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While the GMAT has long been the standard test for graduate programs in business, the GRE has been gaining acceptance in business schools in recent years. The GRE is taken by students from arts and science backgrounds to pursue graduate programs. By considering GRE scores, business schools have opened up an avenue for these students to apply for business programs without additional test preparation or incurring more expenses, diversifying their applicant pool in the process as well.

Business school applicants, however, are often in a quandary about whether to take the GMAT or the GRE. In general, if you have a strong inclination to quant, you may be better suited to take the GMAT. On the other hand, if you have a flair for languages, your performance may be better on the GRE. A great starting point is to take a practice test for each and determine your level of comfort. Your scores will also be an indication about which test you should prepare for.

What happens if you decide to take the GMAT but end up with a score that is below your expectations? There’s no need to worry. You can always take the GMAT again. Further, if you can’t elevate your score even after a few tries, you can switch to the GRE. The additional expense and time spent on preparation will be well worth the opportunity to score at a level that will significantly improve your chances of getting into the schools of your choice.

While deciding on whether to take the GMAT or the GRE, it’s important to have an eye on the average scores (and range of scores) accepted by business schools. Since the GMAT and GRE are scored differently, you should also familiarize yourself with the minimum percentiles you need to aim for. When it comes to the GRE, it must also be pointed out that while it is becoming more common, you should check that the schools in your selection list do indeed accept it.


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