Is GRE A Viable Alternative for GMAT to Study Abroad?

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To study abroad, the most widely accepted test scores for admissions to premier colleges abroad are that of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). GRE or Graduate Record Examination is preferred for graduate courses and by business schools.

Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT, as the name suggests, is accepted only for admissions to Business Schools. More than lakhs of students take both this exam.

So, is GRE a viable option for GMAT to study abroad? As a student or a test taker, it is important to first analyze the two and then decide which one is a better alternative on the basis of their needs.

Also, before scrolling down take a look at some recent initiatives taken by both the exam authorities:

GRE: ETS, the administering body, has opened up an option for candidates to give the test from the comfort of their homes. Each candidate will be overseen by ProctorU.

GMAT: All rescheduling fees have been waived off due to the ongoing global pandemic. GMAT 2020 can also be taken online at home. The online test fee is 200 USD. Till 31st December, aspirants can schedule the exam.

Which exam is suitable for colleges abroad – GRE or GMAT tests?

The very first step to determine if GRE or GMAT will be appropriate to get admission into a world-class institute abroad is to make up your mind as to which course or degree you are willing to pursue.

If you want to take up, say, a Master’s in Physics, or any such graduate degrees, it is better to start preparing for GRE. Not only for graduate courses, but this exam is also accepted for doctoral degrees in Law and Business Schools.

Nonetheless, GMAT, as mentioned earlier, is accepted in only business schools across the globe. Now the question is if business schools receive both tests, then which one is a better choice for colleges abroad?

Which test should be your preference? Read further, and hopefully, you will find an answer that will help you make the right decision.

GMAT and GRE tests: Comparison

GRE exam and GMAT, both are conducted year-round. Candidates have to choose their preferred exam date or make an appointment for it. Scores are considered valid for up to 5 years from the date of the test. 

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GMAT Test Pattern

Sections No. Of Questions Topics Time Score Range
Analytical Writing (AWA) 1 Analysis of an argument 30 minutes 0 – 6
Integrated Reasoning 12 Graphics interpretation, Table analysis, Multi score reasoning, Two-part analysis 30 minutes 1 – 8
Quantitative Reasoning 31 Data Sufficiency, Problem-solving 62 minutes 6 – 51
Verbal Reasoning 36 Reading Comprehension, Critical analysis, the  Sentence correction 65 minutes. 6 – 51

Candidates are given three options of the chronology of sections in which they would like to give their tests. This allows them to state their preferences on the basis of their strengths or weaknesses. The options available are:

  • Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, AWA
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, AWA

The difficulty level of questions increases with every right answer marked in the previous question. The total score in GMAT ranges between 200 – 800 and 710 is considered to be a good score. In this test, scores increase in a 10 points interval.

GRE Exam Pattern

Subjects Sections No. Of questions Topics Duration Score Range
Analytical Writing 1 2 tasks Analyze an issue and an argument 30 minutes per task 0 – 6
Verbal Reasoning 2 20 per section Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, Sentence equivalence 30 minutes per section 130 – 170
Quantitative Reasoning 2 20 per section Quantitative comparison, Numeric entry, Data interpretation, Problem-solving 35 minutes per section 130 – 170
Unidentified or Research section 30 – 35 minutes Unscored

In GRE, unlike GMAT, scores increase by 1 point interval. The combined score is 260 – 340, and 329 is a good score.

GRE and GMAT: Interesting Facts

Graduate Management Admission Test

  • More than 2 lakh candidates appear for GMAT across the globe every year.
  • Over 2300 B-schools receive the scores of the test.
  • Seven thousand programs in business schools use this exam score.
  • GMAC takes the test across 114 countries in about 650 test centers.

Graduate Record Examination

  • More than 8 lakh students appeared for the exam in 2019; this figure has been noticed to be increasing gradually every year.
  • ETS organizes the GRE exam in more than 160 countries in 1000+ centers.

Which test is more difficult?

Is GRE A Better Alternative to GMAT to Study Abroad in 2021?Out of GRE and GMAT, which one is more difficult? This is a question lingering on all candidates’ minds. It all depends on their perspective.

It is said that GMAT Math and Verbal is tougher than GRE. The main objective is to score higher irrespective of the test you are taking.

If you have a strong grip over Quantitative Reasoning, it won’t be difficult for you to solve GMAT Quant.

It must be remembered that the Verbal section in the Graduate Record Examination emphasizes grammar, while in the other exam, the emphasis is more on vocabulary.

So, if you are struggling with vocabulary, then Graduate Record Examination will naturally feel more difficult. It is better to take sample tests available on the official websites before making your final call.

Is GRE a viable alternative to GMAT to study abroad?

It can be said that the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are alternatives to each other only in case you are aiming for business degrees like MBA.

To study other courses, the only option you have is GRE. If you are not sure about the course you want to pursue or want to keep your ways open for the future, then you should go for the Graduate Record Examination. 

It is advisable that candidates test themselves, analyze their comfort level, positives, and negatives, check which exam can help them score better, and then decide.

Many colleges state that they openly receive both GRE and GMAT scores. In such cases, research well about the tests accepted in those universities or institutes, if they are the ones you desire to get into and then proceed.

This whole procedure completely depends on the student’s decision, so be very cautious and wise in this process.

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