Some schools say applicants who submit GMAT over GRE have advantage

Hello MBA Podcaster fans! We wanted to share some interesting new info from the recent Kaplan Test Prep Survey about the current business school admissions market.

Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Growing Number of Business Schools Accept the GRE – but Nearly a Third of Those Who Do Say Applicants Who Submit a GMAT Score Have
an Admissions Advantage

Also in Survey: 78% of MBA Programs Predict an
Increase in Applications This Cycle


New York, NY (December 1, 2010) – According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2010 survey of business school admissions officers*, the GRE is making significant headway in gaining acceptance at business schools: 39% of the 288 business schools surveyed say their program now allows an applicant to submit a GRE score instead of a GMAT score, compared to 24% last year. Of the schools that report being GMAT-only, 75% have no plans to consider accepting the GRE. Survey respondents included 22 of the top 30 business schools, as listed in U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Business Schools’ 2010 edition.


But even as more MBA programs accept the GRE, the exam required by most non-business school graduate programs, the GMAT maintains an edge in perception among MBA admissions officers. While 65% of respondents who accept scores from either test say there is no advantage to applicants submitting one over the other, 32% say applicants who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over those who submit a GRE score. Applicants seem to be aware of the perception – of the business programs that accept the GRE, 69% report that fewer than 1 in 10 applicants actually submitted a GRE score instead of a GMAT score this past admissions cycle.

“While the GRE is gaining acceptance among business schools, it’s still fairly new to the MBA admissions process and programs are not in a hurry to embrace it due to its lack of history in predicting business school performance. Additionally, many business schools are satisfied with the GMAT’s predictive ability.” said Liza Weale, executive director of pre-business and graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “But there’s currently a bit of an arms race between the two tests, with both making changes to be more reflective of the critical thinking necessary in business school and, in the case of the GRE, in graduate school. The GRE is rolling out significant changes to its content, design, scoring and format next August, while the GMAT will be adding a new integrated reasoning section in June 2012. For the time being, we recommend that prospective MBAs take the GMAT, not the GRE, since doing so will provide candidates with more options for business school, and it may even give them an extra edge in the admissions process.”

The business school admissions process will likely become increasingly competitive – 78% of business schools surveyed predict an increase in the number of applicants for the current cycle.

Other in the Kaplan Test Prep survey:

  • A Low GMAT or GRE Score is the Biggest Application Killer: 48% of the admissions officers surveyed report that a low GMAT or GRE score is the biggest application killer; a low undergraduate GPA placed second at 33%; lack of relevant work experience followed at 10%.
  • New GMAT Section: When asked about their views on the integrated reasoning section that will be added to the GMAT in June 2012, 47% of admissions officers have a neutral view, while 31% consider it a positive development. In response to a question regarding their views on the difficulty of the revised test, 42% don’t think the new section – which is meant to measure examinees’ data analysis and balanced decision-making skills that are important for success in business –will make the exam any harder, but 21% think it will.
  • High Standardized Test Score = Money for Business School: 89% say a strong standardized test score will help a student receive merit-based scholarships.
  • Social Networking: 66% of admissions officers report that an applicant has sent them or a colleague in their admissions office a LinkedIn networking request. 9% of admissions officers say they have visited an applicant’s social networking page to help them evaluative their candidacy.

For more information about Kaplan Test Prep’s survey on the business school admissions landscape or to schedule an interview with a Kaplan expert, please contact Russell Schaffer at or 212.453.7538.

*The survey was conducted by phone in July and August 2010 and included responses from 288 of the nation’s top MBA programs, including 22 of the top 30 – as designated by U.S. News & World Report. Kaplan Test Prep also annually conducts surveys of admissions officers at colleges, graduate schools, law schools and medical schools.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (, a division of Kaplan, Inc., is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as English language and professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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