Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Harvard | Mr. Public Finance
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Startup
GRE 327, GPA 3.35
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Almost Ballerina
GRE ..., GPA ...
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Darden | Mr. Engineer Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3

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?