Around a decade back, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score was solely used for MS programs and the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score was used for MBA programs. Lately, though, an increasing number of business schools have started accepting GRE scores. This line is blurring and many aspirants find themselves unsure about deciding between GRE vs GMAT.

Now, the GRE is conducted by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) while the GMAT is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). In 2016-17, 559,254 applicants took the GRE while 250,884 took the GMAT. Among these, there would be a few students who took both the exams too.

The famous American Journalist, Frank Tyger once said, ‘Ambition is enthusiasm with a purpose’. If we were to extend it, we would say, ‘Ambition needs enthusiasm, purpose and a solid plan’. In this article, we will help you decide between the two.

GRE vs GMAT – A quick comparison

Before we get into the details, here is a quick comparison between GRE and GMAT:


Also, in the quantitative section, apart from the permission to use a calculator, the GRE tests your basic mathematics skills which involve your understanding of the elementary concepts of mathematics and use quantitative methods to solve seemingly complex problems. The GMAT, on the other hand, focuses more on your problem-solving skills with some data sufficiency questions. As you can see from the table above, the GRE expects the applicants to be well versed in their vocabulary. However, the GMAT expects you to be better at English Grammar.

What’s best for me – GRE or GMAT?

With this overview of both the exams, let’s look at the factors that can help you determine which of the two is better suited to your higher education goals. Here are some questions to help you make the choice:

Q1 – I am focused only on business schools?

If the answer is yes, then the choice is simple – GMAT. Hundreds of universities and thousands of business schools accept the GMAT exam since it is designed to test your aptitude in management. While there are many business schools that accept a GRE score too, if you are proficient in mathematics, then GMAT is surely the way ahead for you.

Q2 – I am focused on business schools, but I am not so good at Mathematics. What do I choose?

In such a case, you need to check if your targeted b-school(s) accept a GRE score. You might also use the GRE-GMAT comparison tool to approximately interpret your GRE scores with respect to the GMAT scores.

Q3 – I don’t want to get into a business school. I am targeting an MS program. Do I need to take the GMAT?

If you are not considering a business school, then you don’t need to think anymore. Just strike-off GMAT from the list of exams that you need to take. Focus on GRE and ensure that you make it to the 80th plus percentile.

Q4 – I want to keep my options open. While I am focusing on an MBA program, if I don’t get through a good university, then I want to be able to apply for an MS program. What should I do?

In this case, you should take expert advice on what would be the best course of action for you. Expert counselors help you shortlist the programs that you are best suited for. And from that the test that you should take. We never recommend taking both the tests as it divides your focus and hence impacts scores. If you are still very confused, we would recommend going ahead with GRE. Here’s why:

  • GMAT is accepted only by MBA and Economics programs
  • GRE is accepted by all MS programs and over 1000 MBA programs
  • If you take the GMAT and not the GRE, then you limit your chances since graduate programs don’t accept GMAT scores.
  • On the other hand, if you take the GRE and not the GMAT, then you can apply for all MS programs and over 1000 MBA programs who accept the GRE.

However, if a choice needs to be made between the two, then the GRE is a better option for you.

Q5– What is a good GRE score to get admission into a good university?

All GRE aspirants wonder about this. This can vary from university to university and from person to person. You can check out this detailed guide on what is a good GRE score to get a better idea.


In the olden days, when warriors would prepare for battle, the kings ensured that they were well-fed, well-rested, well-trained, and in high spirits. There were experts employed to ensure the same. The warriors didn’t have to worry about how they would prepare. All they needed to do was follow the instructions of the experts and become invincible at their skills.

We dare say that preparing for an international graduate or MBA program is no less. At Inspirus Education, our experts help you prepare for the GRE and GMAT with a personalized study plan and a mentor always by your side. Our GRE coaching classes and GMAT coaching classes help you achieve your target score taking you a step closer to fulfilling your dream.

If the proof of the pudding does lie in its taste, then it would be sufficient to say that our alumni have made to many Ivy League Universities across the globe.

If you are still unsure about choosing between GRE and GMAT, then book your free counseling session with us today!