GRE on the Rise, But GMAT Still Dominates

According to Kaplan Test Prep‘s 2010 survey of business school admissions officers, the GMAT maintains an edge in perception over the GRE despite the growing number of top MBA programs accepting both tests.

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.

“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.” says Liza Weale, executive director of pre-business and graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep.

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’sBest Business Schools’ 2010 edition.

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.

“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,” says Weale.

“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,” Weale says.

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