Scroll Top

GRE vs. GMAT: Which Test Is Right for You?

Choosing the right graduate school entrance exam can be a daunting task. With so much at stake, it’s crucial to choose the test that best showcases your skills and abilities.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test commonly used for admission into graduate programs. It assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. While GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test specifically designed for admission into business schools.


GRE (Graduate Record Examination)GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
The GRE is a standardized test used for graduate school admissions, measuring verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills.The GMAT is a standardized test specifically designed for admission to business schools, assessing analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal skills.
It focuses on a broader range of academic disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with a stronger emphasis on vocabulary.It places a greater emphasis on quantitative reasoning, data sufficiency, and critical reasoning skills directly related to business and management contexts.
The GRE uses a scoring scale of 130-170 for verbal and quantitative reasoning sections, and 0-6 for the analytical writing section.The GMAT uses a scoring scale of 0-60 for the quantitative and verbal sections, and a separate score for the integrated reasoning and analytical writing sections.
It is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes long, including breaks and sections for verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.It has a total test duration of approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, including sections for integrated reasoning, quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing.
The GRE is widely accepted by graduate programs around the world, including business schools, arts and sciences programs, and various other disciplines.The GMAT is primarily required for admission to business schools and is widely accepted by MBA programs globally.

Overview of GRE and GMAT

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are both standardized tests used for admission into graduate programs. The GRE is more widely accepted and is used for a broader range of graduate programs, including non-business disciplines. It assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills.

The GMAT is specifically designed for admission into business schools and focuses more on assessing skills relevant to business and management, such as critical reasoning and data sufficiency. While there is some overlap in content, the GMAT places greater emphasis on quantitative and integrated reasoning skills compared to the GRE.

Similarities between GRE and GMAT

  • Both the GRE and GMAT are standardized tests for graduate school admissions.
  • They assess skills in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.
  • Both tests are computer-adaptive, meaning the difficulty level of questions adjusts based on performance.
  • Preparation and study are essential for achieving high scores on both exams.
  • While the GRE is more commonly accepted for a wide range of graduate programs, the GMAT is primarily used for business school admissions.
  • The GRE places more emphasis on vocabulary and general academic skills, while the GMAT focuses more on quantitative reasoning and business-related concepts.

Pros and cons of each test

GRE Pros:

  1. Widely accepted: The GRE is accepted by a large number of graduate programs globally, including both academic and professional disciplines.
  2. Verbal focus: The GRE places a significant emphasis on verbal reasoning, making it a suitable choice for students with strong language and reading comprehension skills.
  3. Flexibility: Test-takers can choose the order of the test sections, allowing them to prioritize their strengths.

GRE Cons:

  1. Limited business focus: The GRE may not fully assess the specific quantitative and analytical skills required for business school admissions.
  2. Vocabulary challenges: The GRE’s verbal section includes a wide range of vocabulary words that may be unfamiliar to non-native English speakers or those with a limited vocabulary.
  3. Less specialized: The GRE covers a broad range of academic disciplines, which may not align as closely with specific graduate programs as the GMAT does for business-related programs.

GMAT Pros:

  1. Business focus: The GMAT is specifically designed for admissions into business schools and assesses skills relevant to the field, such as quantitative reasoning and data interpretation.
  2. Analytical Writing Assessment: The GMAT includes an additional analytical writing section, which provides a comprehensive assessment of a candidate’s communication and analytical skills.
  3. Business school reputation: As the preferred test for many business schools, a strong GMAT score may enhance the competitiveness of an application in the business field.

GMAT Cons:

  1. Limited acceptance: While the GMAT is widely accepted for business school admissions, it may not be recognized by all graduate programs outside of the business discipline.
  2. Testing format: The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, which may pose challenges for some test-takers who prefer a paper-based format.
  3. Exam duration: The GMAT is longer in duration compared to the GRE, which can be physically and mentally demanding for some individuals.

Preparing for the tests: strategies, tips, and tricks

  • Start by taking a practice test. This will give you a better idea of which test is right for you and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
  • Make a study plan and stick to it. Dedicate a certain amount of time each day or week to studying for the test. And don’t wait until the last minute!
  • Use practice questions to familiarize yourself with the format and content of the test. There are plenty of resources available online and in bookstores.
  • Take care of yourself physically and mentally leading up to the test date. Get enough sleep and exercise, and eat healthy foods to fuel your brain. Avoid cramming or pulling all-nighters—it won’t do you any good come test day.

Alternatives to GRE and GMAT

  • The LSAT is a common alternative for law school applicants
  • The MCAT is the preferred test for medical school applicants
  • The ACT and SAT are also popular alternatives that are accepted by many colleges and universities

Key differences between GRE and GMAT

  1. Purpose: The GRE is a general graduate admissions test accepted by various graduate programs, while the GMAT is specifically designed for admissions into business schools.
  2. Content Focus: The GRE has a broader focus on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing, covering a wide range of academic disciplines. The GMAT places a stronger emphasis on quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills relevant to business and management education.
  3. Math Difficulty: The GMAT’s quantitative section tends to be more challenging and includes more complex mathematical concepts than the GRE’s quantitative section.
Differences between GRE and GMAT


The GRE is more versatile, suitable for a wide range of graduate programs, while the GMAT is specifically designed for business school admissions. Both tests have their pros and cons, and the choice between them should be based on individual preferences, academic background, and the requirements of the intended graduate program or business school.

Featured Posts!
Most Loved Posts
Clear Filters