Should You Take the GMAT or the GRE for Business School?

by Paul Joseph on August 7, 2013 · 0 comments

The following appears courtesy of MBA Game Plan. Visit MBA Admissions Blog by MBA Game Plan for current news and advice on getting into the world’s top-ranked MBA programs. Most top MBA programs in the U.S. now accept both. Many business school admissions experts will say you should take the test that you find easier. Most of the time, that test is the GRE. And so some applicants deliberately steer around the GMAT each year in the hope that they can submit a strong GRE score. However, you should look at this from an admissions officer’s point of view before choosing. Business schools started to accept GRE scores as a way to diversify their applicant pools. They want more terrific candidates who would normally consider other types of graduate schools — such as programs in public policy and education — to consider an MBA. These potential applicants may already have a GRE score in hand, since that test is widely accepted by so many types of graduate programs, and MBA admissions officers decided to accept the GRE as a way to remove one potential barrier that may keep these young adults from applying to business school. So, when MBA admissions officers see an application come in with a GRE score, they expect to see an applicant who fits this description—perhaps someone who is a little unusual as far as business school applicants go. By “unusual” we mean someone who doesn’t come from a traditional business school feeder industry—such as investment banking or management consulting—or have a business or economics degree. They expect to see someone who perhaps majored in English or History, did a couple of years in Teach for America or the Peace Corps, and is now looking to earn a graduate degree to make their mark on the world. Business schools hope that a few more of these types consider an MBA instead of a Master of Public Policy, or something else along those lines. That’s the type of applicant they hope to attract with their GRE policy. When business school admissions officers see a consultant or banker, or anyone else coming from a more corporate job, submit a GRE score, they wonder what’s going on. They know the prevailing advice about the GRE being easier, and they know that if one of these more traditional-looking applicants submits a GRE score, he or she may be trying to game the system and avoid having to submit a GMAT score, perhaps because the GMAT proved to be too difficult. This doesn’t guarantee rejection by any means, but it certainly may raise a few eyebrows. When admissions rates at top MBA programs are below 10%, as is the case at Stanford GSB, admissions officers can afford to simply move on to the next application if they see too many of these curiosities in an applicant’s profile. When applying to competitive business schools, you absolutely want to stand out from the pack. In fact, you need to. But you also need to, at least to some degree, conform to what admissions officers expect to see. If you come from an industry that traditionally is a large course of applicants for business school, part of looking and acting like a legitimate business school candidate is submitting a strong GMAT score. It is by no means mandatory, but it will invite fewer questions about your abilities and what kind of game you might be trying to play. Wondering if you have what it takes to get into the world’s top-ranked business schools? Pick up a copy of our industry-leading book, Your MBA Game Plan , now in its 3rd edition. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter ! This post appears courtesy of MBA Admissions Blog by MBA Game Plan . It originally appeared here: Should You Take the GMAT or the GRE for Business School? .

[via MBA Admissions Blog by MBA Game Plan]

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