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Test taking alternatives to the GMAT

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

GMAT Roundup

The GMAT exam evaluates your preparedness for business school by simulating the real time decision making environment—it assesses the ability to understand multiple types of information and how they can be interpreted to take decisions. GMAT does not test vocabulary you will most likely never use again. With the GMAT exam you prepare for real-world problem solving. Many wonder what is the ideal GMAT score for ISB or for that matter any MBA program. The answer is that there is no ideal GMAT score for ISB admissions, it is the whole profile that matters, however, the GMAT score is still an important component of the ISB admission process.

The GMAT exam is three hours and seven minutes long and recently it has been made even more concise. With the GMAT exam, you get to decide your section order. Instead of shifting between math and verbal sections, you have the facility to select the order that works best for you and allows you to put your best, most confident self forward. 

A journey to a business school starts with the GMAT exam. The GMAT score is accepted by more than 7,000 business programs across 2,300 schools.

Additionally, there are free (limited duration) tutorials/ classes offered by some websites like Gmatclub, magoosh etc. You can also try QSleap for preparation resources to get an optimal GMAT score for your dream Business School. Free practice tests are available online. Free material is helpful for getting started with your preparation.

Differences between the GRE exam and the GMAT

On an average, it is seen that there are variety of entrance tests which opens your gateway to the leading academic institutions. From the list of variety of entrance tests the GRE exam and GMAT are two different types of tests which are taken by numerous students across the world.

GRE exam and GMAT - the difference between two examinations

GRE exam is the world’s largest assessment test for graduation admissions and business schools. Across the world there are 160 countries that hold this test. The full form GRE is Graduation Record Examination. GRE exam is basically for the graduation admissions and it is much like SAT and ACT. The GRE exam examines your critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning skills. The GRE exam primarily consists of quantitative and verbal section after that there are sections of analytical writing with two essays. The time allotted for the exam is 3.5 hours. The GRE exam is a prerequisite to take admission in graduate programs abroad has the candidate who plans to appear for a graduate program in abroad should have appropriate GRE scores. Subjects that are included in the GRE exam evaluate the candidates’ ability on each and every subject. It includes the areas like Mathematics, English Literature, Physics Psychology, Biology, Biochemistry and Chemistry. The GRE exam is required to get admission in specialised programs abroad.

Syllabus of GMAT – The full form of GMAT is Graduate Management Admission Test which is the prerequisite for admission in Master’s Program in Business. The difference between GRE exam and the syllabus of GMAT exam is examination is required for the graduation programs and business programs whereas GMAT is only for Masters in Business programs. The syllabus of GMAT consists of Analytical writing section of 30 minutes, Integrated reasoning section 30 minutes, Quantitative section of 62 minutes and a Verbal section of 65 minutes.

One thing which is common in both the tests is they both are valid for 5 years whereas rest everything is different.

There is difference between the syllabi of both the tests. There are two sections of the examinations which can be compared that are Verbal and Quantitative.

A) Verbal Section of the syllabus of GMAT and GRE exam

A variety of differences can be seen in the verbal section of both the examinations. The section of GRE exam has the questions regarding the equivalent and relevance of sentence wherein the ability to grasp the meaning of the words, entire text, sentences etc. is tested. Next The GRE exam has reading comprehension which checks your ability to analyse a situation and reason and in the end coming to a conclusion. The last action in verbal section of GRE exam includes the test that checks your ability to evaluate and interpret the information.

The syllabus of GMAT verbal section contains sentence correction, reading comprehension and critical reasoning. In sentence correction section your grammar and English is tested. In the syllabus of GMAT reading comprehension, it again checks your analysing and reasoning skills by giving you a set of questions on a particular passage. Critical reasoning section test your critical thinking the question is based on your analyses and thinking.

B) Quantitative section of GRE exam and the syllabus of GMAT exam:

In this section of the GRE exam the course content is same. It contains the syllabus like algebra, geometry, arithmetic interpretation etc. The diversion occurs when the question is formed. The format of question posed is different for both of the examination. GRE exam divides into four sections whereas for the syllabus of GMAT the section is divided into two categories.

Differences between both the examinations are:

  • GRE exam is required for admission in mostly graduate schools where as GMAT is required in business schools.

