GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Darden | Ms. Environmental Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Go-Getter
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Global Healthcare
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Airline Developer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.48
HEC Paris | Ms Journalist
GRE -, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Social Impact To Tech
GMAT -, GPA 3.5
Tuck | Mr. First Gen Student
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. First Gen Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD Explorer
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Automotive Project Manager
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Honor Roll Student
GRE 320, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthtech Venture
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Social Entrepreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Industry Switch
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. Irish Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10

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.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.