Which test should I choose? GRE or GMAT?

17/12/2015 15:43

 More and more MBA and other programmes are increasingly accepting the GRE in addition to the GMAT for admissions applications, more and more of you are asking me which exam you should take. Here is the most simple possible breakdown:

1. What programs are you applying for?

Since the GRE is the admissions test of choice for most non-MBA graduate programs, if you haven't decided yet between pursuing an MBA and another graduate degree (or if you're certain you'll be pursuing a dual-degree program), you'll have a greater chance of killing two birds with one stone if you take the GRE. That said, business schools are well aware of this strategy, and a GMAT score is consequently viewed as a commitment to pursuing an MBA, which can help with admissions. If you're only looking at MBA programs, the GMAT is more likely to cover all your bases. You can apply this same logic to what career path you have in mind, as plenty of employers in the business sector still consider GMAT scores in job applications.

2. What schools are you considering?

Since some business schools accept only GMAT scores and others accept both GMAT and GRE, be sure that your top schools of choice actually accept GRE scores if you're leaning toward that exam.

3. Are you better at Quant or Verbal?

If you're naturally inclined to do better in one test over another (and your schools of choice accept both), why not stick with your strenghts? The GMAT is considered tougher in the math department due to its data sufficiency questions, while the GRE Verbal section's emphasis on vocabulary can make it tougher for non-native speakers and those who don't regularly read complex literature.

Ultimately, the GRE and GMAT have more in common than they have differences. To succeed at either, you'll need mastery of essential math—algebra, arithmetic, geometry, data analysis—as well as reading and critical reasoning skills and efficient test-taking strategies.