If you’ve decided to go for the highest qualification in business – doctorate in management – the first step is to pick between the two entrance tests that most universities accept, GMAT and GRE. Picking between the two is usually pretty straightforward since your university of choice will simply tell you which one to take. But if you haven’t picked a university yet and are unsure about the differences, here’s what you need to know:
The GRE is quickly gaining ground
Usually, GMAT was the was the gold standard for business school. If you picked a Phd in management the enterance test was meant to prove you had what it took to make it through this intense and complex graduate course. But in recent years, GRE has been quickly gaining ground. More universities accept both tests as part of their admissions process now than ever before. Renowned names like Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, and INSEAD have all been added to a list of institutions that have opened doors to students with either scores. The number of business schools accepting GRE test results have shot up in recent years, which means more students are taking this entrance test over the GMAT. Most recent data shows that only a quarter of million students appeared for the GMAT while nearly 655,000 students appeared for the GRE in 2012.
In terms of scale, GRE is clearly ahead now. This could be due to a number of reasons but one of the most commonly held arguments is that the GRE is ‘easier’ to take. The GRE test focuses more on vocabulary than grammar. There’s less quantitative analysis and there’s no integrated reasoning section in the GRE. Historically, it was assumed students who took the GRE were not cut out for an intense business course. But David Payne, vice president and chief operating officer for College and Graduate Programs at ETS, believes otherwise. Payne says the GRE has been taken by students in far more advanced technical fields like biochemistry and physics, which means it’s more than adequate for business school.
Overall, if you’re an analytic thinker and have a good grasp on mathematical concepts, go for the GMAT. If you’re a native English speaker who prefers a more holistic approach to learning, the GRE may be better suited.
The two tests are actually pretty similar. Both the GRE and GMAT test language, reasoning, and analytical skills to make sure you’re ready for graduate school. But for a postgraduate degree like the Phd, you may already have a university in mind where you’d like to join in faculty for academic research or teaching. The university may specify which test they prefer but if there’s no preference you could pick the one that suits you best. Good luck!