GRE or GMAT – What Should You Prefer

Selecting between the two tests is a common dilemma in the minds of the students who are planning to apply to business and other graduate schools. In this article, the benefits and drawbacks of the two tests are discussed. You will also understand how to make the choice between these tests in your own individual case.

How to Select Which Test to Take?

    • In order to select which test to take, you need to consider which course you are interested in taking. If you want to study MBA, then GMAT is usually the test that is recommended, as most of the business schools want their applicants to go through the GMAT. ETS has tried to make the revised version of the GRE more acceptable to business schools. This version was released in August 2011. In the present scenario, however, it may still be better to take the GMAT for admission to business schools. If you want to take a non-business related course, the GRE may be the better option for you.
    • A really safe thing to do is to find out from the schools about which test they prefer. You can check on the websites of the schools you are interested in, as most schools will publish such information for easy access. It is still better to contact the schools directly and ask whether they prefer these two tests.
    • If it is possible, the best thing to do is to take both tests. The preparation for the two tests, while not quite the same, is not too different either. Select dates for the two exams, within a short time of each other, so that you can decide whether to submit your exam score to the schools of your choice. If the school you want to go to accepts both tests, naturally you must submit the one that you performed better in. It is said that your performance in the two tests is comparable, that is, if you score at a certain level in the GRE, then your score for the GMAT can be predicted. ETS, the organization that conducts the GRE, has a tool on offer for this purpose. It calculates your expected GMAT score range, if you enter your GRE score. The link you can use to access this is:
    • You should also think about further studies while making up your mind about taking the tests. If you want to pursue a PhD for instance, you may need to submit GRE scores. This will be easier if you have already taken the test.
    • Another point that may help you to decide whether to take GRE or the other is which test you find more difficult. Different people have different opinions on this. As a general rule however, GMAT is considered a tougher test to take for those people who are natives of an English-speaking country and the GRE is tougher for other students. Having said that, you should not let this be your primary deciding factor. You can prepare well for either test. Excellent preparation courses and books are available for both.
    • Another minor point to consider can be the availability of a convenient test center. You could visit the website of both tests and find out about available test dates and locations.

Hopefully the preceding paragraphs have cleared up the doubt in your mind about which test is better for you. As far as possible, take both tests. You will have to spend time, effort and money in taking a test that can launch you on your chosen career path, so why not invest some more and take another test as well? If, however, the decision is clear-cut, then by all means, take only one test.