GRE Results: Analyzing Your GRE Test Results

Magnifying GlassMost students put a lot of time and effort into preparing for the GRE – not surprisingly, these students are anxious to see their test results. The typical GRE score report contains a lot of information regarding a student’s performance on the GRE.

Discover what is included on a student’s GRE report and the meaning behind this information:

Basic Information Contained in GRE Test Results
A student’s basic information can be found at the top of their GRE results sheet. This includes the person’s name, address, email, phone number, partial Social Security number, birth date, and gender. Also, the report notes a student’s intended focus of study in graduate school. If a student takes the general GRE, then those scores will be on their report – if the student took a GRE subject test, then those scores will be on the report, as well.

Points Possible on the GRE
In order for students to interpret their GRE test results, they have to know the number of points possible for each section of the test. The GRE has three parts: the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. For the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the test, the scoring scale is 130 to 170 points. These two sections of the test are scored in one-point increments. Students can earn from zero to six points on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. This section is scored in half-point increments.

To get the most points possible on the GRE, get help from Veritas Prep: Our students benefit from working with an experienced tutor as they prepare for this exam. We hire talented instructors who aced the GRE, so students are able to practice effective test-taking strategies with instructors who have actual experience with the test. We teach our students how to approach every question on the GRE with confidence.

Scores on a GRE Report
Students receive raw scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the test. A raw score represents the number of questions that a student got right. A student’s raw score is then turned into a scaled score. Little variations in the difficulty between different editions of the test are taken into account to compute a student’s scaled scores.

As for a student’s Analytical Writing score, each essay receives two scores – one score is given by a human grader trained to evaluate essays, and the other score is given by a computer program designed to evaluate essays. The average of these two scores is the final score assigned to the essay. As a side-note, if the human grader’s score and the computer’s score are radically different, then the essay is re-scored by two human graders.

Percentile Rank
Students looking at their GRE results online will notice a section that includes percentile ranks. Percentiles compare a student’s performance with others who took the GRE. For instance, say a student has a percentile rank of 80 for the Verbal Reasoning portion of the test. This means that 80 percent of the individuals who took the exam scored lower on that section than that student. Students are given a percentile rank for each of the three sections of the GRE. This particular GRE result can be helpful for students who are still deciding which schools to apply to.

School Admissions and GRE Results
As students analyze their GRE results online, they should pay close attention to the requirements of the schools they want to apply to. Many universities and colleges post the average GRE scores of the students they accept, which can serve as a guide for students who want to know what type of score they have to achieve in order to be accepted into their preferred school.

Some schools also post the average GRE scores of students studying in specific programs. For instance, a student who wants to go to Harvard could research what GRE score they need to achieve in order to get into the Physics program, the Sociology program, or another program at the school.

At Veritas Prep, we provide valuable instruction that helps students obtain their best possible GRE results. We combine skillful teaching with invaluable resources to give our students every advantage on the test. Our online GRE prep courses are perfect for busy undergraduate students or individuals with full-time careers. Contact our offices today!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Can I Take the GRE Online?

GMAT“Can I take the GRE online?” This is just one of the many questions that students have about the GRE exam – they wonder if perhaps they can take the GRE online from home or at their local library. Although many GRE practice tests can be taken online, the actual exam itself must be taken in an official testing center. Taking the GRE under the guidance of an administrator in one of these testing centers helps ensure the integrity of the test results.

Consider some of the ways that a student can take the GRE in a testing center and learn more about the contents of this challenging exam:

Ways to Take the GRE
Although students are not allowed to take the GRE online from home, they can take the test on a computer in a testing center. In fact, most students choose to take the GRE via computer rather than take it as a traditional paper test (which is also an option – instead of sitting down at a computer, students receive a test booklet where they mark down their answers). Both the computer-based exam and the paper-delivered test take over three hours to complete.

