Decide GRE or GMAT

GRE or GMAT: What should you prefer?

Getting admission into graduate schools and institutes of international repute is one of the multiple aims that students set before themselves; and the qualifying tests that validate their skills in related fields make achieving this aim easier. But one cannot randomly pick any of these exams and use the scores for the admission. The choice between the various graduate school qualifying exams like GRE or GMAT, LSAT or MCET depends on the personal requirements, preferences and the courses that are desired to be taken up by the candidates. All these exams focus on different streams and fields of education and have to be sought accordingly. Especially, when the question is to decide whether to take the GRE or GMAT test, there is a lot that goes into consideration.

  • Test Structure and Skills Validated

    The candidate should decide to take GRE or GMAT tests after going through their structures and knowing the respective skills they validate. GRE or Graduate Record Examination is a general test that evaluates the critical reasoning skills of the candidates seeking admissions into various graduate schools for general and non-business related graduation programs. These programs can be related to language, psychology, computer science etc. The test also offers the provision to take specialised subject tests but for a limited number of disciplines only. GRE basically has a general ability test that comprises of three parts, namely Verbal Reasoning section, Quantitative Reasoning section and Analytical Writing section. While seeking admission into graduate schools and institutions of high repute, the scores that one achieves in GRE or GMAT are considered. So much so, that many among them regard them as a compulsory requirement.

    The sections in GMAT are also similar in their design and pattern. The sections are divided on the same criterion- verbal, quantitative and analytical; but the stress or focus is varied. Where GRE is focussed on the reasoning abilities of the candidates, GMAT validates their critical skills more. The reason being, that GMAT is a business oriented test that validates the candidates’ skills for entrance into business courses and schools exclusively. GRE or GMAT, both of these tests scores can be used by the candidates to seek admissions into business schools but one should know that GMAT scores are given preference over GRE in the selection process. Some of the business schools accept only GMAT scores and thus taking GMAT is a prerequisite for seeking admission into MBA.

  • Difficulty Level

    All these accepted, one should know that as compared to GMAT, GRE is simpler to answer and score in. GRE being a general test does not put stress on any particular aspect, but GMAT is designed especially to validate the skills for critical thinking which is required in excelling in the fields of business and management. Though the revised GRE General Test is an attempt to merge this gap between them and helps to evaluate candidates on the same criterion.

    Along with this, there are some other factors that need to be thought about when thinking on the issue- GRE or GMAT? One factor is, for instance:

  • The Cost of the Test

    GRE has a low fee as compared to GMAT; nearly half the amount of what is charged for taking GMAT. It definitely reduces the number of candidates who go ahead to take the test and pulls them towards taking GRE.

  • Test Locations

    Another factor is that of the test locations. GMAT candidates do not find as many test centres as do the GRE candidates. There are less test locations for GMAT, and this is yet another factor that makes the candidates retract from it.

Looking into all these factors, it is important that while deciding whether to take GRE or GMAT, one should conduct a deep analysis of all of them and then reach a decision. The first criterion is certainly the aim of the candidate. If the candidate has precisely aimed for MBA and that too in a high rated college that accepts only GMAT scores, then there is no reason to stop him/her. Then one should also look into the contributing factors as well. Like as: “Is there a GMAT test centre around my home?”, “Can I afford the test fee easily?”, “Would it be easy for me to take the GMAT?”... And so on. All these questions need to be answered first and then only one should decide to take GRE or GMAT. Combine the answers to these questions and be sure about the aim that you set before yourself and then only take GRE or GMAT test.

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