More Business Schools Consider GRE

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It seems like every week or two, another business school is added to the list of those that consider the GRE in addition to the GMAT. The latest is New Mexico's Anderson School of Management. Bigger-name schools such as those at Stanford and MIT are already on the list.

A few months ago, I wrote about the difference between the GMAT and the GRE, and how that might affect your plan of attack as you apply to b-schools. Everything in that article is still true; many, many more programs will have to begin accepting GRE scores before there are major changes.

But since the topic has come up again, I'd like to share a bit more advice:

  • To reiterate from the older article: The GMAT is almost certainly the better test--scoring is more consistent and more highly correlated to performance in business school.
  • Business schools, even those that accept the GRE, are more familiar with GMAT scores and what they mean. It's much easier to get an 800 on the GRE than a 95th percentile math score on the GMAT--nearly 10% of GRE test-takers get a perfect math score. However, the curve is much steeper on Verbal. I'm sure some, maybe even most, admissions personnel are aware of the difference, but do you really want to trust that they'll understand that your 650 GRE Verbal (an excellent score) isn't equivalent to a 650 GMAT?
  • If you plan to take both tests, don't prepare for them simultaneously. While the Quantitative sections cover similar content, the Verbal material is very different. Studying for one test at a time is more than enough.
  • More specifically: Take the GMAT first. If you get a sufficiently high GMAT score (or close enough to convince you it's worth trying a second time), you can skip the GRE. If you do take the GRE, you have a head start, having just studied GMAT math.

I realize that in this article and the previous one, I am mostly negative about the GRE. It has nothing to do with the fact that my core business is GMAT-related (after all, I wrote The GRE Math Bible, too). It's clear to me, though, that the GMAT is the superior exam, and beyond that, most business-school applicants have quite enough on their hands without taking another test.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

Total GMAT Math

The comprehensive guide to the GMAT Quant section. It's "far and away the best study material available," including over 300 realistic practice questions and more than 500 exercises!
Click to read more.