Business Schools started accepting GRE scores from 2006-07 in an effort to include applicants from diverse socio-economic and non-traditional backgrounds. GMAC broke its partnership with ETS (Educational Testing Service) in 2006 and found a new testing administrative partner in Pearson VUE. This allowed ETS to pursue Business Schools and propose GRE as an alternative to GMAT.
Why GMAT Still dominates?
Market Leader: Let us put things into perspective, the GMAT test has been in the market for nearly 60 years now. It would be tough for any new competitor to take its position in 5 years. There are many flaws in the GMAT test structure. ETS is moving in the right direction by iteratively improving its test structure.
Lack of Awareness: Did you know that in 2011, the number of business schools accepting GRE scores for their MBA programs was nearly 800. The list includes top Business Schools like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Columbia and Yale.
Risk Averse: Unless Business Schools confidently promote GRE as an alternative to GMAT, it is unlikely that MBA aspirants will adopt GRE in equal measure. MBA aspirants feel that the Admissions team will not be able to address the lack of comparative scale between GRE and GMAT, and would use the test taken by majority of applicants as the standard.
Ranking Publications: It was only recently that US News started including GRE Scores in their ranking comparison charts. MBA Aspirants swear by Business School rankings and when they don’t see GRE scores in the charts, it implies that GRE is not relevant for getting into a top Business School.
Acceptance with GRE: Unless Business Schools publish the number of candidates who gained admissions with a GRE score; it would be tough for MBA Aspirants to take the risk.
Who should take the GRE?
1) Eternal GMAT Retakers: We have often seen candidates asking for help in popular forums on how to improve their score after their 3rd or 4th attempt. There is no harm in accepting that GMAT is not a test for you. Find an alternative strategy. A GRE test might just improve your chance of getting into a top Business school.
2) Dual Degree: It would be a better use of your time and effort to just focus on GRE, if you are planning to take a Dual Degree MBA program. But we have observed that to position as a more competitive student, Dual Degree MBA Aspirants are still taking the GMAT after their GRE. With the revised GRE test this might not be necessary
3) Waitlisted: This might be an odd strategy but if the weakness of your profile is in your GMAT score, then taking or using your previous GRE scores might just help you get into a top MBA program.
What is the difference between GRE and GMAT?
Both GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years. With the introduction of the revised GRE test, ETS is trying to make the test structure similar to GMAT. The only difference is the type of questions in each section.
GRE Test Structure
GRE tests three skills: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.
Verbal Reasoning: Sections: 2 Questions per Section: 20 Time per Section: 30 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning: Sections: 2 Questions per Section: 20 Time per Section: 35 Minutes
Analytical Writing: Section: 2 Time per Section: 30 Minutes
GMAT Test Structure
GMAT evaluates five skills: Quantitative, Verbal, Reasoning, Data Interpretation and Analytical Writing.
Analytical Writing Assessment: Sections: 2 Time per Section: 30 Minutes (From June 5th 2012 New Integrated Reasoning GMAT Section will replace one of the Sections)
Quantitative Section: Questions: 37 Questions Cover: Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. Time: 75 Minutes
Verbal Section: Questions: 41 Questions Cover: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction Time: 75 Minutes
New Features in GRE
GRE® Comparison Tool: The new GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools is a feature that looks interesting. It would be an additional burden for Admissions Team to compare two equally good profiles on different testing platforms. GRE® Comparison Tool for Business Schools is marketed as a tool that would allow Admissions team to make the comparison between GMAT and GRE scores. It needs to be seen how Business Schools adopt this tool.
ScoreSelect: From July 2012, ScoreSelect feature will allow test takers to choose the score reporting after the test have been taken. If you have scored well in the GRE, instead of sending all the scores in the past five years, you can choose the current test score with ScoreSelect Most Recent option. If your score is not the best and you have previous scores that are much better, the ScoreSelect All option will send your scores in the last five years.
Which is tougher – GMAT or GRE?
With the revised GRE you can no longer bring the old argument that if you are strong in Verbal then GRE might be good for you. Our team will be evaluating the new GRE test for you. If you want a detailed comparison, Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter
Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide
After you read F1GMAT’s Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide, you will:
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