So, you are considering applying to business school with a GRE score, instead of a GMAT one and you are skimming through every bit of information you can regarding GRE scores, right?
The good news is that you can take a deep breath and relax, because the GRE may be one of the most important exams of your life, but it does not necessarily have to be the toughest.
With hard work and determination to succeed, GRE scores are easy to achieve. Thus, getting into the business school of your choice should not be a problem, whether you prefer to gain admission into an MBA programme or a Masters programme.
This article will take you through how the GRE is scored, the GRE scores you need to get into prominent business schools, and how the GRE compares to the GMAT.
How the GRE is scored
The GRE stands for the Graduate Record Examinations and consists of three sections which are the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and the Analytical Writing Section. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative reasoning GRE scores range from 130 to 170 and are increased by one point each. The Analytical Writing Section is scored between zero and six with half point increments.
Each section receives an individual score in order to show your competency in each of the measured skills. The Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections are section adaptive, as the difficulty of the questions increases if you keep solving them correctly. The GRE scores are then equated to account for difficulty.
The Analytical writing Section consists of two essays which are averaged together to create the final score.
GRE scores needed for business schools
So you want to know what is considered a good GRE score? According to test prep professionals, a good GRE score is anything between 250 and 330. The requirements for your particular business school depend upon the school’s personal admissions criteria. The average GRE score for Yale School of Management’s MBA for example is 160 on the Verbal Reasoning Section and 162 on the Quantitative Reasoning Section, while Harvard asks for a combined score of 326-330 for both sections.
The London Business School requires a combined GRE score of 320 for its MBA programme. Carnegie Mellon University requires a combined GRE score of 300 and above for its Masters programmes. Generally, trends show that a lower GRE score is required for Master's programmes, while MBA programmes may be more competitive and require slightly higher GRE scores.
However, the GRE score required for admission into a particular programme may depend on the relative GRE scores of other applicants. Hence, it is best to ensure that you score as high as possible and at least score 300 and above for A-list business schools, while 250-300 may be adequate for B-list business schools.
GRE vs. GMAT for MBA admission
According to Veritasprep, while the pool of candidates using GRE scores to apply at top-ranking business schools is growing, it is still a minority as it constitutes less than 5% of the total candidates. Moreover, as the GRE and the GMAT have completely different formats, the GRE is first equalized with GMAT scores in order to assess how well a candidate has performed in comparison to a candidate submitting a GMAT score.
A-list business schools did not previously accept GRE scores but now an increasing number of them are doing so in order to increase their pool of candidates. Harvard, Yale, MIT, INSEAD, and other prominent business schools have all opened their doors to GRE candidates. In addition, there are an increasing number of B-list business schools which also accept GRE scores.
While GRE scores differ from GMAT scores and many business schools are new to the process of assessing GRE scores for admission to widely acclaimed programmes, this in no way suggests that candidates that have taken the GRE will be at a disadvantage. However, it is important to ensure that there is not a huge disparity between the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning scores and that the analytical writing score is also adequate (4 and above).
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While the GMAT is certainly more popular and was previously the norm for business school admissions criteria, the GRE is now also becoming widely recognised. According to US News, the GRE may be slightly more difficult compared to the GMAT as it is a general graduate assessment while the GMAT is specifically tailored for business and management students.
However, taking the GRE provides more flexibility when choosing a Master’s programme while the GMAT may be restricted to specifically business and management programmes.
So, those of you giving the GRE, give it your best shot! You may have to take the exam multiple times to achieve your required score or you may achieve your score in one shot. Whatever the case may be, study hard, persevere, and achieve!
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