Difference Between GRE and GMAT

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 28, 2023


Difference Between GRE and GMAT

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Education is one field that always has to offer LOTS, but grabbing opportunities here is definitely not a simple task. Pursuing studies these days at higher levels has an extreme level of competition. So many barriers and testing these days to be admitted into one good educational institution.

The most prominent barrier is the ‘Examination test’. These tests hold very much importance as one needs to crack these to pursue studies.

Two common tests that are heard of are – the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).


Both the GRE and GMAT are examination tests set up to measure a candidate’s aptitude and provide admission to various courses. Even though, both examinations come under the category of admission tests but have varied roles.

The GRE, i.e., Graduate Record Examination, focuses on testing a candidate for certain graduate programs and business programs. It includes testing of knowledge over diverse subjects to take admission globally. However, the GMAT i.e., Graduate Management Admission Test serves the special purpose of providing admission into business schools for MBA or for other master-level courses. GMAT usually tests certain skills related to management and business to select candidates.

Difference between GRE vs. GMAT in tabular form

PurposeGRE is meant to test a candidate to provide them admission in certain graduate and business graduate programs  GMAT is meant to test a candidate’s caliber to provide them entry into business schools and master-level programs.
FormatTends to cover verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical skills, research questions, and an unscored section.  Tends to cover verbal and quantitative reasoning as well as data insights
Difficulty levelMostly, GRE test takers can make use of calculators, the quantitative part is easier. It has more geometry. However, the GRE’s vocabulary part can be tricky.  The quantitative questions covered in GMAT are comparatively tough and involve more logical reasoning
Conducted byGRE is conducted by The Educational Testing Services (ETS)  GMAT is carried out by by Graduate Management Aptitude Council (GMAC)

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination is an Entrance exam that is carried out by The Educational Testing Services. It can be taken up to five times by an individual. Candidates spend time preparing for this examination in order to get admission into graduate programs by cracking it. It is helpful when one is seeking to get into business schools or some doctoral program.

The GRE examination has been divided into two main categories: The General test and the subject tests.

GRE General test: this test is mostly taken up by the students, in which their general aptitude and knowledge are put to the test. Taking up this test opens up the gates to a lot of universities globally as well. In some cases, a good score here can also help out with scholarship schemes.

It is a computer-based test that has multiple-choice questions or numerical questions. The three major parts covered here are – Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and an unscored section. It has questions related to analytical thinking as well. The duration is around 3 hours 45 minutes.

GRE Subject test: this test is meant to check the knowledge of applicants in particular subjects. GRE Subject tests are available for Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English, and Psychology. It is a multiple-choice exam, mostly paper-delivered. The level of questions present is mostly up to the undergraduate level only. The subject test can be taken up in April, September, and October. The duration is up to 2 hours 50 minutes.


The GRE is open for candidates for 3 months – April, September, and October. Applicants spend a good amount of 3 plus months, mostly for preparation during their undergraduate studies. The highest GRE score can go up to 340.

GRE is conducted in three modes – computer-based, paper-based, and GRE at home.

Cost – Taking up the GRE Examination can be a bit costly for the students. The general test fee is $213 whereas, the subject test fee is $150. The fees for India vary with the dollar rate.

Registration- It is mandatory to register beforehand to sit for the examination. There are four common ways of registering – GRE online register, GRE Phone register, GRE mail register, and GRE fax register.

  1. Online registration – one has to visit the ETS website, choose the subject and general test, choose the suitable date and nearest exam centre, submit details, and pay online.
  2. Phone registration – phone registration must be done two days prior to the test date. One will be provided with all the necessary details like location, confirmation no. Payment procedure can be completed through debit card, etc.
  3. Fax registration – the GRE application form has to be filled out and mailed along with the payment. The form has to be faxed seven days prior.
  4. Mail registration – one needs to utilize the My GRE home page to verify email ID and choose a time and appointment.

Importance of GRE

The GRE examination is a very prominent name these days. Firstly, of course, it holds great importance as a good GRE score allows admission into graduate and business programs, that too globally. It opens a lot of opportunities for pursuing higher-level education.

  1. The GRE examination helps in admitting the top students into renowned institutions. It tests the aptitude of the applicants, and their skills and provide them with great opportunities. Plus, there is always the added advantage of being proud of oneself for scoring well in these types of examinations.
  2. A good GRE score is not just helpful in getting admissions, but also for scholarships and other such opportunities/schemes. The topmost candidates can always receive these advantages by themselves.
  3. Another important advantage that the GRE offers is that once taken up, the score is valid for up to five years. Even if an applicant is not ready for admission or has other priorities, they can make use of this score anytime in the next five years.
  4. Apart from the score being valid for the next five years, it is also useful while applying to universities globally, especially in the US and even for PhD in Europe. It is because this is a standardized exam that tests all candidates equally.
  5. Even if someone does not have a lot of extra-curricular activities or work experience on their CVs. The GRE scores in that case can help secure admission despite the lack of extra work. The score holds great value for the students.
  6. Now, talking about the CVs part. CV is actually an obligatory document these days for securing positions etc. In this case, taking up the GRE can be a significant part of one’s CV. It is definitely a great boost. It portrays a good image of the candidate who is serious and possesses knowledge.

