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Home » GMAT vs. GRE: Which Exam Will Give You the Edge in Your Graduate Journey?

GMAT vs. GRE: Which Exam Will Give You the Edge in Your Graduate Journey?

gmat vs gre

Are you contemplating pursuing a graduate degree? Did we hear “from abroad”? If so, you’ve probably encountered two acronyms that can significantly impact your future: GMAT vs GRE. The GMAT and GRE are standardized tests for graduate programs globally.

When embarking on your graduate journey, it’s vital to grasp the key differences between these exams and identify the one that aligns better with your goals. That’s why we are here for you! Both the GMAT and GRE evaluate your aptitude and readiness for graduate-level studies, but they cater to different disciplines. Business schools, particularly MBA programs, link GMAT, while various graduate programs, including business, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, accept GRE.

But the decision is not as simple as choosing based on your intended field of study. Consider factors like test structure, content, scoring, and institution preferences when applying. We’ll help you navigate the GMAT and GRE intricacies, empowering you to choose the test that maximizes your admission chances.

So, are you ready? Let’s dive into the details and embark on this enlightening journey together. But before that, you need to understand…

What’s GMAT & GRE?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) are standardized tests. Graduate programs often require them for admission, particularly in the fields of business and general graduate studies.

Business schools primarily use the GMAT to assess a candidate’s skills in analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. It evaluates essential skills for success in management and business programs: critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, and communication. Thousands of graduate business programs worldwide accept the GMAT.

On the other hand, the GRE is a more general test that assesses a candidate’s skills in analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. Various fields, including social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and engineering, use the GRE for graduate program admission. The GRE assesses skills like critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and quantitative analysis, evaluating a candidate’s readiness for advanced study.

Both tests are computer-adaptive, meaning that the difficulty of the questions adapts to the test-taker’s performance. Exam scores are crucial for grad school applications. Other factors, such as transcripts, recommendations, and statements, review them.

Preparing for the GMAT vs GRE usually involves studying the content covered in the tests, practicing sample questions, and familiarizing oneself with the test format. There are various resources available, including study guides, practice tests, and online courses, to aid in the preparation process.

Also, read – GRE Syllabus & Pattern

Difference between GRE & GMAT

It is recommended to take the GMAT if you are considering pursuing an MBA, which holds for the most part. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about the specific master’s degree you want to pursue, opting for the GRE is a viable choice. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that an increasing number of business schools now accept both the GMAT and GRE. Consequently, the decision on which test to choose requires careful consideration.

Here are the key distinctions between the GMAT vs GRE:

  1. Full form
  2. Conducted by
  3. Accepted by/for
  4. Test Structure
  5. Purpose
  6. Test Format
  7. Score Range
  8. Score Validity
  9. Cost
  10. Retakes

Let’s understand & choose between GMAT vs GRE:

Full form

The GRE, a standardized test used for admission to a wide range of graduate programs. On the other hand the GMAT, a standardized test primarily used for admission to business schools and management-related programs, are the two main tests for graduate program admissions.

Conducted by

The GRE is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a nonprofit organization responsible for developing and administering various standardized tests. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a nonprofit organization consisting of leading business schools and management education professionals, conducts the GMAT.

Accepted by/for

Graduate programs across a variety of disciplines, including social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and engineering, widely accept the GRE. It serves as a common evaluation tool for admission to master’s and doctoral programs in these fields. Business schools primarily accept the GMAT for admission to MBA (Master of Business Administration) and other management-related programs.

Test Structure

The GRE consists of three main sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The Analytical Writing section assesses the test-taker’s ability to articulate complex ideas, analyze arguments, and present a well-reasoned response. The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and vocabulary skills. The Quantitative Reasoning section tests the test-taker’s problem-solving abilities and mathematical reasoning.

The GMAT comprises four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. The Analytical Writing Assessment section requires test-takers to analyze an argument and express their thoughts clearly and coherently. The Integrated Reasoning section assesses the ability to interpret and analyze complex data from multiple sources. The Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections evaluate problem-solving and critical reasoning skills, respectively.


The GRE assesses a candidate’s readiness for advanced study in graduate programs. It evaluates critical thinking skills, analytical writing abilities, verbal reasoning, and quantitative aptitude across various disciplines.

The GMAT specifically tailors its assessment to the skills relevant to success in management and business programs. It measures the test-taker’s ability to think critically, solve problems, analyze data, and communicate effectively, which are crucial for aspiring managers and business professionals.

