Wharton | Mr. Investment Associate
GMAT 700, GPA 3.67
Kellogg | Ms. Public School Teacher
GRE 325, GPA 3.93
Darden | Mr. Tech To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Fund
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
INSEAD | Mr. Future In FANG
GMAT 650, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Officer
GRE 325, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Italian In Tokyo
GMAT (710-740), GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Reform
GRE 331 (Practice), GPA 2.92
Kellogg | Mr. IDF Commander
GRE Waved, GPA 3.0
Yale | Mr. Army Pilot
GMAT 650, GPA 2.90
Berkeley Haas | Mx. CPG Marketer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.95
Yale | Mr. Healthcare Geek
GMAT 680, GPA 3.5
USC Marshall | Mr. Low GPA High GMAT
GMAT 740, GPA 2.44
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Against All Odds
GMAT 720, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Hopeful
GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Consulting Hopeful
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Wharton | Mr. Senior Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Access To Opportunities
GRE 318, GPA 2.9
Tuck | Mr. Product Marketer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
London Business School | Mr. Midwest Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.69

Should You Take The GMAT Or GRE?

GRE or GMAT? Take the one that puts you in the best light.

Standardized testing is one of the least understood and most dreaded parts of the business school application process. Here are some of the most relevant factors to consider when deciding whether to take the GMAT or GRE.

  • Schools Accept Either Test.

With a very few exceptions, most domestic and international MBA programs accept either the GMAT or GRE. Although there used to be an unspoken preference for the GMAT (business schools had a better understanding of how to interpret the scores) that is not the case anymore. So, take the test that puts you in the best light.

  • Try Both Before You Decide.

One of the best ways to figure out where to invest your study time is to take full-length, timed practice tests of both exams. In addition to comparing your scores (there are conversion charts available online) be honest with yourself about which format is more intuitive.

  • The Quant is Easier On The GRE.

It’s not your imagination – the quant section is easier on the GRE. So, if you didn’t take many quantitative classes in college you might do better on the GRE. (Business schools pay particular attention to your quant score, since they want to make sure that you can handle core courses like stats and accounting.) However, please keep in mind that the admissions committee knows that it’s easier to get a 70th percentile quant score on the GRE than the GMAT, so they will be looking carefully at all indicators of your ability to excel academically.

  • The GRE Verbal Section Can Be Hard For Multilingual Candidates.

Conversely, the GRE verbal section has been shown to be disproportionately challenging for people who are multilingual, especially non-native English speakers. Also, there is a lot of vocabulary on the GRE, which can be challenging for some applicants, regardless of their native language.

  • Weak standardized test takers should strongly consider the GRE.

Business schools care about their rankings, and the average GMAT score is a big factor. While this could change at any time, the GMAT currently matters more in the rankings formula than the GRE. So, if a school wants to admit you but you have a below average GMAT, you will bring them down in the rankings. In many cases, applying with a below average GRE instead will allow them to admit you without taking a hit in the rankings.

Whatever you decide, give yourself enough time to take the test several times, if necessary. Most candidates take the exam at least twice. Also, it bears repeating that your standardized test score is just one part of your overall candidacy, so please don’t neglect the rest of your application. Your voice, your story and what you will contribute truly matters and can have a bigger impact than your GMAT or GRE score.


Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 14.6 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.

MORE FROM KAREN: MBA Admissions: Fact or Fiction, MBA Application MistakesAre you the perfect MBA Candidate?