Benefits of Taking the Computer-Delivered GRE
There are lots of students who feel at ease taking the GRE on a computer because they are very familiar with the technology. Unlike its counterpart, the GMAT (which is also taken via computer), the computer-delivered GRE allows test-takers to mark questions they want to skip and return to them later on, as well as to go back and change answers within a particular section.

The computer that the GRE is administered on has basic word processing software that allows students to cut, paste, and otherwise edit their essays – many test-takers appreciate being able to type their essays for the test in this way instead of having to hand-write them. Test-takers also get to use an on-screen calculator for problems in the Quantitative Reasoning Section. The computer-delivered exam is the next best option for students who wish they could take the GRE online.

Benefits of Taking the Paper-Delivered GRE
Some students prefer to stick with the paper-based format for the GRE as they feel more comfortable with this familiar, traditional option. Like the computer-delivered version of the exam, the paper GRE allows test-takers to skip puzzling questions and return to them later on. It also gives them the ability to jot down outlines for their essays to use in hand-writing their final versions. Not surprisingly, this is the preferred option for students who would never want to take the GRE online.

What Is On the GRE?
Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Sections make up the three parts of the GRE. The Verbal Reasoning Section tests a student’s ability to read and understand written works as well as recognize various vocabulary words in context. The Quantitative Section tests a student’s math skills in the areas of arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and data interpretation. Finally, on the Analytical Writing Section, students are asked to write both an issue essay as well as an argument essay.

Tips for GRE Preparation
Whether a student is taking the GRE via computer or on paper, it’s a good idea to take a practice test. This can help a student to learn which skills need the most attention while they are studying. For example, a student looking at the results of their practice GRE may find that although they performed well on most of the math problems, they would benefit from a little work on their geometry skills. This information will allow the student to focus their study efforts where they are most needed.

Another tip that can assist students in preparing for the GRE is to read more newspaper and magazine articles. This habit can help a student absorb commonly-used vocabulary words and their definitions, which will come in handy if they see these words during the Verbal Reasoning Section of the exam.

At Veritas Prep, we are experts at helping students prepare for the GRE. Each of our professional instructors has achieved a GRE high score, which means that students who take our courses learn test-taking strategies from instructors who have navigated the test with great success!

Though test-takers can’t take the GRE online, they can still gain an advantage over their peers by studying with one of our expert instructors at Veritas Prep. We use excellent study materials and resources to make sure our students have the confidence they need to perform at their best on test day.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

What is Considered a “Good” GRE Score and How is it Achieved?

GMATWhat is considered to be a “good” GRE score? This is a common question that often comes to mind for students who are planning to take the GRE. Most of them want an idea as to what scores they will need to have in order to gain admission to their preferred graduate schools. Furthermore, students also want to know the best way they can work to achieve this good GRE score.

At Veritas Prep, we know that thorough preparation is the only way to truly master the GRE, and Veritas Prep students benefit when they study with instructors who have achieved great success on this test. What is a good GRE score? Veritas Prep has the answer.

What is Considered a Good GRE Score?
Students who take the Revised GRE exam receive a report that displays their scores and other information – there are three scores on this report instead of just one, as students receive separate scores for their performance on the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing Sections of the test. They can score between 130 and 170 points on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Sections, and anywhere from 0 to 6 points on the Analytical Writing Section.

Scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Sections are measured in one-point increments while Analytical Writing scores accumulate in half-point increments. Therefore, a score of about 160 is considered to be good for the Verbal Reasoning Section, a score of around 164 is good for the Quantitative Section, and a score of 5 is good for the the Analytical Writing Section.

Students can also look at the specific admissions requirements of the schools they are considering. The question then becomes, “What is a good GRE score for incoming graduate students at a particular university?” This answer will vary from school to school, so it is best to research the average GRE scores of the schools you are applying to so you can have a target score in mind.

Also, keep in mind that the old version of the GRE used a different scoring scale for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections of the exam (students began taking the revised GRE on August 1, 2011). The scores for both the old and the revised versions of the GRE are valid for five years after a student takes the test.

GRE Practice Tests
During GRE prep courses at Veritas Prep, we examine the results of a student’s practice tests, and these results help us to determine where a student needs to improve. Our professional instructors are experts at providing tips to students on how they can strengthen various skills for the GRE. Taking practice tests can help students gauge their progress as they improve in their performance on all three sections of the exam – in a way, a practice test also serves as a sneak preview of what a student will see on test day.

Learn Effective Strategies to Use on the GRE
Students who work with Veritas Prep instructors learn simple test-taking strategies that can end up being their most valuable resources on test day. For instance, they learn how to simplify complicated math equations on the Quantitative Section, how to eliminate answer options to narrow their choices and solve problems with efficiency, and what to look for as they read passages in the Verbal Reasoning Section.

A student who practices these strategies will be able to move through the test and complete all of their questions without running out of time. We also show students how to plan out an organized essay for the Analytical Writing Section of the exam (taking the time to create an outline will pay off in building a convincing argument).

Building Confidence While Preparing for the Test
One of the most important things we do at Veritas Prep is offer encouragement to our students. We know that taking the GRE in preparation for graduate school can be stressful, and we’ve found that most students tend to favor one section of the GRE over another simply because they are more comfortable with the subject matter. We partner with students to improve their performance in weak areas and push them to greater success in the areas in which they already excel.

Students who want to achieve great GRE scores can contact us or consult our FAQ page for more information about our services. We are the experts when it comes to giving students the guidance and strategies they need to perform at their best on the GRE.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Why Take a Language Test in Addition to the GMAT or GRE?

FAQMany international applicants are curious as to why graduate schools require an English language test along with the GMAT or the GRE. The latter tests are quite challenging and are already conducted in English, so why take TOEFL or IELTS, in addition?

Well, the reason is actually quite simple. Although the GMAT and GRE are administered in English, they do not truly test language proficiency.

Language vs. Aptitude Tests
Test-takers should be fluent in English to take GMAT and GRE, but these exams are just reasoning tests. The GMAT and GRE measure your aptitude for graduate school success by assessing your analytical thinking, quantitative skills, comprehension of complex texts, ability to identify arguments, etc.

These tests do require fluency in English because this is the language of the test. As such, you will need to brush-up your knowledge of standard English grammar and upgrade your vocabulary to an academic level to cope with the Verbal Sections and the Analytical Writing assessments. In addition, the GMAT and GRE will both require a refresher of high school and college math skills.

What language skills do you use on the GMAT and GRE?
1) Reading Comprehension
Both the GRE and GMAT are conducted entirely in English, so you should be able to comprehend all instructions and test questions, as well as be able to read quickly and understand what you are reading in detail.

The vocabulary in some parts of these tests can be at a very high academic level, or can be highly specialized in a certain field. On the GMAT, for example, you can find texts about history, biology and chemistry with very specific terminology. Don’t be surprised – the GMAT opens the door to business school, which prepares future managers. Managers have to be able to make decisions in any industry, not necessarily knowing all the details and terminology in the field.

Reading long, specialized text is essential for success in graduate school, but the GMAT and GRE do not test other equally important language skills such as your listening, comprehension and speaking abilities.

2) Applying Grammar Rules
Mastery of grammar rules and having an experienced eye for tiny details is essential for the Verbal Sections of the GRE and GMAT. Your grammar expertise will help you with, for example, GMAT Sentence Correction questions. Let’s look at how you can work on this using the following practice question; you have to choose which of the five answer choices is correct in order to replace the underlined part of the sentence:

SARS coronavirus – the virus that causes Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome – does not seem to transmit easily from person to person, though in China it has infected the family members and health care personnel taking care of them.

