Standardized Graduate Business School Tests: Why Take the GRE Instead of the GMAT?

A growing number of business schools now accept their GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores for admission. However, this is not the case for all of them, and business school candidates should research for themselves which test is right for them, before applying to their dream school.

One of the first schools to accept GRE scores for admission was Harvard Business School, and others soon followed suit. At the moment, you can submit your GRE scores to more than seven hundred MBA programs around the world, and that number seems to be skyrocketing.

Having multiple options to choose from is always a good thing, but when choosing between GRE and GMAT, which one is better? Should I, perhaps, take both?

Many MBA applicants are drawn to the GRE because of its less rigorous math section, but, at the same time, they also fear that it will not be taken as seriously as applicants who submit their GMAT scores. However, you can be sure that no business school would consider a test grade that is not taken seriously.

Many applicants are considering graduate programs in addition to the MBA. By accepting GRE scores, business schools expect the most interesting students to join their MBA programs. When you put these two facts together, the conclusion is obvious: If you have already taken the GRE, and are satisfied with your results, you don’t need to take the GMAT.

Still, some business schools feel that the GRE’s quantitative section is not rigorous enough for them, and they adhere to the GMAT for admission to their programs. Others, like UCLA Anderson, accept the GRE, but prefer the GMAT. However, the best business schools like Cambridge, Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, MIT Sloan or Columbia accept GRE scores, both for their PhD programs and for their MBA programs.

There are some obvious benefits to taking the GRE instead of the GMAT: The GRE test is offered in more places than the GMAT and is considerably more affordable. And it’s true: math is easier on the GRE! The GRE also places less emphasis on grammar and logical arguments, and more on vocabulary, compared to the GMAT. Since the GRE is a multi-stage test that is tailored by section, you can strategically jump within a particular section to capitalize on your strengths. This way, with careful time management, you can earn points and increase your GRE scores.

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