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GRE vs. GMAT: Which Test Should MBA Applicants Take?

For decades, the business school testing requirement was utterly For decades, business school testing requirement was entirely uncomplicated: if you wanted to pursue a graduate degree in business, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) was your only option. Now, however, many company schools accept the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in addition to the GMAT. Prospective business school candidates have the option of taking either test.

The GMAT and the GRE have plenty of similarities, but they are by no methods similar. The distinctions between the GMAT and the GRE are significant enough that many trainees reveal a strong choice for one test over the other. In order to decide which one to take, think about the content and structure of both exams, then weigh those aspects versus your individual testing choices.

What It’s For The GMAT is the standard exam for business school admissions. The GRE is the standard exam for graduate school admissions. It is also accepted by a large number of business schools.
Test Structure One 30-minute Analytical Writing section (one essay prompt)

One 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section (12 questions)

One 65-minute Verbal Reasoning section (36 questions)

One 62-minute Quantitative Reasoning section (31 questions)

One 60-minute Analytical writing section (two essay prompts, 30 minutes each)

Two 30-minute Verbal Reasoning sections (20 questions per section)

Two 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections (20 questions per section)

One 30- or 35-minute unscored Verbal or Quantitative section (computer-based test only)

Test Format Computer-based. Computer-based. Paper-based tests are available only in regions that do not have computer-based testing centers.
When It’s Offered Year-round, almost every day of the year. Year-round, almost every day of the year.
Timing 3 hours and 30 minutes, including instructions and two optional 8-minute breaks. 3 hours and 45 minutes, including an optional 10-minute break.
Cost $250 $205
Scores Total score ranges from 200-800 in 10-point increments. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are scored separately. Both range from 130-170 in 1-point increments.


The Verbal Reasoning Section

The GRE is extensively thought about to have a more challenging spoken area. Native English speakers and students with strong spoken skills may prefer the GRE, whereas non-native English speakers and trainees with weaker spoken abilities may prefer the GMAT’s reasonably uncomplicated spoken section.

The Quantitative Reasoning Section.

Both the GRE and the GMAT test basic mathematics abilities– algebra, math, geometry and information analysis– in their quantitative thinking areas, however the GMAT presents an included obstacle: the Integrated Reasoning area. The Integrated Reasoning area, consisted of 8 multi-part questions, needs test takers to synthesize several sources (typically visual or composed) in order to draw conclusions about data. The concern format and design is unlike the quantitative sections discovered on the GRE, SAT, or ACT, and thus will likely be unknown to a lot of test takers. Trainees who feel comfortable critically examining a range of quantitative sources may find it simple to succeed on the Integrated Reasoning area, however students without a strong background in this kind of analysis might discover the GMAT more difficult..

The Analytical Writing Section.

The analytical writing sections found on the GMAT and the GRE are substantively quite similar. Both tests include an “Analyze an Argument” timely, which asks test takers to read an argument and compose a critique evaluating the argument’s strengths and weak points. The GRE also has a 2nd needed essay: “Analyze a Task.” This essay prompt asks test takers to check out an argument, then compose an essay explaining and validating their own stance on the problem. The requirements of these composing areas do not vary much, but the GRE needs two times as much writing time, so if you find the composing area especially draining pipes, you might choose the GRE’s single-essay format..

Test Structure.

On the GMAT, test takers can not browse back and forth between questions within a single section, nor can they return to previous questions to change their answers. The test identifies which concerns to present to you based on your efficiency on all previous concerns.

The GMAT’s restrictions develop an aspect of stress that does not exist on the GRE. The GRE is “section-adaptive,” which implies that the computer uses your performance on the very first Quantitative and Verbal areas to figure out the trouble level of your 2nd Quantitative and Verbal sections. Within a single area, GRE test takers are complimentary to skip around, mark questions they wish to return to later on, and change their answers. Trainees who battle with test anxiety may find the GRE simpler to dominate since of its greater versatility..

The GRE allows calculator usage during the quantitative area, while the GMAT does not. The GMAT enables test takers to select the order in which to complete test sections, whereas the GRE provides areas in a random order.

The content as well as the structure of the examinations will figure out which one you discover much easier to take on. Consider both your academic strengths and your personal screening preferences prior to selecting a test..

Which Test Is Easier?

Whether you choose the GRE or the GMAT depends mostly on your personal skill set. Broadly speaking, the GRE tends to favor test takers with strong spoken skills and huge vocabularies. Mathematics wizards, on the other hand, might choose the GMAT because of its challenging quantitative concerns and relatively simple spoken reasoning section.

Obviously, the relative ease of each test is determined by a lot more than material alone. The GMAT is made up of four unique sections, which implies 4 separate areas to study and four unique sets of tips and techniques to find out. The GRE, by contrast, is comprised of just 3 areas. If you’re short on study time, this distinction might make the GRE the easier option.

Which Test Should You Take for Business School Admissions?

Naturally, the biggest consider your screening decision ought to be whether the programs on your list accept your examination of choice. Lots of service schools accept the GRE, but some do not; dual degree programs will have a variety of testing requirements. But once you’ve examined each program’s specific testing policy, there are a few other elements to think about.

Think about your level of dedication to a specific post-secondary course. The GRE is perfect for students aiming to keep their alternatives open. If you prepare to apply to graduate programs in addition to company schools, or if you’re pursuing a dual degree program, the GRE is most likely your best choice (as long as it’s accepted by all the programs on your list).

If you’re fully dedicated to company school, the GMAT might be a much better choice. Admissions authorities at some MBA programs, like the one at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, have actually revealed a preference for the GMAT. From their perspective, an applicant who takes the GMAT demonstrates a stronger commitment to business school than someone who takes the GRE and might still be thinking about other post-secondary plans. While lots of schools do not share this preference, it’s still something you must consider. This recommendations applies doubly if you’re interested in a profession in management consulting or investment banking, two fields in which lots of employers require possible hires to submit GMAT scores with their task applications..

Eventually, the best test to take for company school admissions is the one that offers you the best chance of a high score. Before picking a test, complete a minimum of one leisure time practice test for both the GMAT and the GRE. After examining your ratings, you can make a notified decision, then set out to dominate your exam of choice.


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