Are you considering studying abroad? Not sure whether to take the GRE or the GMAT? Knowing about the tests and what they entail will help you make a more informed decision


What exactly is GRE?

GRE is an initial for Graduate Record Examination, a standardised exam offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), an independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to educational evaluation and research.

The ETS was founded in 1947 by the College Entrance Examination Board, the American Council on Education, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


How many kinds of GRE examinations are there?

There are two types of GRE examinations available:

  • GRE General Test for graduate institutions, including law and business
  • GRE Subject Tests assess your expertise in a specific subject of study

The GRE test that you will take will be designed for the specific needs and goals for taking the test.


Who takes the GRE examination?
  1. GRE General Exam

Those looking at study abroad possibilities and interested in pursuing one of the following overseas –

  • Master’s,
  • Specialized Master’s in Business,
  • MBA,
  • Doctoral Degrees, or
  • Juris Doctor (JD), an American law degree

GRE General scores are required by admissions panels to enhance your undergraduate records for studying overseas at the graduate level, providing institutions with a standard standard of comparison.

GRE General scores are accepted by many graduate, law, and business institutions throughout the world.

  1. GRE Subject Examinations

The GRE Subject Examinations are achievement tests that measure your knowledge in a single field of study. They are designed for students studying Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

Graduate students come from a variety of backgrounds. GRE Subject Tests provide an uniform baseline for assessing candidates’ qualifications and are approved by many graduate programmes.

Structure and GRE Exams

GRE General Test  GRE Subject Tests   
Total duration 3 hours and 45 minutes 2 hours and 50 minutes
Overview 6 sections (10-minute break after the third section) No separately timed sections
Structure Analytical Writing 

·         2 tasks

·         30 minutes per task

Chemistry Test 

130 multiple choice questions


Content Specifications

1.        Analytical Chemistry – 15%

2.        Inorganic Chemistry – 25%

3.        Organic Chemistry – 30%

4.        Physical Chemistry – 30%

  Verbal Reasoning

·         2 sections

·         20 questions per section

·         30 minutes per section


66 multiple choice questions


Content Specifications

Calculus – 50%

Algebra – 25%

Additional topics – 25%

  Quantitative Reasoning

·          2 sections

·         20 questions per section

·         35 minutes per section

An on-screen calculator is provided.

Physics Test 

100 five-choice questions


Content Specifications

1.        Classical Mechanics – 20%

2.        Electromagnetism – 18%

3.        Optics and Wave Phenomena – 9%

4.        Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics – 10%

5.        Quantum Mechanics – 12%

6.        Atomic Physics – 10%

7.        Special Relativity – 6%

8.        Laboratory methods – 6%

9.        Specialized topics – 9%

Test locations Can take the test either –

·         At home, or

·         At test centre


205 multiple choice questions


Content Specifications

1.        Biological (17-21%)

2.        Cognitive (17-24%)

3.        Social (12-14%)

4.        Developmental (12-14%)

5.        Clinical (15-19%)

6.        Measurement /Methodology/Other (15-19%)

Test dates  Can appear once every 21 days, up to five times within 365 days. Can be taken as often as they are offered. Registration for the year generally opens in July.


What exactly is the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an initials for the Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT, the most popular exam for students seeking to pursue MBA programmes, helps you stand out from the crowd throughout the admissions process.

A high GMAT score gives you an advantage over the competition.

The GMAT exam, created in 1953 by nine top business schools, is the first standardised examination designed solely for business school admissions.


Who gives out the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a nonprofit network of top graduate business schools, administers the GMAT.


Who accepts the GMAT?

GMAT scores are recognised by over 6,500 graduate business programmes at about 2,100 colleges and businesses worldwide.


Why should you take the GMAT?

The GMAT, a reliable predictor of your capacity to succeed in a programme, communicates to business schools that you want to pursue a graduate business degree. The GMAT assesses reasoning and critical thinking abilities.

That is, the skills that are most relevant to graduate business schools throughout the world.


How many different kinds of GMAT examinations are there?

While there is just one GMAT Test, you can take it in a Test Center or online.

GMAT at a Test Center vs. GMAT Online

Features At Test Centre  GMAT Online 
Duration Three hours and seven minutes, plus an additional 30 minutes for check in
Structure Four sections, to be completed as per the order of choice.

Analytical Writing Assessment 

30 minutes, one question

Analysis of an argument.


Integrated Reasoning 

30 minutes, 12 questions

·         Graphics interpretation

·         Multi-source reasoning

·         Table analysis

·         Two-part analysis

Quantitative Reasoning

62 minutes, 31 questions

·         Data sufficiency

·         Problem solving

Verbal Reasoning 

65 minutes, 36 questions

·         Sentence correction

·         Critical reasoning

·         Reading comprehension

Appointment availability Available seven days a week, can be scheduled up to six months in advance. Available round the clock.
Score ·         Unofficial score will be displayed on screen upon completion of the exam.

·         Official scores can generally be viewed online within seven calendar days

Attempts  Can make up to five attempts within a 12-month rolling period. A total of eight lifetime GMAT attempts are available.
Score validity Scores are valid for five years.


Is the GRE or GMAT easier?

The GRE is typically thought to be objectively easier than the GMAT. The exam you should take should be one that fully reflects your personality and is focused on your specific strengths.

