The GMAT® Exam Advantage

Business schools trust the GMAT® exam because it has set the standard for its ability to predict candidates' academic performance in today’s graduate management programs.

Student at desk

Business schools trust the GMAT® exam

Created by business schools for business schools, the GMAT exam is the most trusted, proven and well-understood predictor of academic success. The exam provides admissions officers with access to the largest pipeline of candidates committed to graduate business management studies and allows them to build a diverse and successful class.

 

The Test

9 out of 10 new MBA enrollments are made using a GMAT® score.**

GMAT® Exam

Designed by business schools for business schools, the GMAT® exam assesses the skills most relevant to success in a graduate management program.

More than 200,000 business school candidates per year take the GMAT exam exclusively for application to graduate management education programs.

GRE® Test

A general admissions test for candidates applying to a wide range of graduate programs.

More than 550,000 graduate school candidates take the GRE® exam per year, of which only 6% (about 33,000 students) take the GRE for admission to a graduate business program.

GMAT Advantage

With the GMAT® exam, schools know that they are getting a pipeline of candidates who are committed to a business education.

According to the latest Kaplan survey, the number of graduate business admission professionals indicating preference for the GMAT exam has increased 44% since 2014. GRE preference has fallen from 4% to 2%.***


Format

GMAT uses CAT for each Quant and Verbal question.

GMAT® Exam

Offered in computer adaptive (CAT) format only. The GMAT® exam adapts for each question in the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the test.

Total testing time: 3 hours and 30 minutes.

GRE® Test

Offered in computer adaptive (CAT) and paper-based formats. The GRE® exam adapts between sections; the questions within the sections are linear.

Total testing time: 3 hours and 45 minutes.

GMAT Advantage

For the GMAT® exam, computer adaptive testing (CAT) determines the difficulty of the next question based on the candidate’s previous response and ability. As the GMAT uses CAT during the entire Quant and Verbal section, it provides a more efficient, secure, and accurate and accurate measure of a candidate’s abilities.


Security

GMAC is the industry leader in test security.

GMAT® Exam

ID verification includes a palm vein reader, signature and digital photo, valid identification, proctored and videotaped individual testing stations.

GRE® Test

ETS does not use a palm vein reader at the test center.

GMAT Advantage

GMAC is the industry leader in test security, continuously developing security measures to ensure that the GMAT® exam is a fair measure of a test taker’s ability, to maintain test integrity, and to minimize unfair practices. GMAC’s standardized test security policies, protocols and technology at our test centers worldwide provide schools the confidence that the candidate sitting in the classroom is the same one who earned the GMAT score used in the admissions process.

Score Ranges

Schools build successful classes based on GMAT scores.

GMAT® Exam

Individual section scores + GMAT total score.
  • Overall scores range from 200- 800 points in 10-point increments
  • Quant section scores range from 0-60, in 1-point increments
  • Verbal section scores range from 0-60, in 1-point increments
  • Analytical Writing Assessment scores range from 0-6, in half point increments
  • Integrated Reasoning scores range from 1-8, in 1-point increments

GRE® Test

Individual section scores only.
  • Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 130-170 in one point increments
  • Writing score ranges from 0-6 in half point increments

GMAT Advantage

Schools are comfortable building successful classes based on historical GMAT scores. The GMAT Total Score is an industry standard used in rankings and by ETS to offer a comparative score. A comprehensive total score allows schools to look at a single number as a measure of a candidate’s ability, while providing the flexibility to consider individual section scores.

GRE does not have a total score, which requires schools to convert the section scores to an equivalent GMAT Total Score for comparison. The score conversion table offered by ETS has no proven validity and a very high standard error of prediction. Many candidates score differently on both tests because they measure different abilities.


The Owner

Specializing in serving graduate business schools for 60-plus years.

GMAT® Exam

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a global non-profit organization composed of 220 leading graduate business schools dedicated to GMAT around the world.

GRE® Test

The Education Testing Service, Inc. (ETS) is a global non-profit educational assessment and measurement organization with a focus on general education.

GMAT Advantage

GMAC provides information and insights to improve schools’ decision making about the discovery and evaluation of talent for business education.

We were founded by business schools and are governed by a board of directors that includes representation from business schools. With more than 60 years specializing in serving business schools, the Council provides products and services, including market intelligence and professional development events, to support admissions professionals and promote business education.


The Integrated Reasoning (IR) Section

The IR section measures skills relevant for career success.

GMAT® Exam

The Integrated Reasoning (IR) section measures a candidate’s ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources – skills increasingly in demand in our technologically advanced, data-driven world.

GRE® Test

The GRE test has no IR section.

GMAT Advantage

The IR section was developed with input from business school admissions officers and industry participants to measure specific reasoning skills that are important to business school success. Corporate recruiters have also confirmed that the IR section measures skills relevant for career success. The additional information provided by the IR section helps schools to differentiate among otherwise similar candidates while maintaining continuity with previous GMAT scores.

Diversity

GMAC actively invests in initiatives geared at diversity pipeline development.

GMAT® Exam

For more than three decades, GMAC has been actively engaged in increasing diversity in business education. Recognizing diversity as a global business imperative, GMAC has invested more than $12 million in programs, organizations, and initiatives geared toward diversity pipeline development, leveraged to develop a strategy to increase URPs in the business school pipeline.

GRE® Test

Educational Testing Service (ETS), the owner of the GRE, also is invested into increasing diversity but does not focus solely and specifically on graduate management education.

GMAT Advantage

Since 2006, the number of GMAT® tests taken by women are up 33%, by African Americans, 24%, by 18 to 23-year-olds, 63%, by Europeans, 35%, by those with non-business undergraduate degrees, 25%. Test takers represent 186 citizenship groups. In 2016, GMAC published two studies for the industry on the dynamics of underrepresented populations’ (URP) perceptions, interest and pursuit of graduate management education.*

Score Reports

The free benchmarking data in GMAT® score reports helps schools make more informed admissions decisions.

GMAT® Exam

Schools can access score reports online at their convenience and without cost (daily, weekly, or monthly). Schools also receive score-sending patterns and behaviors, which are important benchmarking data that can help define their marketing strategy.

GRE® Test

Scorelink Internet Delivery Service updates scores, and score CDs are produced approximately twice a week. Fees apply. (Scorelink or CD fee is waived only if a school chooses not to receive paper reports.)

GMAT Advantage

The free benchmarking data in GMAT® score reports helps schools make more informed admissions decisions and better understand their market and competition. Information is updated daily and available online for convenience.

*GMAC Research 2016.
**Refers to top 50 U.S. full-time MBA programs.
***According to the latest Kaplan Test Prep Surveys, from 2014 to 2016