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GRE for Business School: Press Release from ETS

ETS just posted an important press release on its website regarding the increasing popularity of the GRE for business school admissions.

For those of you who are considering business school but are still uncertain whether the GRE has as much clout as the GMAT, this press release should somewhat allay your anxiety. Apparently, over 1,000 schools worldwide accept GRE scores—from Harvard to the Rotterdam School of Management. ETS trumpets this fact as an example of the diversity of candidates that take the GRE compared to the GMAT.  Meaning business schools have the advantage of selecting from even a wider pool of candidates.

Nonetheless such an expansive roster does not necessarily mean that these schools weigh the GMAT and the GRE equally. That question is perhaps answerable on a case-by-case basis. Meaning that not every admissions committee will weigh the GRE the same as the GMAT.

The good news is that with so many schools accepting GRE scores there is surely a growing awareness—and acceptance—that the scores represent a valid measure. Especially if a business school website advertises the fact that it accepts GRE scores, you should be anything but leery about submitting a GRE score. Taking the GRE over the GMAT also provides the advantage—as the press release mentions—of keeping the option of graduate school open.

Something not mentioned, but an interesting consequence of the growing acceptance of the GRE for business school is that an increased applicant pool means more competition. As the article notes, the GRE is less expensive and less daunting than the GMAT (even ETS concedes that the scroll-feature makes things far less anxiety-inducing). So if you are applying to business school, regardless of the test you take, you will be competing against more students.

The takeaway from all this is to know it probably only a matter of time before the GRE is accepted at all business schools. Of course you should follow up with the program you are interested in to see how they weigh the GRE. If the program is very competitive or quant-heavy, then you may still want to take the GMAT. But ask the program directly and gauge their response. If they say the GRE is fine, then by all means take the GRE, if you feel it is the test that will better show your potential.

Check out this GRE to GMAT score conversion to see where you stand.


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

10 Responses to GRE for Business School: Press Release from ETS

  1. Junaid AHmed July 13, 2016 at 4:24 am #

    Hi Dear:
    This is Junaid, I am interested to apply for PhD Marketing. I have low grades in my BS degree but I have better score in my MBA degree. So please tell me that what should me target in GRE to get admission in some good university at USA

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 13, 2016 at 7:30 am #

      Hi Junaid,

      Unfortunately, we don’t have nearly as much expertise and experience in graduate school admissions as we do with GRE prep, so I’m afraid we can’t be of much help. That said, since you’re looking to Marketing PhD programs, I think this post on GRE scores for Business Schools will help give you an idea of what your target scores should be. Additionally, I’d recommend directly contacting the schools/programs you’re interested in to see if they can offer any insight, or check out the programs’ websites to see if they have any info! This website is also a great place to start your research: Best Grad Schools.

      I hope this helps, at least a little! 🙂

  2. zahid July 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    I am interested to obtain masters in business. I have seen the syllabus of Both GMAT and GRE and i think i will do well in GRE. When i found that almost 1000 schools are accepting GRE for business i became more interested about GRE. Recently i became disappointed when i found that business schools accept GRE but they prefer GMAT for scholarship. Here i am quoting the comment of one business school:

    “Thank you for your interest in USC Leventhal’s MAcc program. We will accept a GRE score instead of the GMAT, however we highly recommend taking the GMAT if you are interested in merit-based scholarships. Additionally, I highly recommend improving your score (GRE or GMAT ) to strengthen your application” —-Leventhal School of Accounting | Marshall School of Business
    University of Southern California

    Acceptance of GRE and providing fund is not the same thing. As a student of developing country we need scholarship.

    Now i am little bit disappointed. I dont want to take GMAT at all. Please suggest what should i do?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 30, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Zahid,

      Thanks for sharing that information–it’s very helpful. It seems that, despite what the GRE or some business schools may say, it is not on equal footing with the GMAT. I wonder how many institutes make a differentiation between the two tests when it comes to scholarships, and how many make a differentiation when it comes to admissions.

      In your case, if you want the scholarship, I’d recommend prepping for the GMAT. If you’ve already prepped for the GRE, much of what you’ve learned will transfer to the GMAT: RC, Critical Reasoning, all the math fundamentals. The test might be a little tougher–at least for some–but I’d recommend you take it. One thing you can do is take a practice test in both the GMAT and the GRE, just to allay your concerns that you’ll do much better in the GRE. My hunch is your percentiles won’t differ to much between the two tests.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  3. Thom October 26, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering why GRE changed in 2011 and this article points out to a very clear answer. ETS wants share of GMAT test fees by taking some of the students that may opt for GMAT instead. Hmm…

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 29, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Hi Thom,

      I definitely think that plays a large part in GRE’s decision. Overall, the test was dated (analogies involving tools for the grad school bound :)). ETS just needed an incentive to revamp the test!

  4. Rahul October 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Over 1000 schools except GRE scores? Think you meant accept…

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 29, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Yes I do. Thanks for catching that :).

  5. Jeremy October 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I took the GMAT and Bombed it. The Chair of the department in the business school i’m applying to actually told me to take the GRE. He said they have much more “wiggle room” to accept certain GRE scores than GMAT score.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 29, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      That is an interesting angle! It kind of makes sense. Business schools are still getting a sense of what a “good” GRE score is. With GMAT the score ranges are set. If you don’t get over ‘x’, that’s it.

      So I definitely encourage you to take the GRE! It could also play more to your strengths :).

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