While both the GRE and the GMAT cover almost the same arithmetic subject, the GMAT places a greater focus on logical reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning. The GRE may not be effective for business schools if it is administered in the traditional manner and focuses on textbook math.

The GRE test allows you to flip between sections while answering questions. The GMAT, on the other hand, demands you to answer each question in the sequence in which it is presented.

When taking the GMAT, you will not be allowed to return to a question that has already been answered. As a result, the GRE may be simpler for people who experience performance anxiety.


(Image Source:- Google)


Should I take the GRE or the GMAT?

Both are the widely-accepted tests for MBA and business master’s admissions. The GMAT is designed specifically for business schools. The GRE is a broad graduate school test that is accepted by many non-business graduate schools.

For students considering MBA as part of their study abroad plans, taking the GMAT is often the favoured option.

Simply simply, take the GMAT to demonstrate that you are serious about your career.

Why can’t you compare your GRE and GMAT scores?

There is no recognised equivalence between the GRE and the GMAT because they are separate assessments that examine different material. The GMAT is designed for business schools. The GRE is a generic test that is not specific to any subject of study.

While there are certain methods that can estimate GMAT results based on GRE scores, they are frequently proven to be erroneous.


What are the many kinds of business degrees?

Among the most common business degrees are:


  • MBA programmes are available in the following formats: Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA, Executive MBA, and Online MBA.
  • Business master’s degree, for recent bachelor’s graduates or those with a few years of job experience. Master of Marketing, Master of Business Analytics, Master of Management, and so forth.
  • Business degrees based on research for professionals in their early to mid-career. Business PhD, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and so on.


Is it worthwhile to attend business school?

According to the publication Is Business School Worth It: The Transformative Power of a Graduate Business Degree on “Most business school graduates see an immediate professional payoff for their degree, as well as sustained professional growth over time.”

Quick summary

  • 87 percent of graduates said their business degree improved their employability.
  • 76 percent of alumni believed that their business school experience qualified them for positions of leadership.
  • 83% of programmes provide merit-based scholarships.
  • Three months following graduation, 87 percent of full-time MBA graduates got employment offers.
  • 70% of alumni thought that their business school experience qualified them to operate in multicultural organisations.
  • Employees with a graduate business degree earn more than others in their employer, according to 70% of recruiters.

A high GMAT score might help you gain admission to the business school of your choice. GRE results are accepted at business schools worldwide and can also be used to gain admission to graduate and professional institutions, including law.


Other Frequently Asked Questions

Do universities favour the GRE or the GMAT?

Business schools need prospective students to take either the GMAT or the GRE, depending on the subject of study to which they are applying. Unless otherwise specified, you can generally submit either a GRE or a GMAT score.

Is the GRE required for an MBA?

Yes, GRE scores are acceptable for MBA schools overseas. Among the top US colleges that accept GRE scores for business degrees are –

  • Harvard University (MBA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MBA STEM)
  • Stanford University (Master of Business Administration)
  • Arizona State University (Full Time MBA)
  • Pace University (MBA in Business Analytics)
  • Purdue University (Full-time MBA)
  • Columbia University (MBA)


Is the GRE score relevant in India?

GRE scores are recognised by several business schools in India for admission to some or all of their MBA programmes.

The following Indian business schools accept GRE scores:

  • Indian Institute of Management Lucknow IPMX (Noida Campus)
  • Xavier Labour Relations Inst XLRI
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University)
  • Indian Institute of Management Udaipur
  • JECRC University
  • Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (ePGP)
  • Indian Institute of Management Raipur (FPM)
  • Institute of Management Technology
  • Indian School of Business
  • Woxsen School of Business
  • Universal Business School
  • Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode
  • Jagdish Sheth School of Management
  • Aryans Business School
  • BITS School of Management
  • Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
  • P. Jain Institute of Management and Research
  • Varanasi College of Management Science
  • Sharda University School of Business Studies
  • Amrita School of Business Bengaluru
  • International School of Management Excellence
  • Peoples Education Society
  • Lovely Professional University & MBA
  • Aegis School of Business
  • Myra School of Business
  • Global School of Management
  • Ahmedabad University
  • Alliance University, School of Business
  • Amrita School of Business Amritapuri
  • IIKM Business School
  • Galgotias University School of Business
  • Amrita School of Business Coimbatore
  • Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (ePGP)
  • Amrita School of Business Kochi
  • Asia Graduate School of Business
  • Indian Institute of Management Visakhapatnam (PGP-DGM/PGPEx)


Is the GRE recognised in Canada?

Yes, the GRE is acceptable in Canada. GRE-accepting business schools in Canada –

  • Brock University
  • Cape Breton University (Community Economic Development)
  • Carleton University
  • Concordia University
  • Dalhousie University (MBA in Financial Services)
  • HEC Montreal
  • Ivey Business School Toronto
  • Lakehead University
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • Queens University School of Business
  • Mary’s University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of New Brunswick – Fredericton
  • University of Quebec at Rimouski
  • University Canada West
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of New Brunswick — Saint John
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Western Ontario
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • York University


Is the GRE exclusively for the USA?

No. GRE is not just for Americans. GRE scores are accepted by business schools worldwide.

GRE scores are accepted in the following countries: the United States and its territories, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland, among others.


How long is the GRE valid?

Your GRE scores will be valid and reportable for five years from the date of your test.