Despite acceptability of GRE scores among business schools across the United States and United Kingdom touching an all time high of 90%, GMAT still provides applicants a competitive edge, according to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2015 survey.
The survey, conducted in 222 business schools in US and UK, found a 5% increase over last year and a big jump from 2009, when Kaplan’s survey found only a quarter (24%) of business schools allowed students to submit a GRE score. Additionally, 42% of admissions officers in 2015 reported an increase in the number of applicants submitting GRE scores, compared to 2014.
Yet, despite this increased acceptance of GRE scores, the GMAT, once the only admissions test option for business schools, may still give applicants an edge at some schools. Twenty-five (25%) percent of admissions officers say applicants who submit a GMAT score have an admissions advantage over those who submit a GRE score, an increase from 18% in Kaplan’s 2014 survey. Only 2% say those who submit a GRE score have the advantage, a drop from 4% in 2014. For the majority (74%), neither has the advantage.
“Even with the increased number of applicants submitting GRE scores, students need to understand that some schools are still reluctant to give both tests equal footing,” added Carlidge. “Our advice to students is to gather admissions intel and ask the business schools to which they will apply if there’s a preference one way or the other.”
Carlidge points out that while the exams include different content, achieving a high percentile is equally challenging on both.
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The survey was conducted between August 2015 and September 2015 of admissions officers at 222 business schools in the United States (217) and United Kingdom (5). Among them are 20 of the top 50, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
In 2014, the survey had found 85% of MBA programs giving students the option to submit a score from the GRE instead of a GMAT score. This percentage has steadily increased year-over-year since Kaplan first began tracking the issue in 2009, when only 24% of business schools said they accepted the GRE.