Are you considering applying to a graduate program, but unsure which exam to take? The GMAT and GRE exams are both commonly accepted by graduate schools, but the differences between them can be significant. Choosing the right exam can make a big difference in your admission chances and can even affect your program choices. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the GMAT and GRE exams, and help you determine which exam is the best fit for your goals and circumstances. Whether you’re applying to business school or another graduate program, read on to learn more about GMAT and GRE and make a right decision about your next steps.
what are gmat and gre?
gMAT: Graduate Management Admission Test
The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is designed specifically for students applying to MBA programs. The exam is intended to assess a student’s ability to think critically, reason logically, and solve complex problems. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that consists of four sections.
- The GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT), which means the questions presented to the test-taker adapt to their performance level.
- Has four sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
- Integrated Reasoning (IR)
- Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
- Verbal Reasoning (VR)
- Total duration: 3 hours and 7 minutes, including breaks
- Scored on a scale of 200-800, with increments of 10 points
- AWA Section: Tests the test-taker has 30 minutes to write their response
- IR Section: Tests the test-taker’s ability to analyze complex data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats. The section has a duration of 30 minutes.
- QR Section: Tests the test-taker’s ability to solve quantitative problems using basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. The section has a duration of 62 minutes.
- VR Section: Tests the test-taker’s ability to read and understand written material, evaluate arguments, and correct written material. The section has a duration of 65 minutes.
Note: The GMAT is not a test of business knowledge or English proficiency.
GRE: Graduate Record Examination
GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a more general exam that is commonly used for admission to a wide variety of graduate programs. The exam measures a student’s ability to analyze and evaluate written material, interpret data, and solve problems. The GRE has three main sections.
- The test is administered on a computer at a designated testing center.
- It is a computer-adaptive test, meaning the difficulty level of each question depends on the test-taker’s previous answers.
- The test is divided into six sections, including one unscored or research section, and the total testing time is 3 hours and 45 minutes.
- The GRE is divided into three main sections
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Analytical Writing
- Verbal Reasoning Section: Measures the ability to analyze and draw conclusions from discourse, understand multiple levels of meaning, and recognize relationships between words and concepts.
- Quantitative Reasoning Section: Measures the ability to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical concepts, and apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
- Analytical Writing Section: Measures the ability to articulate complex ideas effectively and clearly, examine claims and evidence, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, and sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion.
- The unscored or research section could be either Verbal or Quantitative and is used for research purposes.
Note: The GRE General Test has a different format and content than the GRE Subject Tests.
Differences between the GMAT and GRE exams
Both the GMAT and GRE are standardized tests used for admission to graduate-level programs. While there are similarities between the two exams, there are also several key differences to consider when deciding which one to take. Here are some of the main differences between the GMAT and GRE exams:
- Test Format: The GMAT has a fixed format that includes four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. The exam is computer adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level of each section is based on the test-taker’s performance on the previous section. On the other hand, the GRE has a flexible format that includes six sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and an unscored research section.
- Test Content: The GMAT is focused on business-related skills, including critical thinking, analytical writing, problem-solving, and data sufficiency. The GRE is more general and covers a wider range of topics, including vocabulary, reading comprehension, math, and writing skills.
- Test Duration: The GMAT lasts for three and a half hours, while the GRE lasts for around three hours.
- Scoring: The GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, with the average score being around 550. The GRE scores range from 130 to 170 for each section, with the average score being around 150 for Verbal and 153 for Quantitative.
- Cost: The cost of the GMAT is $275, while the cost of the GRE is $205.
- Test Availability: The GMAT is offered year-round, but test-takers must wait at least 16 days between exams. The GRE is also offered year-round, and test-takers can take the exam once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period.
Here’s a table that summarizes the key differences between the GMAT and GRE exams:
|Format||Fixed (Computer adaptive)||Flexible (Computer adaptive)|
|Sections||4||6 (1 unscored research section)|
|AWA Section||1 Essay – 30 min||2 Essays – 1 hour|
|IR Section||12 Qs – 30 min||NA|
|Quant Section||1 Section – 31 Qs – 62 min||2 Sections – 20 Qs each – 70 min|
|Verbal Section||1 Section – 36 Qs – 65 min||2 Sections – 20 Qs each – 60 min|
|Test Content||Business related||General|
|No. of business schools accepting it||More than 2000||Few|
|Duration||3 hours 7 minutes||3 hours 45 minutes|
|Scoring||200 – 800 (in 10 point increment)||260 – 340 (in 1 point increment)|
|AWA Score Range||0 – 6||0 – 6|
|IR Score Range||1 – 8||NA|
|Quant Score Range||6 – 51 (Scaled Score)||130 – 170|
|Verbal Score Range||6 – 51 (Scaled Score)||130 – 170|
|Cost||CAD 365, USD 290||CAD 280, USD 205|
|Test Validity||5 Years||5 Years|
|Test Administration||Computer based||Computer and paper based|
A fixed-format test means that all test-takers take the same version of the exam, with the same questions and in the same order. The content and structure of the exam are predetermined and standardized, so all test-takers experience the same testing conditions. This is in contrast to a computer-adaptive test, where the difficulty of the questions presented to each test-taker is based on their previous responses, making the test personalized to each individual.
