GMAT or GRE? If you are planning to apply for an MBA (and in some cases a Master’s) this question is unavoidable. Choosing the right exam is one of the most important decisions you need to make en route to your dream program.
In this webinar, Anshul Bhat, the founder of the 700+ Club, explains what you need to consider before your choice. He is a test preparation strategy expert, quantitative tutor and business school admission adviser. Anshul has 10 years’ experience in standardized test preparation and has guided thousands of students to their best scores.
GMAT vs GRE
Anshul started by providing a broad overview of the two exams. The GRE and GMAT are both standardized exams which have been around for more than 60 years now and they are pretty good at what they do, which is to measure your aptitude relative to other candidates. Below are listed some of the main features of the exams.
GMAT: Total scores range from 200 to 800. Every year 35-40 people out of 300,000 in total get a perfect score.
GRE: No total score. Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores range from 130 to 170, while Analytical Writing scores range from 0 to 6.
- Analytical Writing Assessment—30 min.
- Integrated Reasoning—12 questions, 30 min.
- Quantitative Reasoning—31 questions, 62 min.
- Verbal Reasoning—36 questions, 65 min.
Total time: 3 hours 7 minutes
- Analytical Writing – 2 essays, 30 min. per essay
- Quantitative Reasoning – 2 sections, 35 min. per section
- Verbal reasoning – 2 sections, 30 min. per section
- Experimental questions – varying number of questions
Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes
GMAT: The default order for the four exam sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.
In addition to the default order, you can choose between two other options:
- Verbal first: Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
- Quantitative first: Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
GRE: The Analytical Writing section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order; therefore, you should treat each section as if it counts toward your score. An identified research section that is not scored may be included in place of the unscored section. The research section will always appear at the end of the test.
GMAT: Question adaptive
This means that in the Quantitative and Verbal sections, answering a question correctly prompts the algorithm to give you a harder question.
GRE: Section adaptive
This means that in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, the difficulty of the second part of the sections depends on your performance in the first part.
So, how to choose?
Now that we are familiar with the main features of the exams, how do we choose? The right question to ask here, Anshul says, is - which test is right for me? This means that you need to know what kind of person you are and be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Anshul then probes the separate sections more closely and compares them in depth so that you can get a better idea which exam suits you best. Listening to him explain the various nuances of the tests while picking them apart can help you immensely to make the right choice. He also points out the various places where you can stumble. If you want to pass the GMAT or GRE with flying colors, make sure you listen to this section of the webinar very carefully.
Here are some of the key points to consider when you choose which exam to take:
- Target school – check with school, some of them have clear preference for either GMAT or GRE.
- Personal profile – Having an average application overall, but a high GMAT score will help you stand out
- Scholarships – many scholarships are tied to GMAT scores
- Employer preference – Top consulting and finance firms typically look for a GMAT score.
- Verbal capabilities – vocabulary for GRE/grammar for GMAT
This webinar is an invaluable resource for those of you who are about to start the exciting journey to you dream MBA or Master’s program. Listen to the recording carefully and make the best decision possible. Good luck!