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GRE vs GMAT – Which is Easier?

For students who want to take up a graduate degree or the coveted Master’s Degree, they will need to make a choice on whether they should take up GRE or GMAT.

GRE and GMAT are exams that some universities and colleges require before students can apply for the masters’ degree of their choice. It enables these institutions to determine the student’s verbal, analytical and mathematical skills since graduate degrees require a higher level of skill from students.

Considering this fact, some students and parents alike are confused as to whether they need to take both exams to increase their chances of getting into the university they want.

What exactly is the difference between both exams and which one should you take?

Difference between GRE and GMAT

GRE is an examination required by both graduate schools and business schools for aspiring Masters’ students. GRE is divided into two parts – Verbal and Quantitative – and scores can be as high as 170 and each question is worth 1 point. The exam also has an Analytical Writing section wherein students need to write two essays within 30 minutes each. The entire exam will last up to 3.5 hours if it is done on paper and up to 3.75 hours if you take the computer exam.

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GRE registration is around $195.

Meanwhile, GMAT is an examination required by business schools for aspiring students. Just like GRE, it has a Verbal and a Quantitative portion. However, the Analytical writing section only requires 1 essay which can be completed in 30 minutes. There is also an integrated reasoning section, which is not included in the GMAT’s overall score. The entire exam score can be as high as 800 points with a 10-point increment and can last up to 3.5 hours.

GMAT registration costs around $250.

The test results of the exams are valid for 5 years, enabling students to use the results for their applications.

GRE vs. GMAT – Verbal Exam

The GRE Verbal Exam mostly focuses on an examinee’s vocabulary capabilities and has the following areas:

1. Sentence equivalence
The examinees are tested when it comes to their capacity for understanding the word and sentence meanings, patterns and relationships. Questions for this portion often involve a single sentence with a blank portion with 6 choices. Examinees would have to select two choices from the set.

2. Reading comprehension
In this part of the exam, examinees will be tested on how well they can analyze a passage, create a hypothesis based on the data given, and understand its meaning. Questions for this part of the test includes multiple choice questions that has five choices.

3. Text Completion
For this part of the test, examinees are challenged to interpret and analyze the information given. Examinees must be able to revise the picture given and determine if you understood it completely. Questions for this part would include passages with blank areas that must be filled by one of the 5 answer choices provided.

For GMAT, their Verbal Exam checks the student’s grammar skills through the following sections:

1. Sentence Correction
Examinees are required to showcase their grammar and communication skills during this test. A portion of the question is underlined and examinees are required to select the correct phrase from the five choices provided.

2. Reading comprehension
For this part of the test, examinees are required to showcase their analytic capabilities and reach the conclusion required in the passage. They will then select the right answer based on the passages required.

3. Critical reasoning
This part of the exam checks the examinee’s capacity to reason out based on the information provided. Several questions will be raised with the information provided. The examinee will need to select the right answer.

GRE Vs. GMAT – Quantitative Exam

For both the GRE and GMAT, the quantitative exam would always include algebra, geometry, arithmetic, data analysis and word problems. However, GRE would enable students to use a calculator during the exam while GMAT will prohibit it. Both exams also ask these topics differently with GRE mostly checking the examinee’s basic arithmetic skills while GMAT challenges an examinee’s problem solving and data analysis skills.

In the GRE, the quantitative section is divided into four different categories:

Numeric entry questions
Multiple choice questions that require only one answer
Multiple choice questions that require two or more answers.
Comparison questions

In GMAT, it only has two categories:

Data sufficiency
Problem Solving

Which One Should You Get?

Considering the content of the exams, it is easy to determine which exam you should take once you are decided to pursue graduate schools.

If you are considering of taking a master’s degree related to business, taking GMAT is the way to go. At least 6,000 business graduate programs across the globe accept GMAT results because it provides schools an idea about the student’s management skills. Some business schools do accept GRE, but they are very rare.

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If you are considering another degree or want to have more options, GRE is the exam to select. The exam results are valid for 5 years, giving you enough time to think about what course you wish to take in the future. GMAT also has a 5-year validity, but it is most suited for students intending to take business-related degrees.

GRE is also the perfect exam to take for students who are proficient in their vocabulary and English skills. However, GMAT can also be good to show schools your dedication and skill.

Final thoughts

When planning for your graduate studies, it is important that your application is flawless since schools will need to see that you are capable of handling the advance workload graduate school offers to its students. By taking either GRE or GMAT and acing the exam, schools will have more reasons to consider your application and allow you to enroll in their roster.

When you decide on either one of the exams, do not slack off and prepare accordingly because your results will bring you a step closer to your coveted Master’s degree.

For GMAT, GRE and SATs related articles, please refer here:

10 Ways To Improve Your GMAT Score to 700
Detailed Breakdown Of SAT Components


Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.