(A) it has infected the family members and health care personnel taking care of them
(B) it has infected the family members and health care personnel who had taken care of them
(C) the virus has infected the family members and health care personnel who have taken care of them
(D) the virus had infected the family members and health care personnel who took care of victims
E) it has infected the family members and health care personnel taking care of victims

Can you see how having a knowledge of grammar rules and a decision-point strategy can help you find the right answer? Veritas Prep experts explain:

In the original sentence, you will probably not notice the error with “them” at the end until you see the choice of “victims” in (D) and (E). The “them” in (A), (B), and (C) has no antecedent in the sentence. When you say “has infected THE family members and health personnel taking care of them” you need to have something for “them” to refer back to (it is not referring to family members or health personnel as that would be illogical – they are THE people doing the taking care of). In (D) the past perfect “had infected” is illogical as the virus did not infect the people BEFORE they took care of the people with the virus (the victims). (E) gets everything correct – it uses the proper, logical tense and uses “victims” instead of “them”. Answer is (E).

3) Writing and Style
Both the GMAT and the GRE have writing components. For the GRE, you are required to write two essays – Analysis of an Argument and Analysis of a Statement. The GMAT has only one essay – Analysis of the Argument. Although the focus of this part of the test is on your analytical skills, your presentation, use of correct grammar, level of vocabulary, structure and writing style will also count towards your score.

What language skills do the TOEFL and IELTS test?
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are the most well-known English proficiency tests required by universities. Although there are a number of differences between these tests, they both check all English language skills. In this way, university Admissions Committees make sure that prospective applicants can freely communicate in English in an academic environment, as well as make the most of their extracurricular activities and social life while at school.

The TOEFL and IELTS both assess:

1) Listening Comprehension
During these tests, you will listen to recordings of native speakers talking about different topics. Some of them are related to university life, such as lectures, class discussions, and talks between professors and students or among students. These tests reflect the variety of native English accents around the world, just as most of the international university classrooms do.

2) Reading Comprehension
You will have to read (within a specified time) large chunks of text on different topics. Vocabulary is at an academic level here, and the topics are from various fields of study and everyday situations. Your understanding of these texts will be verified in different ways.

3) Grammar
As with the GMAT and GRE, you will have questions that require a mastery of standard English grammar. You will have to find the best answer for certain Verbal questions, or decide whether a sentence is correct or incorrect (and how to correct it).

4) Writing
Both the IELTS and TOEFL exams have a written section. During this part of the test, you will have to write an essay – vocabulary used, clarity of expression, grammar, style, structure and focus on the topic are all considered in evaluating your essay.

5) Speaking
Oral communication is essential in graduate school, especially when the teaching methodology focuses on class discussion, group projects, presentations, and networking. While the Oral Section tests listening comprehension again, its primary purpose is to assess your ability to express yourself orally. For the TOEFL exam, the Oral Section, like the rest of the test, is carried out on a computer – you will listen to the instructions and then record your oral presentation. For the IELTS exam, your oral ability is assessed though a live, face-to-face conversation with the examiners.

Can language tests be waived?
Some universities will waive the requirement for a language test for international applicants who have recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree course studied entirely in English. In rare cases, some business schools will not require applicants to take the IELTS or TOEFL, since they will have the chance to evaluate candidates’ language skills during the admissions interview. This does not mean that all schools requiring an admission interview will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement, however, so it is best to check with the schools you are applying to for their policies on the matter.

Now you can clearly see how these two types of tests differ, and why most universities and business schools require both an aptitude test (the GMAT and GRE) and a language proficiency test. Admissions Committees require evidence that you have the potential to succeed with your studies, and that neither your language nor reasoning skills will be barriers.

By Iliana Bobova, from our partners at PrepAdviser.

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+, and Twitter!

Jump-Start Your GRE Prep With a Free GRE Strategy Session

GREWhether you are planning to apply to business school, pursue another field of graduate study, or simply want to keep your future options open, you’ve decided to take the GRE. The GRE is a challenging exam and if you are planning on taking the test, you undoubtedly have questions about how to prepare and how to maximize your score.

