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Thread: For those with an MBA: GRE or GMAT?

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    For those with an MBA: GRE or GMAT?

    I can take either to get into the MBA program, can you guys/gals shed some light on past experiences with these?

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    What do you mean by 'the MBA program'. My experience when applying in 94-95 was that MBA programs generally only accept the GMAT.

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    I actually took both around the same time, because I applied to a dual-degree (MBA/MPL) program. The MPL required the GRE and the MBA required the GMAT.

    I think the GMAT overall was a more intense test, but preparing for it made the GRE much easier- especially the math section- and I performed pretty well on the GRE as a result. As far as studying went, I think I devoted 2 hours to the GMAT and 1 hour to the GRE every weekday, and about 5/3 on weekends. I didn't do any courses but I'd highly recommend them. I just bought a few different books- Kaplan, Barrons, etc- and worked through those.

    If possible, I'd recommend that you take both and then decide which score you want to send to the MBA program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkK View Post
    What do you mean by 'the MBA program'. My experience when applying in 94-95 was that MBA programs generally only accept the GMAT.
    Meaning the MBA program I'm looking to apply for here at the university I work at.
    And yes, only recently have more and more schools started accepting both. We've only started accepting the GRE within the last year I believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruse View Post
    As far as studying went, I think I devoted 2 hours to the GMAT and 1 hour to the GRE every weekday, and about 5/3 on weekends.
    For how many weeks/months?

    Quote Originally Posted by ruse View Post
    If possible, I'd recommend that you take both and then decide which score you want to send to the MBA program.
    hmmmmmm.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by djLesCole View Post
    Meaning the MBA program I'm looking to apply for here at the university I work at.
    And yes, only recently have more and more schools started accepting both. We've only started accepting the GRE within the last year I believe.
    Ah, that is news to me.

    Well, I think the GMAT tends to test skills that are more applicable to an MBA, specifically quantitative ones.

    Since you work there, you should ask the folks at admissions. Good luck.

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    Oh, and I took Kaplan and it helped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djLesCole View Post
    For how many weeks/months?
    I think I made the decision about 6 months in advance, and studied intensely for 3-4 months. If I could go back, I definitely would have started earlier because a good score could help get you a better scholarship, which makes a huge difference when you start paying back the loans!

    I actually ended up getting a full ride for the MPL but no grant/scholarship for the MBA- although I can't attribute it solely to my GMAT score (700) as I applied late and didn't have very strong work experience.

    Also, if you do end up taking both tests, make sure you don't select the option to have the program immediately notified of your scores- unless, of course, the program requires that you do so.

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    Funny, right after I opened this thread I started getting pop-up ads for "GMAT"
    Slave to the Rhythm

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    Like Mark said, definitely speak to the admissions people and see what they are looking for in the ideal MBA candidate. Some schools get a ton of candidates with high math scores, so a good way to distinguish yourself is to do really well on the verbal sections. I mean, you definitely want to achieve a minimum threshold for your math score to prove that you are competent in math and can handle the quant classes, but a strong verbal score could make you more desirable especially if it is combined with strong essays. This just reflects a personal observation that MBA programs are looking for more well-rounded candidates and not just human calculators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruse View Post
    If I could go back, I definitely would have started earlier because a good score could help get you a better scholarship, which makes a huge difference when you start paying back the loans!
    Fortunately for me, my coures will be paid for in full. I'll only be responsible for my own books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djLesCole View Post
    Fortunately for me, my coures will be paid for in full. I'll only be responsible for my own books.
    That's great!

    Here's just a thought: as long as you are considering an MBA, why limit yourself to one program? Let's say you get into Stanford or Harvard, even though the short-term cost is higher, the long-term payoff could be greater. You'll only do the MBA once in your life, so think about it as a long-term investment.

    In my own case, I was working for a company that paid full tuition AND books, but it meant doing the MBA part-time (evenings) while working full-time. I made the decision to quit my job and go to school full time, borrowing six figures. As a result, I graduated in May 2008, found a great job that I enjoy, and have put a big dent in those loans in the two years since; whereas if I had graduated a year later, in May 2009, I would have found a much more challenging hiring environment, and may not have found my current job.

    In any case, whatever you decide, I wish you the best...
    Last edited by ruse; 01-11-2011 at 12:47 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruse View Post
    Like Mark said, definitely speak to the admissions people and see what they are looking for in the ideal MBA candidate. Some schools get a ton of candidates with high math scores, so a good way to distinguish yourself is to do really well on the verbal sections. I mean, you definitely want to achieve a minimum threshold for your math score to prove that you are competent in math and can handle the quant classes, but a strong verbal score could make you more desirable especially if it is combined with strong essays. This just reflects a personal observation that MBA programs are looking for more well-rounded candidates and not just human calculators.
    I don't want to take anything for granted, but because I work here and have a somewhat prominent position, I don't necessarily need to be an "ideal candidate" to get in. I just need to get the minimum score required. Of course, I can't study with that attitude or else I just might embarrass myself.

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