GRE, GMAT, or EA – Which Test Should You Take For Business School?

So you’re dreaming of getting your MBA. Part of the hurdle of applying to business school is taking a standardized test to fulfill application requirements. With so many different standardized tests being offered, and with numerous schools allowing applicants to take different exams, it is often hard to know which exam best aligns with your goals. We have broken down the top three standardized testing options for MBA programs so that future MBAs can have a better grasp on their application process.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, allows prospective graduates with varying educational backgrounds to apply for master’s, MBA, or doctoral degrees to “show off” their skills to prospective schools. The GRE is accepted by thousands of graduate schools, including business and law schools.

Why do you need GRE?

Besides being accepted at graduate schools with a variety of backgrounds, in recent years the GRE exam is also accepted by many prestigious MBA programs too. However, be mindful that the GMAT is still the most relevant exam which you can take to show off your skills.  Especially when it comes to the field of business. One of the reasons behind this is that the GMAT was specifically designed for MBA programs and business school admissions. Also, unlike the GRE, the GMAT has an additional section – the integrated reasoning section – which will give you the possibility to prove your data analytical skills. We aren’t trying to scare you away from taking the GRE. You must decide on the right path for you. For example, if you believe you will perform better on the GRE than on the GMAT then deciding to take the GRE is the best decision for you.

What is the content of the GRE exam made of?

The content of the GRE is divided into three sections, these being: analytical writing section, quantitative section, and verbal section. The first section measures your ability to communicate complex ideas and use standard written English to prove an argument. The second section is to measure your ability to solve math, algebra, and geometry problems. The last section is to measure your ability to analyze sentences and writing passages.

GRE Scores Explained

The GRE score range is from 130 to 170; 130 is the lowest possible score, whereas 170 is the highest. The verbal and quantitative sections are scored from 130 to 170 and the analytical writing section is scored from 0 to 6 points.

Where to begin?

Similar to GMAT, once you decide on taking the GRE you need to plan your future steps: how to prepare? With whom to prepare? In-person or online? Etc. If you are interested in working with an experienced GRE tutor to help you prepare, we offer individualized and specialized tutoring for motivated students.

The Graduate Admission Management Test (GMAT)

What is the GMAT?

If you are aiming for your dream MBA school, the GMAT is an important part of the application process. The test is developed and administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Your final GMAT scores can help bolster your chances of getting into your dream MBA program. While scores are not an exclusive part of the admissions committee’s decision, the GMAT is still taken into consideration during the admission’s process as it evaluates the necessary skills needed to succeed in business school. Additionally, the process of studying for the GMAT emphasizes the qualities necessary to advance your future business career.

Why do you need the GMAT?

Once you go through the GMAT preparation phase and you are ready to reach your GMAT goal, you will get the opportunity to stand out among other applicants and raise your chances of getting in. A high score on the GMAT will have a positive impact on your business school application.

What is the content of the GMAT exam made of?

The GMAT exam has four sections: analytical writing assessment which aims to measure your ability to think critically, integrated reasoning is for measuring your ability to analyze data and evaluate information that is presented in multiple formats, quantitative reasoning is used for measuring your ability to analyze data, and lastly, verbal reasoning measures your skills to read and understand written materials to conform to standard written English.

Good to know: before the test begins, you can determine the order you wish to take each section of the exam in.

GMAT Scores Explained

The score that many business schools and MBA programs pay the most attention to is the combined 200-800 score scale. Each section of GMAT has a separate scoring system: the analytical written assessment is scored from 0 to 6, whereas the integrated reasoning is scored on a 1 to 8 scale. In addition, the quantitative and verbal sections each have a scale score of 0 to 60. In the end, they are all combined to generate a score on the 200 to 800 scale which is the one you are most familiar with.

Where to begin?

Let’s say that you decided to take the GMAT, what are the steps that you need in order to reach your GMAT high score? First, you need to decide if you are going to start this journey on your own or you need a tutor to help you out. First of all, we suggest deciding on how you structure your GMAT studying. Are you hoping to find a premier GMAT tutor? Are you planning on doing it solo? Will you study with friends? Do you want to be part of a GMAT prep group? Figuring out how you want to study is vital to begin the process of GMAT preparation on the right foot.

If you need a 700+ GMAT score, check out our tutors here at Apex GMAT who are ready to help you from anywhere in the world! 

Executive Assessment Test (EA)

What is the EA?

The Executive Assessment, or EA, is an admission exam designed for Executive MBA programs. Just like the GMAT, the EA is also administered by the GMAC.

Why do you need EA?

Besides being an indicator of your skills for your admission process towards an EMBA program, the EA mainly helps already experienced managers, who want to advance their careers, get to even higher levels by attending an Executive MBA program. Most MBA programs and EMBA programs accept the EA as an admissions exam from applicants who have a certain number of years of professional work experience under their belt.

What is the content of the EA exam made of?

The EA test is composed of three sections: integrated reasoning, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning with a total of 40 questions. These sections test similar qualities to that of the GMAT exam.

EA Scores Explained

The scale for each section is from 0 to 20 with a total scale range from 100 to 200. All three sections are equally weighted in determining your final score. 

Where to begin?

You guessed it: the same as for GMAT and GRE, there are a few decisions to make before starting your EA journey. Look for a platform, a tutor, and plenty of other tools that can be beneficial for you to reach your EA high score.

Which one is the best for you?

After familiarizing yourself with the above-mentioned standardized tests you might wonder which one to go for. This all depends on what you are aiming for. From business school admissions to advancing your career, each of these tests can help you prove specific and required skills in different fields. Once you decide what your goal is, it will be easier to decide which test is the best way to show your strength and skills and to get into the program of your dreams!

Contributor: Arin Agich 

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