If you’re looking to jump-start your GRE preparation, register to attend Veritas Prep’s free online GRE Strategy Session. Hosted by Veritas Prep’s GRE Course co-creator, Brian Galvin, this one-hour session will go over the basics of the GRE and show you some of the advanced strategies needed to tackle this exam. In addition, each session concludes with a Q&A session, so you can have your toughest GRE questions answered in live time.

So what are you waiting for? Register to attend the next Veritas Prep GRE Strategy Session now and improve your chances of GRE success!

Wednesday, February 24
7:30pm – 8:30pm (Eastern)

Wednesday, March 23
8:00pm – 9:00pm (Eastern)

Register now!

Want a more focused approach to your GRE preparation? Check out our GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Six Predictions for 2011

GMAT Prep Washington DCIt wouldn’t be right to start off the new year without some predictions about what will happen with the GMAT and in graduate school admissions in 2011. While last year’s predictions of 3D GMAT classes and a free solar-powered Kindle for every HBS student never quite materialized (we’ve still got our fingers crossed), we’re feeling bold enough to issues some new predictions for the coming year.

Without further ado, here are six things that we expect will happen in the GMAT and admissions spaces in the year ahead:
Continue reading “Six Predictions for 2011”

ETS Introduces Updated GMAT/GRE Score Comparison Tool

GMAT GRE Comparison ToolEducation Testing Service (ETS), the group that runs the GRE, has introduced an updated version of the GMAT/GRE score comparison tool that it first announced last year. It provides a slick, easy-to-use interface for applicants to input their GRE General Test scores and see a predicted equivalent total GMAT score.

The changes to the tool look mostly cosmetic, with a Flash-based interface replacing tables and charts, although it does look like ETS also increased the sample size on which the comparison tool is based. The 2009 version of included the results of 525 people who took both exams, while ETS says this version includes data from 893 test takers.
Continue reading “ETS Introduces Updated GMAT/GRE Score Comparison Tool”

U.S. News MBA Rankings Survey to Gather GRE Data This Year

U.S. NewsScore one more point for Educational Testing Service (ETS) in its effort to take market share from the GMAT as the preferred test for business school admissions. On his Morse Code Blog, U.S. News Director of Data Research Robert Morse announced that this fall’s U.S. News survey will ask admissions offices detailed questions on GRE test scores and the number and the percentage Class of 2012 students who submitted them.

Morse stopped short of promising that U.S. News‘s 2012 MBA rankings (which will be published next spring) will contain GRE data, but said that U.S. News “is considering changing its ranking methodology for the 2012 edition of the America’s Best Business Schools rankings… to include both the GMAT and GRE test scores of all M.B.A. students entering in fall 2010.”


In his blog post Morse points out that nearly 27% of the graduate business schools that U.S. News last surveyed are currently accepting GRE scores for admissions. Assuming that U.S. News does eventually decide to include GRE data in its rankings, it will be interesting to see how it manages it given that the majority of top schools still do not accept the GRE. Will it blend GRE and GMAT data by looking just at percentile scores? Will they only include GRE numbers when school report them, and ignore them otherwise? Could some schools have an incentive to include or exclude GRE data to manipulate their rankings, similar to what law schools have been doing with their employment data? It will be interesting to see.

While we still believe that the GMAT is the best predictor of how someone will do in business school, there’s no denying that ETS has made impressive strides this past year in promoting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. If you’re an applicant, the question to ask is, “What do I want?” If you’re considering a variety of graduate program options (including business school), then the GRE may make sense. If you’re certain you really want to pursue an MBA, though, it’s still difficult to justify choosing the GRE over the GMAT. We’ve written about this decision at length, and still feel the same way.

Thinking about taking the GMAT? Visit our site for a GMAT course overview to see why thousands of applicants choose Veritas Prep every year. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to follow Veritas Prep on Twitter so that you don’t miss a beat in the worlds of GMAT prep and MBA admissions!

