69% Of B-Schools Now Accept GRE Scores

Source: Kaplan Test Prep survey of MBA admission officers

Seven of every ten business schools now give MBA applicants the option of submitting test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) instead of the GMAT, according to a survey of admission directors by Kaplan Test Prep published today (Dec. 13). Kaplan said 69% of business schools now accept the GRE in lieu of the GMAT, up from only 24% of business schools in 2009 when the test prep company began tracking the issue.

The survey showed that still more schools expect to accept the GRE. About 17% of the 31% of remaining holdouts told Kaplan they are likely to begin accepting the GRE for the next admissions cycle. That would bring the total number of schools that accept the GRE to 86% (see chart at right). Almost all the top 25 U.S. business schools, including Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, now accept the GRE. This fall the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business began accepting GRE scores, leaving U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School the only top ten MBA program that is an exception.

Kaplan found, however, that although more MBA programs are offering the GRE alternative to prospective students, a minority of applicants apparently are taking the option. Roughly half of the business schools surveyed (46%) say fewer than 1 in 10 applicants submitted a GRE score this past admissions cycle. About 44% said that 10% or more of their applicants are now providing a GRE score rather than a GMAT.


One reason is that the gain in business school acceptance of the test is still relatively recent so there would understandably be a lag in its use. Another reasons, however, is that while the majority of business schools (69%) say scores from both tests are viewed equally, 29% say that applicants who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score, according to Kaplan.

“As long as business schools signal the slightest advantage in taking the GMAT, it’s hard to see more applicants going the GRE route,” said Andrew Mitchell, Kaplan Test Prep’s director of pre-business programs. “Our advice to students: take the GMAT if you plan to apply only to business school, but if you’re unsure whether your path will take you to graduate school or business school, consider taking the GRE.”

Some MBA admission consultants, however, have advised clients who have had trouble with the GMAT to take the GRE instead. Schools, they reason, might be unwilling to accept a lower GMAT score due to sensitivity over some rankings, such as U.S. News & World Report, which include average GMAT scores to rank schools. But they may more readily accept a lower GRE because those scores are not included in business school rankings.


Kaplan also found admission officers less than enthusiastic about GMAT’s new integrated reasoning (IR) section. Asked if they thought the addition of the IR section made the GMAT exam more reflective of the business school experience, 49% of the respondents said they weren’t sure and 10% said no. Some 41% of the admissions officers said yes. A still smaller percentage–36%–thought the IR section made the GMAT “more reflective of work in business and management after business school.”

Only 3% of the admission officers told Kaplan that the new section was “very important” in their evaluation of GMAT performance by applicants this year. Some 54% of the officers were undecided when they were polled earlier this year, while 24% said it was not very important or not at all important. About 19% of the responding admissions staffers thought it would be “somewhat important.” One thing holding back the full use of the IR section is the fact that only a relatively small percentage of this year’s applicant pool will have an IR score. That’s because applicants can submit GMAT scores that are up to five years old.

Kaplan said admissions officers from 265 MBA programs,  including 17 of the top 25 programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, were polled by telephone in August and September this year.


  • This is promising for sure to all to have the admission in terms of finding the best school. Previously it was tough situation for the maximum students to make their mark in the campus with gmat but including gre will be much better tactics for smoother access in educational belongings in the school.

  • arshad

    only gre ??????/

  • ETS, the company that owns the Graduate Record Exam, has a flash-based tool to convert GMAT scores. To specifically answer your questions…

    1. 90th percentile on GRE is 162 in both categories, totaling 324. ETS considers that equal to a 700 GMAT score. As for school interpretation, it could vary…

    2. I looked at several different school websites, they sometimes mention GRE ranges, but do not mention numbers of successful applicants with GRE.

    Hope this info helps a little bit…

  • bSkulDood

    Um… no…

    Check the GMAT/GRE correspondences as implemented by ETS. You’ll quickly see that the means achieved on the GMAT correspond to low scores on the GRE.

  • cool post about GRE math score

  • it is very good news

    GMAT Raw scores

  • Perma

    I disagree

  • I think that getting a high percentile score on the GRE is significantly easier than getting the same percentile score on the GMAT simply because the GMAT math is so absurdly tricky and b-school applicants tend to be better at math than the general pool of folks who apply to graduate school broadly.

  • Curious

    John, McDonough does not accept GRE for the FT program.

  • Curious

    I know this information is not readily available, but can someone offer some insight:
    1. What’s a competitive GRE score for someone looking to get into a top 15 school? I know when applying to grad programs in engineering the the verbal section isn’t as important for top 10 programs. I also know this isnt the case for B-schools. Would the same 80%+ maxim hold true here or would you likely need something like 88-90%+?

    2. Of these top 15 schools, approximately how many GRE taking appilcants did they accept last year?

  • Andy

    Your 2013 projection calculation seems quite off. From what you have stated – 17% of the remaining 31%, the 2013 projection should be closer to 75%.

  • it is good news to accepted 69% Of B-Schools GRE math score

  • JohnAByrne

    Thanks Prusd. Just checked and you are absolutely right. Made the correction in the story immediately.

  • prusd

    As I understand it, Chicago Booth did start accepting GRE scores for its MBA program this fall. I believe HAAS is still the remaining holdout, but I might be mistaken about that