When the student wishes to apply to a graduate program, as per the admissions guidelines, they are asked to submit either the GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test score or the GRE or Graduate Record Examination score. While GMAT is more needed for business school admissions, GRE is better for a wider pool of graduation programs such as law, business, and more. These two tests differ in terms of the exam format, testing practices, scores, and more.
Here, let us take a closer look at each exam. It will help you decide which exam suits more to your unique requirements.
GMAT is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council or GMAC. A widely accepted entrance exam for admission to business schools and MBA courses assesses the student’s reasoning and critical skills.
The GMAT is used by more than 2500 universities and colleges worldwide. The GMAT exam is specially designed for students aiming for business management programs. It evaluates the students based on their analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, data interpretation, logic and integrated reasoning skills, etc.
The GMAT format depends on whether the student is going for an online test at a testing center. The test center exam has four sections and they are allowed to choose the order of the sections, as per their strengths and preference.
GMAT sections include:
Analytical Writing: This section needs the students to present an essay within 30-minutes. One can score between zero to six points.
Integrated Reasoning: This recently added section called Integrated Reasoning, measures the student’s ability to use data. It is a 30-minute section that has 12 multiple-choice questions related to quantitative and verbal problems. One can score between one to eight.
Quantitative: In this 62-minute section, a student gets 31 multiple-choice questions related to quantitative and Data Sufficiency problems. The student can score six to 51 points.
Verbal: Lastly, this 65-minutes section contains 36 questions that evaluate the student’s ability to read, comprehend, and assess written language. The questions relate to reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. One can score six to 51 points.
Here are the things you need to know about the GMAT exam:
· GMAT questions are conceived by international experts that work for all nationalities.
· The GMAT exam is computer adaptive test.
· The GMAT exam can be taken online or at the centers.
· It will cost you $250 for an online test or $275 in person.
· The exam duration is 3 hours and 7 minutes. The candidates are allowed two optional 8-minute breaks.
· The sections are Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal.
· The exam scores are valid for 5 years
· The students can retake the GMAT up to five times in a 12-month period. In the case is an online GMAT, you can take retest only once.
· The students can use an online calculator for the Integrated Reasoning section.
· The GMAT composite score can range from 200 to 800.
· Once you answer a question, you cannot go back to it.
The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service or ETS. Thousands of graduate schools worldwide accept this exam score. This exam tests the student’s verbal reasoning, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and more.
Before taking the GRE, you should get familiarised with the two types of GRE – the GRE General test and the Subject test.
The GRE General Exam is done in two formats - computer-based and paper-based. GRE exam pattern may be different for both. The paper test is available for the locations where the computer-based GRE is not possible. GRE for the General test is of 3 hours 45 Minutes duration in computer-based test and 3 hours 30 minutes duration in Paper-based test. There are 7 and 6 sections in the computer and paper tests respectively. The total number of questions are 82 and 102 in the computer and paper test respectively.
In the subject test, there is only a paper-delivered format. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 50 minutes which is not divided into timed sections. You can take the test in these four disciplines – Chemistry, Psychology, Mathematics, and Physics. There are 130 multiple-choice questions in chemistry, 66 in maths, 100 in physics, and 205 in Psychology.
There are three scored portions in GRE. There is an unscored or experimental section in the exam too. The section called Analytical Writing starts the exam and the order of the remaining sections can change.
Analytical Writing: This section has two 30-minute writing. The students need to create their own arguments and evaluate other person’s arguments too. One can score between zero to six in this section.
Verbal Reasoning: Again, this section has two 30-minute papers with 20 questions each. The questions will relate to reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence. One can score between 130 to 170 in this section.
Quantitative Reasoning: This section has two 35-minute sections with 20 multiple-choice questions each. The questions are from the arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and data analysis field. One can score between 130 to 170 in this section.
Here are the things you need to know about the GRE exam:
· GRE is used in admissions to a variety of graduate school programs and not just business schools.
· GRE scores are reported separately and not presented as a composite score.
· The GRE is a section-level adaptive test.
· On GRE, you can come back to the questions you have answered.
· The Quantitative Reasoning section of the exam allows you to use a calculator.
· You can take the GRE exam again up to five times in any 12-month period.
· 3 hours and 45 minutes is the duration of the exam. You also get an optional 10-minute break.
· The cost to write GRE is $205 except in China.
· You can take GRE online or at a testing center.
· The sections in GRE are Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning
· The exam scores are valid for 5 years
GRE and GMAT 2023 Exam Dates
The GMAT/GRE 2023 is conducted multiple times a year. There is no specific date for the 2023 exam. The candidates can choose the exam dates at the time of filling the application form on their own. The registration can be done anytime throughout the year. Candidates can choose their exam date & mode as per their ease.
Determining which test to take depends on the choice of course, career goals, and student’s academic strengths. While the quantitative section of the GRE is a bit easier than GMAT, the GRE verbal section is found to be more difficult than the GMAT. GRE is more geometry based and GMAT focuses on logical reasoning.
If you committed to taking admission only to the business schools, choose to take the GMAT. However, most business schools also accept GRE scores. If you are considering a wider pool of graduate programs and don’t want to restrict your options to only business studies, then prefer GRE as it is accepted by many types of college degree programs. If possible, speak to the admissions manager in your target college or university to know their preference between the two tests.