  • GRE exam is offered in both paper based and computer adaptive whereas GMAT is a totally computer adaptive test.

  • The verbal and quantitative scores in the GRE exam vary from 130 to 170 whereas the overall score of GMAT ranges from 200 to 800.

  • GRE exam fee is slightly lesser than that of GMAT examination

  • In the GRE exam students are tested on the basis of ‘Analyse an Issue’ and ‘Analyse an Argument’ whereas the syllabus of GMAT tests on the basis of ‘Analyse an Argument’ only.

  • There is a difference between the quantitative section of GMAT and it is said that in the syllabus of GMAT questions are more difficult than the GRE exam.

  • For non native English speakers the verbal section of the GRE exam is bit difficult where as the syllabus of GMAT has a reasoning based verbal section.

  • GRE exam allows you to use the calculator where has GMAT does not.

GMAT and GRE examinations are becoming the prerequisites and it is spreading with very fast pace. Most of the renowned academic institute have a set pattern for admission that is GMAT and GRE scores.

Previously in almost 90% of business schools in USA updated the Kaplan test prep that GRE examinations can be accepted as an alternative to GMAT for the admission of the student in MBA program.

The GRE exam is a smart choice for the students who are thinking about applying to dual degree courses. On a larger picture, The GRE exam focuses on the Verbal and Analytical skills whereas syllabus of GMAT tends to focus quantitative skills. The syllabus of GMAT required only one essay but the GRE exam requires two essays.

Whatever test you decide to take up give yourself enough time to think on that test several times.

A strong foundational preparation for GRE Examination

Every year, thousands of candidates appear for the GRE examinations. Out of other examinations, the GRE exam plays an important role in the selection of students in the top and leading universities.

The full form of GRE is Graduate Record Examination which is a standardized test that examines reasoning and analytical skills of the candidate. This test is the commonly required admission test for graduation schools. It requires aptitude for abstract thinking in the fields like analytical skills, vocabulary reading and mathematics and it is commonly used by many of the Graduate Schools as a prerequisite exam to test an applicants’ ability for the selected program.

The aspiring candidates should be aware of GRE preparation tips along with the intensity of preparation done for the most popular entrance exam across the globe especially in USA. This exam is valid for almost every subject except law and medical schools. Professional holding graduate degrees enjoys greater job prospects than those with undergraduate degrees. The GRE exam is not a subject specific exam it does not require any advance knowledge in any particular subject or the college course. It is just the basic idea about your reasoning, problem solving, critical thinking and analytical skills. The GRE examination requires your profound knowledge about GRE course.

Details about the GRE exam

  • The GRE exam is designed to check the candidates abilities and potential

  • This GRE exam is generally required for admission in USA and Canada.

  • The GRE exam is conducted more than 2000 centres and is a criterion for selection for jobs also.

  • The GRE exam is valid for 5 years.

Specific Details for the GRE exam in India-

  • Passport is the requirement for giving the exam

  • There are no specific dates for the examination. You can take the exam on any date at the nearest examination centre.

When to take the test?

The right time to give examination is when you are fully prepared for the examination and the GRE syllabus. You should take the examination approximately one year before you are graduation. It is suggested to start practicing 7 to 8 months prior the examination. The more you practice the better you will be getting the results.

How to enrol for the GRE exam and what is the GRE exam fee ?

Get yourself enrol for the GRE exam you should visit ETS.org and have to create a GRE account there. After the registration you will be able to register yourself for the examination. You can pick test taking location and testing taking date there and can give a final call to it.

Cracking the examination

The GRE exam is not much complicated to crack. It is separated into 3 parts the verbal reasoning, the analytical writing and the quantitative reasoning section. The GRE exam can be taken as a paper exam or on the computer also.

The effective and successful cracking of the GRE exam is dependent on the ability to grab the information and represent it in an optimised way.

How to prepare for GRE examination in less time:

  • Practice - First thing which a candidate should do is practice. You can take a mock GRE exam so as to check the pattern of examination, the scores you achieve and what type of questions will be asked in the examination.

  • Read - The aspiring candidate should read lot about the GRE exam and practice the questions.

