GMAT vs. GRE Selection: Which You Should Choose

Table of Contents

  1. GMAT vs GRE: An overview
  2. Key differences between GMAT and GRE
  3. GMAT vs. GRE: Syllabus and exam pattern
  4. Top universities accepting GMAT or GRE
  5. GMAT vs. GRE scores
  6. GMAT vs. GRE: Difficulty level
  7. GMAT vs. GRE: Which is better for you?
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

If you are aspiring to be admitted abroad for business courses, submitting entrance test scores might be required. There you have two prominent options – GMAT or GRE. But which one is better for you?  

As the GMAT and GRE are accepted globally for admission to business and graduate programs, you can choose any option based on your preferences. Here’s a look into both tests to help you decide your option better, by comparing GMAT vs. GRE for MBA and other similar courses abroad.  

What is GMAT?  

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized entrance test for business courses in India and abroad. GMAT evaluates one’s reasoning and critical thinking abilities, aiming to showcase the capacity to excel in esteemed graduate business programs. You can take GMAT up to 5 times a year and a total 8 times in a lifetime. 

GMAT is computer-adaptive, meaning the difficulty level of questions changes after you answer a question.  

What is GRE?   

Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) serves as a factor in admissions decisions at numerous graduate schools, encompassing programs in business and law. GRE assesses your verbal and quantitative reasoning abilities, critical thinking skills, and proficiency in analytical writing.  

Numerous graduate programs in fields such as humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, social work, and education utilize GRE scores for admissions. You can take the GRE up to five times a year, allowing for a retest once every 21 days. GRE is computer-adaptive and changes the test difficulty after you complete each section. 

GMAT vs GRE: An overview

GRE and GMAT are prominent entrance tests with international acceptance. GRE vs GMAT for MBA can be confusing to choose, as both are closely similar in syllabus and test pattern. Here is an overview of both the tests to help you understand better.  

Parameters GMAT GRE 
Mode of Conduction Online Online 
Conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Educational Testing Service (ETS) 
Acceptance Graduate business programs Graduate programs in business, science, law, politics, economics, etc. 
Application Fee 300 USD (INR 25,000) 220 USD (INR 18,300) 
Duration 3 hours 7 minutes 3 hours 45 minutes 
Sections Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning 
Total Scores 800 340 
Score Validity 5 years 5 years 
Total Attempts  8 in a lifetime 5 times a year 
Exam Frequency per year 5 times a year Once every 3 weeks 

Key differences between GMAT and GRE

The main difference between the GMAT and GRE is the test focus, or where they are required. While GMAT is required for admissions into business schools, GRE is needed for various graduate programs admission, such as business and law

  • Testing style: Both tests are computer-adaptive, meaning that your answers are recorded, and you get questions based on that. In GMAT, you can’t skip questions, while GRE allows to mark and revisit questions.  
  • Score reporting: Your scores in GMAT or GRE can be directly sent to schools abroad. GMAT allows up to 5 schools for score reporting and sends GMAT scores of past 5 years. GRE allows only 4 score reporting and sends the last test scores only.  
  • Cost of test taking: GMAT has an application fee of 300 USD and GRE charges 220 USD.  
  • Exam duration: Compared to GMAT, GRE has a longer test duration, that is 3 hours 45 minutes with 10 minutes break. GMAT is 3 hours 7 minutes long with 8 minutes interval.  

The sections below detail on other major differences between the GMAT and the GRE.  

GMAT vs. GRE: Syllabus and exam pattern

The major difference in the exam structure is that the GMAT has analytical, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and integrated reasoning sections, but GRE lacks integrated reasoning section. Despite that, GMAT and GRE follow a similar syllabus and exam pattern. 

