Should you take the GRE, GMAT, or EA?

MBA applicants must score well on a standardized test to be considered for elite business schools. Many of our clients spend the majority of their time during the application cycle studying to ace their exam. While this work is mostly unavoidable (save for a lucky few), applicants are now offered a choice in their standardized test selection. The Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) and in some cases the Executive Assessment (EA) tests have joined the GMAT as viable exams for business school consideration, improving the potential for applicants to choose an exam that may better cater to their strengths as a test-taker. Many resources already exist online that outline the differences between the tests; we encourage all clients to do their homework when deciding which of the three test formats suit them best and confirm which test(s) are accepted where they plan to apply. We’ve included some links below to articles we’ve found instructive to help get you started on your research.

Blog – Stellar GRE
Key consideration:

“At every top-ranked business school, the percentiles associated with the median scores of their matriculated cohorts are lower for the GRE than for the GMAT. This means that you don’t have to perform as highly on the GRE as you do on the GMAT to be competitive for these programs.”

Key consideration:

“The GRE is accepted at 1200+ Business Schools worldwide. Its Unique Quantitative Questions focuses on quantitative comparisons, while the GRE’s Unique Verbal Questions look at Sentence Equivalence & Text Completion. This test is better for creative/flexible thinkers.

The GMAT is accepted by all business schools. Its Unique Quantitative Questions focuses on Data Sufficiency, while the GMAT’s Unique Verbal Questions look at Sentence Correction & Critical Reasoning. This test is better for number-crunching thinkers.”

“The GRE, as a more versatile test, has less of a focus on math and includes a calculator for its quantitative problems. However, for those for whom English is not their first language, the verbal section may be more challenging than the GMAT’s, as it places an emphasis on vocabulary rather than on grammar.”

Kaplan – GMAT vs. GRE: Which Should I Take?
Key consideration:

“If you don’t have a strong track record of working with numbers and quantitative analysis, consider taking the GMAT. Although both the GRE and GMAT rely on the same basic high school-level math, the GMAT’s Quantitative section is more focused on word problems, rather than straightforward math, and the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section will test your data interpretation skills. Also, GMAT questions typically have easier numbers to work with than those on the GRE. The GMAT is also more forgiving in the way it is scored—to get a high score on the GRE, you need to get practically every question right, whereas you can get many high difficulty GMAT questions wrong, and still get a comparably high score.”

What are the key differences between GMAT and GRE?
Key consideration:

“As GRE verbal tests challenging vocabulary, GMAT Verbal tends to be slightly easier.”

“GMAT Quant is considered to be harder than GRE Quant. GMAT Quant tests your problem-solving skills. Also, the data sufficiency questions are quite challenging.GRE allows you to use a calculator and GMAT does not, even though GRE quant questions are easier than GMAT.”


More Resources: