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GMAT Exam or GRE Exam: Which Should You Take for MBA Admission in 2025?

The GMAT exam and the GRE exam are both acceptable for MBA admission process. We researched into the developments in the GMAT and the GRE and the scores at top business schools and shared criteria of how to choose the best exam for applicants.


Deciding between the GMAT and GRE for MBA applications can be tough. This guide will help you pick the right test for programs in India and abroad.


Overview of GMAT exam and the GRE exam


GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): Designed for business school applicants. Tests analytical, quantitative, verbal skills, and data insights.


GRE (Graduate Record Examination): Used for many graduate programs, including business school. Tests analytical writing, quantitative, and verbal skills.


Key Differences Between GMAT exam and the GRE


Acceptance of the GMAT exam and the GRE exam varies


  • GMAT: Accepted by over 7,700 programs at more than 2,400 business schools.

  • GRE: Accepted by 1,300 business schools.

GMAT is more widely accepted by business schools.


Test Structure of GMAT vs GRE exam


  • GMAT exam consists of:

  • 3 sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Data Insights.

  • 2 hours, 15 minutes.

  • Complete sections in any order.

  • No writing tasks.

  • GRE exam consists of:

  • 5 sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing.

  • 1 hour, 58 minutes.

  • Sections in a fixed order.

  • Includes 1 writing task.


GMAT focuses on business skills, while GRE is broader.


Time Per Question in the GMAT vs the GRE exam


  • GMAT: 2 minutes per question.

  • GRE: 1.6 minutes per question.

GMAT allows more time per question.


Scoring and Reporting of the GMAT exam vs GRE


  • GMAT:

  • Unofficial scores immediately after the test.

  • Official scores in 1-3 days.

  • Scores valid for 5 years.

  • Detailed performance insights.

  • GRE:

  • Official scores in 10-15 days.

  • Scores valid for 5 years.

  • Basic score report.

GMAT gives faster and more detailed score reports.


Score Sending GMAT vs GRE


  • GMAT: Send 5 free score reports within 48 hours of receiving your Official Score Report.

  • GRE: Select 4 programs to receive scores at no charge before the test.

GMAT offers more flexibility with score sending.


Choosing Between GMAT and GRE for MBA

MBA Programs:



Comparison of the GMAT vs GRE Acceptance for One Year MBA programs in India:

Indian One Year MBA Program

GMAT Acceptance

GRE Acceptance

ISB PGP

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIMA PGPX

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIMB EPGP

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIMC MBAEX

Accepts GMAT

Does Not Accept GRE

IIML IPMX

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIMI EPGP

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIMK PGP BL

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

XLRI GMP

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIM Shillong PGPEX

Accepts GMAT

Does Not Accept GRE

SPJIMR PGPM

Accepts GMAT

Does Not Accept GRE

IIM Udaipur DEM

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

IIM Udaipur GSCM

Accepts GMAT

Accepts GRE

Great Lakes

Accepts GMAT

Does Not Accept GRE


GMAT or the GRE for MBA Programs Abroad:


Top Global Business Schools accept both GMAT and GRE. We analysed the class profiles for the class of 2025 at different leading MBA programs and discovered the trends of how many students submit the GMAT or the GRE scores.


At Harvard MBA, 69% of the Class of 2025 submitted GMAT scores and 34% submitted GRE scores, with some students submitting scores from both tests.


At Yale SOM full time MBA program, 37% of the class submitted GRE scores and the remaining GMAT scores.


At the Stanford MBA class of 2025, 61 percent of the class submitted GMAT scores and 39 percent submitted GRE scores, with some students submitting scores from both tests.


In the Chicago Booth Class of 2025, 66% of the applicants submitted the GMAT scores and 31% of the applicants submitted the GRE scores.


Not many programs disclose this information, however, it is clear that the GMAT scores are more widely considered by applicants for MBA applications.


Recommendations for choosing GMAT exam or the GRE exam:


Strengths and Test Strategy:

  • Quantitative Skills: GMAT may be better.

  • Verbal and Writing Skills: GRE might suit you more.


Flexibility and Future Plans:

  • General Graduate Programs: GRE offers broader acceptance.

  • MBA Focus: GMAT is widely accepted and preferred.


Practical Tips:

  • Practice Tests: Take both to see which you prefer.

  • Program Preferences: Check what your target schools prefer.


Competitiveness of your score:


Whether you choose the GMAT exam or the GRE exam will also depend on what the average GMAT scores across the programs are and how do you stand competitively with respect to the average scores in the past.


Comparison table of the GMAT average scores at leading business schools for the class of 2025

School Name

Average GMAT Score For The Class of 2025

Harvard MBA

740

Wharton MBA

728

Kellogg MBA

731

UCLA Anderson

709

Michigan Ross

719

ISB PGP

716 - 720

IIMA PGPX

697

Yale SOM

720

Duke Fuqua

670 - 760 Range Mid 80%

Tuck MBA

726

Columbia MBA

730

Chicago Booth

728

On the other hand if we consider the average GRE scores, the average GRE scores accepted to these programs are as below:


Comparison of the average GRE scores in the class of 2025:

School Name

Average GRE Verbal Score For The Class of 2025

Average GRE Quant Score For The Class of 2025

Harvard MBA

163

163

Wharton MBA

162

162

Kellogg MBA

163

163

Michigan Ross

160

162

Yale SOM

164

166

Duke Fuqua

306-330 Range Mid 80%


Chicago Booth

162

163

IIMA PGPX

324 overall GRE score


ISB PGP

328 overall GRE score



Choosing between GMAT and GRE depends on your strengths and goals. For MBA programs, GMAT is often the safer choice due to its wide acceptance. However, if you have strong verbal skills or want flexibility for other programs, consider the GRE. Research your target schools and take practice tests to decide the best fit for your MBA journey.


FAQ


What is the GMAT Exam (Focus Edition)?


The GMAT Exam (Focus Edition) is the latest version of the GMAT exam. It launched in late 2023 and has been the only available version since February 1, 2024. The scoring for the GMAT focus exam is on a scale of 205 to 805.


What is the GMAT Exam (10th Edition)?


The GMAT Exam (10th Edition) was the previous version of the GMAT exam. It launched in 2012 and was replaced by the GMAT Exam (Focus Edition) on February 1, 2024.


Is there an 11th Edition of the GMAT Exam?


Yes, the GMAT Exam (Focus Edition) is the 11th edition of the GMAT exam. It is named "Focus Edition" to highlight its emphasis on relevant business skills. From July 1 2024, this will be renamed the GMAT exam.


How long will scores from the GMAT Exam (10th Edition) be valid?


Scores from the GMAT Exam (10th Edition) are valid for five years from the test date.


How many times can I take the GMAT Exam in 2024-25?


You can take the GMAT exam up to five times in a rolling 12-month period and up to eight times in total during your lifetime. This includes all attempts across all editions of the exam, whether taken online or at a test center.


Not sure where to start? Schedule a call with an MBA admissions expert at GOALisB to understand which program and test score would suit your career goals better.



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