Kaplan conducted a survey among 265 MBA programs, including 17 of the 25 top U.S. programs (according to US News’s ranking). Results show that 69% of business schools allow candidates to apply with GRE scores instead of GMAT scores, as opposed to 24% in 2009. Of the 31% that still do not accept the GRE, about 17% plan to start accepting the exam next year, which should bring the rate to 86%.
Almost all of the top U.S. programs, including Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford accept GRE scores. Chicago recently began accepting the exam, which leaves Berkeley as the only top-10 program that still does not accept the GRE.
While most of the programs accept the exam, the survey revealed that only a small minority of applicants actually take the test. Around 46% of the participating schools reported that less than 10% of their candidates submitted GRE scores, while 44% of programs said that 10% or more of their applicants applied with GRE scores.
Another finding showed that while most schools claim there is no preference for a particular exam, 29% of schools said applicants with GMAT scores have an advantage over applicants with a GRE score. Since the exam is still relatively new to MBA applications, it is difficult to use it to assess candidates accurately. Still, candidates who find the GMAT very difficult should try the GRE. Schools, wary of low GMAT scores that can harm their placement in rankings, may be more open to candidates with lower GRE scores that do not affect their ranking.
In addition, the survey checked the reaction to the new GMAT IR section and found that the admissions committees are less than thrilled- only 36% claimed that the new section better reflects the post-MBA business and management world, while 49% said they are not sure the section better reflects MBA studies. Only 3% claimed the new section to be important in estimating the candidate’s GMAT performance, while 24% claimed the new section is not very important or not important at all. It is important to note that only a relatively low percentage of candidates applied with an IR score this year since it is possible to submit scores from the last five years.