GMAT vs GRE For MBA & Masters – Which is Easier?

by Naveen Kumar April 2, 2024 521

GMAT vs GRE: Which is Easier & Better?

The GMAT and the GRE are very popular entrance exams taken by aspirants who wish to pursue MBA, or Masters's programs from their dream institutes across the globe. They are among some of the toughest entrance exams to crack. GRE is an entrance exam that is important for getting admissions into various colleges/universities, to pursue Masters's or doctoral degree programs. On the other hand, the GMAT is an entrance exam that is essential to pursue MBA in premier institutions in India and abroad.

Once you decided to pursue a management-related program abroad, the next immediate question is which entrance exam to give. Which exam among GMAT and GRE should I choose? This is one of the most common questions asked by a lot of students. And, also many students planning to pursue Foreign education face a lot of confusion between GMAT and GRE: This article will look at the differences between GMAT and GRE, the toughness of the exams, which is better among GMAT & GRE, and all the essential things one should know that will help you which exam you should choose. Here’s full comparison between the GMAT and the GRE. Here you can check the GRE vs GMAT difficulty.

If you're preparing for the GMAT, firstly you should be aware of the examination pattern clearly and have a proper GMAT online preparation plan.

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What is GMAT?

The GMAT is one of the most widely taken MBA entrance examinations globally, and the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) organises it. It is a test known to assess the analytical and critical thinking abilities of a candidate. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a Computer-Adaptive Test. The GMAT exam is taken by 2-3 lakhs students annually. Every management aspirant hopes to achieve a high GMAT score that will allow them to apply to the top MBA colleges in India and abroad. The exam includes the following sections:

Check out the GMAT Syllabus PDF

GMAT Exam Pattern

Subject NameNo. of questionsPointsTime Limit
Quantitative Reasoning2160 - 90 score range45 Min
Verbal Reasoning


60 - 90 score range45 Min
Data Insights2060 - 90 score range45 Min

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an entrance exam that is required for admission to pursue a Master's program, MBA Program (in some institutes), and doctoral degree programs in the colleges in the USA and a few other countries. The GRE exam is organised by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The GRE exam is written by over 5 lakhs students annually. The GRE General Test includes the following sections:

GRE Exam Pattern

Subject NameNo. of questionsScore ScaleTime Limit
Analytical WritingTwo tasks: One "Analyze an Issue" task & one "Analyze an Argument" taskl

0-6 (in half-point increments)
30 Mins per task
Verbal Reasoning (two sections)20 questions per section130-170 (in 1-point increments)30 Mins per section
Quantitative Reasoning (two sections)20 questions per section130-170 (in 1-point increments)35 Mins per section
Unscored & Research*Varies-Varies

*Note: The scores in these sections are not counted towards your final score.

The Analytical Writing section will always be first. The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order; therefore, you should treat each section as if it counts toward your score.

The overall testing time for the GRE General Test is about 3 hrs and 45 minutes. There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section.

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Comparison between GMAT and GRE

Let us look at the key differences between GMAT vs GRE, which is recommended among GMAT vs GRE. As mentioned, between GMAT and GRE, both of which, according to statistical data, have a big number of takers year after year. So, let us see which is better for you.

Eligibility: GMAT vs. GRE

GMAT: According to GMAC, there are no precise eligibility requirements for taking the GMAT exam. However, before applying to any institution or university, make sure you are aware of all of the requirements.

GRE: A common myth among some students is that only engineering students can give the GRE exam. There are 2 types of GRE exams: GRE General Test, and GRE Subject Tests (GRE subject tests are in specific fields like Chemistry, Biology, etc). And, students who wish to pursue MBA or a management-related degree focus on the GRE General Test - and candidates having any undergrad degree can apply to the GRE General Test. (in this article we are looking at the differences between GMAT and the GRE General test).

When it comes to the Eligibility of the GRE exam, there are no specific restrictions of age limits. The candidates applying for GRE should have an undergraduation degree. Students are advised to check the eligibility of the specific schools/colleges they are targetting.

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GMAT vs GRE Syllabus and Overview

There is no huge difference in the syllabus for both exams. GMATSyllabus is based on topics such as English and Quant. The GRESyllabus is also majorly based on English and Quant.

