5 key differences between the GRE and GMAT

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Friday, September 20, 2019, 02:01 PM IST


An MBA post graduate degree opens up a manifold of avenues in the career of a person. Not only does the scope of getting a good job increase exponentially, you also have a higher chance of securing a higher salary with an advanced degree. However, when it comes to entrance tests, most students are often baffled with the sheer variety of graduate entrance tests available. If you are wondering whether to start off GRE or GMAT Prep, here is a handy guide explaining the difference between both, to help you make the right choice.

Career preferences

Graduate Records Examination or GRE is a test which is necessary for getting admission in several graduate programs in a number of schools while Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT is an entrance examination specifically for management programs in business schools. A number of B-schools consider both GRE and GMAT scores although some only accept GMAT as a valid test for their programs. GRE is better for those who are unsure of which specialization to take or for those who want to go for a combined degree.

Test format

The first and foremost difference when it comes to GRE and GMAT is the test format. While both GMAT and GRE are primarily computer-based exam, GRE also has options for offline tests on paper which are offered in those areas of the world where computer-tests are not possible to be held. Another big difference in the test format is GRE allows applicants to skip and save questions to return to later. The cost of GRE is $205 and GMAT is $250.

Test structure

The GRE is divided into two 30-minute Verbal Reasoning sections and 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections. There is a 30-35-minute-long experimental section on math or verbal reasoning and a 60-minute Analytical Writing section where you have to write two essays of 30 minutes each. On the other hand, GMAT is divided into 30 minutes of Integrated Reasoning, 62 minutes of Quantitative, 65 minutes of Verbal, and 30 minutes of Analytical Writing test with one essay.

Mathematical skills

In the content of the tests, there are a few differences in the mathematical sections of the tests. While GMAT emphasizes more on the logical reasoning and solution skills in mathematical area, GRE is more focused on geometrical problems. A general consensus among students is that the mathematical questions of GMAT are harder to crack.

Language skills

While verbal and language skills are essential for both exams, GRE requires its applicants to write two essays of 30 minutes, compared of one in GMAT. Students have also noted that GRE requires a more extensive vocabulary as it contains more obscure words. Owing to this, the language section of GRE is considered a little more difficult than that of GMAT, especially for non-native English speakers.

Depending on which career path you want to take as well as your strengths and weaknesses, you can choose either GRE or GMAT for your post-graduation plans.

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Published on: Friday, September 20, 2019, 02:01 PM IST