Call us at +91 8583841032 / +91 9038007115

GRE Vs GMAT For MBA: Which One to Take?


When applying to MBA programs, prospective students are faced with deciding GRE vs GMAT as their standardized test scores. 

This decision is critical, as it can significantly impact an applicant’s chances of admission to their desired program.

In this article, you will realize the differences between the GRE vs GMAT, examine their advantages and disadvantages, and discuss the factors MBA admissions applicants should consider when deciding which test to take.

What are the GRE vs GMAT tests?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are standardised tests used in the admissions process for graduate-level programs, particularly business school programs.

The GRE is a general test that measures a student’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. It is used for admission to graduate programs, including business, law, and social sciences.

The GMAT, on the other hand, is specifically designed for admission to MBA programs. It measures students’ analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal skills.

Both tests have a similar format: multiple-choice questions and an essay section. 

However, the GMAT includes a section on integrated reasoning, which tests the ability to analyse and synthesise data from multiple sources.

Both tests aim to assess a student’s readiness for graduate-level coursework and provide a standardised measure for admissions committees to evaluate applicants. 

The tests help to level the playing field for applicants from diverse academic backgrounds and provide a standard metric for evaluating applicants across different programs.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known as MIT, offers an MS in Engineering and Management that prepares students for leadership roles in technical fields. MIT has a high international acceptance rate of 37%, making it a popular destination for international students. The median starting salary for graduates of this program is $116,000, with an ROI of 71%.

Next is another house name, which has produced CEOs of Big Tech and Nobel laureates, currently ranked second in the QS World Rankings.

Stanford University:  Stanford offers an MS in Engineering Management that focuses on the intersection of technology and business. Stanford has a high international acceptance rate of 27% and offers excellent career opportunities for graduates. The median starting salary for graduates of this program is $130,000, with an ROI of 76%.

How can we forget California when we’re talking about tech? Another highly prestigious school, ranked fifth on the QS Rankings 2023, is:

The University of California, Berkeley: UC Berkeley’s MS program focuses on sustainable engineering practices and prepares students for renewable energy, environmental management, and sustainability careers. Berkeley has a high international acceptance rate of 24% and offers excellent job opportunities for graduates. The median starting salary for graduates of this program is $100,000, with an ROI of 67%.

One of the best schools in the world and probably the one with the steepest acceptance rate, ranked eighth on the QS World Rankings we have:

Are you confused between using GMAT or GRE scores for MBA?
Need guidance in the early stage of the MBA application journey?
Don't worry, we've got your back!

MBA Programs and Test Requirements (GRE vs GMAT)

The GRE and GMAT scores are often used with other application materials, such as transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation, to make admissions decisions.

There are differences in the test requirements between MBA programs that accept GRE and those that accept GMAT

While many MBA programs will accept both tests, some may prefer one test. Additionally, some programs may require applicants to take one test or the other, depending on their academic background or other factors.

For example, Harvard Business School accepts both the GRE and GMAT but notes on its website that “applicants may take either the GMAT or GRE, but we strongly encourage you to take the GMAT.” 

On the other hand, the Stanford Graduate School of Business requires applicants to take either the GMAT or the GRE but notes that they do not prefer one exam over the other.

Other programs, such as the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, require applicants to take the GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment (EA), a newer test designed for Executive MBA programs.

Overall, it is important for you to carefully review the test requirements for each MBA program you are interested in and to prepare accordingly.

Comparing the GRE vs GMAT: Test format and content

There are some notable differences in the content and structure of the two tests (GRE vs GMAT)

In terms of content, both tests include sections on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing

The structure of the tests is also slightly different.

Exam patternGRE has three sections i.e.
1. GRE Quantitative Reasoning,
2. GRE Verbal Reasoning, &
3. GRE Analytical Writing
GMAT has four divisions’ i.e.
1. GMAT Analytical Writing,
2. GMAT Integrated Reasoning,
3. GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Section,
4. GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

Note that the GMAT is being overhauled and will soon have its pattern changed. You may read our blog on GMAT Focus edition to learn more.
Syllabus contentAnalytical writing:
1. Time allotted: 60 minutes
2. Tasks: 2 essays

Quantitative & Verbal:
1. 2 sections consisting of 20 questions
2. In total 80 MCQs
Analytical writing:
1. 1 - 30 minutes essay

1. 12 questions

1. 75 minutes for 37 questions

1. 41 questions
Computer-adaptiveNoYes, the second question depends on the performance level of the first
Duration3 hours & 45 minutes3 hours & 7 minutes
Exam FeeGRE General Test is $213(INR 15,857.70)
GRE Subject Test is $150 (INR 11164.92)
GMAT exam fee is US $275 (INR 20,600 approx)
Validity5 years5 years
Total no. of questionsMCQs: 80; Unscored research section: 2090

If you’re an international student looking for guidance on studying in the UK or US, EduAims can help. Our team of experienced counsellors have over 50 years of combined experience in guiding students through the complex process of studying abroad. Take the first step towards success by booking a free counselling session today.

