A great many MBA programs now accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT as an entrance requirement, but applicants may still wonder whether business schools truly view both equally. If you find yourself on the fence about which exam to take, the recent post, Which Test is Best?, on the Texas MBA Insider blog at UT McCombs School of Business should be required reading.
Kimberly Jones, author of the article, makes a strong case for making the choice between the GMAT and GRE based on your career and degree goals, as well as your more personal perception of both tests’ reputations.
For instance, consulting and investment banking companies use the GMAT score as a baseline qualifier for the recruiting process, Jones explains.
“If Consulting or I-Banking are in your sights, this means that the GMAT is the best choice because you could take it once and use your score for both your Admissions application as well as your career recruitment profile.”
However, there are many cases where applicants, particularly those targeting a dual degree, coming from a humanities background, or applying to both business school and other graduate programs, will benefit from going with the GRE instead.
For MBA candidates with career aspirations outside of banking and consulting, the choice may boil down to perception. As Jones points out, companies that hire MBAs are very familiar with the score scale of the GMAT but may need clarification regarding how GRE scores compare.
“MBA Admissions Officers are also new to the GRE setting,” Jones says. “However, many of us have worked with the test and have recruited amazing candidates to our programs since we started accepting it a few years ago and are more comfortable assessing verbal and quantitative skill sets based on those scores.”
As MBA admissions consultants, we generally advise clients to go for the GMAT exam. After all, the GMAT has long been considered the gold standard for the specific academic skills needed in graduate business school, and therefore the admissions committees’ level of familiarity with it compared to the GRE is still nowhere near equal.
If you are a great test-taker and it’s all the same to you, I would stick with GMAT for now. It’s more of a known entity and “tried and true” for the schools—no questions asked about why you chose it.