Veritas Prep Weighs in on the GMAT vs. GRE Debate on BusinessWeek

GMAT Preparation
In an article on BusinessWeek.com yesterday, BW’s Francesca Di Meglio dug deeper into the “GMAT or GRE?” question. She interviewed several leading experts on the subject, including our own co-founder and CEO, Chad Troutwine.

Di Meglio referred to the battle between the two tests as a “Coke-or-Pepsi debate,” an appropriate comparison given that they are two tests that seem similar (at least on the surface), and that each one has its ardent backers. However, everyone interviewed for the story (including Chad) had a very clear take: If you’re serious about getting into business school, don’t over-think it. Doing well on the GMAT is still the best way to prove that you have the aptitude to excel in business school.


According to Chad (via the article):

In general, Troutwine says, the GRE is not taken as seriously as the GMAT in the B-school world. He tells clients to take the GMAT unless they are applying to other graduate programs that require the GRE. “If you can take on the challenge of what may be a slightly more demanding exam, the score will have more value,” says Troutwine.

If you’re dead set on getting into a top business school, keep in mind the schools’ rationale for starting to accept the GRE — to attract applicants who might not otherwise have considered applying to business school. MBA admissions officers’ image of the typical (or even ideal) GRE-taking applicant is the one who has an impressive background but maybe an unclear career path. Maybe he just took the GRE to prepare to apply for a graduate program in public policy, but now he learns about the HBS 2+2 Program or a similar program designed for younger or somewhat unusual applicants. Since he can apply with his existing GRE score, he says “What the heck,” and applies, helping Harvard sprinkle some more diversity into its MBA class.

Not all GRE-taking applicants must look like this, but contrast this with the more “typical” business school applicant, who goes to a top-20 university, works for a prominent New York bank for two years, and is now ready to apply to business school. He has a great undergraduate transcript, impressive work history at a blue chip firm, essays that convincingly describe why an MBA has been in his plans for the last four years, and… a great GRE score? Why would someone like this not take the GMAT if he’s so serious about getting into a top MBA program? Is he hiding a bad GMAT score? Is he trying to “game the system” and take the GRE since he thins he can do better on it than on the GMAT?

Admissions officers’ minds are not quite swimming with so many conspiracy theories, but remember that your entire application does need to hang together as a whole. If anything jumps out as a big inconsistency vs. the rest of your business school application, that’s a chink in the armor as you try to get accepted ahead of literally thousands of other great applicants. If you’re serious about getting into a top-ten MBA program, stick with the GMAT, at least until the GRE is better proven in the graduate business educations space.

If you’re ready to get started with your own GMAT prep, take a look at the free resources available at Veritas Prep, including our free practice GMAT. Or, give us a call at (800) 925-7737 and speak with a GMAT expert today!

More on the Coming Changes to the GRE


Much has been made of Educational Testing Service’s announcement that it will introduce significant changes to the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test in 2011. With the market for grad school-related standardized testing heating up as GMAC and ETS butt heads, these changes are sure to be closely watched.

Interestingly, ETS planned a big change to the GRE in 2007, but later canceled its plans, blaming computer problems for the aborted effort. Clearly, with the stakes being raised as ETS and GMAC (the people behind the GMAT) battle fort he hearts and minds of admissions officers, competition has brought out the best in ETS.


The big changes to the test include (adapted from Inside Higher Ed):
  • People who take the new version of the GRE on the computer will be able to skip questions and come back to them later, and revisit answers before submitting an entire section. While test takers will surely like this, it’s hard to envision there being much of a computer-adaptive component to the test with this model.
  • The scoring range for each section will change from 200-800 (with score increments of 10 points), to a scale of 130-170, with score increments of one point.
  • The section of antonyms and analogies in the verbal section will be removed, with more reading comprehension added. We think this reflects ETS’ push to make the GRE more like the GMAT in what skills it tests.
  • The geometry section in the quantitative section will shrink, with additional questions being added related to data analysis. This is another push to test more of the skills that the GMAT also tests.
  • A calculator will be provided, to shift the emphasis from how quickly someone can calculate a number to that person’s actual analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • The time of the exam will increase from around 3 hours to 3 hours, 45 minutes.

