Should You Take the GRE or the GMAT?

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Graduating from college does not mean that you will stop learning. You can continuously pursue your education in a graduate business program. However, the universities usually ask you about your standardized test result. Perhaps, you are asking if you should take the GRE or the GMAT when planning for your future. That’s why learning all the facts about Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is vital to carefully plan and make the right decision for your graduate business program application.

In this article, we will walk you through the differences and similarities between GRE and GMAT to decide which test you should take for your application.

Overview of GMAT and GREOverview of GMAT and GRE

Are you one of those students who are competitive and determined to be part of a prestigious university? If you are, then you should learn more about GMAT and GRE. GMAT and GRE are the most common standardized tests required by many universities. Which one should you take? Well, it depends on the requirements of the universities you want to enroll in and your knowledge and skills as a student. You may find some universities that will accept either of these tests, while other universities are specific on the test they require from the students. One thing is for sure; these tests are the key to making it to your dream university.


GMAT is also referred to as Graduate Management Admission Test. It is created by GMAC or the Graduate Management Admission Council. It is a standardized test required for admission to business schools and the Master of Business Administration program. Here’s what you should expect from GMAT:

  • You can take a multiple-choice exam online or at the testing center.
  • You are allotted a total of three (3) hours and seven (7) minutes with two optional eight (8) minute breaks.
  • The score you get is valid for five (5) years.
  • When you take the exam, you need to pay $250 for an online test or $275 per person for those who will take it in the testing center, and this includes a free delivery fee for the scores up to five (5) universities.
  • This exam will test your analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal. If you fail your GMAT test, you are allowed to retake it up to five times in one year but not more than eight times if you take it at the testing center.
  • For the online test, you are allowed to retest only once. It means you must pass the exam as much as possible on a single take only.


The Educational Testing Service (ETS) created the GRE or Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized test needed if you want to enroll in graduate schools such as business and law. What you should expect from this test:

  • This exam will measure your Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and quantitative Reasoning.
  • It is also a multiple choice exam that you can either take online or in the testing center with a total time of three (3) hours and forty-five (45) minutes with one ten (10) minute optional break.
  • Its score is also valid for up to five (5) years. You need to pay the testing fee of $205 with free delivery of the score to up to five (5) universities. You can take up to five (5) times within one (1) year with twenty-one (21) days interval. If you’ve taken the exam more than once, you can choose the higher score the schools will receive.

Differences Between GRE and GMAT

Differences Between GRE and GMAT

Now that you know about entrance exams let us check how they differ.




Accepted by

This test is ideal if you are still considering other graduate programs.

You can choose this test if you are 100% sure to take the business school.

GRE can be used for other graduate programs.

GMAT is used for business only.

Testing Style

The type of test is section adaptive. It means that the first section consists of Verbal and Quantitative reasoning, which are both average difficult. The second section is considered as the difficult level. The way you answer to the second section will depend on your performance from the first section. However, you may skip the difficult questions and come back later to review them when you still have enough time. That’s why you can answer all of them correctly or the other way around.

The type of test is question adaptive. It adapts between questions, which means that your answer to one question can affect the others. Unlike the GRE, you cannot skip the difficult questions. You cannot change your answers once you proceed to another question. Once the question is given to you, you must answer immediately.

This type of question is more stressful, especially if you are a perfectionist who doesn’t like guessing the answers and if you are already halfway through the exam.

Number of sections

In GRE, you have four (4) sections.

In GMAT, you have six (6) sections.

Number of questions

For the verbal section, there are twenty (20) questions.

For the quantitative section, there are twenty (20) questions.

Analytical Writing Assessment comes with two (2) essays you must answer within an hour.

For the verbal section, there are thirty-six (36) questions.

For the quantitative section, there are thirty-one (31) questions.

Analytical Writing Assessment comes with one (1) essay that you must answer in thirty minutes.


You can leave the difficult questions and return to review your answers later.

If you struggle with time management and anxiety, this exam is recommended to you.

For verbal sections you are given 60 minutes or one hour to answer.

For the quantitative section, you are given 70 minutes to answer.

It can be time-consuming because you may spend more time on difficult problems since you cannot skip the question.

If you are good with time management, you will not have problems answering the test.

For verbal sections, you have sixty-five (65) minutes to answer.

You have sixty-two (62) minutes to answer for the quantitative section.

Verbal section

The verbal section focuses on vocabulary with the text completion and sentence equivalence question types. It means that if you have weak English skills, it can affect your final score. Thus, it is more difficult in this section.

The verbal sections focus on grammar with the sentence correction question type. Both vocabulary and grammar rely on strong English skills, which can be challenging if your first language is not English. However, grammar is easier to study than vocabulary.

Quantitative section

Its math section is easier. It focuses on straight-ahead math questions, particularly geometry.

In the quantitative section, you are allowed to use calculators.

If your math skills are poor, you may consider taking GRE.

GMAT is difficult as it is focused more on logic.

In the quantitative section, you are not allowed to use calculators.

For STEM graduates, GMAT quantitative section can be easier for them.

Additional section

It does not have an additional section.

It has an additional integrated section that measures your ability to interpret and evaluate information in several formats.

Total score

You can get a maximum of 340.

