GMAT vs. GRE: The Comparison

GMAT vs. GRE: The Comparison

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is designed to measure the verbal, mathematical, analytical writing skills and integrated reasoning skills of the aspirants for reputed business & management schools across the globe for more than 60 years. Around 20000 students take the GMAT exam every year.

The GMAT score is accepted by 7000 MBA and Masters Programmes in more than 110 countries including India. Formulation of the test is in such a manner that it manages to churn out the best talent by the arduous testing procedure which is quite unconventional in nature.

On the other hand, The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and Canada. The GRE is owned and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).The test was established in 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

 According to ETS, the GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning. The content of the GRE consists of certain specific algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and vocabulary sections.

Let’s Discuss GMAT vs. GRE






The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a global non-profit organization composed of 220 leading graduate business schools dedicated to GMAT around the world.

The Education Testing Service, Inc. (ETS) is a global non-profit educational assessment and measurement organization with a focus on general education.


The test is required for admission to most business schools.

The test is required for admission to most graduate schools and a growing number of business schools.


More than 200,000 business school candidates per year take the GMAT exam exclusively for application to graduate management education programs.

More than 550,000 graduate school candidates take the GRE exam per year, of which only 6% (about 33,000 students) take the GRE for admission to a graduate business program.

Test Structure

The GRE consists of a 60-minute Analytical Writing section - with two essays at 30 minutes each. There are two 30-minute Verbal Reasoning sections. There are two 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections. There's also a 30-35 minute experimental section that can be either math or verbal.

The GMAT consists of a 30-minute Analytical Writing section with one essay, a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, a 62-minute Quantitative section and a 65-minute Verbal section.

Test Format

Offered as a computer adaptive by section exam. Paper version only offered in areas of the world where computer-delivered testing is not available.

GMAT is a computer-adaptive test.

Score Range

Individual section scores + GMAT total score.

Overall scores range from 200-800 points in 10-point increments

Quant section scores range from 6-51, in 1-point increments

Verbal section scores range from 6-51, in 1-point increments

Analytical Writing Assessment scores range from 0-6, in half point increments

Integrated Reasoning scores range from 1-8, in 1-point increments

Individual section scores only.

Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 130-170 in one point increments

Writing score ranges from 0-6 in half point increments



For more than three decades, GMAC has been actively engaged in increasing diversity in business education. Recognizing diversity as a global business imperative, GMAC has invested more than $12 million in programs, organizations, and initiatives geared toward diversity pipeline development, leveraged to develop a strategy to increase URPs in the business school pipeline.

Educational Testing Service (ETS), the owner of the GRE, also is invested into increasing diversity but does not focus solely and specifically on graduate management education.

Total Test Time

3 hours and 7 minutes

3 hours and 45 minutes



ID verification includes a palm vein reader, signature and digital photo, valid identification, proctored and videotaped individual testing stations.

ETS does not use a palm vein reader at the test center.

GMAT vs. GRE: Points of Similarity

  1. Validity of scores

Both GMAT and GRE scores are valid for 5 years after the test date.

  1. Multiple test dates

Both the exams are held on multiple dates throughout the year and allow you to reschedule on demand.

  1. Test content

Quantitative sections of both the exams are based on high-school level concepts in algebra, arithmetic, geometry and data interpretation. However, the difficulty level and variation of GMAT’s quant is slightly higher than GRE’s.

GMAT vs. GRE: Points of Difference

  1. Test fee

GRE costs you USD 205 whereas GMAT’s test fee is slightly higher-USD 250.

  1. Adaptability

GMAT is question-adaptive for each section. If you answer one question correctly, the next one will be of a slightly greater difficulty level. GRE, on the other hand is, in-section-adaptive. There are two sub-sections within a section, say verbal; if you attempt the first sub-section correctly, the next sub-section is going to be of a higher difficulty level.

  1. Review of questions

Given the question-adaptive format of GMAT you cannot skip, return to or change your answers. However, GRE has no such restrictions.

  1. Analytical Writing

GMAT and GRE both have a 30-minute analysis-of-an-argument task in which you are expected to evaluate an author’s argument by assessing its claims and evaluating the given evidence. GRE has an additional analysis-of-an-issue task that requires you to construct your own argument by taking a stand and supporting it with evidence from the argument.

  1. Vocabulary

GRE is vocabulary intensive. More often than not, an average Indian test-taker will find words that they are unfamiliar with during the exam. Hence, developing a GRE-specific vocabulary during the training period is crucial.

GMAT primarily tests your critical reasoning and comprehension skills through passages and sentence correction questions. It doesn’t care much for your vocabulary.

  1. Quant with calculator

GRE allows you to attempt quant with a calculator. GMAT has no such provision because many of its questions require acuteness in estimation.

  1. Integrated Reasoning

GMAT’s integrated reasoning section (with 12 questions) is unique to it. It expects you to synthesise, combine and manipulate information presented in the form of charts, graphs, tables, etc.

Hope this post helped you wrap your head around the nuances of both these exams. Now it’s time to make an informed decision!

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