GMAT vs. GRE - Which Test Should You Take? |

GMAT vs. GRE - Which Test Should You Take?

By QS Contributor

Updated September 29, 2014 Updated September 29, 2014

Applying for an MBA and not sure whether to take the GMAT or GRE? Read on to find out which test is right for you.

Increasing numbers of business schools have started to accept the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), as well as the traditional GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score of an MBA applicant.

While the GRE used to be taken only by those interested in pursuing non-business degrees, many business schools accept GRE scores in order to broaden their application pool.

Cost Differences Between GMAT and GRE

The GRE (US$140) is less expensive than the GMAT (US$250) and the GRE is also available from a wider range of locations. As a result, by accepting the GRE, business schools are opening their doors to a more diverse range of applicants.

Business Schools that Accept GRE Scores

Programs that are already accepting GRE test takers include:

  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
  • IE Business School
  • Stanford University School of Business

While the number of business schools that accept GRE scores is steadily increasing, it is still quite low compared to the number of MBA programs worldwide.

GMAT and the GRE Comparison

The GRE and GMAT both contain the following sections:

  • verbal
  • quantitative
  • analytical writing sections.

The main difference between the verbal sections of the two tests is that vocabulary receives far greater emphasis on the GRE than on the GMAT. In contrast, critical reasoning questions account for about one third of the GMAT’s verbal questions; however they do not feature on the GRE.

The quantitative sections in both exams are fairly similar, with both exams employing a mix of questions involving arithmetic, number theory, probability, statistics, algebra and geometry.

The writing sections of both tests are also fairly similar, each consisting of two essays and sticking to the same general format.

How to Decide Between GMAT and GRE

When making a decision about whether to take the GMAT or the GRE, you should first consider whether the schools you intend to apply to accept the GRE score. Assuming they do, you should then consider the following.

  • The GMAT is more suited to applicants with excellent quantitavive skills, whereas applicants with outstanding writing and verbal skills should consider the GRE.
  • Applicants interested in applying for other graduate programs that do not accept the GMAT, should consider the GRE.
  • The GRE is less expensive than the GMAT, although both exams do offer fee waivers.

About Manhattan Review 

Manhattan Review is the training provider which helps you succeed before, during and after your MBA studies. With locations worldwide, Manhattan Review offers top quality GMAT preparation, TOEFL and GRE training, as well as MBA Admissions consulting. Manhattan Review's MBA training boot camps focus on a range of subjects including: communication skills, negotiation, finance and accounting. Manhattan Review's MBA admissions consultants bring you years of experience serving as admissions committee members.

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in September 2014

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