gre vs gmat

GRE Vs GMAT - Which One to Choose


GRE and GMAT are two highly important examinations for higher studies in the global universities. These are universal examinations and based on the scores, the students can apply in the universities from the list of ranking. GRE stands for Graduate Record Examinations General Test and GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. GRE vs GMAT is the typical question that the students face while deciding which one to take or which one is suitable for them. The basic idea is that if one wants to apply for a business school for an MBA program, GMAT is the suitable test, and if one is unsure about the type of graduate program, then GRE is most suitable than GMAT.


Popularity of GRE and GMAT 

Both the tests are highly popular among the international students who aim to study for business administration or any other subject for their graduation. More than 1200 business schools across the world recognize GRE scores and this test is preferred by flexible and creative thinkers. On the other hand, almost all business schools across the world accept GMAT scores. This test is preferred by mostly those with a very high knowledge and aptitude for numbers.

Differences between GRE and GMAT 

GRE is considered to be more versatile than GMAT. It focuses less on mathematics and provides a calculator for the quantitative problems. However, as the main emphasis is on the vocabulary than on the numbers, the verbal section of GRE can be challenging for those with English not as their first language. In this test, the test is not computer adaptive and the students can go back to check their previous answers.

On the contrary, GMAT puts emphasis on quantitative and analytical skills than on the grammar and vocabulary. The questions are customized for examining the skills required in a business manager. It is a computer adaptive examination, in which the difficulty level of the questions is determined by the correct or incorrect answer of the previous question. In this test there is no scope for going back to review the previous answers.

The following table shows the major differences between GRE and GMAT based on some features of the test.




Content of test

· Analytical writing with two essays (2*30 minutes)

· Verbal reasoning (2*30 minutes)

· Quantitative reasoning (2*35 minutes for computer delivered examination, it varies for paper based test)

· Experimental section (can be either verbal or math based: 30-35 minutes)

· More focus is placed on vocabulary, easier for the English speaking natives.

· Also easier for those who are not much strong in maths.  

· Analytical writing with one essay (30 minutes)

· Integrated reasoning (30 minutes)

· Quantitative solving (62 minutes)

· Verbal answers (65 minutes)

· The verbal section focuses more on logic, reasoning and grammar.

· GMAT quantitative section is quite harder for those who are not so strong in mathematics.


Computer or paper based

Computer adaptive

Duration of the test

3 hours 45 minutes

3 hours 30 minutes


USD 205

USD 250

Validity of the score

5 years

5 years

Pattern of score

Score ranges from 130-170.

1 point increments for the verbal and the quantitative reasoning.

Scores for analytical writing is given from 0 to 6.

The total score ranges from 200 – 800. The scores are given based on percentiles.


Therefore to summarize the factors that should be considered by the students while choosing between GRE and GMAT are as follows:

Mathematical skills: According to essay writers, the quantitative questions are more difficult on the GMAT than on the GRE. The students who are stronger in mathematical skills should more likely to take the GMAT. A future study program with more mathematical application may look more favourable on the GMAT than on the GRE. It is also suggested that those who prefer the logical reasoning more than the geometry questions, should opt for GMAT over GRE as the logical reasoning section is more under GMAT than the geometry section, which is the opposite case for GRE, where the geometry questions are more than the logical reasoning.

Vocabulary skills: GRE puts a very high emphasis on the vocabulary skills than GMAT. There are more obscure words in GRE and non-native English speakers often find this section more difficult. On the other hand, the verbal language section is comparatively easier in the GMAT.

Career ambition: GMAT is solely for management study programs. Students who aim for a career in business management in the investment banking firms or management consulting firms should know that many of these firms require the GMAT score. On the other hand, GRE is applicable for graduation program in any other subject.

Test format: GRE is not completely computer adaptive and allows the student to go back to check and review their previous answers. It also allows the students to skip a question they find difficult and can come back later to answer that. This reduces the stress and anxiety related to the test. However, GMAT does not give this opportunity and thus the stress and anxiety level are higher in GMAT. Moreover, it is computer adaptive. Hence, GMAT is psychologically more stressful than GRE.

Score reporting: in case of GRE, the repeat GRE exam takers can choose between the scores while reporting to the universities and that can be highly assuring. However, this facility is not there in case of GMAT. Only the latest score is accepted in case of GMAT.

Hence, students should choose the tests based on these above mentioned factors.

Read more about Informative Speech Outline . 

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