If you’re applying to business school and are wondering which test you should take, our advice remains the same: We agree with GMAC that the GMAT is still the most proven measure of the skills an MBA applicant needs to succeed in the classroom. If you’re thinking about grad degrees and general and are only somewhat interested in earning an MBA, then perhaps the GRE is the better place to start. If you’re sure that a top-tier MBA is what you want, however, the GMAT is still your best bet.

For more GMAT prep assistance, take a look at the free resources available at Veritas Prep, including our free practice GMAT. If you’re ready to start working on your own 700+ score on the GMAT, give us a call at (800) 925-7737!

GMAT vs. GRE: GMAC Strikes Back

After seeing ETS make some significant inroads into GMAT market share with its own GRE over the past year, GMAC is now hitting back with an article on its site that debunks ETS’s GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools.

“This GRE comparison tool is not as precise at it may appear, and using it is not as straightforward as presented. The comparison tool is about averages. Admission decisions are about individuals,” argues GMAC in the article on its site.

Appropriately, GMAC turned to statistics to bolster its argument against the comparison tool:

“As a specific example, for a GRE verbal score of 660 and quantitative score of 670, the tool would predict a GMAT Total score of 650. In this case, 1 in 4 people with this predicted score would actually earn 600 or below if they were to take the GMAT exam. In addition to prediction error, there is also measurement error in both the verbal and quantitative GRE scores, so the chance that this individual would actually score something close to 650 is extremely thin.”

Going further, GMAC then raises the question of whether comparing students with actual GMAT scores to those with predicted scores is fair: “To use predicted GMAT scores along with actual ones unfairly penalizes both sets of test takers, because applicants with valid GMAT scores could be displaced by applicants with predicted scores that are much too high.”

Interestingly, ETS launched the GRE Comparison Tool GRE® Comparison Tool at www.ets.org/gre/comparison about a year ago, but now that web address redirects to a promotion encouraging business schools to start accepting the GRE. Maybe GMAC was able to apply enough pressure to get ETS to remove the tool? Maybe ETS decided it needs to go back to the drawing board?

While we expect that the GRE is here to stay in the graduate management education admissions business, we agree with GMAC that the GMAT is still the most proven measure of the skills an MBA applicant needs to succeed in the classroom. If you’re thinking about grad degrees and general and are only somewhat interested in earning an MBA, then perhaps the GRE is the better place to start. If you’re sure that a top-tier MBA is what you want, however, the GMAT is your best bet.

And, if you’re ready to dig into the GMAT, start with the GMAT preparation tools and services available at Veritas Prep.

Business Schools That Accept the GRE

After NYU Stern’s announcement that it will start accepting the GRE as well as the GMAT for MBA admissions, we’ve been getting more and more questions from business school applicants about what top business schools accept the GRE. While we still believe that the GMAT is the best predictor of how someone will do in business school, there’s no denying that ETS has made impressive strides this past year in promoting the GRE General Test as an alternative to the GMAT.

We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the top business schools that accept the GRE General Test. This list is not meant to be exhaustive (ETS’s exhaustive list is here). Rather, these are the top business schools — in which our clients tend to be most interested — that have taken the plunge and started accepting the GRE.

Top MBA Programs That Accept the GRE:

  • Harvard Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • NYU Stern School of Business
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • University of Virginia (Darden)
  • Yale School of Management

Additionally, Wharton will accept the GRE starting in Fall 2010.

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Harvard Business School to Accept the GRE

Yesterday Harvard Business School joined the likes of Stanford GSB and MIT Sloan when it announced that its general two-year MBA program will starting accepting the GRE from applicants this fall. This move comes after the HBS 2+2 Program announced in March that it would accept both the GRE and the GMAT this year. While this won’t affect your plans if you have already taken (or are about to take) the GMAT, it will potentially attract a bigger and more diverse applicant pool to Harvard’s two-year MBA program.