In the context of the GRE, a flexible format means that test takers can customize their testing experience to some extent. They can choose the order in which they answer the sections of the test, and they can also preview and skip questions within a section. This allows test takers to tailor their testing experience to their strengths and weaknesses, potentially improving their overall performance on the exam.
GMAT vs GRE: Which Exam to Take for Business School
When it comes to applying to business schools, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is which standardized test to take. While there are several options available, the two most popular exams are the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Both exams have their own unique features, advantages, and disadvantages, which can make it difficult to decide which one to take. In this section, we’ll compare the two exams specifically in terms of their relevance to business school programs.
Benefits of taking the GMAT for business school applications
The GMAT is specifically designed for applicants looking to pursue an MBA or other business-related graduate degree. As a result, the exam is tailored to test skills and knowledge that are most relevant to business school programs. Some of the benefits of taking the GMAT for business school applications include:
- Test Structure: The GMAT is designed to test a wide range of skills, including verbal, quantitative, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning. This makes it an ideal test for students who want to showcase their ability to think critically and solve complex problems.
- Recognized by top business schools: The GMAT is accepted by most top-ranked business schools in North America and around the world. This means that if you want to increase your chances of being accepted into a top-tier program, taking the GMAT can be an advantage.
- Business-specific questions: The GMAT includes questions that are specifically designed to test business-related skills, such as data analysis, financial reasoning, and critical reasoning. This makes the exam more relevant to business school programs than other standardized tests.
Advantages of taking the GRE for business school applications
While the GMAT is a popular choice for business school applications, it’s not the only exam available. In recent years, many business schools have started accepting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. Some of the advantages of taking the GRE for business school applications include:
- More flexible: The GRE is accepted by a wide range of graduate programs, including business schools, law schools, and other graduate programs. This makes it a good choice for students who are considering applying to multiple graduate programs.
- Lower cost: The GRE is generally less expensive than the GMAT, making it a good choice for students on a budget.
- No business-specific questions: Unlike the GMAT, the GRE does not include any business-specific questions. However, the exam still tests many of the same skills as the GMAT, such as analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.
Comparison of the two exams in terms of their relevance to business school programs
To help you decide which exam to take for your business school application, here’s a comparison of the two exams in terms of their relevance to business school programs:
|Exam||Relevance to Business School Programs|
While both exams test many of the same skills, the GMAT is specifically designed to test skills that are most relevant to business school programs. As a result, taking the GMAT can be an advantage if you’re applying to business school. However, many business schools now accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT, so it’s important to check with the schools you’re interested in to see which exam they prefer.
GMAT vs GRE: Which Exam to Take for Non-Business Graduate Programs
GMAT and GRE are two of the most popular standardized tests taken by students aspiring to attend graduate programs in different fields. While the GMAT is specifically designed for business school applicants, the GRE is accepted by a wide range of graduate programs, including non-business ones. In this section, we’ll discuss which exam to take for non-business graduate programs.
Benefits of taking the GRE for non-business graduate programs
- Versatility: The GRE is a more versatile exam than the GMAT and is accepted by a wide range of non-business graduate programs, including those in the fields of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
- Focus on verbal and analytical skills: The GRE places a greater emphasis on verbal and analytical skills than the GMAT, which may be beneficial for students pursuing non-business graduate programs that require strong reading and writing skills.
- Lower cost: The GRE is a more affordable option than the GMAT, with a lower registration fee and lower costs for sending scores to schools.
Advantages of taking the GMAT for non-business graduate programs
- Focus on quantitative skills: The GMAT is more focused on quantitative skills than the GRE, which may be advantageous for students pursuing non-business graduate programs in fields like economics, finance, and engineering.
- Business schools may prefer GMAT scores: While many non-business graduate programs accept both the GMAT and GRE, some business schools may prefer or require GMAT scores.
