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GRE vs GMAT – Which is easier?

Introduction

A very crucial question comes up in every applicant’s mind- “Should I give GRE or GMAT?”

This GMAT vs GRE problem is a very valid one and needs apt answers because it affects the very outlook of your application. The most significant distinction between the GMAT and the GRE is that the GMAT is required for admission to business schools, whereas the GRE is required for entrance to various graduate programmes. Therefore, when deciding between the GMAT and the GRE, most people will tell you this — If you only want to apply to business schools, take the GMAT, and if you’re not sure what type of graduate degree you want to pursue, take the GRE.

However, this is only partially correct. It takes a little more work to decide between the GMAT and the GRE. The trick is to decide by looking at the various sections of both tests. In this post, we’ve emphasised these distinctions and compared the quant and verbal sections of each test to determine if the GMAT is simpler than the GRE or the GRE is easier than the GMAT. Hence, we will be testing GMAT vs GRE difficulty.

There need not be a good-for-all answer to this question. Therefore, read the factors below to find out what you might find easy and relevant to your profile. By the time you are done reading this blog post, you should be close to deciding which test is best for your application.

gre vs gmat

GMAT vs GRE – The difference between the two examinations

  • GRE can get you admission into Graduate Schools and Business Schools for your Masters. The GRE consists of Verbal and Quantitative sections, whose scores vary from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments. It also consists of a 60-minute Analytical Writing section with two essays of 30 minutes each. This exam lasts for 3.5. The cost of the GRE test is $205.

The GRE is commonly taken on a computer and is adaptable at the section level. This means that your performance on the first portion of both Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning will have an impact on the difficulty of the questions on the second section. Your score on the entire section will decide the difficulty of the next section on that subject. Within a section of the GRE, you can return to questions you’ve already answered.

  • GMAT can only get you admission for a Master from Business Schools. GMAT consists of 2 major sections- Verbal and Quantitative. It also has a 30-minute Analytic section with one essay, a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, but their scores are separate and do not add up for the total GMAT score. Therefore, the GMAT score ranges can range from 200 up to 800 in 10-point increments. The duration of the exam is 3.5 hours, and it costs $250.

The GMAT is a computer-based adaptive test that is taken on a computer. This means that the first question in each part will be of medium difficulty when you start the Quantitative and Verbal sections. If you responded right, the following question would be slightly more difficult; if you answered incorrectly, the following question would be a little easier. You can’t go back to a question on the GMAT once you’ve answered it.

Both the test scores are valid for five years.

Now, let us analyse the differences in the contents of the two examinations-

The types of questions in the two examinations can be compared according to two sections- Verbal and Quantitative.

A) GMAT vs GRE – Verbal Section

The GRE verbal section includes-

  • Sentence equivalence
    It tests your ability to understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; understand relationships among words and concepts. The questions asked consist of a single sentence with one blank and six answer choices. You have to select two answer choices.
  • Reading Comprehension
    It tests your ability to analyse a situation and come to a conclusion, reason from incomplete data, understand multiple levels of meaning, such as literal, figurative and author’s intent. The questions asked are multiple-choice questions with five answer choices, of which you must select one.
  • Text Completion
    It tests your ability to interpret and evaluate information. It checks whether you can picture as a whole and revise that picture. The questions asked are in the form of a passage, out of which about 1-5 sentences are long with a couple of blanks. You have to choose the right answer from among the five answer choices.

GMAT includes-

  • Sentence Correction
    It tests your grammar and effective communication skills. The questions asked will be in the form of a sentence. A part of the sentence will be underlined. You’ll have to choose the right phrase from among the five choices to replace the underlined part.
  • Reading Comprehension
    It tests your skills to analyse a situation and come to a conclusion. A set of questions will be asked on a passage. You have to read the content of the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question.
  • Critical Reasoning
    It tests your reasoning skills. You have to analyse the information on which the question is based and then select the right answer.

