The Best Test for Your MBA: GMAT or GRE?

If you’re applying for your MBA this year, you’re probably in the midst of starting to study for the GMAT – the traditional test needed to apply to U.S. business schools.

However, what you may not be aware of, is that more and more business schools are now using the GRE and valuing it just as equally within the MBA admissions process.

So, what’s the difference between the GMAT and the GRE, and does taking one over the other have any benefits or disadvantages?

In the U.S., having a GMAT score is going to be more common than an GRE score in terms of MBA admissions.  However, the GMAT is very heavy on quant and math skills, and if you’re interested in getting your MBA so you can continue to excel in your career in an industry like communications, social media management, strategy consulting, HR, advertising, entrepreneurship, or something that requires strong verbal and written skills OVER mathematical ability to succeed, then you seriously may want to consider if taking the GRE instead of the GMAT is the better test for you.

That’s right:  the GRE is the stronger test to take if you think you can score very high on verbal.

In this same vein, the GMAT is the test to take if you’re a financial analyst, use numbers in your everyday role at work, or are working or planning to work in the investment banking industry on Wall Street, or in anything related to finance.

Need a good GMAT to GRE score converter? Or simply want to see how your scores measure up?  Try this chart here:

Your GRE verbal scores run across the top of the chart, and your GRE quantitative scores run down the left-hand side. This chart can be used backwards too, so if you know what you got on the GMAT you can find that number first and find out how it compares to the GRE, and then make the best choice from there!

GMAT-GRE-conversion-chart-MBA-Ivy-LeagueGMAT-GRE-Conversion Chart-2-MBA-Ivy-League

GMAT-GRE-conversion-chart 3-MBA-Ivy-League

I will also say that the GMAT is still the most common business school test for U.S. business schools, including HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia but that’s starting to change, while the GRE is still the more common of the two tests in the U.K., Canada, Asia, and Europe.  

So, if you’re living overseas, or thinking of applying to a non-U.S. MBA or EMBA program, INSEAD, Said (Oxford), and Judge (Cambridge) with the exception of The London School of Business (because it draws so heavily from the financial industry in terms of its applicants) all prefer the GRE.

The “Top Ten” though in the U.S. is making the change, and depending upon where your skill set lies, consider which test – the GMAT or the GRE –  is going to give you the best possibilities!

[I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer, and a Harvard graduate and run the MBA & EMBA business school admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE.  Contact us for a free profile evaluation today, and get into the school of your dreams!]