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More Business Schools Accept GRE Scores, But MBAs Stick to GMAT

By Catherine Groux
Posted December 14, 2012 11:00 AM

Many business school applicants still prefer the GMAT.
Many business school applicants still prefer the GMAT.
When students enroll in business school to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or another management degree, they must typically submit their Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores as part of the admissions process. For many years, a majority of business schools only accepted students' GMAT scores, but a new survey by Kaplan Test Prep shows that this is slowly changing.

Business Schools Increasingly Accept GRE Scores

Today, about 69% of business schools allow students to submit their GRE scores instead of their GMAT results, the Kaplan survey shows. This percentage has been steadily increasing since at least 2009, when only 24% of business schools accepted GRE results.

Still, Kaplan data suggests the number of institutions that accept GRE scores may begin to plateau in the near future. Of the 31% of business schools that exclusively accept the GMAT, only 17% said they plan to begin accepting the GRE during the next admissions cycle.

One of the reasons business schools are clasping to GMAT-only admissions is the test's new Integrated Reasoning section, which is designed to be even more reflective of students' overall preparedness for MBA programs and the modern business sector. According to the survey, 24% of business schools that only accept the GMAT said this new Integrated Reasoning section makes it less likely they will ever allow students to submit GRE scores. 

MBAs Remain Wary of GRE

Although more business schools allow students to submit their GRE scores, students still prefer the GMAT. During the past admissions cycle, about half of business schools said fewer than one in 10 applicants submitted GRE scores.

Data shows that students may have a right to be wary of the GRE and how its results will affect their admissions chances. While a majority of business schools say they view the GMAT and GRE equally, almost one-third feel applicants who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over those who submit GRE results.

"As long as business schools signal the slightest advantage in taking the GMAT, it's hard to see more applicants going the GRE route," said Andrew Mitchell, director of pre-business programs at Kaplan Test Prep. "Our advice to students: take the GMAT if you plan to apply only to business school, but if you’re unsure whether your path will take you to graduate school or business school, consider taking the GRE."

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