Posted By : RIA , on 10 Sep, 2021

The most significant distinction between the GMAT and the GRE is that the GMAT is used to select applicants for business school. In contrast, GRE is used to determine applicants for a series of graduate programs. Therefore, when deciding between the GMAT and GRE, students have to choose which test will help them attain their educational and career goals. The two tests differ on six parameters: fees, test duration, test design, test structure, scoring system, and the number of business schools accepting them. Thus, deciding on whether to take the GMAT or the GRE is a matter of weighing how each test's sections measure. This research study evaluates the difficulty level of each exam and compares GMAT vs GRE. The table below compares the GMAT and GRE on various parameters.




Why Should You Take It?

If you're still unsure about which programs to apply to

If you want to go to business school and acquire a master's degree,

How many colleges accept the test?

Around 1,300 universities and organisations 

Over 7000 programs at 2300 colleges

Exam Fees

$205 (continental and United States territories)

$250 $275-300 in parts of North America and Europe

Exam Validity

5 years

5 years

Exam Dates

Throughout the year

Throughout the year

How the Exam is conducted

Computer-based and Paper-based where computer-based is not available

Computer-based Exam

Exam Format

Computer adaptive exam

Computer adaptive exam

No. Of Sections

6 (1 unscored research section included)


Exam Duration

3 hours 45 minutes

3 hours 7 minutes

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

2 essays – 60 minutes

1 essay – 30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning section


12 questions – 30 minutes

Math (or Quantitative) section

20 questions each in 2 sections – 70 minutes

1 section – 31 questions – 62 minutes

Verbal Section

20 questions each in 2 sections – 60 minutes

1 section – 36 questions – 65 minutes

Exam Score Range

260 – 340 (in 1-point increment)

200 – 800 (in 10-point increment)

Quant score range

130 – 170

6 – 51 (scaled score)

Verbal score range

130 – 170

6 – 51 (scaled score)

Integrated Reasoning Score


1 – 8

Analytical Writing Assessment Score

0 – 6

0 – 6


Exam Format: Sections and Content

The content and testing methods for the GRE and GMAT are different.

Verbal Section:

The GRE assesses the following skills, with a focus on vocabulary:

  • Sentence Equivalence
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Text Completion The GMAT assesses these skills, with a focus on grammar.
  • Sentence Correction
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Reasoning

While comparing the GMAT with the GRE, you'll observe that the question formats differ. There are three kinds of questions on the GRE: choose all applicable answers, choose a sentence from a passage, and multiple choice. There is only one type of question on the GMAT: multiple choice. Both GRE and GMAT have a computer-adaptive examination for the Verbal and Quantitative portions. However, the GRE has two 30-minute Verbal Reasoning portions, while the GMAT has one that lasts 65 minutes.

Quant Sections:

Both the GRE and the GMAT cover the same math topics:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Data Interpretation
  • Word Problems

They do, however, apply different styles for Math questions. For example, multiple-choice, multiple-answer, numeric, and quantitative comparisons are used on the GRE, whereas problem-solving (multiple-choice) and data sufficiency questions are used on the GMAT.

So What's the key distinction?

Math on the GMAT is more complex than on the GRE. This has nothing to do with the information being tested (as you can see, it's the same), but rather how it's being evaluated. On the GRE, you can also utilize a calculator. On the GMAT, you won't be able to. On the GRE, using a calculator can slow you down!

Finally, the GRE has two Quantitative Reasoning portions, each lasting 35 minutes, whereas the GMAT has one that lasts 62 minutes.

Timing for the GMAT vs the GRE

It takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to finish the GRE test, including breaks, whereas the GMAT take 3 hours and 7 minutes, including breaks.

So this is how it breaks down:

GRE Timing
  • Analytical Writing: 2 x 30 minutes
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 2 x 35 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning: 2 x 30 minutes
  • Unscored Section: 30-35 minutes
  • Research: 30-35 minutes
GMAT Timing
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: 30 minutes
  • Verbal: 65 minutes
  • Quantitative: 62 minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning: 30 minutes

Evaluation of Scores

On a scale of 260 to 340, the GRE is graded. The GMAT is graded on a scale of 200 to 800. The following is a breakdown of each test's scoring.

GRE Grading
  • Analytical Writing : 0-6
  • Verbal: 130-170
  • Quantitative: 130-170
  • Total Score (Combined): 260-340
GMAT Grading
  • Integrated Reasoning: 1-8
  • Analytical Writing: 0-6
  • Verbal: 6-51
  • Quantitative: 6-51
  • Total Score (Combined): 200-800

A high GRE (90th percentile) score is 329, whereas a high GMAT (90th percentile) score is 710.

So which test is more complex: GMAT or GRE?

Which is easier, the GMAT or the GRE is a personal choice. That is to say, it depends on who is taking the test and what their strengths are. The GRE math will appear simple to people with good quantitative ability. The GMAT math is unquestionably more difficult. If you have difficulty with math, the GMAT will appear to be incredibly difficult. For people with better math skills, on the other hand, it may be a good option.

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