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Doodle Nandi
25 Jul 2018 434 3 mins Share

What’s the difference between GRE and GMAT? Things you must know

While GMAT is required for admissions into business studies, GRE is required for admissions into both business and postgraduate programmes

25 Jul 2018 434 3 mins Share
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When, as a student, you look for help to fulfil your study abroad dream, you must look for all the right ways and people who you think can give you the right kind of support and advice that you need.

If you ask us, what’s the correct way to get admit from universities abroad? The first right advice we have for you is – ‘take an admission test demanded by the institute abroad you want to study in’.

Tests like GRE and GMAT are taken by many international students, year on year, to get admits from foreign universities. However, not all courses abroad accept GRE or GMAT.

Most business schools abroad accept students who are GMAT qualified, but there are some business schools that grant admissions to GRE-qualified students too.

So you must know when you need to take up either GRE or GMAT.

GRE and GMAT – Does either of it make any difference?

There are 5 key differences between GMAT and GRE that every student aiming to study overseas should know:

Who takes the test?

GRE test takers comprise students who want to make it to popular business schools or who want to study postgraduate courses at different institutes abroad.

Over 100 foreign institutes, including leading business schools like Stanford Graduate School of Business and University of Chicago – Booth, accept GRE scores for admissions into their popular business programmes.

GMAT test takers mostly comprise students who want to study only at business schools abroad, especially who want admissions into MBA programmes. And GMAT scores are accepted by several renowned b-schools abroad for over 1000s of business programmes.

What’s the test mode?

Though GRE is a computer-based test, it is also available in a paper-based form at certain centres where the former test pattern is unavailable.

GMAT is chiefly a computer-based test and there are several registered test centres worldwide.

As per a report from ETS, the number of GRE test takers from India between 2016 and 2017 was around 76,000. The Graduate Management Admission Council states that the number of GMAT test-takers has increased voluminously all over the world, in the last 5 years.

What’s the test pattern?

It’s believed that GMAT is for students who have an analytical bent of mind whereas GRE is for those who are more logical. According to experts, the Mathematics section in GMAT is pretty tough when compared with that of the GRE. So students who find it difficult to crack problems in GMAT mostly prefer to take up GRE.

The GRE pattern involves – reading comprehension, test completion and sentence equivalence. The GRE vocabulary is considered to be tougher whereas the GMAT vocabulary and grammar are less complex.

What’s the score pattern?

In GRE, a good combined score is between 260 and 340, preferably closer to 310.

In GMAT, a good combined score is between 200 and 800, preferably closer to 700.

GRE is authorised by an organisation called ETS and GMAT is authorised by GMAC. However, some abroad b-schools use the ETS scoring pattern as a benchmark for granting admissions to students into their MBA programmes.

What are you career goals?

When you graduate from a university with an MBA degree, and start looking for suitable employment opportunities, you might come across many employers who rely on candidates’ GMAT scores. In such cases, you must do a proper groundwork before taking any examinations because nobody wants to waste their time chasing something that doesn’t reap benefits for them in the long run.

Though GRE is accepted by many b-schools abroad, GMAT is the most preferred choice by the majority of institutes and employers globally.


Therefore, when you know the key differences between GMAT and GRE, it becomes easier for you to make up your mind about which exam works for you best. However, sometimes a mock test can help you too. Mock GRE and GMAT tests are meant for students who want to be familiar with the exam pattern and writing styles.

Students seldom prepare for both exams because of the time, stress and money involved. Taking both GRE and GMAT concurrently might prove to be too ambitious so it’s better to first enquire about possible universities that match your academic profile and then decide on which entrance test to take.

Some institutes are straightforward about the exams that they prefer their students to take while some may not be. In such cases, you must keep searching for information. Our study abroad counsellors can help you gather necessary information that you need for your admissions abroad. They can also recommend universities that will be an exact match to your profile and academic aspirations.

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Sangeetha Anto Sangeetha Anto,
Study abroad expert.
We can help you apply and study at top Universities abroad. Get in touch with us to get free advice!