GRE or GMAT: Which One is Easier?

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Students aspiring to pursue an MBA from the best B-schools abroad have never been more diverse and global. And rightly so, as the global MBA acts as a gateway to well-equipped research facilities, brilliant infrastructure, and enrichment of lucrative employment opportunities.

Traditionally, renowned B-schools have always trusted the GMAT score for admission applications. But, according to reputed GMAT coaching online websites like AbroAdvice.com, with the increasing number of universities and business schools accepting both GRE and GMAT scores, the uncertainty mounts as to which test is better to take for an MBA.

Today’s comprehensive post will offer a detailed comparison of the GRE and GMAT. It will walk you through each test’s subject matter, format, content, cost, and scoring of each test. By the end of this post, you will have a lucid understanding of the key differences between both the exams, and be able to make an informed decision about which one will be easier for you.

GRE: A Quick Overview

More than 1300 universities and companies now have business programs that accept the GRE. More than 360,000 individuals take the GRE every year, with a constant increase in the number of test takers.

If the words of reputed stalwarts of GRE coaching online websites like AbroAdvice.com are anything to go by, the GRE, or the Graduate Record Examination, evaluates reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. Graduate programs in numerous fields, including the humanities, natural science, social sciences, social work, and education, use the GRE.

The total GRE score ranges from 130-170. Further, you will also get a separate analytical writing score out of 6.

GMAT: A Quick Overview

The GMAT is accepted by more than 7,700 business programs at 2,400 universities and companies worldwide. In 2023, 108,851 GMAT exams were taken by prospective business school students worldwide.

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, assess logic, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Devised to evaluate skills key for business and management programs, the GMAT is the most-used exam for business schools.

The GMAT comprises sections like Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning. The exam offers a total GMAT score between 200 and 800 in 10-point increments. You’ll also get separate Verbal and Quantitative scores, each on a scale of 6-51, as well as a Writing score out of 6 and an Integrated Reasoning score out of 8.

Key Differences Between GMAT and GRE

While the GMAT is specifically used for business programs, the GRE covers numerous other graduate fields. Comprehending the major differences between these two tests can aid you in selecting which test to take –

Timing and Structure

The structures of the GRE vs. GMAT differ in certain ways. The table below breaks down the segments, timing, and questions for both exams.

AspectGMAT
GRE
Analytical Writing 1 Essay (30 minutes)2 Essays (30 mins per Essay)
Quantitative Reasoning
31 Questions (62 minutes)2 Segments of 20 questions each (35 minutes every section)
Verbal Reasoning36 Questions (65 minutes)2 Segments of 20 questions each (30 minutes every section)
Integrated Reasoning12 Questions (30 minutes)NA
Unscored or Research SegmentNAVaries, but generally, one 30-minute Verbal or Quantitative Segment
Total79 Questions + 1 Essay (about 3 hrs and 30 mins)80 Questions (or 100, if you get a research segment) + 2 Essays (about 3 hrs and 45 minutes)

Score

The GRE’s verbal and quantitative reasoning segments follow a range of 130-170 in one-point increments, while the analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments.

On the other hand, the GMAT follows a scale of 0-60 in one-point increments for the verbal and quantitative segments. The integrated reasoning segment has a score range of 1-8 in one-point increments, and the AWA is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments.

Location and Format

Both the GRE and GMAT use a computer-adaptive format. This means that test-takers must complete the exam on a computer that changes the difficulty level of questions or sections based on their answers. The GMAT adapts to difficulty after every question, whereas the GRE adapts after every segment.

While the GMAT only offers a computer-based test, the GRE offers a paper option in different locations where the computer test is unavailable. Both these exams can be taken remotely or at an official exam centre.

Exam Focus

The GMAT specifically evaluates critical skills related to graduate-level business programs. As a result, the exam’s focus emphasises data analysis, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. On the contrary, the GRE emphasises broader graduate-level skills.

Applicants considering graduate courses outside the field of business will likely need to take the GRE, which business students can often opt for either test. Exam takers applying to multiple kinds of graduate programs can benefit from taking the GRE.

Style of Testing

On the GMAT, you need to answer every question in order. The GRE enables you to mark questions to review during your remaining time in the segment. You can also complete questions within a segment in any order, which can be incredibly beneficial. While the test doesn’t penalise your answers, the GMAT has a penalty for guessing inaccurately.

Which is Easier – the GMAT or the GRE?

The difficulty level of the GRE and GMAT is based on an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and proclivities. Thus, there’s no universal or definitive response to these questions, as certain students may find the GMAT easier, while others can perceive the GRE to be easier.

Hence, it is crucial to research the syllabus, pattern of the question, competition, and scoring system for both these tests in detail before reaching a conclusion. For example, the GMAT scored 800, and as per the stalwarts, a score of more than 700 is considered exceptionally high to get admission. In case of the GRE, a composite score of more than 320 will put the applicant in remarkable standing for most renowned programs.

In essence, it is crucial to compare and evaluate different critical aspects concerning both these entrance tests and opt for the one that you find suitable to accomplish your career dreams and increase your admission odds.

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