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Can I give GRE for my MBA ?

Till very recently, postgraduate aspirants wishing to go to the US were required to take one of the two tests available: the GMAT, for admissions to business schools, or the GRE, for most other programs.

In 2006, in a landmark movement that revolutionized higher education in the US, several business schools, including University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business started accepting GRE scores in lieu of a GMAT scores.

Nikhil Varaiya, director of graduate studies at the San Diego State University, lauds the decisions of B-Schools who accept the GRE score. He says, “With more and more employers saying, ‘We want students from diverse backgrounds, it was sort of difficult to argue that the GMAT was the only measure to use.”

Today, more than 950 schools worldwide (you can access the complete list of schools here) are happy to consider applicants with a GRE score for their MBA programs. Not only is it advantageous for students, but also for universities, since accepting GRE score holders means the applicant pool is much bigger and more diverse and gives them more choice. The GRE has thus become more versatile over the years, and it is expected that in five years or so, almost all business schools in the US will accept the GRE for admissions.

Who should choose to write GRE?

Choosing to write GRE over GMAT can be an agonizing decision, but it doesn’t have to be. Since there is no preference between those who apply with a GRE or a GMAT score, the choice is entirely dependent on one thing:


So, choosing GRE is entirely dependent on the following:

  1. If you are confused between an MS and an MBA, and want to keep your options open.

  2. If you feel Mathematics, like Data Analysis, is too difficult

  3. If you have a better grasp on Vocab than Grammar

How does the GRE for B-school admissions work out?

It is actually quite simple. When you send your GRE score for application for an MBA or other management programs, the admissions committee uses an ETS-approved conversion tool to translate your GRE score into the appropriate GMAT score. Following this, your application will be processed normally.

So, should I submit my GRE score while applying for an MBA program?

The simple answer is that it entirely depends on your skill set.

From the admissions point of view, there is no preference between those who apply with a GRE score and those who apply with a GMAT score. In fact, the percentage of applicants applying with a GRE score is higher with each passing year.

For example, Yale School of Management, ranked #8, had 23% of MBA applicants applying with GRE scores from 18% compared to the previous year.

Having said that, let us now take a look at the top twenty business schools in the world and the minimum GRE scores they require, if any:

The most prominent feature of this table, as you may have noticed, is that most of these schools do not actually have a minimum score requirement. This is generally because top business schools decline to report a minimum GRE score requirement.

According to Poets & Quants, this could be because these universities want to keep the option of accepting students even with lower GRE scores and not lose their premium ranking in the US NEWS list.

So, currently, whether you have a 305 or a perfect 340, your application will be judged the same. Of course, a couple of schools do have a percentile requirement, but this is only an indicative score, to give you an idea of what the academic standards in these schools are like.

So, what are your options?

  • If you have already taken GMAT and are unhappy with the scores, you can try taking a GRE diagnostic test to see how you fare. Remember, the GRE is not easier, it’s different. As an engineering student, your hold over the GRE Quant section is bound to be better. However, you may need to work on your Verbal skills a bit before you become fully GRE ready.

  • If you have your sights set on a particular school and are keen to know where your GRE score and GPA stand with respect to other applicants, you have the option of comparing your target GRE score against the GMAT score using the ETS comparison tool.

  • Alternatively, you can also take a look at the class profile of the current batch of the program you are applying to, which will give you a glimpse at the average GRE/GMAT scores obtained by successful applicants.

ADMIVO Admission Tip: Another important thing to note is that, in addition to a GRE or GMAT score, several B-schools require you to have prior work experience too, usually for two to five years. Since an MBA is a hands-on course, students with professional experience tend to have an edge over those who have little to none.

Do note that in the US, most B-schools only have a Fall admit (September or October), and accordingly, the admissions close between January to March. In the UK and rest of Europe, the term usually starts twice a year – once during Spring (April or May) and once during Autumn. For the Spring admit, the application deadline is usually in August or September. So make sure that your applications reach well before the lapse of the deadlines!

If you are looking to work or study in the US, get in touch with ADMIVO, a company of repute for Admissions Consulting and Employment services.

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