GRE vs GMAT. Which one should I go for?

If you’ve been thinking of doing an MBA, a few questions would often sway through your mind, throwing you into a state of dilemma.  One of the questions that would definitely top the chart is: Should I go for GRE or GMAT?
To decide which is better – GRE vs GMAT for MBA aspirants, we have to take into consideration a lot of factors. Let’s try to conclude based on thorough observations.

What is GMAT?

GMAT is called the Graduate Management Admissions Test. It’s the standardized test that is required by a vast pool of graduate schools. It measures your ability with questions that vary in difficulty level. The exam is question-wise adaptive with the difficulty of each question varying based on the answer to the previous question. The test happens for three and half hours.  The GMAT exam is considered to be tough though it doesn’t test your knowledge in business skills. The scores range from 200-800 with 10 points increment. The sections that appear in the GMAT are :

GMAT- Sections No of Questions Types of questions Total Time
Analytical Writing 1 Argument Analysis 30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning 12 Table-Analysis, Multiple reasoning, Graphics interpretation, Two-part analysis 30 minutes
Quantitative 37 Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency 75 minutes
Verbal 41 Reading comprehension, Critical reasoning and Sentence correction 75 minutes
Total Exam Time 3 hours 30 minutes

What is GRE?

GRE is called the Graduate Record Examination. It is the definite exam that one has to undertake to pursue an MS in US. In addition, many top MBA schools have started to accept GRE scores for their admission process. GRE is also a computer-based exam, which is held for four and half hours. The scores range from 260 to 340 with 1 point increment. The GRE exam is adaptive at sectional level. The difficulty of section increases or decreased based on the performance if the previous section. The various sections that appear in the GRE Exam Syllabus are :

GRE- Sections No of Questions Types of questions Total Time
Analytical Writing 2 Argument AnalysisIssue Analysis 30 minutes each
Quantitative (2 Sections) 20 questions in each section.  Algebra, Data Analysis, Geometry, Arithmetic(Multiple choice, Numeric Entry, Quantitative comparison) 35 minutes for each(70 Minutes)
Verbal 20 questions in each section.  Reading comprehension, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence 30 minutes for each(60 minutes)
Total Exam Time 4 hours 30 minutes

Download the free checklist on GRE vs GMAT and learn about the questions that appear in the GRE and GMAT exams

Though GRE and GMAT look almost similar on paper, both has its set of pros and cons. Let us analyze further to understand which is better.

GRE Exam Syllabus | GRE vs GMAT : Which one should I go For?

GRE Exam Syllabus | GRE vs GMAT : Which one should I go For?


  • One small difference between GRE and GMAT, which would matter to most of the students, is the cost. The cost for taking the GRE exam is $195, whereas for the GMAT it is $250. Though $55 dollars doesn’t make much of a difference, most of you might prefer taking the exam again if your scores weren’t up to the mark. This means you can save around $110 dollars if you’re taking the GRE.
  • After taking the GRE, you have a lot of options. With a GRE score, you can apply for MS courses, MBA and PhD. Whereas GMAT is limited to business schools. Nowadays many potential MBA grads prefer taking the GRE instead of the GMAT.
  • If you’re taking the GRE, you would find the quant part to be much easier than the GMAT. GMAT math is comparatively harder because all the top business schools require graduates with strong mathematical skills.
  • In GRE, you can skip questions and move forward. Later, you can answers questions which you left unanswered. This allows you to manage time efficiently and also helps you take the test without any confusion. In GMAT, you cannot skip questions. This creates trouble while taking the exam.
  • The emphasis on Grammar and Logical arguments is less in GRE. GRE stresses on vocabulary, whereas GMAT stresses on grammar and reasoning.  GRE allows you to use the online calculator, whereas GMAT doesn’t allow you.
  • One biggest advantage of GRE is that, there is no Integrated Reasoning section. The section combines the difficult parts of verbal and quant. You can escape from the 12 questions if you’re taking the GRE.
  • GRE is also held at more centers compared to the GMAT.  If you’re taking the GRE, you need to be good at number sense and number manipulation. GMAT follows a focused approach towards problems.

The decision protocol:

A high GMAT score is preferred over a high GRE score when it comes to admissions into business schools. However, GMAT is applicable only for business schools and hence cannot be a substitute for GRE.  On the other hand GRE score can be used for business schools too. With over 1200 business schools accepting GRE scores, many aspirants are leaning towards picking GRE out of the two. Go for the GMAT only if you wish to pursue an MBA in a college that doesn’t accept GRE score. Otherwise, GRE is the better choice , considering ease, flexibility and fallback options available.


Make a list of the top business schools where you would prefer to do an MBA. Get in touch with them and inquire if they accept GRE scores. Most of them would say yes.  If the universities of your choice accept GRE scores, then without a second thought, go for the GRE.
Many of you would want to get a high score in your GRE and pursue an MBA from top business schools like MIT, Harvard, and Stanford. Don’t just hope for the best when you can go ahead and make everything possible.


You can post all you doubts in the comment box regarding GRE and GMAT. I would personally make sure that all your doubts get answered within the next 24 hours. Also, you can share the article with your friends and relatives, who wish to do an MBA from top business schools. Help them and feel awesome!

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Rohit says:

    Dear Team,

    Request you to please guide me as I am highly confused and at the same time very much disheartened + disappointed . I had started with GMAT preparation in feb but was never really serious and hence did not give the exam but was in touch with some of the contents like Sentence correct,Number properties , Geometry as far as theoretical I was done.

    Now came mid July, I enrolled to multiple resources starting with sentence correction again and till today I am in middle of sentence correction.To Go with Quant I am stuck in between algebra .

    Just wanted to have a guidance from your side :

    first GMAT mock Score in Aug – 460 (V:11 and Q:43) — GMAT PREP TOOL
    Second GMAT mock in Sep – 410 (V:18 and Q:28) source MGAT .

    Still there are many topic which I have dont know e.g. CR and RC are untouched by me completely .Quant also there is lots and lots to cover right from geometry to word problems.

    Yesterday I gave a GRE mock without preparation and had a score split of V142 and Q151 . So request you to please guide as I targeting the B-schools for round2 IS it advisable for me to switch to GRE rather than taking GMAT.

    Please suggest . I am Looking forward for your guidance ,


    • Shruti Ganesh says:

      Hi Rohit,

      Thank you for sharing your concern. We can definitely help you out with this situation!

      Deciding whether to opt for GRE or GMAT can be quite confusing, but always consider taking the test in which your chance of scoring is higher. B-schools abroad do not favour a particular test score and look at both equally. It is entirely dependent on your skill set. The smart move would be to pick the test you can score the highest in. For example, in GRE, the quant section is considered to be easier by students and the probability of achieving a good score is much higher.

      In your case, your GRE mock test scores reflect that. With adequate practice and guidance, you can boost your scores significantly.

      Based on what you have explained so far, I think the problem with your preparation is the lack of a proper strategy to prioritize topics and tackle it in time.

      Depending on the admission season you are targeting, we can discuss how best you can prepare for GRE and give your exam. Since you have given your number and email ID, I will ensure that a student counselor gets in touch with you as soon as possible. 🙂

  2. Harish says:

    Hi Shruti,
    You have stated in your comment that B-schools abroad do not favour a particular test score and look at both equally. But the article does say that a high GMAT score is preferred over a high GRE score when it comes to admissions into business schools. You seem to be contradicting the article. Can you please clarify which of the above two statements are correct? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *