GRE vs GMAT- Which one to choose?

GMAT and GRE are the two most widely accepted admission tests for MBA and master’s programs. However, it can be difficult for students to choose in the GRE vs GMAT dilemma. Knowing the differences between both the exams can help you decide according to your needs. Although the key factor in the GMAT vs GRE debate is the type of the course, there are other important differences as well. 

GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is for students seeking admission exclusively in any global business school. Around 2,100 international universities accept the GMAT score for their admission process for over 6,000 programs. But GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required to gain admission into a wide range of graduate programs across the globe.

Although many business schools have started accepting GRE scores, many others still accept GMAT scores only. Top institutions including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT, NYU, and Duke have started accepting the GRE scores and many others are likely to follow suit. It’s always wise to look at the individual parameters and differences of both tests. Aspirants should also check with the institutions to know if they need GRE or GMAT for MBA admission. 

Let’s delve deeper into the differences between both exams, their  structures, scores, and requirements by comparing the 6 key differences of both the exams. 

GMAT vs GRE: Differences in the Structure 

The evaluation process of the GRE consists of three parameters – Analytical, Mathematical, and Verbal Skills. Similarly, the structure of the GMAT exam is divided into four sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Skills. 

GMAT vs GRE: Differences in the Scoring

Knowing the eligibility and required scores for respective universities and programs can help you decide if you should take the GRE or GMAT for MBA. Both the GMAT and GRE scores are valid for 5 years. The range of score you need for GMAT is within 200 – 800 in 10 points increment. While for GRE the required score range is 130 – 170 in 1 point increment. 

Sections GMAT Score GRE Score
Analytical  0-6  (half-point increments) 0-6  (half-point increments)
Verbal /Quantitative 6 – 51 (scaled score) 130 – 170; 1 point increment
IR 1-8 Not Applicable
Total 200-800 (ten points increment)  240-360

You should know the nitty-gritty of the scoring system to score well in both the exams. Students with great quantitative and strong analytical skills tend to do well in the GMAT. Cracking GMAT quantitative reasoning  can be a bit challenging for those struggling with math. Therefore, it is advisable for students to be efficient in solving complex problems with the help of data to choose the GMAT. On the other hand, students with strong vocabulary skills are best suited for GRE as it chooses aspirants based on their vocabulary and verbal skills. 

GMAT Vs GRE: Verbal Sections

The verbal section is different for both GRE and the GMAT. While GMAT tests the grammar and comprehension skills of a student, the verbal GRE test is more about vocabulary. Your knowledge of complex and unusual words will be preferred in GRE. 

Segments GMAT GRE
Total Verbal segments 1 2
Total Verbal segments 41 40 (20 questions per section) 
Duration  75 minutes 60 minutes (30 minutes per section) 
Topics Structure  Reading Comprehension

Critical Reasoning

Sentence Correction

Reading Comprehension


Sentence Equivalence

Scores 0-60 130-170

GMAT vs GRE: Quantitative Sections

The GMAT Quant is known to be more difficult than GRE Quant. Problem-solving skills are gauged in GMAT Quant tests and the data sufficiency questions in GMAT can be quite difficult too. Also, one should know that GRE allows applicants to use calculators and GMAT does not, although GMAT quant questions are tougher.

Sections GMAT  GRE
Total Quantitative Sections 2 (Quant and Integrated Reasoning)  2
Total Quantitative Questions 49 (Quant-37, Integrated reasoning-12)  40 (20 per section) 
Duration 105 minutes

(Quant-75 minutes

Integrated Reasoning-30 minutes) 

60 minutes (30 minutes per section)
Topics of Tests Quantitative (Problem-solving, GMAT Data Sufficiency) 

GMAT Multi-Source Reasoning: GMAT Two-Part Analysis, GMAT Table Analysis, GMAT Graphics Interpretation

GRE Arithmetic

GRE Geometry

GRE Algebra

GRE Data Sufficiency

Score Range Quantitative-0-60

Integrated Reasoning-1-8


GMAT vs GRE: Analytical Writing

The GMAT analytical writing section is a single essay that has to be written in 30-minutes. It is business or economy related as GMAT is for admissions into business schools. Whereas, there are 2 questions in GRE which need to be completed in 60 minutes (30 minutes each). GRE is a preferred choice for students with good writing skills. Aspirants with great analytical writing skills in economics, business, and finance, should appear for the GMAT. 

Sections GMAT GRE
Total Writing Sections 1 1
Total Essays per section 1 2
Duration 30 minutes 60 minutes (30 minutes per section) 
Topics Argument Analysis Issue Analysis

Argument Analysis

Score Range 0-6 0-6

GMAT vs GRE: Which is easier?

The difficulty level of both GMAT and GRE varies according to the type of tests and sections. 

Those with great quantitative and analytical skills do great in the GMAT. The GMAT Math section can be difficult for students struggling with quants as GMAT math is a bit advanced. Therefore, students good at solving complex problems with the help of data, charts, tables, and texts should take the GMAT. However, those with strong vocabulary skills and acumen in expressive analytical writing can excel in GRE. Therefore, GRE can be a little challenging for non-native English speakers as its verbal section is a bit arduous. Although many claim GRE to be easier, the abundant availability of GMAT study materials helps students to prepare systematically for the exam. 

Considering all these advantages, disadvantages, and structure of both the exams, students can make an informed decision by gauging and comparing each detail.

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