Should You Take the GMAT or GRE?

69% of b-schools now accept the GRE (including Stanford, HBS, Wharton, Booth, and MIT Sloan, among others), so MBA applicants will need to decide whether the GMAT or GRE will better increase their chances of acceptance.


Here are some factors you should consider when making this decision:

  1. GMAT: Take the GMAT if at least one of the b-schools you’re applying to doesn’t accept the GRE.
  2. GMAT: If you plan on a post-MBA career in investment banking or management consulting, then you should take the GMAT since such recruiters sometimes use GMAT scores as a screening tool.
  3. GMAT: If the wording on the school’s website indicates that the GRE is accepted but clearly a lower-class citizen, than take the GMAT. We’re seeing this less frequently.
  4. GRE: If you’re fresh out of college and aren’t sure exactly what to do next, but feel prepared to take the GRE, then you may as well go ahead and take it – the scores remain usable for up to five years. Maybe you’ll use your scores for a future b-school application, or maybe for some other grad program.
  5. GRE: If you score higher on practice GRE tests than on practice GMAT tests AND if your target schools accept the GRE, then you should definitely take the GRE.
  6. GMAT: The same is true (as #4) if you score higher on the GMAT – in short, take whichever test you score higher on!
  7. GRE: If you want to save money (about $100) and/or will have trouble getting to a GMAT testing center, then you should take the GRE (obviously provided that your target schools accept the GRE). The GRE is cheaper and there are more testing centers throughout the world.

For top GMAT advice, please check out the following FREE resources:

By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


  1. For more information, check out our video, “GMAT vs GRE: Which Test Should You Take For Your MBA Application?”

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