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GMAT vs GRE : Key differences between the tests

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Feb 05,2024 12:00 PM IST

This blog delves into the significant differences between the GMAT and GRE, two major standardized tests for postgraduate applicants. It clarifies their purposes, content, scoring, and format. It gives a deeper insight into the best choice for graduate students and dissects their key differences to help candidates navigate their academic aspirations.

GMAT vs GRE.webp
The pursuit of a master's degree is an exciting journey, but this path comes with many other difficult choices to be made. One of those choices is selecting the appropriate test that aligns with the academic aspirations and target programs that seekers have in their minds. For many, the GMAT and GRE evolve as the prime contestants, leaving a dilemma of what to opt for.

This blog compasses ride through the landscape of the GMAT and GRE. Armed with our knowledge, any candidate can make an informed decision and unlock the door for their future ambitions and academic dreams.

Key Differences in GMAT & GRE- A quick glance 

Here are the critical differences to be observed between the GMAT and GRE including their main focus, content they offer and many more.

FocusBusiness and ManagementDiverse Graduate Programs ( Arts, Science, Technology etc. )
ContentQuantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing AssessmentVerbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing
Math EmphasisGreater emphasis on business-related math conceptsBroader range of quantitative concepts, including calculus
Verbal EmphasisAnalytical reading comprehension, critical reasoningReading comprehension, vocabulary, sentence equivalence
Scoring200-800(10 point increments)0-340 ( 1- point increment)
Target ProgramsMBA, Master of Finance, etc.Diverse graduate programs in various fields
Average Test TakerProfessionals with business aspirationsStudents with diverse academic backgrounds.

Deep dive into the differences

Content and FormatGMAT and GRE diverge in their content. GMAT focuses on business-oriented skills, assessing the contenders quantitative and verbal reasoning abilities within a business context. The Integrated Reasoning section for GMAT tests the ability to analyze the data and draw inferences from multiple sources whereas analytical writing assessment examines the critical thinking and writing skills.

Whereas GRE, on the other hand, adopts a broader approach, assessing verbal and quantitative reasoning skills across various academic disciplines. While the verbal Reasoning section echoes the GMAT in its focus on reading comprehension and vocabulary, the quantitative Reasoning section delves deeper into mathematics, including calculus concepts.
Target Audience and ProgramsThe GMAT primarily focuses on the dedicated MBA aspirants. However, the analytical skills are beneficial for those applying to Master of Finance or other business-related programs. On the other hand, GRE caters a wider range of aspirants from diverse fields including Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Technology etc.
Scoring and InterpretationThe GMAT and GRE employ different scoring systems, making it more complicated to differ between the two. GMAT uses a 200-800 scale with 10 points increments, while the GRE utilizes a 0-340 scale with a 1-point increment. A strong GMAT score showcases that an aspirant has great analytical and quantitative skills whereas high GRE score denotes one as a candidate with excellent verbal and reasoning skills for GMAT.

Parameters to distinguish between GMAT and GRE

Below are the parameters that can help students distinguish between GMAT & GRE exams:

Which business schools accept these tests?More than 7000 programs at approx. 2300 business schoolsFewer business schools
Total Fees$275$220
Test Validity5 years5 years
Test datesYear aroundYear around
How the test is administeredComputer-basedComputer-based and paper-based sometimes
Test FormatComputer adaptiveComputer adaptive
Test Duration2 hours 15 minutes1 hours 58 minutes

Sections in GMAT and GRE tests

Following graphics would help contenders have the better understanding of different sections they are examined in the GMAT and GRE.

GMAT vs GRE sections.webp

GMAT or GRE, which is easier?

It truly depends on one’s individual strengths and weaknesses and academic goals. Though both exams are challenging, each has its own unique set of difficulties. The best way to determine which exam is easier is by taking practice tests and having a good sense of the content and format of the exam.

GMAT is generally considered the more difficult of the two exams, especially for those with weaker verbal skills. Meanwhile, the vocabulary of the GRE can be more demanding.

When to take the test?

The following things influence when a candidate should take the GMAT or GRE.

Planning is the keyThe right time to start preparing should be six months prior to the set target application deadline. This allows ample time for thorough studying and practice tests.
Application deadlinesMost graduate programs have application deadlines between October and January. The candidate must plan the test date and ensure the scores reach the schools on time.
Practice makes perfectTake practice tests for both exams and assess strengths and weaknesses. 
Retakes are possibleBoth exams allow retakes, but policies may vary. But it’s advisable to maximize the score at the first attempt itself.

How many attempts a candidate can make?

The number of attempts a candidate can take for the GMAT and GRE varies slightly, but both have some limitations to ensure fairness.


Lifetime Limit8 Attempts
Yearly Limit5 Attempts
Minimum gap between the attempts16 days


Lifetime LimitNo official limit exists, but the Educational Testing Service recommends at most five attempts in 5 years.
Yearly Limit5 attempts
Minimum gap between attempts21 days
Here is the detailed guide for all the key differences between two potential contenders of confusion a candidate might have in mind while deciding upon the tests they need to take to fulfil their academic aspirations. Connect with experts at Canam- India’s leading study abroad consultants for any other query and information.


GMAT tests business minds with quantitative and analytical skills, while the GRE unlocks diverse graduate doors with verbal and reasoning powers.
Though few people submit GRE scores, it is recommended to submit GMAT scores as most of the business schools accept GMAT scores, which makes it easy for them to compare the candidates.
It depends upon the business school an aspirant is aiming at. It is advisable that your score must be at least 20 higher than the average score of a particular year and the school.
The most genuine and accurate option can be official practice tests offered by test makers, i.e. MBA.com for GMAT and ETS for GRE.
The subjective section is more challenging as it depends on individual strengths and weaknesses.

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