GRE vs GMAT: which one to choose?

The GRE may be a better option for applicants who excel in verbal reasoning and analytical writing, as those sections carry more weight on the GRE. 

On the other hand, the GMAT may be a better option for applicants who excel in quantitative reasoning, as that section carries more weight on the GMAT

It is specifically designed for admission to MBA programs, which may make it a more tailored option for MBA applicants.

Both tests are scored on a scale from 200 to 800, with separate scores for each test section. The scores are used by MBA programs as one aspect of the admissions process, along with other application materials for the program requirements.

It is important to note that while high test scores can improve an applicant’s chances of admission to an MBA program, they are not the only aspect considered in the admissions process. 

Other factors, such as work experience, academic background, and letters of recommendation, also affect the admissions decision.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between the GRE vs GMAT

When deciding which test to take, you should consider their strengths and weaknesses in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. 

For example, you may find the GRE a better fit if you are stronger in verbal reasoning and analytical writing.

In contrast, an applicant who excels in quantitative reasoning may prefer the GMAT.

Personal preferences are also important to consider. You may prefer one test over another based on factors such as test structure, test-taking environment, or familiarity with the test format. 

For example, if you are more comfortable with computer-adaptive testing may prefer the GMAT, while an applicant who prefers regular testing may prefer the GRE.

You should research the test requirements for the MBA programs and understand what they are interested in and determine whether one test is preferred or required. Target schools should also be considered when deciding between the GRE vs GMAT

Additionally, you should consider the average test scores of admitted students at their target schools and aim to score within that range.

Cost and convenience are also important factors to consider. The GRE is generally less expensive than the GMAT and is offered at more locations and dates throughout the year.

You must carefully consider your strengths and weaknesses, personal preferences, target schools, and cost and convenience when deciding.

Tips to take the exam: Test-taking strategies

Below are some tips and tricks that can help you improve your test-taking strategies and maximise your scores:

  • Create a study plan: Set aside ample time and create a structured plan that includes reviewing the test content, practice questions, and timed mock tests.
  • Understand the test format: Familiarize yourself with the test structure, types of questions, and the allotted time for each section. This knowledge will help you plan your time effectively during the test.
  • Practice time management: During the test, keep track of your time and avoid spending too much time on any one question. Answer the easier questions first, then return to the more difficult ones later.
  • Utilise the process of elimination: Eliminate the answers you know are incorrect and narrow down the choices to increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.
  • Read the questions carefully: Read them carefully and ensure you understand the context before answering them.
  • Take breaks: The GRE and GMAT are long tests, and it’s essential to take breaks to stay alert and focused throughout the test.
  • Stay calm and confident: Don’t panic when encountering a difficult question. Stay calm, take a deep breath, and focus on the remaining questions.

Remember to stay calm, manage your time effectively, and practice, practice, practice. Good luck with your exam!

Final Thoughts

Choosing between the GRE vs GMAT is a crucial decision for MBA aspirants that could determine their future career prospects. 

With EduAims’ professional consultants that provide personalised guidance to help students navigate the complex MBA admission process, you can weigh the factors carefully and making an informed decision is essential. 

The expert consultants can help you understand the test requirements for your target schools, know your strengths and weaknesses, and create a personal study plan to optimise your test performance.

Therefore, if you are planning to apply to MBA programs and are struggling with the decision between the GRE vs GMAT, we recommend you consider seeking assistance from EduAims

With their expert guidance, you can increase your chances of admission to your desired MBA program and take a significant step towards achieving your career goals.

Get the best GRE coaching in Kolkata at EduAims. We offer comprehensive coaching and personalized guidance to help you excel in your GRE exams. Join us to get the best guidance for the GRE and achieve your dream score.


Begin the journey to your dream career today!

Chat on Whatsapp