GRE vs GMAT: Which Exam Should You Take?


10 mins read7K Views
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jun 19, 2023 13:19 IST

GMAT vs GRE: Every applicant faces the daunting task of selecting the appropriate exam, GMAT or GRE. In this comprehensive analysis, you will come to know about the difference between GRE and GMAT. We will compare both exams so that you can conclude which exam is best suited to your needs. The GRE full form is Graduate Record Examination and the GRE exam is accepted in most Graduate schools globally and especially in the United States. Whereas, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is accepted in most Business Schools across the globe, preferably in the United States.

In this post, we will tell you the difference between GMAT and GRE and how both exams differ from each other and also we will answer all your queries related to GMAT GRE. Students should do thorough research about the schools before applying, so they can figure out which exam is appropriate for them. Always remember that it is the university and not the country that requires GMAT GRE scores. You can check the complete list of schools that accept the GRE at their official website. Therefore, students should research their preferable schools and check the range of scores they require to get admission.


Difference between GRE and GMAT: You can evaluate which exam caters best to your requirements. Apart from evaluating these two exams, we suggest you conduct thorough research about the eligibility criteria of the universities and programmes you are targeting. Also, always check which career you want to pursue as many employers also consider the test scores in job applications. Now after analyzing all the nitty-gritty of both exams, you are good to go to give your career the long-needed jump.

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Key Highlights for GMAT vs GRE




Full form

GMAT full-form Graduate Management Admission Test

GRE full form Graduate Record Examinations

Conducted by

Graduate Management Aptitude Test conducted by GMAC is a standardized & computerized adaptive test that is generally accepted for entrance to B-schools across the world

Graduates Record Examination, conducted by ETS is a standardized aptitude test for admissions to post-graduate degree courses around the world

Accepted by/ for

All reputed business schools for admission to its postgraduate programs in management

All reputed universities for a variety of postgraduate degree programs including management

Test Structure

Analytical Writing Section with one essay (30 minutes)
Quantitative Section (62 minutes)
Verbal Section (65 minutes)
Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes)

Analytical Writing Section with 2 essays (75 minutes)
2 Verbal Sections (30 minutes each)
2 Quantitative Sections (35 minutes each)
Experimental Section (either Verbal or Quantitative) (30 minutes)

Test Format

Computerized adaptive test

Both paper and computerized adaptive formats are available

Score Range

200 - 800 in 10-point increment

130 - 170 in 1 point increment

Score Validity

5 years

5 years


$275 (GMAT taken at a test centre)

$300 (Online GMAT exam at home)



After every 16 days to a maximum of 5 attempts in a 12-month period and 8 attempts in one's lifetime

After every 21 days to a maximum of 5 attempts in a year (continuous rolling 12-month period from the beginning of the first test)

Having learnt about a broad comparative analysis of GMAT and GRE exams, students may also want to read the following links:

GMAT or GRE, which is a better choice for MBA colleges abroad? When to start preparing for GMAT/GRE?

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GRE Exam 

As mentioned earlier, GRE full form is Graduate Record Examination and the GRE exam is attempted by students who want to get admission to graduate schools. Students applying to graduate schools in order to pursue a Masters of Science (MS)MBA or PhD courses appear for this exam. It is a computer-based test. Earlier, potential MBA students did not have any choice other than GMAT, but now, even the top-graded schools like Stanford UniversityDuke UniversityNew York University (NYU)Harvard UniversityYale University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accept GRE scores; and with time, more business programmes will join the queue.

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GMAT is a standardized test that is attempted by those looking to join any business school. As the name suggests, students who wish to pursue an MBA, Master of Finance or Master of Accountancy, or any management-related programme are advised to take the Graduate Management Admission Test. GMAT is acceptable for pursuing more than 6,000 programs in over 2,100 universities across the globe. Notably, this is a computer-adaptive test and not computer-based. Here, the student gets one question at a time and the difficulty of the next question is decided as per the accuracy of the previous answer. If you talk about India, more than 90 Management Schools accept GMAT scores. One advantage of giving the GMAT is that the aspirant can appear or reappear for the exam after every 16 days. However, one can appear for the exam up to five times a year (12-month period) and 8 times in a lifetime.

Difference Between GRE and GMAT

In this section, we are going to be looking at the difference between GRE and GMAT exams for students looking to study abroad.  

GMAT vs GRE: Eligibility

As such there are no specific eligibility criteria for writing the GMAT test, however, the candidate must be of at least 18 years of age (in the case of candidates below 18 years of age, they are required to provide written consent or NOC from their parents or legal guardians). Similarly, there are no set guidelines or specific eligibility criteria for the GRE exam. Anyone can appear for the GRE test irrespective of age and qualification. Nevertheless, candidates need to check the GRE eligibility criteria for different universities and courses they are applying to pursue a graduate program. GRE and GMAT are not the sole criteria for getting admission to your desired university. Candidates need to check the complete eligibility criteria mentioned by their choice of universities. One thing students should keep in mind before they register for GRE is to have a valid passport. Your passport is considered proof of identity at the GRE test centres. So, applicants should obtain a valid passport before registering for this exam.

