If you’ve been thinking about going to graduate school, you’ve probably heard or read a lot about having to take an entrance exam before being admitted to the school. In fact, you may have even been centering your study time on a particular exam to get the score that the school requires.

Many business schools require you to take the GMAT exam while other schools require the GRE exam. However, there are some schools that let you decide which exam to take. Both exams are accepted by many business schools, so it’s worth the time to research the schools that you’re interested in to see which exam, if not both, are required or allowed.

No matter which exam you take for entrance into graduate or business school, they both make an impact on your admissions decision.

Which exam is right for you?

The GMAT and GRE exams are both admission exams that schools most graduate schools require. When you’re trying to decide which exam to take, keep in mind that there are a few major differences between the two exams.

What is the GRE?

The GRE is the Graduate Record Examination that was created and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service). The GRE is a graduate-level admissions exam that is used by graduate school programs.

What is the GMAT?

The GMAT is the Graduate Management Admission Test that was created by the Graduate Management Admission Council. The GMAT tests skills that are important to business and management graduate-level programs such as MBA programs.

Who accepts it?


  • Grad school programs
  • Over 1200+ business schools worldwide
  • Used for a wide variety of Master’s degree programs


  • Accepted by all business schools and all MBA programs
  • More than 7000 programs at 2300 business schools



GRE: $205

GMAT: $250

General Features

  • The GRE exam is adaptive at the Verbal or Quantitative sections depending on your performance during the first section.

The GMAT Verbal and Quantitative sections adapt to your ability level from one question to the next.

  • The GRE allows you to return to any question within the same section, and use the exam’s mark-and-review feature to review any skipped questions later.

The GMAT does not allow you to return to any question once you have confirmed an answer to it.

Exam Times


  • The total time for the GRE is about 3 hours and 45 minutes including a 10-minute break following the third section of the exam


  • The total time to take the exam is 3.5 hours including two optional 8-minute breaks

Test Structure


  • Analytical Writing – 2 essays; 30 minutes each essay (60 minutes total)
  • Verbal Reasoning – 2 sections; 20 questions per section; 20 minutes each section
  • Quantitative Reasoning – 2 sections; 20 questions per section; 35 minutes each section
  • Verbal or Quantitative section – 1 section, 30 or 35 minutes, unscored (experimental section)
  • The Analytical Writing section will always be the first section taken on the GRE exam; the other sections will appear in any order.


  • Analytical Writing – 1 essay prompt; 30 minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning – 1 section; 30 minutes;12 questions
  • Verbal Reasoning – 1 section; 65 minutes; 36 questions
  • Quantitative Reasoning – 1 section; 62 minutes; 31 questions
  • You have 3 options to choose the order of your exams:
    • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal
    • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
    • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

Test Sections

GRE Analytical Writing

  • Number of Writing Sections: 1
  • Number of Essay Prompts: 2
  • Length: Two 30-minute sections
  • Score Range: 0-6
  • Main Topics:
    • Analyze an Issue – Critique a given argument
    • Analyze a Task – Explain your own stance on a given argument and justify your stance with evidence.

GMAT Analytical Writing

  • Number of Writing Sections: 1
  • Number of Writing Prompts: 1
  • Length: 30 minutes
  • Score Range: 0-6
  • Main Topics:
    • Analysis of Argument – Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a given argument

GRE Verbal Reasoning

  • Number of sections: Two scored sections
  • Time Limit: 30 minutes for each section – 60 minutes total
  • Number of Questions: 20 questions per section – 40 questions total
  • Score Range: 130-170
  • Main Topics:
    • Reading Comprehension – You’ll be given a passage and will have to answer the big picture and specific detailed questions about the passage
    • Text Completion – You will be given a short passage with one or more blanks along with a list of words you can choose to put in each blank. You’ll be required to decide which the most appropriate word for the blank is.
    • Sentence Equivalence – You’ll be given a single sentence with on blank as well as six answer choices. You will need to choose the two options that fit in the sentence and produce sentences that have the same or similar meanings.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning

  • Number of Sections: 1
  • Time Limit: 75 minutes
  • Number of Questions: 41
  • Score Range: 0-60
  • Main Topics:
    • Reading Comprehension – You will be given a passage to read and several questions from that passage. You will be asked to draw conclusions from the passage or to analyze the argument that was made.
    • Critical Reading – You’re given a passage with 2 -3 sentences long. You’ll be given a question that requires you to analyze and apply information from the passage.
    • Sentence Correction – You’ll be given a sentence with underlined parts. You’ll also be given five ways of wording the underlined portion of the sentence. You will need to choose which option you think is correct.

GRE Quantitative Reasoning

  • Number of Quantitative Sections: 2
  • Number of Quantitative Questions: 20 questions in each section
  • Length: 30 minutes per section
  • Score Range: 130-170
  • Main Topics:
    • Arithmetic
    • Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Data Analysis

GMAT Quantitative Sections

  • Number of Quantitative Sections: 2 (Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning)
  • Number of Quantitative Questions: 49 total (37 for Quantitative, 12 for Integrated Reasoning)
  • Length: 150 minutes total (75 minutes for Quantitative, 30 minutes for Integrated Reasoning)
  • Score Range: Quantitative – 0-60; Integrated Reasoning – 1-8
  • Main Topics:
    • Quantitative Section – Problem Solving: Solve equations, interpret graphs, evaluate data or a combination of all three.
    • Data Sufficiency – You’ll be given a question followed by two statements. You’ll have to decide if one, both, either, or neither statement is sufficient enough to answer the question.
    • Integrated Reasoning Section – Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Table Analysis, and Multi-Source Reasoning

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Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more