Mar 5, 2019

GMAT vs GRE : Which Test Should you Take?

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GMAT and GRE are two of the most widely taken graduate exams all around the world. Universities all around the world have been accepting the GMAT and GRE tests as an admission criteria. Especially for the students willing to study abroad, these tests work as a supporting document for their application in the Universities abroad. Students always face the dilemma when it comes to the GRE and GMAT, as they are both widely accepted in number of universities, for a number of courses. But which one suits you the best? This guide will help you find out:

GMAT vs GRE : Which Test Should you Take?

About GMAT:

GMAT Full Form: Graduate Management Admission Test

GMAT is conducted by GMAC, which stands for Graduate Management Admission Council. It is mostly taken by the students who are trying to get into MBA programs and business schools, however, many other business, and finance related programs also accept GMAT as the admission criteria. To know more about GMAT, you can checkout our GMAT exam guide.

About GRE:

GRE Full Form: Graduate Record Examination

GRE on the other hand, is a trademark of ETS. GRE is taken by students around the world for the admission at graduation schools. In addition to the graduate schools, GRE is also accepted by business schools, which makes the range of GRE wider, and the test more accessible. To know more about GRE, checkout our GRE exam guide.

GMAT vs GRE: Who Should take which test?

As we have mentioned above, GMAT is accepted in the business schools all over the world. GMAT shows candidates commitment to pursuing a course and career in management and business. While GRE has a wider range. GRE is accepted worldwide in the graduate schools and also at the management schools. However, the business schools often prefer the GMAT scores, and that too higher GMAT scores when it comes to prestigious MBA programs and global management rankings. The most important part about the decision is to check with the Universities you are interested in, and their admission criteria.

So what will it be? GMAT vs GRE? The right answer lies in the capabilities of the test-takers, strengths and their weaknesses. As we go further into the comparison, you will get a clearer idea about which test will suit you the best.

GMAT vs GRE: Sectional Comparison





(GMAT is Easier)

Heavy on Grammar and Comprehension


Students find it easier than GRE

Heavy on Vocabulary


Students find vocabulary of GRE tough, especially for non-native English speaker

GMAT vs GRE Syllabus

1. Reading Comprehension

2. Sentence Correction

3. GMAT Critical Reasoning

1. Text Completion

2. Reading Comprehension

3. Sentence Equivalence


(GRE is Easier)

Heavy on Equations, numbers and derivatives


Have a tough mathematical section, students with accounting, engineering and business background take it

Heavy on Geometry, Arithmetic


Have easier quantitative section compared to GMAT, students who do not have mathematical background can take it

GMAT vs GRE Syllabus

1. Problem Solving

2. Data Sufficiency

1. Quantitative comparison

2. MCQ - Select One Answer

3. MCQ - Select Multiple Answers

4. Numeric Entry Questions


Writing on topics related to Business and Finance


Analytical Writing on a given problem offering a solution

Variety of Topics


The writing is more focused on Literature and logic and less on analytical writing

GMAT vs GRE Syllabus

Analysis Essay (most likely on business and economy)

1. Issue Essay

2. Argumentative Essay


Apart from this, GMAT has the Integrated Reasoning, which consists of questions on Graphics Interpretation, Table Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning and Two-Part Analysis.

GMAT vs GRE Score Comparisons

GMAT Scores:

The Scale on which the GMAT is scored is: 200 to 800. The scores are declared in the multiples of 10, such as 610, 620, 630 and so on. 70% of the test takers score in the range of 400 to 600. If you want to apply for top ranked business universities (top 10%), the scores should be around 710 to 800.

GRE Scores:

The scoring scale of GRE is 130 to 170 for verbal and quantitative, and overall it is a 340 marks test, whereas writing is evaluated on the bands 0 to 6. For top 10% scores in the world, the verbal and quantitative should be more than 160-163, and overall score of 330+ , the analytical writing scores should read 5.0 to 6.0.

GMAT vs GRE for MBA:

For years, it has been a common norm to think that for MBA programs and business Universities, GMAT is the requirement. However over the past few years that has changed.

Top B-schools in the world have now started to accept the GRE scores for the admission criteria, too. Many of the Universities accept scores of both the exams, so it solely depends on the individual, for what suits best to him or her, and where they can score the most and secure an admission.

For some of the prestigious MBA programs, the GMAT requirements are very high and they do not accept even the average GMAT scores, in that case, candidate should assess his / her strengths and weaknesses and decide to take the exam accordingly.

GMAT vs GRE: Overview & Verdict




Who Should Take?

MBA, Management students

Students who are applying to graduate schools in general, including MBA

Test Pattern

Verbal: 65 minutes

Integrated Reasoning: 30 minutes

Quantitative: 62 minutes

Writing: 30 minutes

Verbal: 60 minutes

Quantitative: 70 minutes

Writing: 60 minutes

Test Formats

Computer Adaptive Test

Computer based Test, available offline in the areas where internet not available

Test Scores

200 to 800

0 to 6 in writing, 130-170 in other subjects

GMAT vs GRE Fees

250 USD

205 USD

Duration of Test

3.5 hours

3.75 hours (3.5 hours for paper based)

Results Declared

Within Three weeks of Test

10 to 15 Days from Test

Validity of Scores

5 years

5 years


As you can see, there are many differences and similarities you can make out from the comparison of GMAT vs GRE. Both of them stand out on their own and have their own advantages, disadvantages and complexities. There are two things from the comparison that we have derived. The Quant section of the GMAT is more analytical, and will take more preparation than GRE. On the other hand, if English is your second language, GRE vocabulary might be tough for you.

All said and done, the comparisons do not stand true for every person, and there is no universal choice for everyone. Everyone have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the right way to decide GMAT vs GRE in two steps.

What Universities want: the first and foremost step should be to check with the universities and their admission criteria. The program pages on the university websites always note the admission requirements. For example, if the course you want to apply only accepts GMAT, then there is no point thinking otherwise.

Practice Tests to Decide: If the courses you decide accept either of the scores, or you haven’t decided a course yet, the best way to figure out which test is for you is to take real time online practice test for GMAT and GRE both, and then decide, they will also help you analysing your strengths and weaknesses.

About The Author:

Dhruv is fond of words and everything related to them. Writing about different things from around the world gives him immense pleasure, and a very healthy by-product is sharing of the information and helping others in the process.

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