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GMAT vs GRE: Which Exam Should You Take?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Students demonstrating what to study for a master’s degree

A common concern of prospective students interested in getting a master’s degree is studying for the GMAT or GRE exam. Instead of trying to prepare for both exams, find out which test you should take before you hit the books.

In this blog, we explain the differences between the two so you know what to study for the master’s degree program you’re interested in.

Should I take the GRE or GMAT?

When deciding whether to take the GRE or GMAT you should consider:

  • What type of master’s degree do I want?
  • Am I better at vocabulary or grammar?
  • Is math a strong suit of mine?

What type of master’s do I want?

If you’re interested in pursuing a Master’s in Business — i.e. Master’s in Accounting, Economics, Marketing, etc. —, the program may prefer you take the GMAT. Conversely, if you're interested in any other type of master’s program, GRE scores are preferred.

While some business schools only accept GMAT scores for their Master’s in Business programs, there has been a shift in business schools beginning to accept GRE scores as well. To verify if the business program you are interested in will take GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores, visit this webpage.

It should be noted that the school may be on the list but some of the departments may have different rules. For example, the marketing department may accept GRE scores, but the economics department may not. Also, scholarships may be dependent on GMAT scores. Contact the admissions team for the desired program to be certain.

Lastly, it’s important to know that even though the Master’s in Business program may accept the GRE scores, they may not view them as equal to GMAT scores during the admissions process. Business schools are more familiar with dealing with GMAT scores, and by taking the GMAT over the GRE, it tells the admissions that you’re serious about attending business school as the GMAT is almost exclusively used for applying to business schools.

Am I better at vocabulary or grammar?

The GRE exam emphasizes testing vocabulary, while the GMAT focuses on grammar. Depending on whether you feel that you are much better in one versus the other may sway your decision to take the GMAT or the GRE.

Is math a strong suit of mine?

The math section in the GMAT exam has been considered more difficult than GRE’s math section. Furthermore, you cannot use a calculator on the GMAT, but you can on the GRE exam.

Getting a master’s degree is an investment in your future; it can help you secure a higher pay and obtain your dream job. To get started though, you need to know what to study for the master’s degree you want to pursue. If you decide to sit for the GMAT exam, visit our blog on GMAT study tips.