Of course, if something comes with these many advantages, it is equally important to focus properly and prepare for it with full potential.

What is GMAT?

GMAT i.e., The Graduate Management Admission test, is conducted by The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) five times a year. There are no specific months to take up this exam; it can be taken up any time in a year.

The GMAT examination has great significance when it comes to applying for admission to graduate programs in Business schools and for some master-level programs. This examination tests one’s abilities and skills to pursue such business programs. Mostly, the score received on the GMAT is considered vital for pursuing an MBA.

However, it is important to apply to other master-level programs in the field of business and management. It has, again, a very standard structure and format in order to test the candidates in an equal manner. The score received here applies to thousands of universities worldwide and has good international recognition.

The GMAT examination mainly has four sections to test one’s skills:

Verbal reasoning: this section covers questions such as reading comprehension or grammatical questions. Few may test the candidate’s critical thinking skills. In all, it tests language proficiency, vocabulary, knowledge of grammar, fluency, etc.

Quantitative reasoning: this section of the exam is meant to check the candidate’s problem-solving skills, mathematics, arithmetic, data related problems. This part analyzes how well one can use logic, speed, and creativity in answering, plus mathematical knowledge.

Integrated reasoning: this section has mixed questions from the verbal and quantitative parts. It involves topics like interpreting the graphs, table analysis, multi-source reasoning, and two-part analysis. All this is meant to check the applicant’s interpreting skills, solving skills, and how well they observe and analyze.

Analytical writing assessment: this section focuses on checking how well a candidate can analyze and make use of certain facts/evidence to frame a proper argument. How well-organized one’s thoughts can be, all of this is covered in this part.

The GMAT is considered a test with a bit higher amount of difficulty, some aspects may feel tricky. However, a good 3-6 months of preparation can keep your head above water.

Procedure of GMAT

The GMAT examination is conducted all year round by the GMAC. The duration for this is 3 hours and 7 minutes. It is extremely important to properly register for it.

  1. Firstly, visit the website called ‘mba.com’ and sign up for the same. Then begin with your registration process.
  2. Entering the candidate’s personal or necessary details is the next step that has to be done carefully.
  3. The site may inquire about other information about the candidate, which one has to submit to verify their profile.
  4. Now, the candidate is free to schedule their GMAT examination by choosing the center and timings.
  5. Lastly, to complete, the candidate needs to pay registration fees via card or online method, which is usually $275.

Four main ways to register are – via phone, via mail, via fax, or online through the website. An identification document is a must. The maximum score on the GMAT can go up to 800.

Of Course, it is vital for the candidate to meet certain eligibility criteria like being 18 years and above, only taking up the test eight times in a lifetime, etc.


Cat (Common Admission Test) is also a very common name; CAT is also a competitive test conducted to get admission into Colleges for MBA. IIM conducts this computer-based exam, CAT, to test one’s aptitude.

However, the major difference between the GMAT and the CAT is that the score earned in the CAT applies to only domestic universities/ business schools i.e. in India (excluding exceptions). GMAT score is considered in domestic as well as international institutions.

Importance of GMAT

The GMAT examination is, in fact, quite important for all those planning to pursue certain business programs. Cracking the GMAT opens a lot of doors for a candidate. Usually, aspirants spend around 3 to 6 months preparing to secure a decent enough score.

  1. Other than securing admissions to renowned institutions, cracking the GMAT can easily boost one’s opening salary. In most cases, the salary for fresher applicants is pretty low, so this is a great option to enhance it.
  2. Preparing and taking up the GMAT can prove to be useful by improving one’s knowledge, proficiency in English, communication skills, handling pressure, etc. These skills ultimately help you somewhere or the other in your life.
  3. Since the GMAT scores are also important for securing admissions in abroad, it may be a bit unfeasible sometimes in monetary terms. Here, a good score would be beneficial in getting scholarships to help out students.
  4. While an applicant is preparing for this examination, they change themselves to be more focused and to concentrate more, and without realizing they ultimately can use these qualities further in their workplace to improve their productivity.

Main Difference Between GRE and GMAT in Points

  • The GRE examination is beneficial for securing admissions to universities offering graduate programs. The GMAT, in fact, helps to secure admission to business programs such as MBA
  • A candidate can take up the GRE in only three months (April, September, October). Whereas candidates can take up the GMAT all year round, it doesn’t have any particular month.
  • The maximum that can be achieved in the GRE is 340 and for the GMAT, it is 800.
  • The GRE examination is divided into 2 parts – the general test and the subject test. GMAT basically has 4 sections: verbal aptitude, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning.
  • The GRE general test and subject test costs $213 and $150 respectively. The cost for the GMAT examination is $275.


The GRE and the GMAT are both important examinations in a student’s life. These play a vital role in helping students pursue higher studies, however, their roles differ.

The GRE is taken up to secure admissions to graduate programs and certain business graduate programs. GMAT is for securing admissions to business programs like MBA. Their scores are valid for up to 5 years and that too globally. They test everything from general aptitude, specific subject knowledge, and communication skills to business knowledge. One needs to prepare for these properly, but ultimately, they have a lot of benefits for the candidates.


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"Difference Between GRE and GMAT." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 12 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-gre-and-gmat>.

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