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GMAT vs. GRE: Which MBA Test is Right for You?

Several of Marist College's graduate degree programs accept both the GRE or the GMAT to fulfill admission requirements. Trying to figure out which test is best for you? Take a look at this chart which compares the various sections.

GRE

GMAT

 How Many Take the Test?

655,000

250,000

Who Takes the Test?

Anyone hoping to get a master’s degree or go to business school

Those looking to go to business school.

If You’re Thinking About Going to Business School...

Over 1,100 universities and organizations now have business programs that accept the GRE. This number is growing daily, so always check with the specific school.

Over 5,600 business programs at 1,700 universities and organizations around the world accept the GMAT. If any test is required at a business school, the GMAT will satisfy that requirement.

Estimated Cost

$205

$250

When, Where, and How

• Administered year-round
• Taken in secure test centers
• Administered at computer-based test centers around the world

In areas of the world where computer-based tests are unavailable, paper-based tests are administered up to three times a year, in February, October, and November.

• Administered year-round
• Taken in secure test centers
• Administered at computer-based test centers around the world

 

Verbal Questions: Content

• Sentence Equivalence
• Reading Comprehension
• Text Completion

• Sentence Correction
• Reading Comprehension
• Critical Reasoning

Verbal Questions: Format

• Choose all answers that apply
• Choose a sentence in the passage
• Multiple choice

• Multiple choice

Verbal Questions: Study Tips

Learn words, not definitions. The only way to understand complex vocabulary is to understand how it functions in context. Reading from newspapers and magazines is a perfect way to do so.

Learn to “speak” grammar. Knowing your clauses and commas won’t just help on Sentence Correction but on the rest of the GMAT Verbal as well. So pick up a grammar primer pronto.

Math Questions: Content 

• Algebra
• Geometry
• Averages
• Ratios
• Number properties
• Exponents and square roots
• Numeric problem solving 
• Easier than GMAT math

• Arithmetic
• Algebra
• Geometry
• Data Interpretation
• Word Problems
• Harder than GRE math

Math Questions: Format

• Multiple Choice
• Multiple Answer
• Numeric Entry
• Quantitative Comparisons

• Problem Solving (multiple choice)
• Data Sufficiency

Math Questions: Study Tips

Calculator: Friend or foe? It’s true—you can use a calculator on the GRE. It’s also true that the calculator is not always your best friend. Take practice tests to learn when the calculator gets you the solution quickly, and when it slows you down.

Give away your calculator. There is no calculator available in the Quantitative section. Force yourself to do basic arithmetic in your head every day until you take the GMAT. Try calculating your grocery total in your head as you shop.

Time Per Section

GRE Total Time: 3 hrs 45 mins (plus short breaks)

GMAT Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins (plus short breaks)

Quantitative Reasoning: 35 mins 2x
Analytical Writing: 60 mins
Research or Unscored: varies
Verbal Reasoning: 35 mins 2x

Analytical Writing: 30 mins
Integrated Reasoning: 30 mins
Quantitative Reasoning: 75 mins
Verbal Reasoning: 75 mins

Scoring System

 

Integrated Reasoning: 1-8 scale

Analytical Writing: 0-6 scale

Analytical Writing: 0-6 scale

Verbal: 130-170 scale
Quantitative: 130-170 scale
Combined Score: 260-340

Verbal: 0-60 scale
Quantitative: 0-60 scale
Combined Score: 200-800

 

Most business schools require applicants to submit a GMAT score along with their applications. The GMAT is ranked on a 200-800 scale on 10-point increments with questions spread across Analytic, Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning sections. It's computer adaptive to your ability and will follow a trend of how well you complete each answer.

A growing number of business schools are now also accepting GRE scores in place of a GMAT score. The GRE has historically been the required admission test for graduate programs in the United States. The GRE scores are ranked on a scale of 130 to 170 in 1-point increments with questions spread across Analytic, Verbal, and two Quantitative sections. Recently the test council added an unidentified experimental section of math or verbal questions. The GRE is offered in paper or computer adaptive by section.

When deciding between the GMAT and GRE, it's important to research the schools you plan on applying to and deciphering what they are looking for in top candidates. Because both tests are scored differently, there is a comparison tool that MBA programs use to be able to safely compare scores of individual applicants who are submitting scores from both testing types.

Taking a practice exam will also help you become more familiar with the test material and may even be the deciding factor as to which you take. Gaining the highest possible score is your end goal and making sure it meets the requirements and qualifications set forth by the program you are applying to will help you ensure your future enrollment status.

Deciding which MBA test is right for you starts with researching more information about the GMAT exam you can visit the official GMAT website where they outline test prep plans. You can also review the official GRE website for exam information, test prep, and exam scheduling. Reviewing more information on these two exams can help you choose between registering for the GMAT and GRE.

Contact us to learn more about the Master's in Business Administration program at Marist College and which MBA admission test is right for you.