The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are both standardized tests commonly used by universities to assess the aptitude of graduate school applicants. These exams help graduate programs evaluate candidates and make admission decisions.
The GRE is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is widely accepted by graduate schools in various fields, including business, social sciences, and humanities. The exam assesses a student’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. The test is divided into three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.
On the other hand, the GMAT is specifically designed for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in business or management. The exam is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The GMAT assesses a student’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. The test is divided into four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning.
Both the GRE and GMAT are computer-based exams, and scores are typically valid for up to five years. The purpose of these exams is to provide an objective measurement of a student’s academic abilities and potential for success in a graduate program. Graduate programs use these scores as one factor among many in their admission decisions.
Comparison of GRE and GMAT
Exam structure and format:
The structure and format of the GRE and GMAT exams differ slightly. The GRE has six sections, including an unscored research section, while the GMAT has four sections. Both exams are computer-adaptive tests, which means that the difficulty of the questions adjusts to the student’s performance as they progress through the test.
The GRE consists of three main sections:
Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are each scored on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increments, while the Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments. The GRE also includes an unscored research section that can appear in any order after the Analytical Writing section.
The GMAT consists of four sections:
Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. The Analytical Writing Assessment is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments, while the Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning sections are each scored on a scale of 0-60 in one-point increments.
The content covered on the GRE and GMAT exams also differs slightly. The GRE focuses more on verbal and quantitative reasoning, while the GMAT has a greater emphasis on analytical and critical thinking skills.
The GRE Verbal Reasoning section assesses a student’s ability to understand and analyze written material, while the Quantitative Reasoning section assesses their ability to understand and apply mathematical concepts. The Analytical Writing section assesses a student’s ability to analyze and evaluate arguments and communicate their ideas effectively.
The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment section assesses a student’s ability to analyze and evaluate an argument, while the Integrated Reasoning section assesses their ability to integrate information from multiple sources and solve complex problems. The Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections assess similar skills as the GRE’s Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections.
The scoring system for the GRE and GMAT is also slightly different. The GRE has a total score range of 260-340, while the GMAT has a total score range of 200-800. Both exams use a computer-adaptive scoring system, which means that the difficulty of the questions adjusts based on the student’s performance.
The test duration for the GRE and GMAT also differs slightly. The GRE has a total test duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes, including a 10-minute break after the third section. The GMAT has a total test duration of 3 hours and 30 minutes, including two optional 8-minute breaks.
Considerations when choosing between GRE and GMAT
When deciding which test to take between the GRE and GMAT, there are several considerations that a student should take into account. These include the graduate program requirements, personal strengths and weaknesses, time and budget constraints, and test availability.
Graduate program requirements
The first consideration when choosing between the GRE and GMAT should be the requirements of the graduate programs to which the student is applying. Some programs may only accept one test, while others may accept both. It is important to check the requirements of each program before deciding which test to take.
Personal strengths and weaknesses
Another consideration when choosing between the GRE and GMAT is the student’s personal strengths and weaknesses. If a student excels in quantitative reasoning but struggles with verbal reasoning, they may do better on the GMAT. On the other hand, if a student excels in verbal reasoning but struggles with quantitative reasoning, they may do better on the GRE. It is important to assess one’s strengths and weaknesses before deciding which test to take.
Time and budget constraints
Time and budget constraints are also important considerations when choosing between the GRE and GMAT. The cost of the exams can vary, with the GMAT being slightly more expensive. Additionally, the cost of study materials and preparation courses should also be considered. The time required for preparation and taking the exam is also important. If a student has limited time available, they may want to choose the test that requires less preparation time.
Finally, test availability should also be considered when choosing between the GRE and GMAT. The GMAT is only offered at specific test centers, while the GRE is offered at more locations. If a student lives in an area with limited test center options, they may want to choose the test that is more widely available.
Overall, when deciding between the GRE and GMAT, it is important to consider the requirements of the graduate programs, personal strengths and weaknesses, time and budget constraints, and test availability. By carefully considering these factors, students can make an informed decision about which test to take.
Tips for preparing for the GRE or GMAT
Preparing for the GRE or GMAT exams requires time, effort, and a strategic approach. Here are some tips for preparing for the exams:
Familiarize yourself with the exam format and content: Before starting your preparation, it is essential to understand the exam format, question types, and the content covered on the exams. This will help you to create an effective study plan and identify your areas of strength and weakness.
Develop a study plan: Creating a study plan is essential to ensure that you cover all the content areas of the exam, and it helps you to stay on track. You can use online resources, study guides, and practice tests to develop a comprehensive study plan.
Take practice tests: Practice tests are an essential tool for exam preparation. They help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and simulate the actual testing environment. You can find official practice tests online, in study guides, and in exam preparation courses.
Focus on your weak areas: Once you have identified your areas of weakness, focus on them during your preparation. Spend extra time on these areas and utilize online resources, practice questions, and study guides to improve your skills.
Time yourself: Timing yourself during practice tests and study sessions helps you to simulate the actual exam environment and identify areas where you need to improve your time management skills.
Utilize study aids: There are numerous study aids available, such as flashcards, study guides, and online resources, that can help you to improve your skills and prepare for the exams.
Join study groups: Joining a study group can help you to stay motivated, learn from others, and share your knowledge. You can find study groups online or through your school.
Stay calm and focused: During the exam, it is essential to stay calm and focused. Take deep breaths, read the questions carefully, and don’t spend too much time on any one question. Remember to pace yourself, manage your time effectively, and stay focused on your goals.
Preparing for the GRE or GMAT exams can be challenging, but by following these tips, you can develop a study plan that works for you and improve your chances of success.