GMAT and GRE are both the most popular exams that are taken by the student every year who wish to pursue a Master’s program abroad. But which exam is preferable for your career and what are the differences between the patter, syllabi, and the sections in the two exams?

Here we’ll try to solve this problem by comparing the two most taken exams by students to help you choose the right one for yourself.

What is the eligibility criteria for appearing in GMAT & GRE?

The candidates that want to appear for any of the exams should be at least 18 years or above. As they are planning to give these exams for their master’s program, it is quite obvious that they need to hold on to a graduate degree. Both GMAT and GRE have the same specifications for the eligibility criteria.

Which schools accept GMAT and GRE scores?

Generally, your GMAT score is accepted by B-schools across different countries. Even India has started accepting GMAT scores for admission into B-schools. But the GMAT score is primarily considered by the B-schools only. Contrary to GMAT, your GRE scores are more widely accepted by the universities for the master’s programs, and they allow you to take admission across a range of subjects.

How long are GMAT and GRE scores valid for?

Both the GMAT and GRE scores remain valid for five years. Although these scores will not be a reflection of your skillset five years down the line, they are important as they are oftentimes considered by the companies at the time of your interview process.

Even though you could gain a lot of experience in the five years, it is worthy of getting better GMAT scores as they will not only help you get into your B-school but will also help you through the interview process for a job.

Duration of GMAT and GRE exams

The GMAT exam is a 210-minutes (3 hours and 30 minutes) long exam whereas GRE is a 225-minutes (3 hours and 45 minutes) long exam.

Method of taking Exam

GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test, which means that the computer stores your response and then prompts questions on the basis of your accuracy and efficiency. This helps in better testing the skills of the candidates as the questions asked in this manner ensures that the abilities are tested more effectively.

On the other hand, GRE can be attempted in any of the two ways: Paper delivered, or Computer-delivered. Thought the computer-delivered test is more popular among the students, but in the areas where these services are not available, the paper-delivered test is provided to the students.

Exam Structure

GMAT exam is divided into 4 sections. You are allowed to have two breaks of eight minutes each, and you can choose the order of the sections in which you wish to attempt the exam. The GRE exam is divided into 3 sections, and you can take a 10-minute break after you are done with two sections of the exam. Also, you do not get to choose the order of the sections in the GRE exam. You have to follow the pre-decided order.

The sections in both the exams are similar, but the difference lies in the distribution of the sections and the number of questions in these sections. Both of the exams consist of a writing test, quant section, and a verbal ability section.

There is only one writing section in GMAT, whereas GRE has two writing sections. The sections are further subdivided into the GRE exam, and so the number of questions in GRE is more than that of GMAT.

Scoring System

The GMAT scoring happens out of 800 based on the number of questions attempted and the negative scoring for the unanswered questions. The GRE scoring happens out of 340 wherein the marks are calculated on the basis of the attempted questions, and there is no negative marking for the attempted and incorrect answers, unlike GMAT.

Which of the two is more difficult?

Though the sections are quite similar for both the exams, but the difficulty level varies for both GMAT and GRE.

The verbal ability of the GRE exam not only tests the vocabulary of candidates by asking for the meaning of the words, but they also need to know about their usage in different types of sentences.

The difficulty level of this section increases with the usage of convoluted sentence structure and double negatives. The reading section of the GRE exam could be a normal and easy passage, or it could be a complex and verbose passage paired with difficult questions and close options.

In comparison, the verbal ability section in GMAT tests the usage and understanding of the grammar of the candidate and includes several sentence correction type questions. Given that the scope for learning English grammar is huge, the verbal section of GMAT is sometimes more daunting for candidates than GRE.

Though the syllabus for both the exams for the quantitative section is similar, the level of difficulty is quite different. GMAT is considered to have more difficult questions as compared to GRE. Also, GMAT does not allow the usage of the calculator in the exam, unlike GRE, and this also adds to the difficulty level of GMAT.

The time given per question in both the exams is different. GRE is a speed-based test, and even if the questions are a bit easier than the GMAT, the time is a constraint for the GRE and thus increases the difficulty.

In a nutshell, even though the quantitative ability questions in GMAT are difficult, and the grammar-based questions are more challenging than the vocabulary-based questions in GRE, the time constraint in GRE makes it difficult to attempt more questions in a lesser amount of time. Thus, you can take the mock tests for both the exams to see which one is more suitable for you according to your forte.

Stay connected with fellow students on PaGaLGuY for GRE exam preparation

Stay connected with fellow students on PaGaLGuY for GMAT Exam Discussions