6 Reasons Why You Should Choose GRE Over GMAT

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Jul 01, 2022 06:57 PM

Should you take the GMAT or the GRE when applying for an MBA? Well, given that many B-Schools have started to accept the GRE in place of the GMAT, choosing between the two can be pretty confusing. Let us find out which is the ideal fit for you.

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One of the most popular and enduring myths about MBA admissions is that taking the GMAT would automatically help you stand out in competitive applicant pools - and that by extension, the GMAT is preferred to the GRE. Put bluntly, this is not true for all graduate schools, with most being neutral about GMAT vs GRE.

The war between the GMAT and GRE started ever since the GRE expanded into the realm of MBA admissions. A growing number of MBA programs - over 1,200 - now accept both GMAT and GRE scores or either, for business school admissions. However, while the GRE is eligible for admission to other graduate schools, the GMAT has been designed to cater only to MBA applicants.

To me, which might be contrary to popular belief, taking the GMAT does not really feel like putting on a badge. Before you start thinking that I forgot to pay my brain bill, let me tell you why GRE may be a better option than the GMAT.

Reasons Why GRE May Be Better Than GMAT

The GMAT is no longer the only test in the game because admissions trends reveal that business schools are looking for individuals with backgrounds outside of the business field. Comparing GMAT and GRE scores is like comparing Citrus Limetta to Kiwi since the two exams are so dissimilar from one another. Both ETS and GMAC, who administer GRE and GMAT (respectively), offer comparison tools to put student scores into perspective. However, many MBA programmes use the ETS comparison tool as a benchmark. Here is all about why the GRE may be better than GMAT for you: 

The Only Admission Test Common for All Graduate Programs Including MBA

The GRE is the only widely-accepted test for your readiness for graduate school and the only exam that can get you into business, law and any other graduate school, opening way more doors for you than the GMAT. Taking the GRE ensures that you end up with a lot more academic options besides just a business degree or an MBA. I have come across a good number of students unsure about which program to take up, who chose to attempt the GMAT and eventually wished to have the flexibility that the GRE naturally offers. 

While the GMAT is specifically designed to assess your business school performance, with a GRE score, you can highlight your strengths outside of the common business skill set which may further lead you to a unique academic and career path. Further, the GRE works as an addition to your academic abilities in case your other scores like the GPA are not as good as you might have wanted them to be. 

You must have heard that we provide standardised test preparation, including the GRE and GMAT, didn’t you? Our expert counsellors have helped hundreds of students to get started on their study abroad journey. 

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Gives an Edge if You are Struggling With Math

Given that most of my friends are scared of math or quant, I can bet that most of you can also relate. In case you do, you must already be dreading preparing for the math section of the GMAT. Well, unlike the GMAT which often suits those with strong quantitative and analytical skills, the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section tends to be pretty straightforward and comparatively easy. 

GRE focuses more on vocabulary and less on grammar and logical arguments while GMAT stresses grammar and reasoning. One big advantage of taking the GRE is that it does not have Integrated Reasoning which measures how well you assess data and use it to solve difficult problems. This way, you can escape from GMAT’s 12 questions across question types in the Integrated Reasoning section. 

Grad Schools Say They Do Not Prefer One to the Other

Yes, a lot of MBA applicants believe that GMAT is the only path to top B-Schools. But, let me show you otherwise. Here is what leading business schools have to say about their preference between GMAT and GRE. (Quotes mentioned below have been sourced from the official websites of respective universities):

Stanford University says they “have no preference between GMAT and GRE exams” and the same goes for Harvard Business School (HBS), MIT Sloan, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), HEC Paris, Chicago Booth, Oxford Said, NYU Stern to name a few. UCLA (Anderson) says, “We accept both tests. If you have not taken either test then we recommend the GRE.” 

Given that top universities offering MBAs do not have any preference between the two, it is only likely that more business schools are to follow suit. 

Moreover, ETS’ conversion tool to translate GRE scores into GMAT scores allows universities to compare scores from applicants using the same scale, further leaving no room for them to prefer GMAT to GRE.

Not Every Business Program Requires the GMAT

Melbourne Business School says, “If you are required to undertake a test for entry to the Master of Applied Econometrics, Master of Economics and Master of Commerce (Actuarial Science) then you are required to sit the GRE. For Master of Finance, you may choose between sitting the GMAT or the GRE.”

Programs such as Master of Marketing, believe it or not, actually favour the GRE over the GMAT. This is because GRE is more qualitative and verbal-based, which makes more sense for students interested in the marketing sector. Not to mention that a quant score, which the GMAT focuses more on, does not measure the creativity of an applicant.

The same goes for those applying for joint degrees such as MBA/MPP and MBA/MPA-ID, which usually requires students to take the GRE. 

Comparatively Less Test Anxiety

Yes, that is true! Apart from differences between the GMAT and GRE in terms of content, both have different adaptive testing algorithms. For people like me who like to review all of their answers at the end of a section, GRE serves the best. It allows you to go back to the answered questions, take a look at them and even change the answer, provided you still have time left to complete that section. 

On the other hand, the GMAT will not allow you to skip, return to or change your answers as each section is separately timed. Also, research done by ETS further proves that most GRE candidates increased their scores after changing answers. 

Related Reads:

Guide to GRE General Test At Home

What is a Good GRE Score & How is it Calculated?

