vs. GRE score conversion is more preferable for the GRE
  • You prefer the testing flexibility of the section-adaptive format, which allows you to skip over questions in any given section and return to them later
    • This gives a powerful advantage of being able to focus on your strengths at first, maximizing your performance and offering better management of your time.
  • You score high on the GRE diagnostic practice test

 Reasons to Take the GMAT:

  • You are applying only to business schools
  • You are thoroughly confident in your math skills and are proficient in interpreting data from multiple sources
  • On the verbal side, you are less confident in your vocabulary skills and could be more comfortable with your understanding of grammar, usage, diction, etc.
  • You do not have a history of timing/pacing issues on standardized tests
  • GMAT vs. GRE score conversion is more preferable for GMAT
  • You are not daunted by the rigidness of the question adaptive format of the GMAT.
    • On the GMAT you cannot skip over questions and return to them later, allowing you to prioritize difficulty.
    • You must commit to an answer to a question in order to move on to the next one.
  • You score really high on the GMAT diagnostic practice test
  • Compare your GMAT and GRE scores with the test converter.


GMAT vs. GRE for Business School: Let Inspirica Help You Decide Which Test is Best for YOU:

In our 35+ years of tutoring, we’ve found that a strategy-first approach works best. The GRE and the GMAT are no exception. While our Premier Prep GRE tutoring programs do teach content, we focus mostly on testing strategies. Once we help you decide which test is best for you, your tutor will help you figure out which topics and question types need the most work, then teach you ways to overcome those questions. These are very learnable tests, so all it takes is some time and determination! If you haven’t started working with us yet, browse our tutors and get started today.