Updated: Jul 31
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) are standardized tests used for admission to graduate programs, such as business schools (GMAT) and various other graduate programs (GRE). Each test has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the GMAT and GRE:
Pros of the GMAT and GRE:
Graduate Program Admissions: Many graduate schools, including business schools (for MBA programs), require either the GMAT or GRE as part of their admissions process. A strong score can enhance your application.
Standardized Comparison: Both tests provide a standardized way for graduate programs to compare applicants from diverse academic backgrounds and regions.
Scholarship Opportunities: High GMAT or GRE scores can make you eligible for scholarships and financial aid in some graduate programs.
Preparation Resources: There are various test preparation materials, books, online courses, and practice tests available to help you prepare for the GMAT or GRE.
Flexibility: The GRE is widely accepted across a range of graduate programs, not just business schools. So, if you're considering different graduate degrees, the GRE may be a more versatile option.
Score Select Option: Both tests offer a score select option, allowing you to decide which scores to send to schools if you take the test multiple times.
Cons of the GMAT and GRE:
Test Anxiety: Like any standardized test, the GMAT and GRE can be stressful, and test anxiety may impact your performance.
Time and Cost: Preparing for and taking the GMAT or GRE can be time-consuming and expensive, with registration fees and optional preparation courses.
Content Complexity: Some test-takers may find the content of the GMAT or GRE challenging, particularly if it's been some time since they last encountered certain concepts.
Admissions Weight: While the GMAT or GRE scores are essential, they are just one aspect of your application. Admissions committees also consider your academic record, work experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statement.
Optional Essay: The analytical writing section (essay) of the GRE and GMAT is optional for some programs. However, if the program you're applying to requires it, you'll need to allocate additional time to prepare for this section.
COVID-19 Impact: During the COVID-19 pandemic, test availability and in-person testing options have been disrupted, leading some schools to adopt test-optional policies or accept online test scores.
Before deciding which test to take, research the specific requirements of the graduate programs you're interested in. Some programs may have a preference for one test over the other, while others may accept both. Additionally, consider your strengths, the nature of the programs you are applying to, and your future career goals when choosing between the GMAT and GRE. Finally, if you're unsure, you can reach out to the admissions offices of the programs you're considering for guidance.
by Val Misra, MR. MBA®
Founder & Managing Consultant
MR. MBA® - Elite USA 501c3 Nonprofit
"We Help Students Get Into Top Schools (College, MBA, Masters) & Firms"