You can get a maximum of 800.

Similarities Between GRE and GMAT

Similarities Between GRE and GMAT

GRE and GMAT is comes with similarities. Both have the same math questions that will test your mathematical skills. Since both exams have mathematics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis, you must have a good background in your high school years in terms of these subjects. Additionally, both have serious reading comprehension questions, which is why you must also enhance and master your reading comprehension skills. Both require you to answer an essay section where you must show your analytical writing skills.

When taking the GRE and GMAT, you must set your mind that both of these exams are tough. You will find these exams difficult if you do not have a good foundation in math and English. Similarly, if you have not established your time management strategy, both exams are tough.

GMAT and GRE Score Comparison

GMAT and GRE Score Comparison

For the GMAT and GRE score comparison, you may refer to the table below:



GRE is scored Quant and verbal section from 130-170.

These are added to give your cumulative GRE Score.

GMAT is scored Quant and verbal section from 200-800.

Verbal and Quant are scored separately.

After that, it is scaled to calculate your cumulative GMAT score.

The Analytical Writing section is scored separately.

Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning are scored individually.

Which is Easier? GRE or GMAT?

Which is Easier? GRE or GMAT?

Which is easier GMAT or GRE? Well, this depends on your skills and strength. For example, you may find GMAT easier than GRE when you are better at logic questions than in Geometry, even if many said that GMAT is more difficult than GRE in the quantitative section.

You may find both exams difficult if your first language is not English. You may consider taking up GRE when you have a strong foundation in English. In the same way, if you are good at vocabulary than grammar, you may find GRE easier than GMAT as it focuses on grammar for the English section. GMAT may be difficult for you to take if you are not good at time.

Why Choose GRE Over GMAT?

Why Choose GRE Over GMAT?

If you are still undecided about which program to take, you may choose GRE. GRE is accepted by different schools when you want to enroll in a wider variety of degree programs other than business. However, if you are focused on taking up the business graduate program, you may choose the GMAT.

GRE does not have an integrated reasoning section, unlike the GMAT. Thus, you may finish the exam early as compared to GMAT. If you have a stronger English foundation than mathematics and are native English, GRE is a good choice.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between GMAT and GRE

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between GMAT and GRE

There are factors you need to think about before you choose between GMAT and GRE. You need to be clear on what you want so that you can come up with the right decision for your future.

1. You must determine your goals.

What would like to attain? Do you specifically want to go to a business program? If yes, then you may choose the GMAT. GMAT is only for the business program. However, you may select the GRE if you are still considering other degree programs besides the business program. GRE can open many doors for you, while you are limited to business programs in GMAT.

2. Identify the school you want to enroll in.

It is vital to know the school requirements. If you are sure that you want to take up MBA programs, then you can choose GMAT. has listed the colleges and universities that accept GMAT score in particular, such as, Washington Adventist University, School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Utah State University, School of Graduate Studies, and University of Wyoming, Graduate School of Business. However, you may also find other schools, which accept both GRE and GMAT scores such as Harvard Business School, Wharton School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Columbia Business School.

3. You must determine your testing style.

In GRE, you have the chance to skip difficult questions. However, in GMAT, you must first answer the first question before you can proceed to the next. That’s why you must also determine if you are good at time management. If not, you may mess up answering the GMAT questions as you may take too much time on one question, lets you lose the given time for you to finish the entire exam. Aside from that, if you are a perfectionist, you may find the GMAT questions stressful as you may not want to guess the answer.

4. Know your strength.

What area are you good at? Is it English or Math? Are you good at integrated reasoning? It would help if you determined where you are good at. If you are good at English, you may consider taking up GRE because it focuses on vocabulary, which is more difficult than grammar found on GMAT. For math, you can choose GMAT if you are an expert in logic problems than in Geometry. GMAT also has integrated reasoning that is not included in GRE. Another thing is, in GRE you can use a calculator when answering the quantitative section. But in GMAT, you should know how to answer math questions without using a calculator.

5. Identify the scoring reporting guidelines.

Even the scoring guidelines differ between GRE and GMAT. For GMAT, its highest average GMAT score for the University of California—Berkeley (Haas) is 727, while for the University of Chicago (Booth) is 724. For GRE average score, Wharton UPenn got 324 average score last 2019 while Harvard University school got 326 average score.

You should know which one you would prefer. It includes the cost of the exam and how many times you can retake it in a year. Moreover, you must determine the time and location of the exam if you prefer to have it in the testing center. If you decide to take it online, you should also determine the policies and procedures and check which of the two best fit you. It is also recommended to know how you will receive your test results. In GRE, you can choose which test scores will be given to the schools. Thus, you can select the highest score. In GMAT, they will send all the scores to the school, and the school will choose which one gets accepted.

Wrapping Things Up: Should You Take the GRE or the GMAT?

GRE vs. GMAT? After you read the article, you know where to start and which among the tests to choose from. Although both tests have differences, they also come with similarities. Knowing how they differ may come up with factors you need to consider before choosing the test to take. You must know your goals, strength, and preferred testing style. In addition, you should also consider the scoring reporting guidelines and the requirement of the school you want to enroll in. Once you consider these factors, it will be easier to decide which to take.

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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