GRE vs. GMAT for Business School

This is a guest blog post written by David Recine of

Deciding between the GMAT and GRE

The GMAT is required by many business schools. But more and more often, graduate business programs are also accepting the GRE. If you have recently decided to get a graduate degree in business, you may wonder which of the two exams you should take. Here are some things to consider.

What kind of degree do you want?

Whether you should take the GRE or GMAT depends a lot on the type of business degree you’re interested in. If you heart is absolutely set on an MBA, then the GMAT is the exam you should prioritize. The GMAT is accepted by nearly every MBA program out there. And even as the GRE gains more acceptance by business programs, there are still many MBAs that absolutely require the GMAT.

On the other hand, if you are not sure which type of business degree you want, and are open to graduate degrees other than the MBA, the GRE is probably a good option for you. The GRE is accepted by programs for a wide variety of business disciplines, such as management information systems, finance, business analytics, public administration, and so on. And of course, you’ll also find some MBA programs that do accept the GRE. So this exam is a pretty good catch-all for graduate studies in business.

What are your academic strengths and weaknesses?

These two exams are similar in many ways. But they play to different academic abilities. GRE Verbal is very focused on vocabulary, while GMAT Verbal tests grammar much more rigorously. GRE and GMAT Math are very similar in terms of question types, but GMAT Math is harder than GRE Math, especially because of the highly complex math problems found in the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section. On the other hand, the GRE is harder than the GMAT in terms of writing. The GMAT only contains one essay question– an argument analysis. But the GRE requires two essay questions; they have an issue analysis in addition to their argument essay.

So ask yourself: Are you better at writing or math? Are you more comfortable with English grammar or vocabulary? Make sure you double check official test materials for both exams to see which content you feel the most confident with. This GRE vs. GMAT comparison can help you choose the exam that’s right for you.

Which test is best for your budget?

When deciding between these two exams, you should also look at costs. The GRE is significantly more affordable than the GMAT. The basic GRE test fee is $195 compared to the GMAT’s $250 testing fee. GRE prep materials are cheaper on average for the GRE too. For instance, the GRE Official Guide costs $38 new, while the GMAT OG is $45.

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