Section  GMAT GRE 
Analytical Writing 1 essay question 2 essay questions 
Quantitative Reasoning 31 MCQs 2 sections of 20 questions 
Verbal Reasoning 36 MCQs 2 sections of 20 questions 
Integrated Reasoning 12 MCQs Not Applicable 

Top universities accepting GMAT or GRE

University World Rankings 2024 GMAT or GRE Acceptance 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) GMAT 
University of Cambridge GRE 
University of Oxford GRE and GMAT 
Harvard University GRE and GMAT 
Stanford University GRE and GMAT 
Imperial College London GRE and GMAT 
ETH Zurich GRE 
National University of Singapore (NUS) GRE and GMAT 
University College London GRE and GMAT 
University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 10 GRE and GMAT 
University of Chicago 11 GRE and GMAT 
University of Pennsylvania 12 GRE and GMAT  

GMAT vs. GRE scores

GMAT scores range from 200 – 800 and GRE scores are from 260 – 340. There is no negative marking in both tests. The scores are unevenly distributed among sections, as shown below:  

Section GMAT Score Distribution GRE Score Distribution 
Analytical Writing 0 – 6, half-point increment 0 – 6, half-point increment 
Quantitative Reasoning 6 – 51, 1 point increment 130 – 170, 1 point increment 
Verbal Reasoning 6 – 51, 1 point increment 130 – 170, 1 point increment 
Integrated Reasoning 1 – 8, 1 point increment Not Applicable 

GMAT vs. GRE: Difficulty level

Generally, the verbal section of GRE is considered more challenging compared to GMAT verbal section. It is because of the vocabulary followed and situations presented in the GRE. On the contrary, GMAT quantitative and analytical sections are regarded tougher than GRE quantitative sections.  

People across the world with strong mathematical skills prefer GMAT over GRE, and those who have mathematical skills and a very good command of English opt for GRE. However, it is ultimately up to your skills to determine which is more difficult. You can identify that once you go through questions asked in GMAT and GRE. Also, GMAT v/s GRE choice is also dependent on the program/university you are targeting. 

GMAT vs. GRE: Which is better for you?

The confusion between GMAT and GRE arises when you apply for business courses abroad. This confusion is usual when the picture is GRE vs GMAT for MBA. Consider the following to arrive at the right decision:  

  • Check which test is accepted by your university. Many universities accept both test scores and some specify either GMAT or GRE.  
  • Refer to the authenticate practice materials for respective tests. It will help you have a general picture of both tests and identify which is better for you, according to your skills.  
  • Research and learn more about the changing nature of these tests every year. Better you go for the options with more predictable questions among GMAT or GRE. 

Deciding your test option is easy once you are familiar with GMAT and GRE. Remember, you need to prepare with focus and dedication to pass the entrance test for studying business courses abroad. Once you clear the entrance test, there is more to do for a successful admission abroad.  

Take our help – connect now and get complete guidance in studying abroad, including university shortlisting, education loan guidance, SOP review, and student visa application, all at Zero Cost. Reach out to Nomad Credit now.  

Frequently Asked Questions

GMAT vs. GRE – what’s the main difference?  

GMAT is required for admissions into business schools, and GRE is asked for various graduate programs, such as business and engineering. 

Is GMAT harder than GRE?  

GMAT is considered easier than GRE by many due to its focus on logical reasoning. GRE, on the other hand, focuses more on mathematical skills. Ultimately, it’s your preference that decides which is easier, as only you can decide based on your skills.  

What if I have poor mathematical skills and good command over English. Which test should I opt for, GRE or GMAT? 

Generally, GRE is considered asking easier questions in math section compared to GMAT. However, you may choose between GRE vs. GMAT after practicing authenticate model questions of both tests.  

Should I take GMAT or GRE for MBA?  

You can take GMAT or GRE for MBA admission abroad, whichever is accepted by your university. Many people prefer GMAT over GRE because GMAT is entirely focused on business courses.  

Which is more expensive among GMAT and GRE?  

GMAT is more expensive as the application cost is around 300 USD. The application fee for GRE is 220 USD.  

Which is more accepted – GMAT or GRE?  

GMAT and GRE are globally accepted. Institutions across different countries accept GMAT and GRE scores for admission to business and other courses.  

What if I flunk even after 5 attempts in GMAT?  

You can’t take the GMAT more than 5 times a year and 8 times in a lifetime. If you fail in your first 5 attempts, carefully attend the 6th time or consider alternatives like GRE.  

Can I take GRE after 5 failed attempts? 

You can’t take the GRE more than 5 times a year. If you fail in the first 5 attempts, you may wait for next year to take it again.