Select Page

GRE or GMAT: Choosing the Right Test for Grad School Goals

GRE or GMAT: Selecting the Ideal Test for Your Grad School ObjectivesComparing GRE or GMAT:

Selecting the standardized test that best fits your academic and professional goals will be a vital choice you must make as you embark on the exciting yet arduous process of preparing for graduate school.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are the two main exams taken into account for graduate business schools.

Each test has its distinctive qualities, so picking the proper one can have a big impact on your chances of getting into the graduate business school of your choice. To assist you in choosing the test that best meets your graduate school objectives, we will compare the GRE and GMAT in the following blog article.

I. Understanding the GRE or GMAT

Let’s start by understanding what each test entails and its purpose:

GRE (Graduate Record Examination):
The GRE was initially designed for various graduate programs, not just business-related disciplines. It consists of three main sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.

The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates your reading comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary skills through questions based on written passages.
The Quantitative Reasoning section assesses your mathematical proficiency and problem-solving abilities, covering topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to express complex ideas coherently and effectively in a well-structured essay.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test):

Unlike the GRE, the GMAT is specifically tailored for graduate business programs, including MBA and other business-related degrees. It comprises four main sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.
The Analytical Writing Assessment requires you to analyze an argument and present your perspective on the given topic.

The Integrated Reasoning section evaluates your ability to interpret and analyze data from various sources, simulating real-world business scenarios.
The Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections are similar to those in the GRE, assessing your mathematical and verbal abilities, respectively.

II. GRE or GMAT: Schools’ Test Requirements

When considering which test to take, it’s essential to research the test preferences of the graduate schools you plan to apply to. While many business schools accept both the GRE and GMAT, some institutions may have specific preferences or requirements.


The GRE is widely accepted by various graduate programs, not limited to business schools. It offers test-takers the flexibility to apply to a diverse range of programs, such as social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.


The GMAT is favored by some top-tier business schools and is often considered the standard test for MBA programs. If your goal is to focus solely on MBA or business-related programs, the GMAT may be a suitable choice.

III. GRE or GMAT: Test Content and Structure

The content and structure of the GRE and GMAT differ, and your strengths and weaknesses may influence your choice.

GRE or GMAT: Selecting the Ideal Test for Your Grad School ObjectivesGRE:

The GRE’s Verbal and Quantitative sections cover a wide range of skills, making it suitable for individuals with diverse academic backgrounds. The Analytical Writing section assesses critical thinking and written communication skills.


The GMAT is designed to evaluate skills specifically relevant to business and management. The Integrated Reasoning section measures your ability to interpret and analyze complex data, essential in the business world.

IV. GRE or GMAT: Test Format and Duration

Another aspect to consider is the test format and duration, as it relates to your test-taking preferences and schedule.


The GRE is a computer-based test with adaptive sections. This means that the difficulty of the second section depends on your performance in the first section. The total test duration is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes.


The GMAT is also a computer-based test but with fixed sections. The total test duration is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.

V. GRE or GMAT: Test Scoring and Score Reporting

GRE and GMAT use different scoring scales and have varying score reporting policies.


Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored on a scale of 130 to 170.
Analytical Writing is scored on a scale of 0 to 6.
You can choose which scores to send to schools.


The Quantitative and Verbal sections are scored on a scale of 0 to 60.
Integrated Reasoning is scored on a scale of 1 to 8.
Analytical Writing is scored on a scale of 0 to 6.

VI. GRE or GMAT: Your Strengths and Goals

To make the best decision, assess your academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as your long-term career goals and aspirations. Reflect on your comfort level with specific subjects and consider how each test aligns with your intended graduate school program.

VII. GRE or GMAT: Making the Decision

When deciding between the GRE and GMAT, consider the test requirements of your target grad schools, your academic background, comfort with specific subjects, and the format, duration, scoring, and score reporting policies of each test. Align your test choice with your career goals and the graduate programs you wish to pursue.

Navigating Your Path: Deciding Between GRE and GMAT

Choosing between the GRE and the GMAT is a big decision that will affect your graduate school career. Research the test requirements of your desired institutions thoroughly, evaluate your academic strengths, and consider your future professional goals.

Whatever test you choose, remember that preparation and practice are essential for success. Whatever decision you make, make every effort to earn your best possible score and demonstrate your academic and intellectual potential to the graduate institutions of your choice. Best wishes for your successful adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions for GRE or GMAT: Choosing the Right Test for Your Grad School Goals

Q1: What is the GRE, and what is the GMAT?

A1: The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test used for admissions to various graduate programs. The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is specifically designed for business school admissions.

Q2: Can I choose between the GRE and GMAT for any graduate program?

A2: Most programs allow you to choose, but some business schools may require the GMAT. Always check with the schools you’re interested in.

Q3: Are GRE scores accepted by business schools?

A3: Yes, many business schools accept GRE scores as an alternative to GMAT scores.

Q4: Are GMAT scores preferred by business schools over GRE scores?

A4: Some business schools may have a preference for GMAT scores, but the acceptance of both scores has become more common.

Q5: How do the GRE and GMAT content differ?

A5: The GRE covers a broader range of subjects, including verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The GMAT focuses on analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.

Q6: Can I send both GRE and GMAT scores to schools?

A6: Yes, many schools allow you to choose which scores to send. However, it’s best to check each school’s policy.

Q7: How do the scoring scales of GRE and GMAT compare?

A7: GRE scores range from 130 to 170 for each section, while GMAT scores range from 200 to 800. Both tests use different scoring scales.

Q8: Are preparation materials similar for GRE and GMAT?

A8: While some content overlaps, specialized materials are available for each test. Tailoring your preparation to the specific test is beneficial.

Q9: Can I switch between the GRE and GMAT if I’m not satisfied with my score?

A9: Yes, you can retake either test if needed, but be aware of specific policies and waiting periods.

Q10: How do analytical writing sections differ in the GRE and GMAT?

A10: Both tests include essay sections, but the prompts and scoring criteria differ.