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Should I take the GRE or GMAT?

While the GMAT is designed primarily for MBA and business school programs, and the GRE for other graduate programs, many schools accept both exams:

 

 

GMAT

GRE

Who Requires it?

Required test for admission to most business schools and some graduate schools.

Required test for admission to most graduate schools and a growing number of business schools.

Test Structure

Analytic Writing: 1 essay: 30 min.
Integrated Reasoning: 30 min.
Quantitative: 62 min.
Verbal: 65 min.

TOTAL: 3 hours

Analytic Writing: 2 Essays: 30 min. each
Quantitative: 2 sections: 35 min.
Verbal: 2 sections: 35 min.
Experimental section: either math or verbal. (not scored)
TOTAL: About 4 hours

Test Format

Computer-adaptive test

Computerized multi- stage test 

Scoring

Overall score ranging from 200-800, in 10 point increments; plus sub scores for each individual section of the test.

The Verbal and Quantitative scores ranging from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments. The essay is scored from 0-6 in .5 point increments.

Key Differences

Quantitative section more difficult.

English vocabulary strongly tested.

What does this mean?

For MBA applicants, if you already hold a GRE score you may not need to take the GMAT in order to get into certain business schools. Similarly, if you are daunted by the GMAT and think the GRE might be easier for you, then you may have the choice of doing either test, depending on which programs you are targeting.

If English is your second language or more difficult for you, or you are just stronger in math then the GMAT might be the better exam for you to take. Vice versa, if you have a strong English background but struggle in math then the GRE may be the better option for you. 

Before deciding which exam to take, check the schools you are applying to and see which test is required. If you have the choice of taking either test, you should make a decision based upon your own strengths.

 

 

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