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Updated on
October 25, 2023

GRE Vs GMAT Exam: Check Key Similarities & Differences, Top MBA Colleges & Programs


Both GMAT and GRE exams lead to MBA admissions. However, if we compare GRE Vs GMAT, it will reveal many secrets as GRE, conducted by ETS, is accepted for admission to various courses including Engineering, Law, Management while GMAT is MBA admission specific entrance exam. Countries like USA, Europe, USA, Australia, China, Singapore among others and many B-schools in India also accept both GRE and GMAT score. GMAT and GRE acceptability is rising in many countries.


Read Table of Contents below to understand what is the difference between the GRE and GMAT exam


Table of Contents

  1. GRE Vs GMAT: What is the Difference Between GRE and GMAT?
  2. Shorter GRE Vs GMAT Focus Edition: Difference and Similarities
  3. GRE Vs GMAT: Difficulty Level
  4. GMAT Vs GRE: Cost of Exam
  5. Type of Test: GRE Vs GMAT exams
  6. B-schools accepting GMAT and GRE
  7. FAQs on GRE Vs GMAT

1. GRE Vs GMAT: What is the Difference Between GRE and GMAT?
Let us compare and understand what is the difference between present pattern of GRE and GMAT and what are the similarities. Below are shared the broad areas of similarities and differences between GRE and GMAT Present pattern

Exam Purpose
General admissions test
Business school admissions test
Exam Structure
Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing
Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning
Assesses reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence skills
Evaluates reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction skills
Quantitative Reasoning
Focuses on problem-solving and data interpretation using basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis skills
Tests problem-solving and data sufficiency skills, often in a business-oriented context
Analytical Writing
Requires writing essays expressing and supporting perspectives on given topics
Includes one essay task analyzing an argument
Integrated Reasoning
Not included in the exam
Assesses ability to analyze and interpret data presented in various formats
Score Validity
Valid for five years
Valid for five years

2. GRE Vs GMAT Focus Edition: Difference and Similarities
GRE exam Vs GMAT Focus Edition exam key similarities and difference are:

Exam Components
GRE Exam 2023
GMAT Exam Focus Edition 2024
Exam Purpose
General Admission Test
Graduate Management Admission Test – Focus Edition
Exam Conducting Body
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC)
Top MBA Colleges Accepting Exam for flagship programs in India
ISB, BITSoM, SPJIMR-GMP, IIM Ahmedabad PGPX among others
ISB, SPJIMR, IMT, IMI, XUB, GIM FORE, KJ Somaiya among others
Top MBA Colleges Accepting Exam Abroad
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Yale, MIT, Chicago Booth and other top B-Schools
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Insead & other top B-schools in the world
Exam Difficulty Level
Moderate to Difficult
Moderate to Difficult
Total Sections
Total Questions
54+1 Essay
Sectional Individual Time Limit
Varying Time limit from 30 to 47 minutes
45 Minutes for each of the three sections
Name of Sections with number of questions
Analytical Writing – 1 Essay Task
Quantitative Reasoning – 27 Qs
Verbal Reasoning-27 Qs
Quantitative Reasoning- 21 Qs
Verbal Reasoning – 23 Qs  
Data Insights – 20 Qs
Exam Registration Fee
Rs.22,550 (For India in INR)
US$ 275 (Rs.22000) for CBT
US$ 300 (Rs.24000) for Online
Exam Duration
1 Hr 58 Minutes
2 hrs 15 minutes
Breaks Allowed During the Exam
One Option Break of 10 Minutes
Sections Responsible for Score Calculation
All the 3 Sections
All the 3 Sections; Quantitative Reasoning; Verbal Reasoning; Data Insights
Type of Questions
AW: Essay
Data Insights-MCQs
Scoring Pattern
AW: 0-6
QR: 130-170
VR: 130-170
Total: 340 + 6 (In half Point Increments
Exam Taking Experience
Analytical Reasoning will always be the first section in GRE. Order of other two sections may vary for each test taker
Free to choose the order of different GMAT sections; Facility of Bookmark and Review as many questions as Test Takers want; Facility to Change up to 3 answers per section
Changes in Exam Syllabus & Pattern
Essay: Number of Essay questions reduced
QR & VR: Number of QR & VR questions reduced
Time: Sectional and total test time reduced
No AWA Syllabus as it is removed
No Sentence Correction in VR
Syllabus for Data Sufficiency shifted to Data Insights section – new section introduced
No IR Syllabus as section is removed
Availability of Exam Preparation & Study Material
Official GRE Guides overall and section wise available
Official GMAT Exam Focus Edition Guide released on June 6, 2023
Procuring Additional Score Report
On payment of Rs.2900
Included; No additional cost
Free Sending of Score Reports to preferred B-schools
To 4 Programs/B-Schools without any additional cost-on receiving your score on Test day
To 5 Programs/B-schools without any charges in 48 hours of receiving the Official Score Report on
Availability of Test Appointment Date
You can take the GRE General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-months period (365 days). This applies even if you cancelled your scores on a test taken previously. While choosing a test date, allow time for delivery of scores and processing by the institution
For CBT at Test Centre
7 days a week (In case of holiday at test centre, will not be available
Online from Home: Round the clock
Number of Attempts Allowed
5 attempts in a 12-month period with a gap of 21 calendar days
8 attempts in a lifetime
5 attempts in a 12-month period with a gap of 16 calendar days
Validity of Scores
5 Years
5 Years

