Kaplan Survey Says GMAT Still Reigns Supreme

Has the increase in business schools accepting the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an admissions alternative swayed prospective applicants away from the GMAT? Not so much, a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey reveals.

Just 16% of prospective MBA students said they considered taking the GRE route. Of the 84% who said they never considered taking the GRE instead of the GMAT, 60% said the primary reason was because some or all their target schools only accept the GMAT; 19% said it was because they felt applicants who submit a GMAT score have an admissions advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score; and 8% said it was because they thought they’d do better on the GMAT than on the GRE.

Lee Weiss, director of graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep, says students reporting that they never considered the GRE due to it not being accepted at their target schools may have skewed the numbers out of a lack of information. Many of them would be surprised to know that most, if not all, of the business schools they plan on applying to accept the GRE in addition to the GMAT, Weiss adds.

“However, it’s still a smart business school admissions strategy to take the GMAT if you are only applying to business school, and not considering applying to graduate school too.  According to a separate Kaplan survey of business school admissions officers, applicants who submit a GMAT score have a slight admissions advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score.”

Kaplan Test Prep believes an increasing number of business school will accept the GRE in the years to come, though applicants who submit a GMAT score may continue to hold an advantage, especially because the GMAT is adding an Integrated Reasoning section in June to reinforce its status as the best predictor of student success in business school.  Kaplan will continue to track this trend.

Meanwhile, ETS announced last week that starting in July 2012, anyone taking the GRE will be able to take advantage of a new option called ScoreSelect, which allows test-takers to decide which test scores to send to the institutions they designate, so they can send the scores they feel reflect their personal best.

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