When you say entrance test and business school, you typically get a reflex response (GMAT!). But taking the GRE for business school may actually be a better choice. To see if this applies to you, keep in mind the following points.
Most top name b-schools accept the GRE
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, UC Berkeley, Duke, MIT, NYU, and Yale all accept GRE scores. ETS, which creates the GRE, carries a full list on its website. As to whether these programs each weigh the two tests the same is difficult to say. If you are entering a quant-heavy program, then it may favor the GMAT over the GRE for business school. Otherwise, which test you take may not be as important as many think. Scoring well is all that matters.
Keeping your options open
By taking the GRE, you do not limit yourself to only business school. The GRE is the only test for almost every graduate school. So if you are unsure about your future plans, then taking the GRE over the GMAT may definitely be the wiser decision. But then again, if you’re that unsure you might have bigger issues to tackle than which test to take.
Putting your best foot forward
The GRE favors those who have developed vocabulary and taken a slew of humanities courses in college, versus those who’ve only taking business-related courses. The GRE also favors those who may not be as math inclined. Again, there is a inverse relationship between quantitative aptitude and taking humanities courses in school. That is not to say the GRE math is easy, but it is far more learnable than the math component of the GMAT.
More places to take the test
For some, especially those in far flung foreign countries (Magoosh students have come from anywhere from Azerbaijan to Zaire!), finding a testing center offering the GRE will most likely be much easier than finding testing center offering the GMAT. After all, the GMAT is offered in only 500 locations worldwide. The GRE, by contrast, is offered in nearly 7,000 locations worldwide.
Save a little money
Taking the GRE costs $185 whereas the GMAT will run you $250. While that doesn’t sound like a major difference, for some the $65 they save taking the GRE is not inconsequential. In regards to the point above (‘More places to take the test’), travel time and cost will likely also be lower for GRE takers, since the GMAT is administered in far fewer testing centers (you may have to leave your country just to take the GMAT).
Depending on where you live, your skill set, and where you hope to go for graduate school (if you even decide to go to b-school), the GRE might be the test for you. Of course, if you’re dead set on a certain business school program, then you should do the appropriate research before making the decision.
So which test would you prefer take? Let us know.