Business School vs Multiple Graduate Programs
The most significant of all the differences lies in the purpose of the test. The revised GRE measures your ability to reason and is applicable to a number of schools for a diverse range of programs including Engineering, Business, Philosophy, Computer Sciences and several other programs. On the other hand, GMAT is acceptable to business schools alone. So if you are not applying to a business school the GRE General test is generally the test for you, if you are applying for a business school, then you may opt for GRE or GMAT depending on which test your university asks for.
Section Adaptive vs Question Adaptive
One important difference is the way these Computer Adapted tests work. GRE is “section adaptive”, this means the difficulty within a section remains same. Your performance in the first section will determine the difficulty level of the corresponding second section. If you get a lot of questions right in the first section, the second section will be hard. But getting a question right or wrong will not affect the rest of questions in the same section. However, in GMAT, the difficulty level of a question is determined by your performance in the preceding questions. If you have been getting a lot of questions wrong, the difficulty will be low and vice versa.
$205 vs $250
The GMAT costs $250 while GRE costs $205. Besides the test taking cost, if you are preparing for GRE you can find a lot of high quality low cost test prep firms. In my opinion, it is slightly hard to find high quality low cost test prep firms for GMAT prep.
Difference in test format
The second major difference between GRE and GMAT is in the structure of the two exams. Both these exams have questions pertaining to Verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning and Argument Essays, but the number of questions and the types of questions varies. GMAT also has an Integrated Reasoning section.
Verbal Section differences
The GMAT exam has one Verbal Section containing 41 Questions with an allotted of 75 minutes. You need to solve all 41 questions in one attempt, and can’t move back and forth between the questions as opposed to GRE, where there are two sections each of 20 questions in 30 minutes given time and with break between sections and with the freedom to skip a question and solve it later. You can also change your answer choices of a question you had attempted earlier from the same section.
Both the Verbal Sections contain three question types. For GRE they are Reading Comprehension, Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence and for GMAT they are Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction. One can write an entire essay on which test has easier sections? But this is beyond the scope of this essay.
Quantitative Section Differences
In the quantitative part, the GMAT exam has 37 Questions with an allotted time of 75 minutes while the GRE has two different sections, each containing 20 questions with 35 minutes fixed time. The rest of the rules are the same as verbal section.
Both the Quant sections cover questions from the same topics. However, the question types are different. GMAT tests candidates with Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions while the GRE tests them with Quantitative Comparison, Multiple Choice Questions- with one correct option, Multiple Choice Questions- with multiple correct options, Numeric entry questions.