Which Is Easier GMAT or GRE: A Complete Guide


Students interested in pursuing MBA courses from top universities abroad have never been more global and diverse. And rightly so, as the global MBA is a gateway to well-equipped research facilities, excellent infrastructure, and enrichment of job opportunities. 


Traditionally, B-schools have trusted the GMAT score for admissions applications. However, with the increasing number of colleges accepting your GRE or the GMAT score, the uncertainty mounts as to which exam is better to take for an MBA? Before we deep dive into “Which to choose?”, let’s first understand the core difference between the two exams.


Difference between the GMAT and the GRE exam (GMAT vs GRE):

Accepted by Business Schools only Colleges offering diverse programs
Exam sections 4 3
Name of sections Analytical Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing
Format of test Computer-adaptive Section-adaptive
Marks criteria More difficult question carry higher marks All the questions in a section carry equal points


The GMAT exam is specifically designed for admissions to business schools worldwide. The GMAT exam consists of four sections: Analytical Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. It is a computer-adaptive test; the GMAT test questions are tailored to your ability level in real-time, which also implies that the more difficult the question is, the more marks it carries.


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The GRE, not being limited to a specific program, is a general test accepted by colleges offering diverse graduate programs. The three sections of the GRE are Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. It is a computer-based test that is section-adaptive, and all the questions in a section carry equal points, irrespective of their difficulty level.


The main reason B-schools have started considering the GRE scores is that it offers a more diverse talent pool. Since, the GMAT is only taken up by the aspirants of graduate business programs, unlike the GRE takers who come from distinct fields and backgrounds.


Now that you understand the difference between the two, here are the factors that you may consider while deciding if you should take the GMAT or GRE for MBA:

Which Is Easier GMAT or GRE: A Complete Guide

Know which score does your chosen school requires


Once you have decided to pursue an MBA from an international university, one of the primary things you must be aware of is about the test you should prepare for. First things first, reach out to your chosen Business schools and find out if they accept either the GMAT and the GRE or both scores for the admissions applications. If the school accepts both scores, there might be a possibility that they prefer one over the other, so the next step is to identify which has precedence to increase your odds of admissions to your chosen B-school.


Accordingly, you can start with your GMAT preparation online or the GRE prep and embark on your study abroad journey.


The difficulty level of the test:


Sections of the GRE vs GMAT exams are almost alike, but complexity levels are noted to be different in each. The GRE has a more difficult verbal section and an advanced focus on vocabulary when compared to the GMAT. In comparison, the GMAT focuses on grammar, reasoning and logic for most, making it easier for you with average language skills. The quantitative section in GRE is moderately easier than GMAT as the GRE focuses on number manipulation and quick number sense. The GMAT quantitative section is considered more difficult and requires a good hold on math. You must learn about the difficulty level of each section in the two exams before taking a plunge to GRE or GMAT preparation for MBA.


It is a good option to look out for expert guidance for the test preparation. You may find several consultants offering GRE, GMAT online coaching and offline classes, evaluate them based on their background, reviews, and your needs.


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Identify your strengths and weaknesses:


While both the exams are fundamentally the same in structure and character, at the same time, they are different in complexity levels of different sections. First, it is wise to understand your key strength areas and which test would be better suited for you. Identifying your weaknesses is equally important and it enhances your chances for a better decision and preparation strategy. Needless to say, if you play to your strengths, the chances of getting high scores are more, and your admissions chances to your dream college will be easier.

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is difficult at times and gets tricky. In that case, you may seek the help of a mentor who can show you the right direction. A GRE or GMAT online coaching consultant can be your guiding light throughout your admissions process and can support you with thorough GRE/ GMAT preparation – online or in person.


Which is easier, GMAT or GRE?

The difficulty level of the GMAT and GRE depends on an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and proclivities. So, there’s no universal or definitive response to this question, as some students might find GMAT easier, while others might perceive GRE to be easier. 

It is therefore important to research the syllabus, question pattern, competition, and scoring system for both these exams in detail before reaching a conclusion. For instance, GMAT scored 800, and as per the experts, a score above 700 is considered exceptionally good to secure admission to a top-tier B-school. Now, speaking about GRE, a composite score of over 320 will put an applicant in good standing for most reputable programs.

In essence, you need to compare and analyze various critical aspects regarding both these entrance exams and choose the one that you find suitable to achieve your career dreams and improve your admission odds. Good luck!


The bottom line


Selecting between the two exams is a step-by-step process. Firstly, ensure whether you want to pursue an MBA or may be interested in pursuing other graduate programs. Then, choose the colleges you want to apply for. Learn more about the test score your dream colleges accept for admission. If all of them accept just the GMAT, then you have your decision. If they accept both GRE and the GMAT, you may analyze the GMAT and GRE pattern, their difficulty level section-wise, and your strengths and weaknesses.

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If you’re still stuck in the process and do not know how to prepare for the GMAT or GRE for MBA, feel free to reach out to the team at LilacBuds. We are a digital-first study abroad consultant offering end-to-end personalized mentoring and guidance throughout the study abroad journey including, admissions consulting, test prep, and profile development.





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