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GMAT vs. GRE: More MBA Programs Regard Tests Equally

There are some new numbers to analyze in the ongoing GMAT vs. GRE debate. A recent survey of top MBA programs indicated that the majority of MBA programs regard the GMAT and the GRE equally.

78% of the MBA admissions officials surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep said that the tests were regarded equally in their application review process.

The remaining holdouts expressed reservations about the quantitative section of the GRE, and seem to regard the GMAT as a better gauge of how applicants will fare in the MBA’s core quantitative classes.


GRE Still Used By Small Number of MBA Applicants

MBA applicants, however, do not seem as convinced of the GRE’s value. Only about 10% of MBA-bound applicants submitted GRE scores in lieu of GMAT results. That is, however, more than in previous years, and some schools have seen even more significant growth. Yale School of Management, for example, reported that 21% of applicants submitted GRE scores.

Valuable Option for Undecided Applicants

Given the numbers, the GRE could be a very valuable option for applicants who are still deciding between an MBA and a Ph.D. or Masters in another field. Since the GRE is more universally accepted, those applicants can focus all of their energies on one test and use those scores for their MBA applications.

GMAT Still King for MBA-Bound

If, however, you are firmly focused on an MBA and not considering another degree, I would advise sticking to the GMAT. MBA admissions officials will recognize applicants with clear pre-MBA backgrounds, and it would look odd if those applicants chose the GRE instead of the GMAT. Additionally, if you have a less-than-stellar quantitative background, you should use the GMAT to prove that you have what it takes to succeed in the MBA classroom.

GRE Chart


For applicants applying in 2015, this is the perfect time to begin thinking about either the GMAT or the GRE. You will need to develop a study timeline and strategy, and pinpoint your weaknesses so that you can begin to address them.

An outside opinion can often be very helpful in this assessment, and our consultants have years of experience in giving MBA applicants a head start. Check out our Go Getter program for more information, and as always, feel free to get in touch.

For information on this topic, also see my earlier post, Should you be taking the GRE or the GMAT?

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