GMAT vs GRE: Difficulty Level

The GMAT is suitable for those who possess strong quantitative and analytical skills. Those struggling with quants will definitely find the mathematics section in the GMAT syllabus challenging. GMAT is preferable for those who are efficient in solving complex problems with the help of data present in charts, tables, and texts. Whereas, GRE is considered a better option for those who possess strong vocabulary skills. Non-native English speakers will find the verbal section of the GRE syllabus harder, as GRE grills the aspirants on the basis of tough vocabulary.

GMAT vs GRE: Test Structure

The GRE exam pattern evaluates the candidates on the basis of their Analytical, Mathematical and Verbal skills. On the other hand, the GMAT exam pattern comprises four sections Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment, and Quantitative and Verbal skills.

GMAT vs GRE: Cost

The GRE exam fee for registering for the GRE exam is $228 and GMAT Exam Fee is $275 for the GMAT exam taken at a test centre and $300 for the online GMAT exam. Candidates should note that added services such as rescheduling the exam and changing test dates/centres would include an additional cost added to the exam fee for both exams. 

GMAT vs GRE: Scores Validity

Scores for both exams remain valid for a period of five years.

GMAT vs GRE: Which is Easy?

Which is easy, GMAT or GRE? The answer to this question is subjective. The difficulty of GMAT vs GRE depends on a test-taker’s skillsets, pre-existing knowledge, and preferences. For some students, GMAT's quantitative part is more difficult than the GRE's, although it may be simpler for individuals who enjoy it. For some students, GRE’s verbal part might be more difficult. However, for a student who has prepared well, no section can be difficult or easy. Hence, it is advised that the students focus more on their preparation after deciding which exam they wish to appear for.

GMAT Focus Edition vs Shorter GRE

GMAC has introduced the new GMAT Focus Edition; whereas, ETS has introduced a shorter version of the GRE General Test (w.e.f. September 22, 2023). Here are the key differences between the GMAT Focus and the shorter GRE tests:

Head GMAT Focus Edition Shorter GRE Exam
Total Time 2 hr + 15 minutes 1 hr + 58 minutes
Total Sections
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Data Insights
  • Essay (1 task)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (2 sections)
  • Verbal Reasoning (2 sections)
Total Questions
  • QR = 21 Questions (45 Minutes)
  • VR = 23 Questions (45 Minutes)
  • DI = 20 Questions (45 Minutes)
  • Essay = 1 Task (30 Minutes)
  • QR = 27 Questions (47 Minutes)
  • VR = 27 Questions (41 Minutes)

Now that students are aware of the key differences between GMAT and GRE, they must decide which test they must take according to their course and university requirements. For help with university applications, students seeking to study abroad can contact our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors. The comments section below allows candidates to contact us as well.

Quick Links:

GMAT Exam Registration 2023 GMAT 2023 Preparation Tips GMAT 2023 Score/Results

GRE 2023 Slot Booking 

GRE Preparation Tips 2023 GRE Score/Results 2023


Q. What is the relevance of the GMAT exam?

A. For the purpose of admission to graduate management studies, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees or MIM programmes, the GMAT exam is offered to evaluate specific analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. For entry into a variety of graduate management programmes, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, Master of Finance, and others, business schools employ the test as a requirement.

Q. What is the relevance of the GRE exam?

A. Many graduate programmes, including master's and doctorate programmes in the United States and abroad, need the GRE exam for entrance. The GRE is meant to assess abilities including analytical writing, verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning, and critical thinking, all of which are thought to be crucial for success in graduate-level academic programmes. Along with other application materials including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose, many graduate programmes now consider GRE results when making admissions decisions.

Q. Which amongst GMAT and GRE is tougher?

A. In terms of the math portion, some students believe the GMAT is more difficult than the GRE, although the verbal portion of the GRE may be more difficult for some test takers. However, based on a person's talents and limitations in each part, the difficulty of both exams can differ. It is crucial to remember that both tests evaluate the abilities required for graduate-level academic programmes and are crucial in determining admission to many graduate programmes. The complexity of the tests may ultimately depend on how well-prepared and diligently studied each candidate is, as well as how well-suited they are to the various sorts of material that are presented on each exam.

Q. What is the fee structure of GMAT and GRE?

A. The fee for the GMAT exam taken at a test centre is $275 and the fee for the online GMAT exam taken at home is $300. In the case of the GRE exam, the fee is $228. Moreover, in the case of GMAT, students can retake the GMAT after every 16 days to a maximum of 5 attempts in a 12-month period and 8 attempts in one's lifetime. In the case of GRE, students can retake the GRE exam every 21 days to a maximum of 5 attempts in a year (continuous rolling 12-month period from the beginning of the first test).

Q. What is the difference in the exam patterns of the current version of the GMAT and GRE exams?

A. The current version of the GMAT exam consists of an Analytical Writing Section (AWA) with 1 essay, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning. The GRE exam consists of Analytical Writing Section with 2 essays, 2 Verbal sections, 2 Quantitative sections, and an experimental section. Both the exam scores are valid for 5 years.

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About the Author
Written by
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Aprant Agarwal is a seasoned study abroad expert at Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in countries that include Canada, the Netherlands, UAE, and Finland. He holds more than 2 years of experience in the study abroa... Read Full Bio



Great & helpful content. I also wanna know about SCHOLARSHIPS for masters in US

Reply to The Administrator


Piyush Kohli

a year ago

Hi, please elaborate on your query and let us know which course you want to pursue ahead, so, we can assist you better. Also, refer to the below URL and check out the list of scholarships available for studying MS in USA:

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