Should I take the GMAT or the GRE? Which test is harder? (Part 1)

Over the past year, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) have made significant changes to the GRE and the GMAT, respectively.  ETS changed the scoring scale of the GRE, introduced new question types in the quantitative and verbal sections, and eliminated some long-standing staples such as analogies and antonyms.  GMAC introduced a new section to the GMAT called Integrated Reasoning, which is designed to test students’ abilities to simultaneously analyze multiple data types.Mountains Photo

Due to these changes, it’s harder than ever to predict whether or not the GRE or the GMAT will be easier for the average test taker, however, the historical consensus has been that the GMAT is a harder test.

Although the GRE and GMAT test the same levels of high school math, the GMAT has been noted as having more “trick” questions.  The new GRE, however, has introduced some new, more challenging math types such as fill-in-the-blank answers and multiple choice questions with multiple correct answers.  The GMAT has countered these new question types with an entirely new Integrated Reasoning section.  This section requires students to answer 12 multipart high-level mathematical and logical reasoning questions in 30 short minutes.  Although this section is not counted as part of the math score, it is intended to test quantitative reasoning concepts.  Even after taking into account the changes to both tests, the GMAT math section is probably harder for people with a weaker quantitative background.

Want to know how the GRE verbal section stacks up against the GMAT? Check back soon for Part 2 of this feature!

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