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GRE vs. the GMAT Explained

woman sitting at white table with booksGetting all your ducks in a row to prepare your application for graduate school can be a lengthy and detailed process. Although Southern Nazarene University doesn’t require applicants to take entrance exams, many colleges request GRE or the GMAT scores.

So what’s the difference between the GRE and the GMAT? And why doesn’t every school require applicants to take one of these tests?

Considering an MBA? Get a glimpse into life after graduation in our guide, The  Ultimate Career Roadmap for MBA Graduates, here.

Both the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are graduate-level counterparts to the SAT and ACT. Both tests include three sections: an analytical writing section, a quantitative section, and a verbal section. There are fees associated with each exam costing from $205 to $250.

The GRE is the most widely accepted graduate admissions test globally. Its function is to gauge a student’s ability to succeed in a graduate program and evaluate their general academic aptitude.

The GMAT is specifically used to predict a student’s success in a business program and is often required for admissions to an MBA program. This test includes a fourth section which assesses a student’s integrated reasoning skills.

Certain universities or degree programs prefer one test score over the other. Make sure you know what the program you’re applying to requires well in advance of the application deadline so you can adequately prepare and schedule to take the appropriate test.

Like SNU, many universities are moving away from requiring the GRE or GMAT for graduate school admissions, or only require it in certain circumstances. Instead of looking at test scores, admissions boards can review applicants on resumes, portfolios, writing samples, professional work experience, and more. These markers are often more predictive of a student’s performance and professional success than standardized testing.

Since the requirement of having a GRE or GMAT score doesn’t reflect the quality of the degree program, applying to a school that doesn’t require these tests can save time and money. Just make sure the program you’re interested in is reputable and accredited by relevant boards.

If you still have questions about the GRE or GMAT, contact an SNU admissions advisor by emailing or calling 888-SNU-GRAD to learn more.

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