Thinking of joining an MBA program? What an exciting idea! But how are you going to get into a good school? Traditionally, the only way to apply for an MBA program was taking the GMAT, a test specifically designed for business students. However, these days a great number of business schools will also accept the GRE which is designed to get students into graduate programs across all subjects.
Does one test have an edge over the other? Which one is more likely to get you into your preferred business school? What would we recommend? Well, we can compare the two tests against each other and let you decide which one better suits you.
The GMAT vs The GRE
Before you start your GMAT test prep, here is what you should know. The test leans heavily on quantitative and analytical skills, but it is also big on grammar and logic. No calculators are allowed during this test so if math is not your strength then you might find this challenging. The test is also computer adaptive only which means you cannot go back to review your answers. In brief, for the GMAT prep, have your grammar and math in tip-top shape.
The GRE, on the other hand, is more inclined towards vocabulary and for those for whom English is not a native language then there might be a bit of a problem. This test, however, provides calculators for its quantitative problems so if you are a bit shaky in mathematics this is definitely good news for you. With the GRE, you can save your answers and go back to review them at a later time, and this is another advantage it has over the GMAT. Scores from both tests are valid for a period of 5 years.
Which One Should You Take?
Now, that you know a little bit of both tests you might still have that lingering question at the back of your mind. When it’s all said and done, which of the two tests do business schools prefer? Well, most schools cater to both. Most are welcoming to students with either of the tests scores without prejudice as they want to widen the pool of applicants.
However, it is important to note that even if many schools would take any students with high test scores, many of the top schools like Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Stanford admit to converting GRE scores to GMAT in order to compare the applications they receive objectively. This is also because the majority of the applicants do so with a GMAT test score.
Many business schools in the US and Europe have admitted to preferring the GMAT test results because they believed that the quantitative and integrated reasoning sections prepared the students well enough for the rigorous MBA program they were about to undertake, but they also felt like the students that applied using the GRE were not fully committed to taking the MBA and were open to other options.
In conclusion, making a choice between the GMAT and GRE test for the MBA program comes down to two key factors? Does the school of your choice accept either of the test results? If yes, then your choice should be based on your strengths. Prepare for the test you are most likely to score highly on.