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GMAT/GRE : Which one should I take

In our previous post, we laid out the difference between the test structure of the GMAT and the GRE. In this one, we lay out the pros and cons of each test in a bid to help you decide which one should be for you.


Quick facts on acceptance of the GMAT and GRE

The US MBA and Canadian programs accept both the GMAT and GRE and treat them both equally. You are not judged for taking one over the other.


In fact, a whopping 29% of the HBS class of 2023 opted for the GRE as their standardised test ( up from 18% in 2018). Schools are also actively publishing GRE section averages on their class profile. That stands to testify that they have a sizable portion of their class enrolling with the GRE, which allows publication of section averages.


However, some international programs may prefer the GMAT over the GRE. Some employers are also reported to prefer the GMAT score and may use it as a proxy of academic capability, especially at schools where grade non-disclosure is a norm. Admissions officers from various MBA programs candidly share their views on the GMAT in this post on Business Because.



Which one is ideal?

The prevailing conventional wisdom is that the Quant section of the GMAT is more challenging than that of the GRE, so if you’re a quant jock with decent language flair, the GMAT might be easier for you.


Which one should I take then, you would ask. The simplest and the best advice is to play to your strengths. But recognise and accept that --


You will need to get to score higher on the verbal section on the GMAT to get to the golden 740+ score.

because most people taking the GMAT possess good quantitative abilities and because the scoring is relative to the peer group of test-takers, landing a high score via a strong Quant score against an accomplished peer group of quant jocks is difficult.


To put it simply - You could land a 750 on the GMAT score with a V49 and Q45. But with a Q51, you need your verbal to be above 40 to get to the 750 mark.


This interactive tool and score distribution list from Manhattan Prep is worth exploring. Bottom line, if your quantitative abilities are good and you are taking the GMAT, focus your prep on acing the verbal section.


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