When applying for a master's degree in the Canada or United States , many applicants need to take standardized tests such as the GMAT and GRE. They might ask: "What is the difference between these two tests?" "Which exam is simpler?" "Which one should I take?" "What score do I need?" ...and many other questions. Here, we will give you a detailed analysis of these two tests. We hope to help you identify the differences and more suitable choices.


If you plan to apply for a Canadian undergraduate major, you cancontact us. Our&nbspeducation consultantsWith experience in solving more than 500 application cases each year, we will provide you with the most professional consulting and application services.

What are the main differences between the GMAT and GRE?

GMAT,Graduate Management As the name suggests, the GMAT is a standardized test designed to test the abilities of applicants applying to business schools. At the beginning of its establishment, GMAT was a standardized test used as the admission review standard for major business schools in the United States and Canada. Now many famous business schools in Europe also require GMAT scores as one of their admission requirements.

GRE,Graduate Record Examination In the United States, GRE test scores are regarded as one of the hard indicators of master's application requirements; in Canada, high-ranking schools also require applicants to provide GRE scores. The standardized test scores can well reflect the applicant's use of vocabulary, language accuracy, critical thinking, and logical analysis. In short, if the applicant's goal is to become a graduate or doctoral student of liberal arts, science, or engineering majors in a prestigious North American university, the GRE is a requirement.

Test purpose
  • GRE is applicable to applications for most majors except medical doctors
  • GMAT is suitable for MBA, accounting and other majors
  • Almost all business schools accept GRE scores
Test dates: Multiple exams per year
Test duration: 3 hours and 45 minutes (including 10 minutes break time) 3 hours and 30 minutes (including test introduction + two 8-minute optional break times)
Test structure:
  • a 60-minute Analytical Writing section, two essays
  • two 30-minute Verbal Reasing sections, 20 questions per section
  • two 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections, 20 questions per section
  • a 30-35-minute experimental section that can be either math or verbal (only for computer tests)
  • a 30-minute Analytical Writing section, one essay
  • a 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, 12 questions
  • a 65-minute Verbal section, 36 questions
  • a 62-minute Quantitative section, 31 questions
Test format: Computer test (paper test only available in some areas) Computer test
Exam fee: USD$205 USD$250
Scoring: Verbal and Quantitative scores from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments 200 to 800 in 10-point increments

Which is easier, the GMAT or the GRE?

Verbal reasoning section: GMAT is easier! Quantitative reasoning section: GRE is simpler! Analytical Writing section: GMAT is easier!
Non-native candidates who have taken both tests at the same time generally think that GRE is more difficult in the English reasoning section. Compared with GMAT, the reading comprehension in the GRE is more academic, the sentence structures are more complex, with a wider range of vocabulary.

The GMAT is more focused ongrammatical rules and logical thinking. There is a relatively smaller vocabulary range, and it is easy for test-takers to get higher scores through intensive prep.

Candidates who are native English speakers are more inclined to take the GRE test because they tend to lack confidence in their quantitative skills.

The subjects involved in the quantitative sections of GMAT and GRE include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

In addition, the GMAT contains a more complex Integrated Reasoning section to test the candidate’s basic mathematical ability. Candidates are required to analyze and interpret data, and answer 8 integrated questions based on the presented information.

Many of these problems are complex and have multiple parts; very different from the quantitative sections of the GRE, SAT, and ACT. This section can be a big challenge for most candidates, unless they prepare for the test by getting some sort of systematic training.

The Analytical Writing sections of GMAT and GRE are not substantially different. Both tests contain an Analyze an Argument essay question that is very similar to IELTS writing. The test-taker is required to read an article about a certain argument and critique it.

Unlike the GMAT, in addition to the Analyze an Argument essay, GRE also has a question involving analyzing a task; that is, after reading an argument, the test-taker is required to write an essay to explain their own stance on the issue and justify that stance with evidence.

GRE requires double the time for the writing section due to it having one more than one question. For candidates who are weaker in writing or find it too boring, they will be more inclined to the write the GMAT for its single essay question.

How do applicants choose between GMAT and GRE?

If you have aclear goalof applying toa major in a business school, concentrating on preparing for the GMAT would be the best. When you enter the business school, you will find that the professor's lecturing style and content shows they are more familiar with the GMAT. In career development, if you choose to enter a consulting management company or investment bank, and engage in business-related work, some companies will require applicants to provide GMAT scores. If you are at this point in life, and you had been aware of this before you took the test, then good job on having done your research and planning ahead!

If you are planning to keep your options open, and you are thinking of applying toa major that is not business-related,, you may want to think about taking the GRE. The quantitative questions are easier, while having slightly more challenging verbal questions. However, candidates can be systematically trained to tackle the verbal questions to achieve higher scores. For applicants who major in liberal arts and have a weaker mathematical foundation, GRE is definitely the better choice.

Summary:If you only want to apply to business schools, especially those with higher rankings and popularity, take the GMAT. If you are also considering other majors, taking the GRE is recommended.

GRE is recommended GMAT is recommended
  • Applying for multi-direction majors
  • Lower ranked business programs
  • Holding a Bachelor of Science or Engineering from Mainland China
  • Planning to apply to business school have a weak mathematical foundation
  • Is certain about applying to a business school
  • Has clear goals about applying to a highly-ranked business school
  • Holding a Bachelor of Business in North America
  • Planning to pursue a business consulting or investment banking career in the future

What GMAT or GRE scores do applicants need?

Based on the experience of a large number of previous applicants, if you want to apply for amaster's degree in the United States or Canada, you need to ensure that your GRE score is not lower than 320 and your GMAT score is not lower than 700.

  • GRE 320+: Apply to the top 15 graduate schools in Canada or the top 60 graduate schools in the United States;
  • GRE 325+: Apply to the top 10 graduate schools in Canada or the top 30 graduate schools in the United States;
  • GRE 330+: Apply to the top 5 graduate schools in Canada or the top 10 graduate schools in the United States;
  • GMAT 660+: Apply to the business schools of normal universities in North America;
  • GMAT 710+: Apply to the top business schools in North America

Evidently, the score requirements of different colleges and majors will vary greatly. However, in order to attract more applicants, many North American graduate schools have appeared to have lowered theminimum requirementsshown on their official websites, but don't be fooled by the scores marked on the websites. Obviously, the higher the score, the better! As compensation for a low GPA, if a candidate can submit a GMAT score of 700+ or higher, it will greatly affect the chances of admission to the top business schools in North America.

Please feel free to scan our QR code on WeChat to contact our customer service, or message us directly through the chat window in the lower right-hand corner. After signing a contract, our&nbspeducation consultantswill provide you with the most professional graduate application services based on our wealth of experience in solving more than 500 application cases for undergraduate and masters applications each year. Of course, detailed GRE/GMAT test preparation planning is included.