GRE vs. GMAT: Which Test Is Right for You?

If you’re nearing completion of your bachelor’s program and considering additional degrees, you may find that testing is required before you’ll be considered for certain schools and/or programs. You’re already familiar with the SATs, so you have some idea of what to expect and how to prepare. 

What you might not know is which tests are required for your preferred graduate program or which ones are wise to take into consideration at your preferred schools. Different tests are associated with different programs and schools, but if you’re interested in a business degree, you may want to sit for the GRE or the GMAT. What’s the difference, and which test is right for you? 

What Is the GRE? 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test consisting of three sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. This online test is meant to assess critical thinking, reasoning, and writing skills. 

You’ll have 60 minutes to complete the Analytical Writing section, which is broken into two 30-minute parts. You’ll have 60 minutes to complete the Verbal Reasoning section, also broken into two 30-minute parts with 20 questions each. 

You’ll have 70 minutes to complete the Quantitative Reasoning section, which is broken into two 30-minute parts with 20 questions each. You may use an on-screen calculator for this section of the test, and you’re allowed to go back and forth between sections to change answers within the allotted time frame. 

What Is the GMAT? 

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) consists of four sections: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. Like the GRE, this test is designed to assess critical thinking and reasoning skills, with an emphasis on determining your suitability for a graduate business program. 

You’ll have 30 minutes to complete the Analytical Writing section and 30 minutes for the Integrated Reasoning section, which includes 12 questions. The Quantitative Reasoning section consists of 31 multiple-choice questions, which you’ll have 62 minutes to answer.  

There are 36 questions in the Verbal Reasoning section, which you’ll have 65 minutes to complete. You are not allowed a calculator for this test. 

Which Test Is Right for You? 

If you plan to attend business school, it’s best to take the GMAT, as many business schools, and particularly MBA programs, require it. The GRE, on the other hand, is accepted for a range of schools and graduate programs, including some business programs, so it keeps your options open if you haven’t yet decided on your next academic step. 

These tests are similar but showcase slightly different skill sets. For example, the GMAT may highlight greater strength in math, while the GRE is somewhat geared toward stronger writing skills.  

If you have certain schools and programs in mind, it’s wise to find out which test they prefer. If you’re undecided, you may simply want to take both to cover all your bases. 

Preparing for Success 

Whether you opt to take the GRE, the GMAT, or both, exam prep and practice testing will help you prepare for success. Register with Jantzi today for professional GRE tutoring that helps you put your best foot forward.