Should I take the GMAT or the GRE?

General Information

1) If you know which schools you want to apply to first see which test(s) they accept

2) G.R.E. is less expensive ($140 in the US and $180 in Europe) than the GMAT ($250)

3) Many people do worse on the GMAT math when they first take a practice test because most people have never encountered a data sufficiency problem which takes some getting used to.

Verbal Section

The GRE uses questions that require a much larger vocabulary than the GMAT.

The GMAT has a grammar section that the GRE doesn’t have. In this section you are given a sentence and asked to correct it.

The GMAT has logic questions that are not on the GRE. In general this sections tests your ability in argument constrution, argument evaluation, and formulating and evaluating a plan of action.

Conclusion- if you’re really good at vocabulary or learning vocabulary, or if you’re not very good with American English Grammar you should consider taking the GRE. Otherwise, the GMAT might be more for you.

Writing Section

The GRE issue essay is fifteen minutes longer than the GMAT issue essay. The GRE issue essay also gives you the choice between two different issue prompts whereas the GMAT only gives you one.

Conclusion- Some people get stuck if they only have one choice to talk about. If you think you’ll need a second option for the issue essay the GRE is preferable. However, if you don’t have trouble thinking and writing about most subjects it might be to you advantage to take the GMAT because there will probably be some people that will get stuck and this will make your percentile rank increase.

Math Section

Both the GRE and GMAT test approximately the same basic math concepts, but in general, it is easier to get a higher composite score in the GRE math section. committees know this so they mostly look at your percentile rank and not your composite score.

In general people have a harder time with the GMAT data sufficiency questions than the math problems on the GRE since the question is posed in a way that 99.9% of people have never seen before. As with all math questions, however, practice will make you better.

The data interpretation problems on the GRE are harder since they often combine multiple charts and/or graphs at the same time.

GRE Quantitative comparison questions can be done faster than any other type of math question, but they also tend to be trickier so if you don’t see the trick it’s easy to get them wrong.

Conclusion- If you only need to get a certain composite score on the math section to satisfy a school’s requirements then it is easier to do this on the GRE. However, it is equally difficult to get a good percentile rank.

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