Comparison Between GMAT and GRE

Students have often been confused while deciding between GMAT and GRE, Business Week’s Francesca Di Meglio called it something very similar to the Coke vs. Pepsi debate. Both tests have their backers and naysayers.

Hate math? Take GRE. Want to appear more focused toward your MBA? Go with GMAT. This appears to be the most common belief amongst people who know the system and even those who don’t. So, which one then? The GMAT or the GRE? Shall we find what shoe fits?

Here is a comparison between Exam structures of GMAT and GRE



60-minutes’ Analytical Writing 30-minutes’ Analytic section (one essay)
Two essays (30 minutes each) 30-minute Integrated Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning section, (two 30-minute parts). 75-minute Quantitative section
Quantitative Reasoning (two 35 minute parts) 75- minute Verbal section
30-35 minute experimental section (math or verbal.) NA


Before we pour over the pros and cons, let us look at test structures a bit to understand what we are undertaking.

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As you see GRE focuses more on writing while GMAT focuses more on analytical skills, so if you are to keep your options open to all graduate schools, you know what to consider.

Both scores are viewed without bias. GMAT is strictly a Management Aptitude Test. GRE offers a wide array of subject tests including Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Literature in English; Mathematics; Physics; and Psychology. Hence, for people who want to keep diverse options open, GRE is the test to take. It opens more avenues and shuts none.


That said, GMAT doesn’t actually shut avenues. It is just not meant to be all inclusive like GRE is. In fact up until very recently. So, after all, the choice to make is solely yours. It depends on what you want to pursue in the end. Are you dead set on getting an MBA? Then don’t let the Math scare you. Tighten up your laces and go for the GMAT.


If you want to explore, and are good at writing, because if you look at the GRE pattern, there will be a lot of it. Want to pursue a career in English Literature or Psychology, or Chemistry? GRE is the test you take. While GMAT will do nothing for you there, GRE guarantees you an opportunity to apply and get through to the graduate schools that you seek.

While the differences in acceptances have been discussed, let us look at what matters:

– Both tests are conducted multiple times a year.

– Scores are valid for 5 years.

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