Can I Take the GRE Instead of the GMAT?

Back when the GRE was updated, we posted an article about how this new format could be the GMAT killer. While the GRE has not overtaken GMAT in terms of popularity for admissions to business programs, it certainly has gained more secure footing as a competitor. At the time of our last post, the GRE was accepted by over 450 MBA programs. Now, according to the ETS website, about 1200 programs worldwide accept the GRE in place of the GMAT, including over 900 programs in the US. A full list of MBA programs that will accept the GRE in place of the GMAT can be found on the ETS website.

So, does that mean you can take the GRE instead of the GMAT? Short answer, yes with an if, long answer maybe with a but.

If you google “GRE vs. GMAT” you’ll find a range of opinions on the matter. Drawn out listicles full of personal experience and “expert” opinions will overwhelm you with so many questions to ask yourself that they may only leave you questioning your life and your choices. But you, prudent reader, have checked with test prep experts, and we will make the answer as simple as possible: take the test that you feel most comfortable preparing for—or both, if you’d like. Before you give the matter any more thought, however, make sure none of the MBA programs you’re looking at require the GMAT.

There are a few advantages to either exam. The GRE is a catchall test for graduate admissions, meaning if you aren’t 100% sure you want to continue on to business school but you want to explore graduate level options, it is definitely the test to take. This may also be the more useful exam if you’re applying to a dual degree program, such as an MBA/JD or MBA/MFA program. Also, since the test is used for such a wide range of programs, it’s generally agreed that the math is easier than the math on the GMAT. The GRE also lacks the “integrated reasoning” section featured on the GMAT, which, if you aren’t super skilled at assessing data from charts and graphs quickly, can be a challenge, especially since there’s no partial credit. Oh, and also, the GRE is a little cheaper.

The GMAT, on the other hand, is still more familiar to business schools (and, in some cases may still be the only exam they accept); since the test is specifically for business school admissions, it also may better showcase your skills as a competent potential manager (that “integrated reasoning” must count for something, right?). While the GMAT does have a verbal section that includes reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction questions, these questions are meant to test your practical skills as they would be applicable to the business world, whereas the GRE, seeing as how it is also the exam for people applying for graduate programs in the humanities, expects you to know words like “abstemious” and “opprobrium.” Simply put, if you hated the sentence completion portion of the SAT, the GRE is probably not for you.

If you still aren’t sure, check out both tests. The ETS website offers a free practice GRE, while, GMAC’s official website for the GMAT exam, offers sample questions of each of the different question types. Both companies also have their own conversion tools to help you compare scores between the different tests, but the ETS’s tool is the more commonly used of the two. Whichever exam you choose, remember, preparation is key!

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School Spotlight: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

UTHSCSA offers the IBMS doctoral program, which offers students the flexibility to combine multiple disciplines into a single degree.

Today we’ll be spotlighting the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA), which is home to one of the nation’s foremost aging research centers and offers multiple doctoral and masters programs. In particular, we’ll take a look at the Graduate School of Biomedical Science’s doctoral program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBMS).


Target GRE score 315
Application deadline March 15
Required Courses 1 year Inorganic Chemistry, with lab
1 year Organic Chemistry, with lab
1 year Physics
1 semester of Calculus or Statistics
Biology 2 years, courses for biology majors



What is the IBMS degree?

UTHSCSA’s doctoral IBMS program aims to integrate seven distinct disciplines: Biology of Aging; Cancer Biology; Cell Biology; Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity; Molecular Biophysics; Neuroscience; and Physiology and Pharmacology. Students are given the freedom to tailor the degree to their own interests. According to the school,

To accomplish this mission, trainees choose coursework, an area of research, and a mentor based on their interests and professional goals.

Like any doctoral program, IBMS expects students to be self motivated and allows Ph.D. candidates the flexibility to explore the fields they’re truly passionate about.


UTHSCSA leads the nation in aging research.

UTHSCSA leads the nation in aging research.

In addition to being located in the churro capital of the world, UTHSCSA is also one of Texas’ foremost research centers. In 2015, the health science center was awarded $4,944,193 in NIH grant funding, which places it right below Harvard University in grants awarded and makes UTHSCSA the 7th highest grant recipient in the state of Texas. Further, the school is known for its top-tier aging research center, and just last year it was announced that UTHSCSA would receive two prestigious grants from the National Institute on Aging, worth $7 million over 5 years. One of these grants also establishes a Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, of which there are only 15 nationally. As you can see, UTHSCSA is at the forefront of scientific research, particularly for aging research, and any graduate of their program would be well prepared to lead biomedical research into the future.

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GRE Quantitative Reasoning – Quantitative Comparison Example Problem

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Testimonial Thursday

Today we just wanted to share a testimonial we received from one of our recent GRE students.

“I took a test GRE about two months ago and bombed the quantitative (a 142 – 12%!). I’m 37 and hadn’t opened a math book in almost 20 years, so the prep books were just hieroglyphics. After hearing you were the best, I called in. Yesterday, I scored a 155 (60%) — my target Q score — meaning your tutors helped me jump almost 50% of test takers in just two months with only eight very reasonably-priced sessions. I’m simply overjoyed.

If I may say: my math instructor was fantastic and made math, for the first time in my life, actually interesting to learn.

Thank you, “Test Masters,” for living up to your name.

-Matt. P

We’re overjoyed to hear Matt managed such a herculean improvement to reach his target score, and we’re even more glad that he finally discovered how interesting math can be. Kudos to you Matt, and best of luck in your graduate studies!

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GRE Quantitative Reasoning – Quantitative Comparison Example Problem

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GRE Quantitative Reasoning – Quantitative Comparison Example Problem

QR Example Problem 7

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Sample GRE Multiple Choice Math Problem – Triangle Side Lengths

It's just a triangle, it can't hurt you, I swear!

It’s just a triangle, it can’t hurt you, I swear!

On every GRE Math section, the test makers try to come up with a few extremely difficult problems that will leave even the cleverest students scratching their heads. The really evil part, though, is that even these problems can be solved in under a minute without a calculator – if you know what to do. This means that once you “figure out the trick,” these difficult problems become easy. So, while those test makers are busy cackling with sadistic glee, let’s see if we can’t beat them at their own game. Continue reading “Sample GRE Multiple Choice Math Problem – Triangle Side Lengths” »

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GRE Quantitative Reasoning – Value of a Percent Change Example Problem

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