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by Vault Education Editors | December 01, 2010


Seems that more and more business schools are starting to come around and accept GRE scores. Does this affect your decision to take the GMAT or GRE?


The results of a Kaplan admissions officer survey shows that 65 percent of respondents said one test was not privileged over the other; a third said that applicants who submitted a GMAT score held an advantage. It's probably fair, too, in assuming that a chunk of that 65 percent who claimed neutrality did so as a matter of tact. The perception that schools prefer the GMAT is seen in the fact that most (69 percent) admissions officers reported that less than 1 in 10 applicants submitted a GRE score this past admissions cycle.

The goal behind accepting GRE scores, at least when Stanford started doing it in 2005, was to draw in a larger, more diverse applicant pool—namely, students from non-traditional backgrounds and students who had taken the more broadly applicable GRE but passed on business school because they didn't want to take the GMAT. The two tests are known to reward different strengths: the GRE favors a strong vocabulary, while the GMAT favors strong math skills, roughly speaking.

Next, consider these two findings from the same Kaplan survey.

A Low GMAT or GRE Score is the Biggest Application Killer: 48% of the admissions officers surveyed report that a low GMAT or GRE score is the biggest application killer

High Standardized Test Score = Money for Business School: 89% say a strong standardized test score will help a student receive merit-based scholarships.

This news of more schools accepting the GRE, it shouldn't affect your thought process in deciding which test you should take, or submit. For now, take the GMAT—it's considered to be more predictive of school performance (simply because there's little data with respect to the GRE)—unless you already did, tanked it and think you'll ace the GRE. After all, high test score = money for school. Can't get any clearer than that.


Filed Under: Education|Grad School