If you are currently interested in being admitted to graduate school, you have most likely found that several programs require a certain score on standardized tests. Currently, there are two that are used for graduate admission: the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the General Record Examinations (GRE). These tests help the admissions committee to compare the different candidates against their peers, and to identify if the applicant has the necessary skills to be able to complete the program successfully. If you want to know more about these two tests, we invite you to read the GRE entries, what is it and what is it for? and GMAT, what does it consist of?
Although both tests assess quantitative and verbal skills in a similar way, GMAT scores have long been the favorite numbers of admissions committees at colleges where MBAs are offered. This is because, as you can see from the name, the GMAT is used for management and business programs (which includes MBAs), which implies that it is “designed” specifically for business areas. While, in its counterpart, the GRE exam is used in various academic postgraduate degrees of varied approaches, such as MPPs and MSc. This has changed in recent years as program policies have changed and many – if not most – programs now accept both tests equally.
For all the above, today more than ever the decision of which exam to take depends on both you and the program. If you have the opportunity to choose which one to present, here are some points to consider.
In which country are you planning to study the MBA?
If you already know the country in which the program of your choice is taught or not, it is important that you bear in mind that this information will affect the decision of which exam to take since not all countries have these standardized tests as a requirement to enter the master’s degree. In the United States, Anglo-Saxon countries and several in Europe, it is required to have one of them, while other countries opt for a specific entrance exam.
Do you already know which university to apply to?
Given the similar nature of the tests, the GRE test is already accepted for application to Master of Business Administration programs. Now, there are some institutions that still give GMAT preference over GRE, but this list is getting smaller and smaller and generally they communicate very clearly on their admissions page that they have a GMAT preference. If this is not the case, assume that both exams have the same level, and not by taking the GMAT test will you have a significant advantage to be admitted to the graduate degree of your choice.
Does the university you have in mind accept the GRE for MBA?
If you have already decided on one or more programs, the ETS (institution that designs this exam) has made available to the public a list of universities that accept the GRE exam to enter their MBA programs. Currently, more than 1,200 university business schools around the world accept the GRE General Test in some or all of their programs. Some of the most notable include Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, Oxford University, London Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Babson, Insead,HEC Montreal, among many others. You can access the full list at https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/mba/programs/. Similarly, we recommend that you review the admissions page along with their FAQs to determine if they have an explicit preference. But, in the case that you want to apply to graduate school with the GRE, keep in mind that taking GRE training can be significant in building a competitive profile.
Finally, which test should I take?
To make this decision, we invite you to read our entry on which exam to take. It may be the case that you have the option of presenting whatever it is but that, depending on your skills, it is more possible to obtain a higher score in either of the two. In the event that you are looking for GRE or GMAT courses that will help you obtain a competitive score for the graduate degree you want, we have a personalized study program focused on Spanish speakers. Our GMAT and GRE courses are taught by experts on standardized tests and designed by Harvard graduates. We invite you to benefit from the method to obtain more competitive results.