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MBA Applicants Still Opt for GMAT Despite Business Schools’ Increased Acceptance of GRE

The majority of business schools now permit MBA applicants to submit scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), but few applicants are opting for the GRE, according to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep.

In its 2012 survey of business school admissions officers, Kaplan found that 69 percent of schools now accept either test. When Kaplan first began tracking the issue in 2009, only 24 percent of schools said they accepted the GRE. In a statement announcing the results, Kaplan attributed the increase in large part to campaigning by the GRE test administrator.

But even in the midst of increased acceptance of the GRE, students seem to be sticking with the GMAT, which has more traditionally been the entrance exam of choice for business schools, Kaplan found. Almost half (46 percent) of business schools surveyed said that fewer than 1 in 10 applicants submitted GRE scores in the most recent application cycle. Though the majority of business schools (69 percent) say they view scores from both exams equally, 29 percent say that applicants who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over those who submit a GRE score.

Thirty-one percent of business schools continue to accept only the GMAT, and of those, only 17 percent expect to begin accepting the GRE for the next admissions cycle. One in four of the GMAT-only schools say that the new Integrated Reasoning section added to the GMAT exam in June 2012 makes it even less likely that they will begin accepting the GRE.

“As long as business schools signal the slightest advantage in taking the GMAT, it’s hard to see more applicants going the GRE route,” Andrew Mitchell, Kaplan Test Prep director of pre-business programs said in a statement. “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,” he continued.

View the complete 2012 Kaplan survey of business school admissions officers.


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