GMAT Vs. GRE
Hey there, you proud graduate students-to-be,
Since you are here, you are probably in front of your biggest decision up to this moment and, I don’t want to sound scary, but brace yourselves, hard times are coming! Getting into University marks your professional, emotional path and your life in general. Whatever happens afterward, now you should think twice (or like a thousand times) before taking any decision.
And, since we are talking about decisions, let’s mark some info about the biggest obstacles to your “Congratulations you are admitted” letter – GMAT and GRE. This time we won’t go into details, but sketch the baselines that these two potential nightmares represent.
The official GMAT site is www.mba.com. Its domain name isn’t a coincidence because if you are considering an MBA, the Universities you have chosen will probably use the GMAT for an entry exam. However, if you want to pursue an MBA but you are not comfortable with math (And here we are not saying that GRE’s math is easy, because I can assure you it is not), and the University institution you have chosen, offer the option to choose between both exams, you could give the GRE a shot.
But let’s go back to the GMAT. The test registration is on-site, and the scheduling fee is $250. You may retake the GMAT exam once every 16 days, no more than five times a year and eight times total. Take into account that Business schools usually have much bigger tuition fees and fewer options for scholarships, because MBAs are usually preferred by business persons who want to obtain an additional degree, so it is considered that they have much more financial freedom and options.
The exam consists of two main question sections – Quantitative sections (37 questions), and Verbal sections (41 questions), for 75 minutes each. In addition, there is one Analytical writing assessment that you should develop for 30 minutes, and an Integrated reasoning question, consisting of 12 questions you should solve for another 30 minutes.
GMAT’s competitor, the GRE is exam provided by the ETS (www.ets.com). Its scope is much wider, because it is used for all other graduate schools, and there are also business schools that could admit you with a GRE. The exam fee is $195. About the sections, what we have there are also four sections, Quantitative (two sections with a total of 40 questions for 30 minutes for each section), Verbal (same number of questions, sections, and timing) and two analytical writing tasks (one issue and one argument) for 30 minutes for each task. Here, we have also one unscored section (another 30 minutes) that could be quantitative or verbal and its results are used for testing new GRE questions. The retake policy is similar, once every 21 days and no more than five times a year.
With the GRE, there is also an option for a paper-based test, while the GMAT is computer-based only. However, not all test locations provide the paper-based option, so it is not a huge difference. The timing of both exams is similar, as well as the periods of validity – the results of both exams are valid for 5 years. In revision, harder math questions, integrated reasoning with questions instead of an essay and bigger fee on GMAT, more vocabulary, and writing on the GRE.
In the next sequence of articles (GRE Maths Vs. GMAT Math and GRE Verbal Vs. GMAT Verbal), we will go in depth with more info about each section, and which other factors you should consider before taking you final decision. Whichever you choose, take a deep breath, and go for it! Take it twice if needed, but never give up on your dream. Take some other reads first, and build your perfect strategy, because this is what university applications really are, besides knowledge, of course.