GMAT Score Chart and What Your Score Means?

List of Universities Waiving Off GRE, GMAT for Admission in Masters Programs in 2023

GMAT Scores for Top US B-Schools (MBA Colleges)

How to Score a Perfect 800 on GMAT?

A Differentiator for an MBA Candidacy

Experts say that the GRE has become more popular as universities see it as a valuable differentiator and strategic decision for MBA candidacy. MBA programs have been open to accepting GRE scores to draw a more diverse set of applicants and bolster positioning for applicants that fall in the non-traditional category of applicants.

Moreover, it creates a more competitive enrollment rate, increases the volume of applications, and encourages more universities to admit students submitting GRE scores for MBA. As per experts, choosing between the GMAT and GRE to study abroad should be based on the following eight considerations:

  • Value of a stellar score

  • Test focus

  • Math skills

  • Career goals

  • Language skills

  • Test anxiety

  • Score reporting policies

  • Test-prep materials provided by the test-makers

But How Do I Really Decide...?

Well, if you were to ask me, I would definitely take the GRE instead of the GMAT. However, you might not feel so and that is only normal. I am sure a lot of you might not be sure. In that case, you may ask yourself these questions and then choose:

  • Do you get anxious on tests?

  • Does the school have a preference or accept only one of them?

  • Are you not confident that you would score well in GMAT Quantitative Reasoning?

  • Is your vocabulary strong?

  • What are post-MBA goals (in case you are sure about pursuing an MBA)? - Many companies might need GMAT scores while recruiting.

If your university has no preference and you answered yes to most of the questions, you may want to take the GRE.

Have you made up your mind to decide which exam is ideal for you? If not, then call out one of our study abroad consultants for help at abroad@collegedekho.com to resolve all your queries from the experts.

Still Confused Whether to Take the GRE or GMAT?

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this article belong solely to the author. Students are recommended to make a choice between GRE and GMAT based on their own research and analysis.


What is the key difference between the GRE and GMAT?

The key difference between the GRE and GMAT, as per experts, is that the GMAT's quantitative section is more difficult than the GRE's quantitative section for the majority of test-takers. However, the GMAT may be easier for those who prefer logic puzzles to geometry questions as the GRE has more geometry questions.

What are the similarities between the GRE and GMAT?

There are many similarities between the GRE and GMAT, some of them are:

  • Both are heavily dependent on reading comprehension.

  • Both require early high school mathematics (algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis).

  • Both the exams require essay writing (two on the GRE and one on the GMAT).

Is the GRE Quant easier than GMAT Quant?

Yes, the GRE Quant is easier than GMAT Quant. GMAT Quant is thought to be more difficult than GRE Quant because it measures your problem-solving skills. Furthermore, the data sufficiency problems are rather difficult. On the other hand, the GRE permits you to use a calculator, whereas the GMAT does not, given that GRE quant questions are easier.

What to do if I am unsure whether to take the GRE or GMAT?

If you are unsure whether to take the GRE or GMAT, you should consider taking the GRE. This is because GRE is considered to be easier than the GMAT given that many business schools accept both the GRE and GMAT, it will keep all of your opportunities open. On the other hand, consider taking the GMAT if you do not have a good track record of working with statistics and performing quantitative analysis.

Should I take the GRE or GMAT if I want to pursue a Masters (MS) in Engineering?

If you want to pursue a Master's in Engineering, you should consider taking the GRE. Since a master's degree in engineering management is interdisciplinary, some universities will accept both the GRE and GMAT scores. However, GRE scores are preferred because they are applicable to both the engineering and management sides.

Are the language skills tested in the GRE and GMAT the same?

No, the language skills tested in the GRE and GMAT are not the same. Compared to the GMAT, the GRE has more difficult-to-read words. As per experts, the GRE verbal section is typically more challenging than the GMAT verbal section, in large part due to the GRE's emphasis on testing difficult vocabulary.

What is the difference between GMAT and GRE scoring?

The difference between GMAT and GRE scoring is that the GMAT’s verbal and quantitative scores range from 130 to 170, while the analytical writing scores range from 0 to 6. For the GRE, the total score ranges from 200 to 800. The analytical writing score ranges from 0 to 6; the integrated reasoning score ranges from 0 to 8, and the quantitative and verbal scores range from 6 to 51.

Do both the GMAT and GRE use computer adaptive testing?

Yes, both the GMAT and GRE do use computer adaptive testing. The difficulty of each question within a section is determined by how you performed on the prior question on the GMAT. If you responded correctly, the following question will be more difficult. If you answered incorrectly, the next question will be simpler. Also, since the GRE allows you to change your answers, the difficulty of each part is determined by the one preceding it.

Is the GMAT easy for Indian students?

As per statistics, it can be said that the GMAT is easy for Indian students. Out of the approximately 2-3 lakh GMAT applicants in India each year, around 12% pass the exam with a score higher than 700 (87.5%), which is considered fair. However, exam takers still aspire for a score of 700 or more, which is considered a good GMAT score.

Is three months of time enough to prepare for the GMAT?

Yes, three months of time is enough to prepare for the GMAT, only if your preparation is consistent. In these three months, you will have enough time to take mock tests, practise with sample question papers, analyse your strengths and shortcomings, and so on. Also, with three months of dedicated preparation, you will be able to achieve your target score.

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