GMAT Vs GRE: What Do INSEAD, LBS, HEC Paris & Other Top B-Schools Really Think?
Deciding between the GMAT vs GRE for your MBA application? Business school admissions staff reveal which test they prefer
But how important is the GMAT in an MBA application as a whole? And what about the GRE? The simple answer: it depends on the school.
Business schools generally take a holistic approach to admissions, and most now accept both the GMAT and the GRE. But some, like INSEAD and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, prefer the quant-heavy GMAT.
BusinessBecause spoke to admissions directors at top b-schools around the world to find out what they really think about the GMAT and the GRE.
GMAT vs GRE
Virginie Fougea, associate director of admissions
No minimum GMAT/GRE. Average GMAT: 710.
The GMAT exam is designed specifically by business schools for business school applicants. Over the years, we have been able to get a good understanding of the test results and how they can help us predict the academic capacity of our applicants.
After a number of validity studies conducted over the last few years, we now accept the GRE for all applicants too.
London Business School
David Simpson, admissions director
Minimum GMAT: 600. Average GMAT: 700.
The GMAT is a good indicator of academic performance, especially on the quantitative side. But the average from different regions does vary, so we’re open-minded.
There’ll be people coming in on a 600 who might end up on the dean’s list. A good GMAT alone does not get you in, nor does a below average GMAT preclude you from joining. We look at the GRE with the equivalent standards.
Duke University Fuqua School of Business
Shari Hubert, associate dean for admissions
Average GMAT: 710.
We require either the GMAT or GRE as part of the application process to our full-time MBA program. We do not have a preference about which test an applicant chooses to take and submit. GRE and GMAT just give you one piece of the picture about a given candidate. We certainly want to make sure an applicant is going to succeed in our rigorous academic environment which is part of what a test score can assess.
[However], no test score will be what defines your overall success in an MBA program or success over the longevity of your career or life, so my best advice is to adequately prepare for whatever test you choose to take, do your best to create the right frame of mind for yourself before and during the exam, try your best, and then move on to focus on other aspects of the application where you can also shine.
City's Business School (Cass)
Thomas Sommerlad, MBA admissions
Minimum GMAT/GRE: 600/75% for the quantitative and verbal section of the GRE.
We accept the GRE, but we prefer the GMAT. It’s a more standardized test and a better way of comparing similar applicants. And if you’re over our average GMAT that does put you in a significantly stronger position, especially when we’re awarding scholarships.
We’ve only been accepting the GRE for the past three years, probably only 5% of our applicants take it and it’s really only US candidates who take it.
Isser Gallogly, associate dean of MBA Admissions
No minimum GMAT/GRE. Average GMAT: 723.
We evaluate applicants across three dimensions: their academic profile, professional achievements, and personal characteristics.