A major difference between GRE and GMAT here is that while GRE tests your vocabulary, GMAT is more about grammar.

B) GMAT vs GRE – Quantitative Section

The course content (algebra, data interpretation, geometry, arithmetic, word problems) is the same for both exams in the Quantitative section. But, the question format is different for each of the exams.

The Quantitative section questions for GRE are divided into four categories –

  • Quantitative comparison questions
  • Multiple-choice Questions – Select One Answer Choice
  • Multiple-choice Questions – Select One or More Answers Choice
  • Numeric Entry questions

For GMAT –

  • Problem-solving
  • Data sufficiency
    However, the GMAT math is much more challenging than the GRE one. Also, while GRE asks you to choose from multiple answers, type in the correct values or make quantitative comparisons, GMAT focuses on testing your problem-solving skills and throws some sufficiency questions.

A major difference between GRE and GMAT is that GRE allows you to use the calculator for the answers while GMAT does not, even though Math is more difficult in the GMAT. Therefore, proficiency in mathematics can help you decide on GMAT vs GRE tiff.

GMAT vs GRE Syllabus

The GRE and GMAT syllabuses have certain similarities, but they also have some distinctions. Don’t fall into the thought of believing that studying for one will prepare you for the other.  Both the GMAT and the GRE feature sections that are similar. The GMAT has the Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment portions, whereas the GRE has the verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections. The part on Integrated Reasoning is a new addition. Many people believe that the GMAT’s Quantitative component is more difficult than the GRE’s Verbal section and that the GRE’s Verbal section is more difficult than the GMAT.

GMAT vs GRE – Which one is the best for you?

Let us summarise what you have read till now and connect it with your profile.

  • If you are focused on Business Schools, the GMAT will help you the most. Over 6,000 business graduate programs at approximately 1,700 universities and organisations around the world accept the GMAT exam. It is designed specifically to test your management aptitude. Though there are Business schools that accept GRE, some may not necessarily weigh it as equal to GMAT.
  •  GRE is a good option if you are still thinking about choosing a program for yourself but want to give the exam now as the scores are valid for five years. That way, you can later opt for either Business Schools or non-management courses. However, the GMAT is seen as a sign of commitment to management programs for the same reason.
  •  GRE is a good option if an amazing vocabulary is your strength. But then again, if you are fluent in English but lesser fluent applicants can get past you by learning over 1000 words, you have one more reason to go for GMAT over GRE.
    No matter what you choose, ultimately, your aim should be to get a score that the Admission officers can’t ignore.

Comparing GMAT and GRE scores

All the students who take the GRE or GMAT exam also receive a percentile score which acts as a reference point for comparison, although it may not be that accurate. In addition, students can easily convert their GRE scores to GMAT scores with the help of a free tool provided by the ETS. This tool enables students to get a rough estimate of their GMAT score based on their GRE verbal and quantitative sections scores. Many business schools have started giving GRE the same importance they ascribe to the GMAT score; however, some may still prefer the latter. Despite this disparity, there is no significant difference between the format of the two exams, and they eventually measure a candidate’s potential based on similar factors.

GRE-GMAT conversion chart

GRE Verbal Reasoning Score

GRE Quant Reasoning Score

GRE Score

GMAT Score

GMAT Verbal Scaled Score

GMAT Quant Scaled Score

170

170

340

800

46

51

168

168

336

780

44

50

165

165

330

730

41

47

162

162

324

670

38

43

160

160

320

640

36

41

155

155

310

560

32

34

150

150

300

470

27

28

145

145

290

390

23

22

140

140

280

300

18

16

135

135

270

220

14

9

130

130

260

200

9

3

Here is a YouTube video on GMAT v/s. GRE | Which one Should I choose? | Acceptance, Eligibility, and Difficulty.

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 How to decide which exam to give?

how to decide which exam to give?

