GMAT Vs. GRE. Which is right for you?

GMAT Vs. GRE. Which is right for you?


Each year more business programs opt to accept scores from both the GMAT and GRE for admission. This news is great! It implies that more students have the choice to select which test format is better suited for their testing style. However, before you choose the GMAT or GRE, it is essential to research the schools on your wishlist and learn about their admission process. If both GRE and GMAT are acceptable at your ideal school, it is time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to make the best decision.

What is the GRE test? A closer look at the GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

This test is the standard for admission to many graduate schools and some business schools. Over 1200 business programs now accept the GRE, and this number is growing each day. Here are some highlights:

  • Taken by 585,000 graduate school hopefuls per year
  • Includes a 60-minute analytical writing section and two essays
  • Contains two 30-minute verbal reasoning sections
  • Includes two 35-minute quantitative reasoning sections
  • There is also a 30-35 minute experimental segment that will be math or verbal.
  • Takes 3.5 hours on paper and 3.75 hours by computer
  •  Scores are valid for five years
  • The cost will be between $160-190 depending on location

Examining the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

This test is for admission into business schools. Over 6000 business programs accept the GMAT. If there is a test required for a business program, the GMAT will meet the requirement. Here are some highlights:

  • Taken by 260,000 business school hopefuls per year
  • Contains a 30-minute analytic section with one essay
  • Includes a 30-minute integrated reasoning section
  • Consists of 75-minute quantitative and verbal sections
  • Only available on a computer
  • The test takes 3.5 hours
  • Scores remain valid for five years
  • The cost is $250 globally

What stands out about each test

The GMAT suits students who have strong quantitative and analytical skills. It is also an excellent format for people that excel at interpreting data presented in charts, tables, and text to solve complex problems. The math section of the GRE tends to be more straightforward and, unlike the GMAT, includes a calculator for quantitative questions. However, if you are a more qualitative type, the GRE test might be best. Strong editors may gravitate to the verbal section of the GMAT because of its emphasis on grammar while test-takers with strong vocabularies may prefer the GRE. Both tests have their unique question types. Here is the scoring break down:

GRE Combined Score Range: 260-340

  • Analytical Writing 0-6 scale
  • Verbal 130-170 scale
  • Quantitative 130-170 scale

GMAT Combined Score Range: 200-800

  • Integrated Reasoning 1-8 scale
  • Analytical Writing 0-6 scale
  • Verbal 0-60 scale
  • Quantitative 0-60 scale

Selecting the best format

The only way to determine if the GMAT or GRE is best for your skills and abilities is to take a practice exam. Regardless of the test, you decide to take you will need to study and prepare for your desired score. To be in the 90th percentile students will need a score of 327 on the GRE and 700 on the GMAT. Once you know which format is better suited for you, you will need to focus. Getting into a reputable business program can be competitive, and you should not take a GRE or GMAT without practice.

Lastly, students should not go into this process, believing one test is the easy way out. Both tests are challenging, but with time and preparation, you can achieve your desired outcome.

Are you still considering your options for college? The following are business schools that accept both GRE and GMAT for admission to some of their business programs along with average test scores of their successful applicants if available.




ESADE Business School  670 160/162
IE Business School 670 157/160
IESE Business School 680 No Min
London Business School 700 162/166
University of Oxford- International MBA 692 No Min
HEC Paris MBA 690 153/157
INSEAD 703 160/164


If you’d like to know more about why a GMAT/GRE test score is necessary, feel free to take a look at this article.

Leave your comments below. What schools are you considering in your quest for higher education? Also, are you leaning towards taking the GMAT or GRE?


Featured Content
Written by
Hi, I am Rita. I am an Adjunct Professor teaching Business and Professional Development skills to learners all over the world. I am also a Business and Career consultant. In my spare time, I love to write about various topics including poetry. You can learn more about my work at

Recent Posts

Get our experts advice for free.
Contact us.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our Privacy Policy for more details.