Is the GMAT harder than GRE?

GRE Exam (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized online exam that is conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service). Every year thousands of students take GRE exam to apply for a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in any field overseas.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive entrance test used for admissions into MBA programs offered by top business schools around the world. GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council.

The difficulty level of both these exams depends upon the strengths of each individual. With proper understanding, any exam can be cracked easily. First you must understand which exam can help you in fulfilling your purpose. The points given below will help you to know more about both these exams:-

Exam pattern –

The GRE exam can be taken at any time during a year. Students have to select a slot for the exam 45 days prior. In GRE exam pattern, the difficulty of the next section depends upon your performance in the previous section. If you do well in the first verbal section, the difficulty level of second verbal section will automatically increase. The difficulty level of questions within a section does not change. Analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in 0.5 increments. The scores for Verbal and Quant sections are between 130 to 170, in one point increments.

GMAT exam pattern consists of four sections: Critical Thinking, Analytical Writing abilities, English language Skills and Problem Solving Abilities. A candidate can take the GMAT exam 5 times in a year and reappear for the exam only after 16 days.

Syllabus –

The gre syllabus is as follows:-

Quantitative Reasoning –

The quantitative reasoning aims to find out the understanding, interpreting and analysing ability of a candidate, through the presented quantitative information. The questions are of high-school level. This section can be further divided into 4 major sections: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Data analysis. Candidates taking the computer-based test are provided with on-screen calculators and those taking the paper-based test are provided handheld calculators. However, the ETS GRE website contains some guidelines that advise against the use of the calculator for some type of questions. It points out that the powers of reasoning and estimating may be more effective and less time-consuming in these cases.

Detailed syllabus is as follows:

  • Arithmetic-
  1. Integers
  2. Fractions
  3. Exponents and Roots
  4. Decimals
  5. Real Numbers
  6. Ratio
  7. Percentages
  • Algebra-
  1. Operations with Algebraic Expressions
  2. Rules of Exponents
  3. Solving Linear Equations
  4. Solving Quadratic Equations
  5. Solving Linear Inequalities
  6. Functions
  7. Applications
  8. Coordinate Geometry
  9. Graphs of Functions
  • Geometry-
  1. Lines and Angles
  2. Polygons
  3. Triangles
  4. Quadrilaterals
  5. Circles
  6. 3-D Figures
  • Data Analysis-
  1. Graphical Methods for Describing Data
  2. Numerical Methods for Describing Data
  3. Counting Methods
  4. Probability
  5. Distributions of Data, random Variables and Probability Distributions
  6. Data Interpretation Examples

Verbal Reasoning –

This section measures a candidate’s ability to analyse and draw conclusions from the given data. It also tests a candidate’s ability to comprehend the written material, read and find out the logical relationship between the points mentioned in the passage.

The verbal reasoning section measures a candidate’s ability to read and understand written material of a kind, which is commonly used in academics. Three types of questions make up this section: (i) Reading comprehension; (ii) Text completion; (iii) Sentence equivalence. In order to comprehend texts, a candidate has to identify the relationships between parts of a sentence. He must be able to analyse associations between words and concepts. The verbal reasoning segment tests whether a candidate has required talent and ability or not.

The topics covered under this section are as follows:-

  • Basic sentence: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism

Analytical Writing –

In this section, the writing skills of a candidate are tested. Candidates are given the topics on which they have to write. They may also be given passages, on the basis of which they have to write the answers. The passages could be related to any topic, so the syllabus for this section is quite vast.

The syllabus for GMAT is as follows-

Analytical Writing Assessment

In this section, the writing skills of a candidate are tested. Candidates will be given topics on which they have to write. They may also be given a passage, on basis of which they will have to come up with the answers.

Integrated Reasoning Section

This section has a total of 12 questions. Time allotted to complete this section is 30 minutes. A candidate has to evaluate the data presented in the form of a table or graph. The topics constituting the syllabus for this section are:-

  • Table analysis
  • Graphics representation
  • Multi-source reasoning
  • Two-part analysis

Quantitative Section

This section has a total of 36 objective type questions to be completed in 62 minutes. There are 18 questions each on both subsections, which are Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. The topics which constitute this section’s syllabus are:-

  • Geometry
  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary algebra
  • Ratios and proportions
  • Properties of integers
  • Exponents and roots
  • Linear equations

Verbal Section

The Verbal
 section has 36 multiple choice questions to be completed in 65 minutes. Following areas are covered in this section:

  • Critical reasoning
  • Rhetorical construction of the sentences
  • Sentence correction related to finding error or omission
  • Reading unseen passages
  • Subject-verb agreement

Courses offered –

GMAT test takers can only apply for graduate management programs at business schools. Those who appear for GRE can apply for admissions to masters and doctoral degree programs in various universities. This is the reason why the number of GRE test takers is close to 6 lakhs. Whereas, only 2.5 lakh students appear for GMAT exam. To increase their chances of selection, the students also give GRE subject tests. Subject tests can be given to prove your excellence in any of the following subjects:-

  1. Biology
  2. Chemistry
  3. Literature in English
  4. Mathematics
  5. Physics
  6. Psychology

Good score in subject tests can help you in getting into master’s degree program in the given subjects.

Read article on GRE GMAT Score Conversion

Experience –

The candidates who appear for GMAT are mostly experienced individuals, who want to climb the ladder in their career and get to managerial level positions. Most good b-schools require work experience of at least 3 years. However, the fresh graduates also give GRE to get a master’s degree in the field of their interest. Through GRE test, the test takers can apply for doctorate courses as well. GRE test scores are also considered for admissions into top business schools.

Cut off –

The cut off for GRE varies from course to course. In order to get into a master’s degree program in literature, the marks you score in verbal section will hold more importance than your score in quantitative reasoning section. In order to get into an M.S. program in engineering, the marks in quantitative reasoning section could matter more than the marks scored in verbal reasoning section. Generally, colleges consider overall GMAT cut-off, some colleges lay importance to the sectional cut-off as well. Scoring low marks in one of the sections can impact your chances of selection.

The candidates who want to do master’s in a field other than management must go for GRE. The students who want to do master’s in management can consider giving both these exams. GRE scores are accepted in top business schools like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, UC Berkeley, Duke, MIT, NYU, Yale etc.

What is a good GRE Score?

It is also important to have a good mentor, who can bring a certain ease to the entire learning process. Experts at BYJU’S come up with innovative ways of learning, through years of experience. These methods aim at making learning easy and fun. Take mock tests provided by BYJU’S and get an in-depth analysis of your performance. Find out your weak sections and go through the video lessons delivered by the experts to improve upon your weak areas.

BYJU’S will be glad to help you in your GRE preparation journey. You can ask for any assistance related to GRE from us by just giving a missed call at +918884544444, or you can drop an SMS. You can write to us at