Key Differences in GMAT vs GRE:

Exam conducting bodyThe GMACThe ETS
Purpose of examinationThe entrance exam for Admission to pursue MBA in India and abroad.The entrance exam for Admission to pursue master's, specialized master's in business, MBA, doctoral degree.
Mode of ExamOnline (and computer-adaptive)Online
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Analytical Writing
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Unscored / Research
Number of questions


(21 questions in quant + 23 questions in Verbal + 20 questions in data insights)

(40 questions in quant + 40 questions in Verbal + 2 Analytical Writing tasks)
Total Marks805

(GMAT score one can get ranges between 205-805)

(Scoring ranges between 260-340)
Negative markingNoNo
Exam duration2 hours and 15 minutes. optional break of 10 minutesAbout 3 hrs and 45 minutes
Type of questionsMultiple Choice Questions (MCQ’s) with 5 options.Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ’s)
Exam dateCandidates can schedule anytime during the year (upto 5 times a year, and a maximum of 8 attempts overall).Candidates can schedule anytime during the year (upto 5 times a year).
Score validity5 years5 years
Top Colleges (in India)ISB Hyderabad, SPJIMR, IIM’s (one-year MBA Program), XLRI, IMT Ghaziabad, Great Lakes Chennai, TAPMI, LBSIM Delhi, GIM Goa, etc.ISB Hyderabad, SPJIMR, Some IIM’s (one-year MBA Program), XLRI, BITS School of Mgmt., etc.

GMAT Verbal vs GRE Verbal

Every one has question in mind that which is easier? GMAT Verbal is slightly easier than GRE Verbal since GRE verbal tests include a more difficult vocabulary.

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GMAT vs GRE - Which test’s Quant section is easier

GMAT Quant is thought to be more difficult than GRE Quant. The GMAT Quant section assesses your problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, the data sufficiency problems are rather difficult. Even though GRE quant problems are easier than GMAT, GRE permits you to use a calculator, but GMAT does not.
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Additional pointers

  • As we can see, the pattern of both these exams is different. The candidates appearing for the GMAT exam are tested on topics such as Verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning, Integrated reasoning, and AWA. And, the candidates appearing for GRE are tested on topics such as Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, etc.
  • To crack the GMAT and the GRE, one needs to have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals, do rigorous practice, and have a proper exam-taking strategy. One needs to solve multiple mock tests and learn to manage time during the exam.

Placements: GMAT vs GRE

    • As far as the placements are concerned, the packages offered during the placements depend on the college one is graduating from. In India, the packages are much higher for the ones passing out of top colleges such as ISB, the old IIM’s, SPJIMR, etc. The Average placement at ISB, Hyderabad stands at 28+ LPA.

The GMAT and GRE Results

The GMAT test result: The overall GMAT score (which is out of 800) includes your scores of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections only. Once you’ve taken the GMAT exam, you will be getting your score for Quant, Verbal, IR, and Overall score immediately after the exam - And here the candidates have the option to keep the scores or cancel them. And if you decided to keep your scores, you will get the final score officially in 2-3 weeks, including ur AWA score.

The GRE General Test result: Your official GRE General Test scores will be available 10-15 days after your test date. Candidates will also receive an email from ETS after the scores are available.

Exam fee: GMAT vs. GRE

The exam fee for GRE is around $213. The exam fee for GMAT is $250 (which is roughly Rs.18,300).

How many times and when can one take the GRE and the GMAT?

GMAT: Candidates can give the exam any time during the year. According to the GMAC, you can take the GMAT exam once every 16 calendar days and no more than five times in a rolling 12-month period and no more than eight times in total. Hence, in terms of exam dates, the GMAT provides more flexibility. You have to register on their official website and book the slot to schedule the exam. Candidates also have the option to reschedule their exam date.

GRE: One can take the exam once every 21 days, and upto 5 times a year. And, there is no maximum limit for the number of times you can take the exam. Also, though GRE is an online exam, it can also be paper-based in a few countries where computer centers are not available.

