GRE General Test vs GMAT

The GRE General Test and GMAT are graduate exams used to test proficiency and the ability to do graduate level work. These tests are used to showcase skills to make a determination whether or not this candidate is a good fit for the program.

The GRE General Test is a test taken by applicants who desire to pursue a graduate degree. The GMAT is primarily designed for those students who wish to pursue a graduate degree specifically in business. Either exam is usually required, but if a program does not require an exam, submitting test scores could add an additional layer of qualifying material to the application.

Test Basics

Both the GRE General Test and the GMAT have year-round continuous testing, depending on seat availability.

The GRE General Test may take up to 3 hours and 45 minutes while the GMAT is 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The cost of the GRE General Test is $205, and the cost of the GMAT is $250.00.

Locations to take the tests vary. Testing locations can be found for the GRE General Test through their website. Testing locations for the GMAT can be found when registering an account. Registering for the exams require setting up a free account. This will also provide access to scores after they have been prepared.

What Is On the Tests

The GRE General Test consists of the following sections:

  • Analytical Writing (1 section with 2 separately timed tasks)
  • Verbal Reasoning (2 sections)
  • Quantitatvie Reasoning (2 sections)

An additional unscored section may be added after the Analytical Writing portion of the exam.

The GMAT® consists of four sections:

  • Analytical Writing
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitatvie Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

Both the GRE General Test® and the GMAT® test higher-level skills not related to specific subject areas. They test the student's ability to analyze and evaluate data/information, think critically and use reasoning, and communicate thoughts effectively.

How the Tests Are Scored

On the GRE General Test, scores range between 130-170 for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitatvie Reasoning sections and between 0-6 for the Analytical Writing section.

The score range for the GMAT for Integrated Reasoning is between 200 and 800. Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60, and Analytical Writing is between 0 and 6.

The GRE General Test does not penalize for leaving a question blank or for incorrect answers. This means that students are now encouraged to guess rather than leaving any answers blank. The GMAT penalizes unanswered questions more than incorrect answers so students will want to at least guess an answer rather than leave a question blank.

You are able to select which scores to send to the institution for the GRE General Test. Scores from both are available from the last five years. The GMAT report will reflect all new scores to compare.

Retaking the Tests

For the computer-generated GRE General Test, you can retake the test every 21 days up to five times in a rolling 12-month period. The GMAT can be retaken every 16 calendar days, but no more than five times in a rolling 12-month period.


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