3. GRE Vs GMAT: Difficulty Level
GMAT is a popular MBA specific entrance exam taken by the students who want to apply for MBA program while GRE is a General Admission Test. Both the two exams have more or less similar sections, very similar syllabus, and are computer adaptive exams with moderate to high difficulty level. Let’s look at a detailed comparative analysis of difficulty level of GRE and GMAT:


3.1 Difficulty Level: The overall difficulty level of the GRE and GMAT is similar. With a defined syllabus, the GMAT and GRE preparation is much more comfortable for any test taker. The Analytical Writing Essay section in GRE is simpler on logic, while GMAT has removed this Writing and Integrated sections. The Quantitative Reasoning (QR) section of the GRE and GMAT has straight forward questions. It is the area of Verbal Reasoning, which has always been the most difficult for the average Indian test taker in the GRE and GMAT, as it requires high vocabulary, and also tests the candidate’s grammar skills.


The difficulty level of GRE and GMAT sections depends on your overall performance. For example, if you do very well on the first question in Quantitative Reasoning or Verbal Reasoning section, the next question will be at a higher level of difficulty.


4. GRE Vs GMAT: Cost of Exam
GRE exam is slightly more expensive than GMAT. While GMAT exam fee is US $275, which is approximately Rs. 22,000, the GRE exam fees is Rs.22,550. The cost of GRE and GMAT for various exam services in India, is shared below:

Exam Service
GRE Fees
Exam Fees
US$ 275 (Eqv Rs.22,000)
Additional Score Report
Rs.  2,900
US$   35 (Eqv Rs.2800)

5. Type of Test: GRE Vs GMAT exams
Both GRE and GMAT are Computer Adaptive Tests which implies that the difficulty level of the candidate’s next question depends on the performance in the previous question. Thus, the GMAT and GRE are tests of capability as they continuously adapt and reviews the test to the candidate’s ability level. The tests usually begin with a question of medium difficulty level, if one answers this question correctly; the next question is of a slightly higher difficulty level.


6. B-schools accepting GMAT and GRE
GMAT and GRE are both entrance tests accepted by top business schools abroad and many B-schools in India including IIMs. The basic difference between GMAT and GRE is that while GMAT is MBA admission specific entrance exam, the GRE is a General Test for other courses also like Engineering, Law. Both GMAT and GRE have wide global presence accepted by over 2000+ business schools & 7000 management programs worldwide. 


6.1 Top MBA Colleges Accepting GMAT and GRE
Here is the List of Top GRE and GMAT Accepting MBA Colleges

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Wharton School
  • University of Chicago – Booth
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan
  • Yale School of Management
  • London Business School – LBS, UK
  • Oxford University – Said, UK
  • University of Cambridge – Judge, UK
  • University of Toronto: Rotman
  • University of Western Ontario – Ivey
  • HEC Montreal
  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • INSEAD Singapore Campus
  • ISB Hyderabad/Mohali
  • IIM-Ahmedabad
  • IIM-Bangalore
  • Indian Institute of Management Lucknow
  • IIM-Udaipur
  • IIM-Raipur

Read More: GRE Accepting MBA Colleges




Q: Is the GRE Easier than the GMAT?
Both GRE and GMAT are computer adaptive exams and have similar difficulty level. The exam difficulty level rises after each successful answer to the question.


Q: What is the difference between the GRE and GMAT exam?
GRE is General Admission Test for various courses including MBA, Engineering, Law and others while GMAT is the MBA admission specific entrance exam. Read above all the similarities and differences between GRE and GMAT exams.


Q: Which Exam is tougher: GMAT or GRE?
The question which is easier: GMAT or GRE? has been answered in detail above. However, for a quick reference it may be noted that GMAT and GRE both are moderately difficult exam.

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