In an HBS press release, director of admissions Dee Leopold said, “We are pleased to widen our requirements to give all MBA candidates the option of submitting results from either the GRE or GMAT exams. Since many HBS applicants are also considering graduate programs besides the MBA, there is now no need for them to take the GMAT if they have already taken the GRE. We believe that both the GMAT and the GRE meet our expectations of what a standardized test can tell us about a candidate’s ability to thrive in our MBA Program.”

This is consistent with the school’s push (of which the HBS 2+2 Program is an important part) to find more business leaders outside of the traditional MBA program feeders, such as business-oriented college programs, investment banks, and consulting firms. It also marks another win for ETS in its push to position the GRE as a credible competitor to the GMAT in assessing MBA applicants’ abilities. With a handful of top-ten schools already accepting the GRE, we expect more schools will soon follow suit.

With ETS making slow but steady progress in winning over the top business schools, it’s no wonder that the Graduate Management Admission Council has started to make noise about producing a next-generation GMAT exam, due to reach the market by 2013.

GMAC Announces the Next Generation GMAT

Perhaps motivated by ETS’s push into the MBA admissions market with the GRE, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) recently announced that it will introduce an upgraded GMAT in 2013. Dubbed the “Next Generation GMAT,” the new exam will be designed to overcome the business school community’s largest objections to the current exam.

One common criticism of the GMAT is that has a strong bias in favor of Western culture, in part because it is only offered in English. While this does create some built-in unnatural advantages and disadvantages based on a student’s native language, one strength of this “single language” approach is that it makes it easier to compare GMAT scores of students from anywhere in the world. If, with the new exam, Student A scores a 720 in English and Student B scores a 720 in Mandarin, will an MBA admissions officer really be able to make a direct comparison between the two? It will be interesting to see how GMAC tackles problems such as these.

The GMAT has also recently been plagued other problems, such as last year’s Scoretop scandal and issues with “proxy test takers” that prompted GMAC to introduce pal-scanning technology to its GMAT test centers. It’s not clear how a new exam by itself will overcome these issues, although one solution could end up involving more face-to-face evaluation (which would be time-consuming and expensive).

GMAC has promised to include business schools in its discussions for what the next generation GMAT should look like. As the world’s fastest-growing GMAT prep and admissions consulting provider, we think we also have something to add to the discussion. How about you? What do you think would make the GMAT a fairer and more effective measurement tool for business school applicants?

HBS 2+2 Program to Accept the GRE

We’ve previously weighed in on the GRE vs. GMAT question in the media. Now, one more big name among business schools plans to start accepting the test: Harvard has announced that it will accept the GRE for HBS 2+2 Program applicants starting this year.

This is consistent with the strategic aim of the HBS 2+2 Program, which is to attract more applicants who may otherwise not have considered pursuing an MBA. While many top business schools compete with HBS for high-potential applicants, HBS sees other top grad programs (especially law schools) as their main competition for top young talent. Accepting the GRE allows HBS to attract more of these applicants who may not have originally planned on pursuing a business education.

By the way, the Forbes article makes it sound as thought HBS will only accept the GRE for the 2+2 Program, but it will actually accept both. (See the HBS admissions FAQ.) If you already have a strong GMAT score, then don’t even worry about the GRE.

If you’re still in college and might eventually want to pursue a Harvard MBA, read more about the HBS 2+2 Program on our blog, and see if it’s right for you.

In the Media: The GMAT vs. GRE Question

Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik just wrote a story about the Educational Testing Service’s push to replace the GMAT with its own GRE exam as the standardized test for business school admissions, and he turned to our own Chad Troutwine for his take on this budding competition:

Chad Troutwine, CEO and co-founder of Veritas Prep, a high-end test-prep service for the GMAT, said that the the news from ETS could be significant. Troutwine said that ETS has faced “two big liabilities” in trying to promote the GRE. One has been a fear that minority test takers do not perform as well as white students