GMAT or GRE? Which One Do You Need to Pursue Your MBA?

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Not long ago the only test available for those seeking entrance into business school was the GMAT. Today’s MBA hopefuls can choose to take the GRE General Test instead, and most schools accept those scores. Some schools, like Ashford University, require neither test as part of the application process. The following overview will help you determine which one is right for you among institutions that seek a GMAT or GRE.




The GMAT is designed for those hoping to go to business school. No one else takes this test. On the other hand, the GRE is available for anyone who plans to get a master’s degree or go to business school.


Who Accepts the Tests


Currently, more than 11,000 universities accept the GRE and the number is growing rapidly. More than 5,600 business programs at 1,700 universities around the world accept the GMAT. The GMAT is offered via computer only. The GRE is generally also administered via computer but it can be given on paper in areas of the world where computers aren’t available.




While the cost difference isn’t substantial, you will pay less to take the GRE, which historically costs around $195. Taking the GMAT tends to be a bit more expensive, in the neighborhood of $250.


Test Content and Procedure Differences


What to expect of the GRE: 60-minute analytical writing section that features two essays. There is also a quantitative reasoning section and a verbal reasoning section, as well as an experimental section that you can use for verbal or math.


What to expect of the GMAT: 30-minute analytic section that has one essay. You’ll also take a 75-minute quantitative and verbal sections and a 30-minute integrated reasoning section.


While you can skip questions and return to them later on the GRE, you can’t do that with the GMAT. The latter is a computer adaptive test (CAT), which means that the user must continue to go forward and cannot return to any missed questions.




Because the GRE can be used by anyone who wants to get a master’s degree or go to business school, with this test you have options. That means that if you change your mind and major midstream, you won’t be out of luck regarding the test. The GRE score opens up more possibilities in this department than the GMAT.


The GMAT and the GRE are distinctly different tests. That means you’ll have to do some comparisons and weigh the pros and cons before making your decision as to which exam is right for you. Before taking the test, make certain that your desired learning institution accepts the exam you prefer.


Written by Ashford University staff

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