GRE, GMAT, or Skip It?

Getting all your ducks in a row to prepare your application for graduate school is a lengthy and detailed process. One of the most important boxes to check is taking the GRE or the GMAT.

So what’s the difference between the GRE and the GMAT? And why doesn’t every school require applicants to take one of these tests?

Both the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are standardized tests utilized for graduate-level admissions. Both tests include three sections: an analytical writing section, a quantitative section, and a verbal section.

The function of the GRE is to gauge a student’s ability to succeed in a graduate program and evaluate their general academic aptitude. The GRE is the most widely accepted graduate admissions test globally.

The GMAT is specifically used to predict a student’s success in a business program, and is often required for admissions to an MBA program. This test includes a fourth section which assesses a student’s integrated reasoning skills.

The GRE and GMAT are graduate-level counterparts to the SAT and ACT. The tests are similar and evaluate like categories. Certain universities or degree programs prefer one test score over the other. Make sure you know what the program requires well in advance of applying so you can adequately prepare and schedule to take the appropriate test.

Many universities are moving away from requiring the GRE or GMAT for graduate school admissions, or are changing the emphasis placed on scores for specific circumstances. Admissions boards are using substitute components to evaluate applicants, including resumes, portfolios, writing samples, professional work experience, and more. These markers are often more predictive of a student’s performance and professional success than standardized testing.

On the flip side of the coin, a GRE or GMAT requirement is not indicative of the quality of the degree program. When choosing a graduate program, you should research the university and department’s reputation, determine if a school is accredited, and evaluate if online and on-campus courses and requirements mirror one another.

Amberton University does not require prospective graduate students to submit GRE or GMAT scores in their application. All 15 master’s programs are accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. You can find full graduate application requirements here or contact an adviser to discuss your application today!


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