I have notices a spike in GRE inquiries, so I thought I would call people’s attention to piece I wrote that breaks down the GRE vs. GMAT dilemma.
The GRE has given itself a major overhaul and is now competing with the GMAT. The revised GRE will be accepted at over 450 MBA accredited institutions/programs, creating another dilemma for applicants.
Here are the major differences that I found:
1. The GRE is cheaper ($140 vs. $250.)
2. Math section
The GRE math is easier. Why? The GRE is a general graduate school test. Many applicants use it to enter non-technical graduate programs. It is much easier to outperform than on GMAT, which attracts a much more mathematically inclined group.
So it’s no wonder that the math on the GMAT is more difficult than that on the GRE. Also GRE is more tolerant of mistakes. To get a perfect score on the GMAT, there is a little room for error.
Here there are major differences. The GRE is highly dependent on vocabulary. For non-natives, this is a huge problem. GMAT is recognition-based multiple choice, so you can use the context to help you with unknown words.
GMAT has a more logical orientation, and this can actually benefit non-natives, assuming they are good readers in English.
Both tests assume native-level proficiency, so there is no easy way out for people not confident in their English abilities.
4. What do schools want.
The GMAT is a pure-play for business school. The GRE is a newcomer to business school.
The GMAT makes it easy for schools to benchmark applicants. Often the GMAT is the only point in common on a diverse group of applications.
When I asked the schools, they mentioned the GRE as a way to attract women. MBAs are under pressure to increase enrolment among women. The GRE, with its more general orientation, is perhaps a way to take down a significant barrier (GMAT) to women.
5. The final word
If you are looking at a general master’s, and not MBA, probably take the GRE.
If your math is not good, GRE math will probably be a bit quicker to crack.
If you are surely on an MBA track, the GMAT is the traditional test that MBAs expect and understand.
If you cant decide, both tests give a free download exam that gives an accurate score. Take a practice test and see what feels “easier”.
Still don’t know? Call me and give me a bit of your personal background and I’ll make a recommendation.