Test Format

Both the GRE and GMAT are computer-based tests. The GRE features adaptive sections, where the difficulty level of subsequent questions adapts based on the test-taker’s performance within each section. Similarly, the GMAT uses adaptive questioning, adjusting the difficulty level of questions based on the test-taker’s responses.

Score Range

The GRE scores the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increments, while it scores the Analytical Writing section on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments.

The GMAT uses a total score range of 200-800 in 10-point increments. The Integrated Reasoning section is scored on a scale of 1-8, and the Analytical Writing Assessment section is scored on a scale of 0-6.

Score Validity

Both the GRE and GMAT scores are generally valid for five years. However, specific score validity requirements may vary depending on the policies of individual graduate programs or business schools.


The cost of taking the GRE varies by country, but it is typically around $205. On the other hand, the GMAT test fee is $250.


For the GRE, test-takers can retake the exam once every 21 days, up to a maximum of five times within a rolling 12-month period.

The GMAT allows test-takers to retake the exam once every 16 days, up to a maximum of five times within 12 months.

Now, it’s time to answer some most asked questions…

Which is easier – GMAT vs GRE?

The difficulty level of the GMAT and GRE largely depends on an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and prior preparation. However, it is generally believed that the GRE is considered slightly easier than the GMAT for several reasons.

The GRE focuses more on vocabulary and includes more straightforward math questions, whereas the GMAT places greater emphasis on critical thinking, data sufficiency, and integrated reasoning.

Additionally, the GMAT’s adaptive nature can make it challenging as the difficulty level of questions adjusts based on the test-taker’s responses. However, it is essential to remember that perceptions of difficulty can vary among individuals, and personal preferences and aptitudes should be taken into account when determining which test feels more manageable.

How to evaluate the difficulty parameter of GMAT & GRE?

To evaluate the difficulty parameter of the GMAT vs GRE, several factors should be considered. Firstly, analyze the content and structure of each test. Understand the specific sections, question types, and skills assessed by both exams.

Secondly, explore official study materials provided by the respective test administrators, GMAC for GMAT and ETS for GRE. Review sample questions, practice tests, and study guides to gain insight into the difficulty level of each exam.

Additionally, consider seeking advice from test preparation experts, tutors, or individuals who have taken both exams. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the difficulty level, nuances, and challenges associated with each test.

GMAT vs GRE – Which is better?

Determining which test is better, GRE or GMAT, depends on various factors, including your career goals, target graduate programs, and personal strengths.

It is important to research the admission requirements and preferences of the programs you are interested in to make an informed decision. Ultimately, neither test is inherently better than the other. The key is to choose the test that aligns with your goals, showcases your abilities effectively, and maximizes your chances of admission to your desired graduate program.

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Also, read:

  1. GMAT Exam Paper Pattern
  2. How to Prepare for GMAT Exam
  3. GRE to GMAT Conversion
  4. GMAT vs CAT
  5. Crack MBA Entrance Exams
  6. GMAT Score Validity
  7. GRE Score Validity


Can I take either the GMAT or GRE for business school?

Many business schools now accept both the GMAT and GRE scores for admission into their MBA programs. However, it’s advisable to check the specific requirements of the schools you are interested in to determine which test they prefer.

Can I switch from GMAT to GRE or vice versa?

Yes, it is generally possible to switch between the GMAT and GRE if the business schools you are applying to accept both exams. However, it is important to consider the format, content, and strengths before making a decision. Taking practice tests for both exams can help you determine which test aligns better with your abilities.

Are the study materials and resources different for the GMAT and GRE?

Yes, the study materials and resources for the GMAT and GRE are different due to their unique content and formats. There are numerous books, online courses, practice tests, and other resources available specifically tailored to each exam. It’s recommended to use study materials specifically designed for the test you are planning to take.

Can I send both GMAT and GRE scores to business schools?

Some business schools allow applicants to send scores from both exams, while others may prefer one over the other. It’s essential to research the specific requirements of each school you are applying to and determine whether they accept multiple test scores.

Which test should I take, the GMAT or GRE?

The choice between the GMAT and GRE depends on various factors, such as the requirements of the programs you are applying to, your strengths and weaknesses, and personal preference. Research the specific preferences of the schools you are interested in and consider taking practice tests for both exams to assess which one suits you better.

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