Here are four steps to determining whether you should take the GMAT or the GRE:

  1. Find out your target school’s score requirement is – Check with your desired business schools to see if they accept both the GMAT and the GRE or if they prefer the GMAT.
  2. GMAT and GRE diagnostic tests are available – Examine your strengths and weaknesses with a free GMAT diagnostic test and an official GRE diagnostic test. You’ve found your solution if you perform better on one test than another. If you decide to take the GMAT, look at the 5-year trend in top business school GMAT scores to determine your target GMAT score.
  3. Decide on the type of graduate programme you wish to pursue – GRE scores are accepted by a wide range of graduate schools, from literature to quantum physics. GMAT scores are accepted only by business schools. Take the GMAT if you’re serious about going to business school. Take the GRE if you’re still undecided and want to keep your choices open.
  4. Compare the GMAT and GRE scores value after graduation – Many consulting firms focus heavily on candidates who have a strong GMAT score. As a result, a GMAT score can help you land both an internship and a job.

Conclusion

To conclude this blog, refer to the table below:

Differences GMAT GRE
Should you take GMAT or GRE? If you plan on getting into business schools’ graduate programs If you’re still undecided about the graduate programme you want to pursue,
Which schools are willing to accept these tests? 2300 business schools Fewer business schools
Fee $250 $205
Test Validity 5 years 5 years
How is the test examined? Computer-based test Computer-based and paper-based
Test Format Computer adaptive test Computer adaptive test
Number of sections 4 6 (1 unscored research section included)
Test duration 3 hours 7 minutes 3 hours 45 minutes
AWA section One essay – 30 minutes Two essays – 60 minutes
Integrated Reasoning section 12 questions – 30 minutes NA
Quant Section 1 section – 31 questions – 62 minutes 20 questions each in 2 sections – 70 minutes
Verbal Section 1 section – 36 questions – 65 minutes 20 questions each in 2 sections – 60 minutes
Test Score Range 200 – 800 (in 10-point increment) 260 – 340 (in 1-point increment)
Quant score range  6 – 51 (scaled score) 130 – 170
Verbal score range  6 – 51 130 – 170
Integrated Reasoning score 1 – 8 NA
AWA score 0 – 6 0 – 6

 

FAQ’s

Q1. Is it possible to get an accurate GRE to GMAT score conversion?

You can refer to the official tools for the conversion, and the closest you can get is by comparing the percentile. However, multiple factors are crucial in calculating individual scores; thus, getting a highly accurate conversion is impossible. 

Q2. How should I choose between the GMAT or GRE?

The exam that you choose will depend on the requirements of your preferred school. For example, some students believe that the quantitative section of the GMAT exam is more challenging due to the complexity of the questions. However, you’ll only be able to find out the differences once you take a practice exam. Thus, it is recommended that you take an initial test to determine the difficulty level, which can vary for different people. Then, the conversion chart can be used to estimate the approximate score and figure out the most suitable exam for you.

Q3. Which is easier between the GRE and GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam’s mathematics section is perceived to be a little more complex than the GRE. Additionally, if verbal reasoning is your strong suit, you might be more inclined to take the GMAT exam. If you have a stronghold on y, you might consider taking the GRE instead. Moreover, it also allows you to be eligible for a wide range of masters programs, unlike the GMAT exam, which is only used for management-related programs. 

Q4. Is there a difference between score and percentile?

Both the GMAT and GRE test takers receive an average score and a percentile. For instance, a total GMAT score of 730 is considered to be in the 96th percentile. This means that if you obtain a 730 on the GMAT, you will have outperformed 96 percent of the GMAT test-takers.

Q5. What are the major differences between the GMAT and GRE?

Both the GMAT and GRE last for approximately the same time, and the score lasts for five years. The GRE costs $205, while the GMAT costs $250. The test score range for the GMAT exam is 200-800, and that of the GRE exam is 260-340. The analytical segment of the GMAT exam consists of one essay, and that of the GRE consists of two essays. The quantitative section of the GMAT exam consists of 31 questions, whereas GRE consists of 20 questions as a part of 2 sections. 

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