Applicants Overwhelming Favor GMAT Over GRE, Kaplan Survey Reveals

Acceptance of the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT among U.S. business schools has reached critical mass, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of business school admissions officers.

According to the survey, 85% of MBA programs now give students the option to submit a score from the GRE instead of a GMAT score. This percentage has steadily increased year-over-year since Kaplan first began tracking the issue in 2009, when only 24% of business schools said they accepted the GRE.

The caveat in wider GRE acceptance: Still only a trickle of MBA applicants are submitting a GRE score instead of a GMAT score. Over half of the admissions officers surveyed said that just one in ten or fewer applicants took this admissions path last application cycle, representing a slight uptick from Kaplan’s past surveys.

But is this apprehension from applicants warranted?

Additional Kaplan data shows that 78% of MBA programs say scores from both tests are viewed equally, but 18% of MBA programs say applicants who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score.

“The trendline for business schools that accept the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT has been unmistakable over the past five years. What was once seen as an almost exotic admissions policy by business schools has become nearly ubiquitous,” says Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs, Kaplan Test Prep.

“Our advice to prospective MBAs is if all the business schools they plan to apply to accept the GRE in addition to the GMAT, then contact those schools and find out if they have a preference for one exam over the other. We also advise students to take the GMAT if some of the schools to which they intend on applying do not accept the GRE. While the GRE is widely accepted, the only exam that is universally accepted is the GMAT.”

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