Comparison of the two exams in terms of their relevance to non-business graduate programs
The table below summarizes the key differences between the GMAT and GRE in terms of their relevance to non-business graduate programs:
|Exam||Relevance to non-business graduate programs|
|GRE||Widely accepted by non-business graduate programs|
|Emphasizes verbal and analytical skills|
|Lower cost than GMAT|
|GMAT||May be preferred or required by some non-business graduate programs, especially in fields like economics, finance, and engineering|
|Emphasizes quantitative skills|
Ultimately, the decision to take the GMAT or GRE for non-business graduate programs will depend on the specific requirements and preferences of the programs to which you are applying. It is important to research each program’s admissions requirements and determine which exam is most appropriate for your goals and strengths.
GMAT vs GRE: Cost and Accessibility
Comparison of the cost of taking the GMAT and GRE exams
The cost of taking the GMAT and GRE exams varies depending on the location and currency. The GMAT exam fee is $250 USD (approximately $310 CAD) while the GRE exam fee is $205 USD (approximately $255 CAD). However, both exams offer fee waiver programs for eligible candidates.
|GMAT Fee||GRE Fee|
|USD 250||USD 205|
|Approx. CAD 310||Approx. CAD 255|
Comparison of the accessibility of the GMAT and GRE exams
The GMAT and GRE exams are both accessible worldwide, and their availability depends on the location of the test-taker. The GMAT exam is offered in approximately 650 test centers in over 110 countries, while the GRE exam is offered in over 1,000 test centers in more than 160 countries.
Factors to consider when choosing an exam based on cost and accessibility
When deciding between the GMAT and GRE exams, it is essential to consider factors such as cost, accessibility, and location. While the GMAT exam is more expensive, it may be more beneficial for those applying to business schools. On the other hand, the GRE exam is more affordable and may be a better option for non-business graduate programs. Additionally, the accessibility of the exams should also be considered, as one exam may be more accessible than the other in certain locations. Ultimately, test-takers should carefully consider their options and choose the exam that best suits their needs and goals.
GMAT vs GRE: Preparation and Study Tips
Preparing for the GMAT or GRE exam can be challenging, but with the right resources and study tips, you can improve your chances of success. Here are some tips for preparing for both exams:
Tips for preparing for the GMAT exam
- Understand the format and structure of the exam
- Create a study plan and set achievable goals
- Familiarize yourself with the content and practice sample questions
- Identify your weaknesses and focus on improving them
- Use official GMAT study materials and resources, such as the GMAT Official Guide and GMATPrep software
- Consider taking a GMAT prep course or hiring a tutor
Tips for preparing for the GRE exam
- Understand the format and structure of the exam
- Create a study plan and set achievable goals
- Familiarize yourself with the content and practice sample questions
- Identify your weaknesses and focus on improving them
- Use official GRE study materials and resources, such as the GRE Official Guide and GRE Prep software
- Consider taking a GRE prep course or hiring a tutor
Resources for studying for the GMAT and GRE exams
- Official study materials and resources, such as the GMAT Official Guide and GRE Official Guide
- GMATPrep and GRE Prep software, which offer practice exams and questions
- Online forums and study groups, such as Reddit’s GMAT and GRE subreddits
- Test prep courses, such as Kaplan and Princeton Review
- Private tutors, who can provide personalized attention and guidance
Resources for preparing for the GMAT
- Official GMAT website
- GMAT Practice Tests by Veritas Prep
- GMAT Official Guide by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)
Resources for preparing for the GRE
- Official GRE website
- GRE Practice Tests by Manhattan Prep
- GRE Official Guide by Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Comparison of the GMAT and GRE exams in terms of preparation and study tips
The GMAT exam is more focused on critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while the GRE exam covers a broader range of topics, including vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Both exams require extensive preparation and practice, and it is important to create a study plan that suits your individual strengths and weaknesses.
The official study materials and resources for both exams are essential for success, and there are also many other resources available, such as prep courses and private tutors.
It is important to take practice exams and identify your weaknesses in order to improve your performance on the actual exam.
The choice between the GMAT and GRE exams ultimately depends on the individual’s goals and the specific program they are applying to. Both exams have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to carefully consider factors such as cost, accessibility, and the relevance of the exam to the desired program. With the right preparation and study resources, test-takers can confidently choose the exam that will help them achieve their academic and career goals.
GMAT Focus Edition
Announcement of the GMAT Focus Edition and its purpose
The GMAT Focus Edition, also known as GMAT-FE, is the latest addition to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) line of GMAT exams. In response to the changing demands of the business world, GMAC has introduced this new version to provide a more efficient, effective and affordable alternative to the traditional GMAT exam.
