If you are considering pursuing a graduate degree in business or management, you may be wondering whether to take the GMAT or GRE. Both tests are widely accepted by business schools, but there are some key differences between them that may affect your decision. In this blog, we’ll compare the GMAT and GRE and provide some insights to help you make an informed decision.
- Eligibility and Test Structure
The GMAT is a computer adaptive test that assesses your skills in quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing. The test consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. The GMAT is designed specifically for students who want to pursue a graduate degree in business or management.
On the other hand, the GRE is a computer-based test that assesses your skills in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The GRE is a more general test that is accepted by a wide range of graduate programs, including business schools. The test consists of six sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning (two sections), Quantitative Reasoning (two sections), and an unscored research section.
- Applications and Acceptance Rate
Both the GMAT and GRE are accepted by many business schools. However, some schools may prefer one test over the other or have specific requirements regarding which test to take. It’s important to check the admission requirements of each school you’re interested in to determine which test is required.
The acceptance rate for business schools varies depending on several factors, including the school’s reputation, location, and program offerings. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average acceptance rate for full-time MBA programs in the United States is around 50%. However, acceptance rates can vary widely depending on the school and program.
- Differences in Scoring
The GMAT and GRE use different scoring scales. The GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, with separate scores for each section. The Analytical Writing Assessment score is reported on a 0-6 scale, in half-point increments. The Integrated Reasoning section is scored on a scale of 1 to 8, in single-digit increments.
The GRE scores range from 130 to 170 for both the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. The Analytical Writing score is reported on a 0-6 scale, in half-point increments.
Both tests use a computer-adaptive format, which means that the difficulty of the questions adjusts based on your performance on previous questions. This format allows the test to accurately assess your abilities and provide a more accurate score.
- Time management: The GMAT is known for being a time-intensive test, with questions that require careful analysis and strategic decision-making. Conversely, the GRE allows for more time per question and includes more straightforward questions that may require less critical thinking.
- Test frequency: The GMAT is offered year-round, while the GRE is offered more frequently, with test dates available almost every day of the year. This can be an important consideration if you need to retake the test or want to schedule it around other commitments.
- Calculators: The GMAT does not allow the use of a calculator during the Quantitative Reasoning section, while the GRE does. This can impact how you approach and solve math problems on the test.
- Vocabulary: The GRE places more emphasis on vocabulary than the GMAT, with a dedicated Verbal Reasoning section that includes challenging vocabulary words. If you are not confident in your vocabulary skills, the GRE may be more challenging.
- Writing skills: The GMAT includes an Analytical Writing Assessment that requires you to write an essay on a given topic. While the GRE also includes an Analytical Writing section, it allows you to choose from two prompts and write longer essays, which may be more challenging for some students.
- Quantitative skills: The GMAT is known for being more challenging in terms of quantitative reasoning, with questions that require advanced math skills and logical reasoning. The GRE also includes a Quantitative Reasoning section, but the questions are generally more straightforward and do not require as much advanced maths knowledge.
Pro Tips for Choosing between GMAT and GRE
- Check the admission requirements of each school you’re interested in to determine which test is required.
- Consider your strengths and weaknesses in the areas tested by each exam. If you are stronger in verbal reasoning and analytical writing, the GRE may be a better fit. If you are stronger in quantitative reasoning, the GMAT may be a better choice.
- Take practice tests for both exams to get a feel for the test format and question types.
- Consider the time and cost of taking each exam. The GRE is generally less expensive than the GMAT, and some students find it easier to prepare for.
In conclusion, both the GMAT and GRE are widely accepted by business schools. Choosing which test to take depends on a variety of factors, including the admission requirements of each school, your strengths and weaknesses in the areas tested, and the time and cost of taking each exam. Ultimately, the decision should be based on which test you feel most comfortable with and confident in your ability to perform well on.