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The Difference Between the GMAT & GRE

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
While the GMAT and the GRE are both admissions exams for students interested in pursuing a graduate level education, there are a few key differences between the two. Read on to learn about the tests and decide which is right for your education and career goals.

GMAT vs. GRE

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) both measure a graduate-level college applicant's readiness for post-baccalaureate studies. The GRE is applicable for graduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines, while the GMAT focuses on business and management programs. Both similarly test a student's analytical writing, verbal and quantitative reasoning acumen, but the GMAT's focus is on business-applicable skills. Until recently, the GMAT was the exclusive graduate admissions test for students applying to MBA or other graduate business programs. While some business schools still require GMAT scores, many now accept either GRE or GMAT scores in considering applicants for their graduate programs.

Snapshot of the Exams

Exam GMAT GRE
Structure 4 test sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal 3 test sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning
Advantage The most widely accepted and recognized graduate admissions test for business schools Flexibility for students who are pursuing a dual degree or who may not be certain of their desired degree
Scoring Composite range of 200 - 800; Analytical Writing range of 0 - 6 Verbal and Quantitative range of 130 - 170; Analytical Writing range of 0 - 6

Choosing the Right Test & Preparing for It

When deciding which test to take, graduate school applicants are advised to consider their certainty in the major they plan to pursue, along with the admissions requirements of the programs to which they plan to apply. Study.com's GRE Test: Practice & Study Guide and GMAT Test: Online Prep and Review courses, for example, offer videos, quizzes and self-paced lessons that provide students with an understanding of each exam.

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