GMAT and GRE are the most widely taken exams for candidates aspiring to pursue MBA from a renowned business school. All the top B-Schools across the globe accept GMAT and GRE scores.

Since both the exams play an essential role in taking admissions as these scores are accepted by all the top universities, it becomes difficult for a candidate to decide as to which exam he/she should apply.

Before deciding which of them is the best suited for you, it is essential for you to understand the differences between the two.

Prior to explaining the differences between the two exams, let us have an overview of the two of them.

GMAT Test- An Overview

The GMAT or the General Management Admission Test is popular and widely applied for exam among the candidates seeking admissions to business schools. It is a computer-based multiple-choice question exam, the scores of which are valid for 5 years.

The test is conducted and administered by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) and is a common test to gauge the preparation of the candidates applying for graduate-level courses. It is a computer-adaptive test with a duration of 3.5 hours and an overall score ranging from 200 to 800.

It measures a candidates’ performance in algebra, geometry, data analysis, grammar, and basic arithmetic. It is also a test to measure an applicant’s critical thinking and analytical skills. For GMAT, there is a number of good websites that help you in online preparation.

The GMAT test comprises of four sections:

  1. Analytical Writing Section comprising of an essay and has a duration of 30 minutes
  2. Verbal ability section with a duration of 65 minutes
  3. Integrated Reasoning section having a duration of 30 minutes
  4. The Quantitative section of a duration of 62 minutes

GRE Test- An Overview

The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is another important test for candidates seeking admissions in graduate or business schools. It is a computer-based exam consisting of multiple-choice questions.

The test is developed and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and is conducted to gauge candidates’ preparation and skills required for a graduate-level course.

The test is divided into three sections:

  1. Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning. Each subject in this section comprises two subsections of 20 questions each. The combined number of questions in this section is 80.
  2. Analytical writing comprises two essays. A duration of 30-minutes each is given to writing the essays.
  3. Verbal reasoning is a research section comprising 20 questions.

The total duration of the GRE test is 3.75 hours, and the scores of the test are valid for a duration of 5 years. For GRE preparation you may try these websites.

Differences between the GMAT & GRE Exam

Both GMAT and GRE are internationally accepted evaluation tests for the students aspiring for higher studies, structurally and objective wise they have some differences. A comparative view is given below:

Parameters GMAT GRE
Who should take it? Candidates aspiring to take admission in a business school can take this test. Candidates aspiring to take admission in graduate school and in business schools can take this test.
Structure The test comprises of four sections:

  1. Analytical Writing
  2. Integrated Reasoning
  3. Quantitative Section
  4. Verbal Ability
The test comprises of three sections:

  1. Analytical Writing
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Quantitative Reasoning
Fees $250 globally $205 globally ($150 for subject-wise globally)
Format of the test It is a computer-adaptive test It is a computer-adaptive test; however, in places where computers are not available, it is conducted in a paper version.
Time duration 3.5 hours 3.75 hours
Scores The score ranges from 200 to 800 points in a 10-points increment. The scores of the test range from 130 to 170 points.
Validity of scores 5 years 5 years
The emphasis of Verbal Section The emphasis is on measuring grammar, logic, and reasoning skills. The emphasis is on testing the candidates’ vocabulary.
The emphasis of the math section It requires and tests the systematic approach to answer questions. It emphasizes quick number sense and number manipulation.

Which one to opt for MBA?

GMAT or GRE? There are lots of people who find things much confusing while choosing the best-suited program for themselves. Hence you can follow the below-mentioned steps to find out which of the two tests is suitable for you:

  1. List down all the schools you want to take admission in. There are some colleges that consider only GMAT scores. The candidates need to analyze to which schools consider only the GMAT scores and which of them consider both the test scores.
  2. If possible, contact the schools to find out whether they prefer scores of one test over the other or not.
  3. Analyze your career goals. There are some organizations that strictly prefer the GMAT score over the GRE score. Check for these requirements based on your career objectives to decide which of the two tests you should take.
  4. Check the math skills of both tests. It is said that the math section of the GMAT test is comparatively harder.
  5. Check for the difficulty level of the verbal section. It is believed that the verbal section of GRE is more difficult than that of GMAT.
  6. In the GRE test, you can return to the questions that you have saved in each section, thereby making it a less stressful test.
  7. Take the practice test for both tests. This will help you become more familiar with the pattern and the content of each of the two tests. See the websites offering GRE Test and GMAT Test.


Both the GRE and the GMAT is an important test for candidates aspiring to pursue higher education. While GMAT is suitable for candidates seeking admission in top business schools all across the world, GRE is suitable for candidates seeking admission in graduates as well as business schools.

Since both tests are important, it is essential for the candidates to plan and prepare well for the exam. But, it is much more important for them to decide as to which of the two tests is suitable for them, keeping in mind their higher education and career goals.