GMAT vs. GRE: Which Exam Should You Take?

GMAT vs. GRE: Which Exam Should You Take?

Roughly 90% of B-schools in the US now accept both GMAT and GRE scores.

While B-schools will take either exam for admission, the two exams differ entirely – from what they test to how questions are phrased. Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently wrote about the key differences between the two exams and how B-schools view scores.


One of the biggest differences between the GRE and the GMAT is the style that each exam focuses on.

“The style expected from GRE test readers is more abstract and draws from various sources and disciplines for examples or references, whereas the GMAT is more concrete and analytical,” Blackman writes. “This supports the suitability of the GRE for the more academically-minded student.”

Due to their differing styles, the GRE and the GMAT focus on different material, with the GRE featuring more language testing and the GMAT having a strong focus on quantitative questions.

“As a result, students with stronger math skills may want to take the GMAT in order to demonstrate those skills,” Dan Edmonds, a test prep tutor with the New York-based admissions consulting firm IvyWise, tells US News. “Further, if you plan to apply to a program that values math skills, that program may look more favorably on the GMAT than the GRE.”


In recent years, B-schools such as MIT have dropped their testing requirement. But, experts say, “test-optional” isn’t applicable to every applicant – especially if other aspects of your application aren’t as strong.

“Not submitting a standardized test score is only beneficial if all other measures work well, especially the grades,” Blackman writes. “So if you had stellar grades undergrad, AdCom would probably be ok evaluating you without a test.”

In general, B-schools will compare an applicant’s GRE score in relation to the GMAT using a converter tool.

“When in doubt, we will usually recommend submitting the score that is the highest, especially if the differential between the GRE and GMAT score is significant and if there’s enough quantitative exposure through college and career,” Blackman writes.

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, US News, P&Q, PrepScholar

Next Page: Business Firms Are Creating Their Own Customized Degrees

PwC U.S. Recruiting Lead Rod Adams (right) at interns. PwC photo

Business Firms Are Creating Their Own Customized Degrees

Big Four firms are working with B-schools to customize accounting and management programs to ensure graduates job-ready by graduation.

PwC, KPMG, and Ernst & Young are all customizing graduate programs that feature company-tailored training with a goal of closing the gap between traditional B-school curricula and the needed skills and knowledge of the job, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“This is a new frontier on how to collaborate with universities,” Leah Houde, chief learning officer at PwC, which is partnering with Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business on a new online Master of Science Management (MSM) degree.


The new program will integrate D’Amore-McKim coursework with PwC experiential learning opportunities with a focus on the skills necessary for a ‘digital-first’ future.

“So, the CPA ready for this world needs to possess technology and data-based literacies enhanced by human-centric capabilities like collaboration, creativity, and entrepreneurial and systems thinking as critical determinants of future success,” Raj Echambadi, Dunton Family Dean at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, says in his statement. “Our co-designed program with PwC aspires to do just that: develop CPAs of the future.”

According to WSJ, the pilot program will enroll 40 students. Upon completion, students get hired by PwC.

In addition to ensuring B-school grads are job-ready, the PwC program will also focus on providing a diverse workforce by enrolling primarily Black and Latino students and helping them reach the 150-credit CPA requirement, WSJ reports.

“We cannot aspire to recruit diverse talent without tackling the systemic barriers to entry faced by students that belong to racial and ethnic minorities,” Dean Echambadi says.


Last year, EY partnered with the Hult International Business School to create its first corporate virtual MBA. The new program focuses on in-demand technology and data science skills.

“The EY Tech MBA by Hult is focused on helping EY employees develop the growth mindset, leadership qualities, and technological know-how for a constantly changing business environment,” according to a post by the Hult International Business School. “All of these skills are at the core of our curriculum and fundamental to business success.”


In 2016, KPMG launched its Master’s in Accounting program with Data Analytics (MADA) at Villanova University’s School of Business and Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. The firm’s program focuses on data and analytics training alongside traditional accounting curricula and KPMG software and technology.

According to Villanova, students who select the Audit and Advisory Services track with internship are guaranteed an interview opportunity with KPMG for a spring internship.

In 2019, Villanova expanded the KPMG program to include tax.

“The addition of a tax concentration provides our students with a competitive advantage to better support their career development,” Jennifer Altamuro, Associate Professor, Accounting and Faculty Director, Masters of Accounting Programs, at VSB, says in a press release. “This program is a rarity in academic-industry collaboration that goes well beyond a traditional Master of Accounting by integrating competencies in taxation and analytics into a unified curriculum. Our students will be provided with additional opportunities and skills to stay ahead of the curve and become leaders in the profession.”

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Northeastern University, Hult International Business School, Villanova University

Next Page: How To Approach The Cambridge Judge Essay

Cambridge Judge Business School

How To Approach The Cambridge Judge Essay

The University of Cambridge Judge Business School offers an attractive MBA program at a lower cost, when compared to US B-schools. For those looking to complete their MBA in less time, the Cambridge Judge MBA program is a worthwhile choice.

Cambridge Judge specifically seeks out highly accomplished applicants, with admitted students averaging six years of work experience with a median GMAT score of 700. Karen Ponte, former Senior Program Manager at London Business School and expert coach at Fortuna Admissions, recently offered tips for how applicants should approach the B-school’s first required essay.

Cambridge Judge’s first essay prompt asks applicants to provide a personal statement under 500 words that addresses the following questions:

  • What are your short, and long term, career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?

  • What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?

  • If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?


Ponte recommends that applicants structure their essay accordingly to the three bullet points, with the third question if applicable. It’s critical, Ponte says, that applicants answer all the key areas stated in each question, especially in the first bullet.

“You could have an opening paragraph centered on your career objectives – being focused, specific, and clear on your short-term goals and a little more general/ambitious/open on the longer-term ones,” she writes. “The second paragraph of this essay should then showcase the experience you have to date and how this has equipped you with important, transferable and flexible skills to allow you to make the career move you aspire to.”

The essay also shouldn’t be a repeat of your resume, but rather a statement that highlights and discusses your skills.

“Think about team skills, leadership potential, a developing strategic perspective and skills that are more specific to the sector/role that you’re hoping to move on to,” Ponte writes. “Use examples where possible.”


In response to the second bullet, applicants should clearly state the areas in which they feel could be improved and discuss how they’re working to improve these areas.

“Are you thinking of any preparatory courses at all? What are they and how will they benefit you? Show that you’re aware of the networking opportunities available to you at the school – including companies that have existing relationships Judge, networking with peers, and the career services team,” Ponte writes.


Lastly, finish your statement strong by tying your goals back to the MBA program at Cambridge Judge.

“While it is okay to be unsure, you should show some sense of your future path – as this will reassure the admissions team about your post-grad employability,” Ponte writes.

Check out tips for the other Cambridge Judge essays here.

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, US News, P&Q

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