Business Schools Accepting GRE
Business schools began accepting GRE scores instead of GMAT schools starting with the Stanford School of Business in 2005. Standford made the decision to allow business school applicants to submit their GRE scores, because they thought it made sense given that their Ph.D. applicants could submit GRE scores. Many schools accept the GRE because it widens their applicant pool, opening it up to people who are considering other degrees in addition to the MBA.
GRE v. GMAT
Two logistical advantages the GRE has over the GMAT are cost and location. The GRE costs $160, compared to the MBA at $150. While $90 may not seem like a big difference, the price difference may become an issue if you need to retake the GMAT. The GRE is also offered at more locations than the GMAT.
There are also differences in the verbal and math content of the GRE and GMAT. The verbal section of the GRE is focused more on vocabulary. The GMAT verbal puts more emphasis on grammar, logic and reasoning skills. While both the GRE and GMAT are designed for native English speakers, the GRE favors those with a strong knowledge of English. That's why non-native English speakers may find the GMATs verbal section easier.
The biggest content difference, however, is the one between the GMAT and GRE math. GRE math emphasizes quick number sense and number manipulation. GMAT math, however, requires you to create a systematic approach in order to answer word problems. In order to get into business school, you need to demonstrate that you have a quantative background. So, if you come from a weaker quantative background such as non-profit or the military, you will have to rely on the GMAT or GRE to show your quantative skills. That's why your math abilities may be the deciding factor of what test you choose to take.
If you are a great test taker, it's best to stick with the tried and true GRE. If you are seeking a dual degree, however, such as a MBA/Master of Public Policy degree, the GRE is your best choice since you will only have to take one test.
GRE or GMAT for MBA
Still not sure on what test your should choose? Here's a course of action that will help you decide:
- Make a list of schools your want to apply to.
- Call the school to see if they accept the GRE. Ask if one taking one test over another gives you an advantage. Most likely, they will say no.
- Take a practice test for both the GMAT and the GRE. Download free gmat prep software from mba.com to take a free practice test. To take a practice GRE, download POWERPREP software from ets.org. Get familiar with the content of each test and see how you score.
While you may end up applying to schools with several different testing options, you need to focus on the test taking strategy that will serve you best during the application process.