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For an Online MBA: GMAT or GRE?

Some online MBA programs, like the one at Florida International University, accept both the GRE and the GMAT. This means that if you applying to such schools, you might have a choice between taking the GMAT or GRE.

Understanding the difference between the GMAT and the GRE will help you decide which test is the best for you to take. There are distinct differences between the two tests. Depending on your strengths and weaknesses, you might have an easier time doing well on the GMAT or GRE.

One important difference between the GMAT and GRE is that the GRE has two essays while the GMAT only has one. If you struggle with essay writing, then the GMAT might be an easier choice for you. Instead of the second essay, the GMAT has an integrated reasoning section, which tests your ability to analyze information from multiple sources, including graphs, tables and words.

Both the GMAT and GRE have Verbal and Quantitative sections, but question types are different. The GMAT quant question types on the GMAT consist of problem solving and data sufficiency. Problem-solving questions provide you with information to solve a problem and five possible answer choices. You will have to solve the problems, so you can select one of the answer choices. Data Sufficiency questions present you with a prompt and two pieces of information labeled (I) and (II). In this case you do not need to actually solve the problem, you simply need to figure out if the problem can be solved with the information included in (I), (II) or both.

There are four different GRE quant questions:

  • Quantitative comparison — this will ask you to figure out which of two quantities is bigger
  • Numeric entry — this question type is like problem solving, but instead of multiple choice, you have to enter the number into a blank.
  • Multiple choice with one solution
  • Multiple choice with one or more solutions

Both the GMAT and the GRE verbal sections have reading comprehension questions, however the remaining questions are quite different. The GMAT also has sentence correction questions, which require you to select the best grammatical option to complete a sentence. There are also critical reasoning questions that require you to analyze arguments. The GRE verbal question types also include text completion and sentence equivalence, which both require filling in blanks with the correct vocabulary words.

If you understand your strengths and the differences between the GMAT and the GRE, then you can make the correct choice for your application: GMAT or GRE. If you still have trouble making a decision, you can take a practice test of each and see how your scores compare.


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