The Admission Process of top colleges accepting the GMAT vs. GRE scores

  • GMAT: The top MBA Colleges accepting GMAT scores also give considerable weightage to one’s profile. For GMAT, along with your exam score, you have to submit a lengthy application, which includes your work experience, SOP, letters of recommendation from your professors or previous employers. Once your profile is shortlisted, you will get an interview call. (candidates are also advised to check with the respective colleges for a detailed admission process). Also, The GMAT score is automatically reported to 5 colleges of your choice for free (you can choose these colleges when giving the GMAT exam). You can also apply for more colleges by paying a certain fee.
  • GRE: The GRE scores are accepted in many graduate schools in the United States, Canada, and a few other countries. The admission process varies for different institutes, and your GRE scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement your undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and other qualifications for graduate-level study. Also, during the exam, candidates can send the GRE scores to four graduate institutes for free.
  • Since a master's in engineering management is an interdisciplinary program, some universities will accept either GRE or GMAT scores. But GRE scores tend to be preferred, as the GRE applies more readily to both the engineering and management sides.

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Scores required for Top Colleges: GMAT vs. GRE

As mentioned, the GMAT is one of the most widely taken MBA entrance examinations globally. One usually needs a GMAT score of 650+ (out of 800) to apply to the top B-Schools. To pursue MBA from Ivy League colleges, one needs to have a GMAT score of at least 700+ or 730+

And, to apply to top colleges through GRE, a score of around 327 is usually considered a good score in the GRE exam.

Time required to prepare for GMAT and GRE

The time required to prepare for an exam depends on the candidate’s ability to grasp the concepts. Students starting from scratch usually take around 5 months to crack the GMAT exam. On the other hand, students starting from scratch take around 4 months to crack the GRE exam.

Is coaching needed?

Yes. One would also need external mentorship in the form of coaching and mentors to prepare for both the GMAT and the GRE exam. Preparation for the GMAT can be done from home by enrolling in an online course.

Having a good peer group is also essential for cracking both exams. You can join our Telegram group for GMAT Aspirants here, where you can post and discuss your GMAT preparation and college admission-related queries with your peers and exam experts.

Check out the complete GMAT syllabus and Section-wise Preparation Tips

GMAT vs GRE: Which is tougher?

Both exams require dedication, proper planning, and hard work. The difficulty level differs for each exam, and from candidate to candidate. Both the exams test the analytical skills and logical thinking abilities of the candidates, and both of these are important exams for graduate students. Both the GMAT and the GRE have a comparable overall difficulty level when it comes to overall difficulty. At this point, the relevant question to ask is which component of both tests (quantitative and verbal) is the most challenging. Let us compare the toughness of both the exams.

GMAT Verbal vs GRE Verbal

  • In GRE verbal section, more emphasis is placed on Vocabulary. Also, Maths is considered relatively easier when compared to that of GMAT.
  • In GMAT verbal section, emphasis is placed on Grammar, Critical Reasoning, and language skills.
  • GMAT Verbal involves Sentence Correction, and GRE verbal tests include a more difficult vocabulary.

Which section of the Quant section of the test is the most difficult?

GMAT Quant is considered to be slightly difficult than GRE Quant. The GMAT Quant section assesses your problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, the data sufficiency problems are rather difficult.

Even though GRE quant problems are easier than GMAT, GRE permits you to use a calculator, but GMAT does not.

Usually, GRE is considered slightly easier than the GMAT, but this is subjective and depends on the students.

So, both exams have their own difficulty levels and which one is tougher depends on one’s strengths and weaknesses.

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Confused between GMAT and GRE? Which is better?

  • Both of these are very important exams for graduate students. It is not wise to choose the entrance exam depending on how easy the exam is. The exams are neither too easy nor too tough, and one needs to work equally hard for them.
  • Which exam is difficult among GMAT and GRE, and what exam should one give entirely depends on one’s interests and career goals. One needs to do a good deal of hard work to crack the exams.
  • Which exam should you choose - The exam you must give depends on your target college/institute. Which exam to give among GMAT and GRE, depends on the country in which your target college is in - US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. So, which exam to take depends on which college you are applying to, and in which country. The candidates are advised to check with the respective college websites and selection criteria of the respective colleges.
  • Also, you must know the answers to these questions: WHY you are giving a certain exam? Where do you want to pursue MBA from, which program do you want to pursue, and why? What do you want to be, where do you want yourself in the next 5-10 years? What are your goals? Assess your interests, strengths, weaknesses. Once you do this, you will be able to figure out which is the right exam to give.
  • One must choose his/her career wisely depending on one’s interests and skills.

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