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Which Is Best for Business School?

Both the GRE and GMAT allow aspiring business school students to make a good impression on their chosen institutions. While these two admissions exams share some similarities, each test differs in its structure, format, and length. Depending on your academic strengths, test-taking preferences, and career goals, it may behoove you to take one of these exams rather than the other.

General Differences

GRE Overview

Those interested in various educational and career paths usually take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), which tests your general skill level in analytical writing and verbal and analytical reasoning.

It takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the three sections of the exam, and test scores range from 130 to 170.

Read more about what the GRE is, or take a look at a GRE prep course.

GMAT Overview

Meanwhile, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has specific analytical writing prompts and integrated, quantitative, and verbal reasoning questions for students hoping to enroll in a graduate-level management program.

Students have about 3 hours to complete all four sections of the test, and a score ranging from 200 to 800 predicts your likelihood of business school success.

Read more about what the GMAT is, or take a look at a GMAT prep course.


Is the GRE Easier Than the GMAT?

While each of these tests is challenging in its own way, some students may feel that there are clear differences in GRE vs. GMAT difficulty.

GMAT Favors Math & Logic

Experts believe that people who have strong math skills and do well with logic-based word problems may have an easier time with the GMAT since it typically has more complicated quantitative reasoning questions than the GRE.

GRE Favors Vocab & Language

Due to the use of complex phrasing and difficult or obscure words throughout the exam, the GRE tends to favor those with strong language skills and extensive vocabularies. Non-native English speakers, in particular, might struggle with the verbal reasoning portion of the test.

When deciding between the GMAT vs. the GRE, it's a good idea to select the exam that lets you play to your strengths.


GMAT vs. GRE for an MBA

Deciding to take the GRE vs. the GMAT for business school can be a difficult choice since most MBA programs accept both tests.

However, most academic advisors and counselors recommend that you register for the GMAT exam if you're looking at business schools or pursuing a specific business career.

Scoring well on the GRE showcases your knowledge of various general topics, making it an excellent indicator of success in MFA or Ph.D. programs. Meanwhile, getting high marks on the GMAT displays your understanding of business-related concepts. Submitting your GMAT scores gives the admissions committee an idea of your skill level and commitment to attending their institution.


Although the GMAT and GRE are both widely accepted and respected at most business schools, one of these tests might be better suited to your skills, test-taking style, and career goals. Understanding the difference between these two exams can help you decide which test is right for you and get you started on your path to business school.

Study Resources

Online GRE Test Prep

Online GMAT Test Prep