  • Adhere to the study plan- Do not underestimate the GRE exam. If you have decided to take up the examination, you should adhere to the study plan. The most important thing in GRE exam is to prepare a proper and structured plan and to follow it.

  • Focus on one section- The GRE exam has three sections. While studying you should focus and concentrate on one particular subject. This will make the section wise study of the sections and it will seem easy to study for the GRE exam.

  • Time Tracking - It is important to track the time of answering the questions. While attempting the analytical questions in the GRE exam you will do not get ample of time to write in a leisure mode.

  • Time Management - Time management is the important aspect in cracking the exam. You are allotted with a stipulated time in which you have to crack the examination. Though you won’t be penalised for wrong answers but the wrong answers will affect your scores.

  • GRE Strategy- The test has a strategy to crack the examination. Following a strategy will help you get better scores.

  • Mental Preparations- GRE is not a physical examination. It requires your mental efforts and a present state of mind to solve the reasoning and critical questions.

  • Set your target score- After getting the idea about GRE examination, you should set scores for you. Check the scores required for the program you want to enrol.

GRE is not an examination that one should take up in hurry. Giving such a rigorous exam requires lot of efforts and concentration. Your result is the manifestation of your performance. Give yourself ample time to sit and relax and plan appropriately. The more you practice the better result you will be getting.

For better and enhanced GRE scores, you should be careful enough while selecting the right study material for you. You should remember that while practicing the mock exam, you make sure to take the right mock test. Next thing is creating a study plan. You should make proper schedule of the study and concentrate well. Have a strong base on the topics like algebra, arithmetic, geometry and data interpretation. Build up a strong mental potential to crack such a lengthy examination. There are chances that in between the examination you might get stuck or fluctuate but you should concentrate and focus on the examination for your better results. Another important thing while attempting the exam is to be careful about the time spent on every question.

GRE exam fee Options

The GRE Program and GRE Board agree that graduate research should not be an obstacle to the GRE exam fee.

The GRE Program also offers the GRE exam fee Reduction Program for people who are in a position to show financial need, for those who are unemployed who earn unemployment insurance, and for national initiatives dealing with under-represented groups.

For one GRE General Test and / or one GRE Subject Test, a GRE exam fee Reduction Voucher may be used.

Payers of the voucher pay 50 percent of the standard GRE exam fee. Vouchers for GRE exam fee waiver can not be paired with other deals.

FREE access to the following GRE test preparation materials is also provided to all

test takers who earn a GRE exam fee Reduction voucher, a $100 value.

For institutions and organisations that plan to pay GRE exam fee on behalf of approved test takers, ETS provides prepaid vouchers.

For vouchers that they then distribute directly to their applicants, institutions and organisations can order and prepay.

GRE exam fee Vouchers bear the organisation's name and are valid for one year from the date of issuance.

The GRE exam fee vouchers cover, as appropriate, the registration cost or the GRE exam fee. There is no coverage for any other GRE exam fee, facilities and publications.


The ESA MBA program has permitted the exam is free of charge and will be held online through an online platform called TestWe.

Similar to the GMAT, the exam will evaluate your critical thinking and reasoning skills.

While the GMAT test include 4 different sections, TestWe will be testing you on two of them, which are the following:

  1. Quantitative Reasoning (Math Section)

This section will mainly tackle questions of Problem Solving, and Data Sufficiency type. We would advise you to review some mathematical concepts and tools.

For the EAS entrance exam, only the below chapters are included:

  • Chapter 1: Arithmetic Properties of integers, Fractions, Decimals, Real numbers, Ratio Proportion, Percents,Powers and Roots, Sets, Descriptive Statistics, Counting methods, discrete probability.

  • Chapter 2: Algebra Simplifying algebraic expressions, equations, Solving linear equations with one variable, two variables and exponents.

These samples can also be found in any GMAT preparation book.

  1. Verbal Reasoning (English Section)

This section will tackle questions of Reading Comprehension, and Critical Reasoning type. The Sentence Correction type of questions that are usually part of the GMAT will not be included in the EAS entrance test.

The exam is a multiple-choice exam of 2 hours. Scientific calculators (non-programmable) will be authorized for the exam. Scratch papers are also provided. 

The TestWe platform is now acceptable by many programs in European schools.

Alternative test options to the GMAT

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