GMAT vs. GRE - Which Test Should I Take?


Which test scores do graduate business schools accept?

Traditionally, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is used for admissions decisions in multiple graduate programs disciplines, while the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is used exclusively for admissions into graduate business schools. Most business schools require that a GMAT score is submitted.

However, LeBow found that many highly qualified applicants who had technical backgrounds and held advanced degrees in STEM fields had already taken the GRE as part of their application to these disciplines. Because of this LeBow accepts either the GMAT or GRE scores for admission into our MBA and MS degree programs. In fact, we were one of the first graduate business schools to accept the GRE in addition to the GMAT.

Particularly outside of the United States, we are seeing more applicants, for both masters of business administration and master of science programs submitting a GRE score rather than a GMAT score.

What’s the difference between the GRE and GMAT?

There are strong similarities in both standardized tests. Both include an analytical writing, verbal and math/quantitative sections.

The major difference is that the GMAT now includes a section called integrated reasoning, which measures a candidate’s ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources. These are the business analytics skills that employers are now demanding from their freshly minted MBA’s in our data-driven world.

Which test should I take?

While some programs do accept both the GMAT and GRE, if you are a first time test taker, consider taking the GMAT if available. The integrated reasoning score can’t hurt you but it can help in making an admissions decision.
Admissions reviewers look for a well-rounded application package and a standardized test score is just one component of this. A strong integrated reasoning score can enhance a mediocre GMAT score. If you score well in integrated reasoning, it shows the admission review committee that you probably have the quantitative and analytical skills to succeed in a quality MBA or MS in business program.

In the end, it is ultimately your choice.

John Adamski

Director, Graduate Admissions

John has over 30 years experience as a sales and marketing executive in the information management industry. As the Director of Graduate Admissions at LeBow, he has reviewed thousands of graduate school applications as a member of the admissions and scholarship review committees.