Anyone who decides to pursue graduate studies would, most likely, have a dilemma — whether to take the GRE or the GMAT. With some of the B-schools accepting GRE scores, the confusion has become wide spread. When you have to choose between one of the two, consider the following factors:
- What do you want to pursue
GRE can get you an admission into a Graduate program or into a business schools, while GMAT can get you admissions for a Masters (MBA) from a B-school and Masters from a few other select universities. So if you are not sure about what do you want to pursue GRE would be a better option. On the other hand, a GMAT score would mean a firm commitment to pursue a management related course, and this might help in admissions. All said and done, if you are sure of the program that you want to go for, check directly with the program directorate, the B-School, or the University.
- School Preference
Though many schools accept GRE and GMAT scores for MBA admissions, some are very specific about GMAT scores. So, before you decide please check what your dream universities or business schools are looking for.
Let us see what these tests are all about:
- The Structure
The GRE tests you on Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, and Analytical Writing Skills. Visit this link to understand the structure and design of the test.
The GMAT comprises four sections: Analytical Writing Analysis, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. Visit this link to understand the structure and design of the test.
- Time and scoring
The computer-based GRE test is roughly 3 hours 45 minutes long excluding the breaks while the GMAT is 3 hours 7 minutes long without the breaks.
Each of the verbal and the quant scores on the GRE range from 130-170 points with 1-point increment, while on the GMAT the verbal and the quant sections are scored separately on a scale of 0 to 60 (effective 6-51) and the composite score ranges from 200 to 800.
- Topics tested
The verbal section of the GRE tests reading (verbal reasoning) and vocabulary skills, while that of the GMAT tests reading, critical reasoning, and grammar related skills. The quant sections on both GRE and GMAT involve arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
- Validity and Cost
Both the scores are valid for 5 years. While GMAT can be taken only 8 times in total, GRE can be taken any number of times. However, both the tests can be taken only 5 times in a 12-month period. GRE costs $205 and GMAT costs $250.
Both the tests require specific test taking skills and good test taking strategies apart from relevant content knowledge in order to be able to score well on the tests.