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There are millions of aspirants out there who look to completely change their life and lifestyle by getting into a business school. The quest to learn business administration and make it big in life and career is real.

To emerge successfully, however, you need to plan systematically. You need to understand what you’re venturing into and how you intend to go about it. And being an admissions counselor, I can definitely help you out with your MBA ambitions. I have helped several students clear both GMAT and GRE and have a deep understanding of both the exams since I regularly crack them every now and then. Plus, I have cleared both the exams in their changing formats. So, you can stay assured that my advice comes from a place of experience.

Here, I’ll break down what GRE and GMAT mean and show you the bigger picture of what you need to do.

Meaning of GMAT and GRE


To cut things short, GMAT is exclusively to get admission to a business school. If you tell people you’re preparing for GMAT, the factual assumption would that you’re planning to go abroad for your MBA or a Master’s program in business administration, like a MiM or MS in Management Sciences.


GRE, on the other hand, is more like an entrance examination conducted to assess your eligibility to enroll to a graduate program. Though GMAT has more weight when it comes to getting selected for the program, a number of business schools these days are considering GRE scores as well. Also, it’s a general fact that GRE tests are comparatively easier to GMAT exams. If getting an MBA admission is not your primary goal but studying abroad is, GRE works. GRE will also help you get into STEM programs that have a focus on physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics or even psychology. There are subject-specific GRE tests that you will have to take, in case you are planning to go for these programs.

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Key Difference In Terms Of The Exams

For the uninitiated, GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admissions Test. The word management is present for a reason. When it comes to assessing the skills of aspirants, GMAT is more complex and is designed to reflect on the innate business skills of takers. The exam mostly revolves around data interpretation, table and chart interpretations, complex math problems and more. The test also involves a writing assessment.

If you’re planning to take GMAT, understand that it’s a computer-based test. The questions are thrown at you in increasing levels of difficulty. In simple words, based on how you answer the initial questions (right or wrong), the ones that follow are influenced. Unlike other competitive exams, you cannot review your answers after you’ve answered them.

GRE is not MBA-focused. It has less weight on your quantitative skills and even allows you to perform calculations using a calculator. However, the verbal section can be complex and more challenging than GMAT if English isn’t your first language. Rather than grammar, GRE lays more emphasis on your vocabulary.

GMAT and GRE Popularity

Business schools around the world accept your GMAT scores. This is mainly because of the way the assessment is designed. GMAT looks for people with analytical and business skills who can do the number crunching faster than opening a candy wrapper.

While GRE is accepted by over 1200 business schools across the globe. So, if you’re serious about your MBA ambitions and looking for a better scope at getting enrolled in a business school, I suggest you take up GMAT.

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Like mentioned earlier, if you have options between any other graduate program and MBA, take the GRE. Besides, I also suggest you take up special classes for your preparations because schools and colleges globally are becoming increasingly competitive.

On the other side of the spectrum, students are also becoming extremely competent by working on numerous skills. There are also people with work experience. While studying by yourself is good, you need to take up classes just to familiarize yourself with exam patterns. GMAT and GRE offer you just 3 hours 30 minutes and 3 hours 45 minutes respectively. You have four sections in each to crack the exam.

So, preparing strategically will help you land your dream program. Good luck!

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