GRE or GMAT - Which One is More Relevant for Me in 2021?

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GRE or GMAT - Which One is More Relevant for Me in 2021?

GRE or GMAT - Which One is More Relevant for Me in 2021?

SC PP   ¦    Apr 26, 2021 04:59:45 PM (IST)

GRE or GMAT - Which One is More Relevant for Me in 2021?-1
GRE or GMAT? - One of the most frequently asked questions. Students are almost confused and usually ask this question. What if I want to stand out from the crowd with my MBA application, which is the best option for me? This question usually is stuck in everyone's mind.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE, administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is an admission exam used by various graduate schools, including business and law schools. The exam is designed to test different skills of the students like verbal, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, etc.

GRE can be taken up to five times in any 12-month rolling period. If the test is taken more than once then anyone's best score can be chosen to be sent to the schools to which the candidate feels to apply.

Detail of the Test

  • Verbal Reasoning - GRE verbal reasoning checks the ability of the candidate to analyze and evaluate written material and analyse information obtained from it. 
  • Quantitative Reasoning - GRE quant measures the basic mathematical skills, assesses one's understanding of elementary mathematical concepts. 
  • Analytical Writing - GRE AWA assesses the ability to persuade and support complex ideas, evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent discussion. 

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), is an entrance exam for admission to business schools and MBA programs. The exam measures reasoning and critical thinking skills to demonstrate the ability of the candidate to succeed in top graduate business programs.

Candidates can retake the GMAT at a testing center up to five times in a rolling 12-month period.

Detail of the Test

  • Analytical Writing AssessmentGMAT AWA analyses the ability of the candidate to think critically and to communicate ideas
  • Integrated Reasoning — GMAT IR checks the ability of the candidate to analyze data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats 
  • Quantitative Reasoning— GMAT Quant evaluates the ability of the student to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills 
  • Verbal Reasoning— GMAT Verbal analyzes the ability of the candidate to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material.

GMAT vs GRE – Which is easier?

If we look at the overall difficulty level of GMAT vs GRE, both exams are similar in this regard. The main difference lies in the quant and verbal section which varies in difficulty level.

Here is a table that gives the differences between the GMAT and GRE:

Parameters GMAT GRE
Content Analytical Writing section with one essay: 30 mins Analytical Writing sections: 2x30 minute essays
Integrated Reasoning section: 30 mins Verbal Reasoning sections: 2x30 mins
Quantitative section: 62 mins Quantitative Reasoning: 2x35 mins (computer-delivered version: timings vary slightly in the paper-delivered test)
Verbal section: 65 mins 30-35-minute experimental section that can be either math or verbal
GMAT verbal gives more emphasis on grammar, logic, and reasoning. GMAT quant is harder if math isn't your strength. GRE gives more focus on vocabulary, making it easier for native versus non-native English speakers.
  If math isn't your forte, the GRE could be more suited to you.
Format Computer-adaptive test Computer delivered or paper delivered
Test time 3 hours 30 minutes 3 hours 45 minutes
How it's scored Total scores range from 200-800. Scores from 130-170 in 1 point increments for verbal and quantitative reasoning sections; scores from 0-6 in analytical writing

Another 6 key differences between GMAT and GRE based on Test Fees, Test duration, Test design etc.

Differences GMAT GRE
Test fee $250 $205
Test Validity 5 years 5 years
Test dates Year-round Year-round
How the test is administered Computer-based test Computer-based and paper-based (where computer-based tests are not available)
Test Format Computer adaptive test Computer adaptive test
Number of sections 4 6
Test duration 3 hours 7 minutes 3 hours 45 minutes
AWA section 1 essay – 30 minutes 2 essays – 60 minutes
IR section 12 questions – 30 minutes NA
Quant Section 1 section – 31 questions – 62 minutes 20 questions each in 2 sections – 70 minutes
Verbal Section 1 section – 36 questions – 65 minutes 20 questions each in 2 sections – 60 minutes
Test Score Range 200 – 800 (in 10-point increment) 260 – 340 ( in 1-point increment)
Quant score range 6 – 51 (scaled score) 130 – 170
Verbal score range 6 – 51 (scaled score) 130 – 170
IR score 1 – 8 NA
AWA score 0 – 6 0 – 6

Which exam should you take? GRE or GMAT for MBA?

Here's a course of action that will help the candidates to decide which is really better:

  • List of schools: Candidates must make a list of schools they are willing to apply for as there are some business schools that strongly prefer the GMAT score
  • Math skills: According to experts, the GMAT quant section is generally more difficult than those on the GRE. So, focus on this section to give the GMAT.
  • Language skills: More obscure words are featured in GRE than GMAT verbal section.
  • Academic strengths: If the math skills of the candidate are stronger than the verbal skills, the GMAT might offer a better opportunity to show off their strengths. On the other hand, if the candidate is a strong writer, consider the GRE.
  • Practice: One excellent way to determine which test you’re best suited for is to take a practice test for each. Take them separately as per the exam pattern. This will give you a better idea of which you feel more comfortable with.
  • Career goals: Some companies, particularly ask for GMAT scores like investment and business consulting firms, as part of the job application process. If one has a target employer in mind, research these requirements beforehand. Taking the GMAT before a business school could help the candidates during the job search.


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