The purpose of the GMAT Focus Edition is to help students prepare for the GMAT exam in a more targeted and focused way. By providing a shorter and more affordable version of the GMAT, the GMAT-FE allows students to focus on specific areas where they need to improve their skills, rather than having to take the full-length GMAT exam, which covers all areas of the exam. This will help students save time and money while still providing them with a reliable measure of their skills and abilities.
The GMAT-FE is currently in the pilot phase and is being offered only to select schools and universities. However, once the pilot phase is completed, GMAC plans to make the GMAT-FE available to all test-takers.
Exam Format: Comparison of the GMAT Focus Edition to the current GMAT
|Exam Component||Current GMAT Exam Format||GMAT Focus Edition Format|
|Total Exam Time||3 hours 30 minutes||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Number of Sections||4||1|
|Analytical Writing||1 section, 30 minutes||N/A|
|Integrated Reasoning||1 section, 30 minutes||N/A|
|Quantitative Reasoning||1 section, 62 minutes||30 minutes|
|Verbal Reasoning||1 section, 65 minutes||30 minutes|
The GMAT Focus Edition is a streamlined version of the current GMAT exam that focuses on the areas that are most relevant to each test taker’s abilities and goals. By eliminating the Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections, the exam is shorter in duration and more focused on the core skills required for success in business school. The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections have also been shortened to 30 minutes each, allowing test takers to more quickly demonstrate their abilities in these areas. Overall, the GMAT Focus Edition is designed to provide a more efficient and effective testing experience for test takers.
Additionally, the GMAT Focus Edition is adaptive in nature, meaning that the questions presented to a test taker will change based on the accuracy of their previous responses. This allows the exam to more accurately assess a test taker’s abilities and provide a more personalized testing experience.
The GMAT Focus Edition will test the following areas:
- Quantitative Reasoning: This section will test the test-taker’s ability to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information.
- Verbal Reasoning: This section will test the test-taker’s ability to read and understand written material, evaluate arguments, and correct written material to conform to standard written English.
Content: Comparison of the GMAT Focus Edition and the Current GMAT Exam
|Content||GMAT Focus Edition||Current GMAT Exam|
|Sections||Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning||Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning|
|Purpose||Assessing critical skills essential for success in business school programs||Assessing a broader range of skills and knowledge|
|Number of sections||2||4|
|Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)||Not included||Included|
|Integrated Reasoning (IR)||Not included||Included|
Benefits of GMAT Focus Edition
- Targeted Practice: The GMAT Focus Edition is designed to provide targeted practice to test-takers in specific areas of weakness, leading to more efficient and effective preparation.
- Personalized Learning: With this, test-takers can tailor their learning experience to their specific needs, based on their performance on the diagnostic test.
- Better Score Improvement: It’s targeted practice and personalized learning can lead to more significant score improvement compared to the current GMAT exam.
Preparation for GMAT Focus Edition
- Diagnostic Test: The GMAT Focus Edition begins with a diagnostic test that helps test-takers identify their areas of weakness and prioritize their study plan accordingly.
- Targeted Practice: Based on the results of the diagnostic test, test-takers can focus their preparation on specific areas of weakness with the Edition.
- Practice Tests: It provides multiple practice tests to help test-takers gauge their progress and identify areas for improvement.
- Official Guide: The Official Guide for GMAT Review will continue to be a valuable resource for preparing for the GMAT Focus Edition.
- Prep Courses: Prep courses specifically tailored for this test are likely to become available in the future as the exam gains popularity.
When Will GMAT-FE Be Available?
The current GMAT Exam will stay until early next year for the students applying to business schools. Possible timeline however, is now available for GMAT Focus Official Prep, registration, and appointment availability:
- Official Prep for GMAT Focus: Late Q2 (April, May, June) 2023
- Registration: Q3 (July, August, September) 2023
- GMAT Focus Edition 2023 test: Q4 (October, November, December) 2023
How and where can I take These tests?
You can take the GMAT and GRE tests at authorized test centers in your country. To register for the tests, you can visit the official websites of GMAT and GRE.
GMAT: Register at the official website of GMAT. Select the test date and location that suits you best. Pay the registration fee and receive confirmation email with your test details.
GRE: Register at the official website of GRE. Select the test date and location that suits you best. Pay the registration fee and receive confirmation email with your test details.
Both tests are administered at authorized test centers, and you can find the nearest test center to your location on the respective websites of GMAT and GRE. It is important to note that the availability of test centers and test dates may vary by location, so it is advisable to register well in advance to secure your preferred test date and location.