GRE/GMAT/SAT


Ernest Hemingway

(Novelist, Short story writer and Journalist)

  • GRE

    The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for most Graduate Schools in the United States. The GRE is owned and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) who created it in 1949. According to ETS, the GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning. The content of the GRE consists of certain specific algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and vocabulary. The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered at Prometric testing centers.

    In the graduate school admissions process, the level of emphasis that is placed upon GRE scores varies widely between schools and between departments within schools. The importance of a GRE score can range from being a mere admission formality to an important selection factor.

    The GRE was significantly overhauled in August 2011, resulting in an exam that is not adaptive on a question-by-question basis, but rather by section, so that the performance on the first verbal and math sections determine the difficulty of the second sections presented. Overall, the test retained the sections and many of the question types from its predecessor, but the scoring scale was changed to a 130 to 170 scale (from a 200 to 800 scale).

    The cost to take the test is US$205, although ETS will reduce the fee under certain circumstances. They also promote financial aid to those GRE applicants who prove economic hardship. ETS does not release scores that are older than 5 years, although graduate program policies on the acceptance of scores older than 5 years will vary.

  • GMAT

    The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. It requires knowledge of certain specific grammar and knowledge of certain specific algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. The GMAT does not measure business knowledge or skill, nor does it measure intelligence. According to the test owning company, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT assesses analytical writing and problem-solving abilities, while also addressing data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success. It can be taken up to five times a year. Each attempt must be at least 16 days apart.

    GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council. More than 5,900 programs offered by more than 2,100 universities and institutions use the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs. Business schools use the test as a criterion for admission into a wide range of graduate management programs, including MBA, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Finance programs. The GMAT exam is administered in standardized test centers in 112 countries around the world. According to a survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep, the GMAT is still the number one choice for MBA aspirants despite the increasing acceptability of GRE scores. According to GMAC, it has continually performed validity studies to statistically verify that the exam predicts success in business school programs.

  • SAT

    The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Introduced in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now, simply the SAT.

    The SAT is owned, developed, and published by the College Board, a private, not-for-profit corporation in the United States. It is administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service, which until recently developed the SAT as well. The test is intended to assess students’ readiness for college. The SAT was originally designed to not be aligned with high school curricula, but several adjustments were made for the version of the SAT introduced in 2016, and College Board president, David Coleman, has said that he also wanted to make the test reflect more closely what students learned in high school.

    On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The current SAT, introduced in 2016, takes three hours to finish, plus 50 minutes for the SAT with essay, and as of 2017 costs US$45 (US$57 with the optional essay), excluding late fees, with additional processing fees if the SAT is taken outside the United States. Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600, combining test results from two 800-point sections: mathematics, and critical reading and writing. Taking the SAT, or its competitor, the ACT, is required for freshman entry to many, but not all, colleges and universities in the United States.

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If you’re thinking of applying to college, it’s vital that you know what the SAT is and how it will affect your application process. So what is the SAT? It’s one of two standardized college admissions tests in the US. (The other is the ACT.) The SAT is a standardized test meant to show schools how prepared you are for college by measuring key skills like reading comprehension, computational ability, and clarity of expression. You'll almost certainly need to take the SAT or ACT if you're applying to any colleges or universities in the United States, since most require you to submit test scores with your application.

The SAT has ten sections: the first is always the essay, followed by two reading, two math, one writing, and one experimental section of 25 min each (in a random order), and then one 20-min reading, one 20-min math, and one 10-min writing section. The test is mostly multiple choice, with the exception of the essay at the beginning of the test and 10 grid-in questions in one of the 25-minute math sections.

The first sections of the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning parts range from the levels of 'Easy' to 'Difficult'. Each subsequent section is administered based on the student's overall performance in the preceding Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning section. A score of 130 - 170 is generated for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Both scores are then added to give a total score on the scale of 260 - 340.

A GRE score is valid for five years. While a student can retake the exam to improve upon scores, Institutions will have access to all your scores registered in the last five years. Hence, candidates are advised to prepare thoroughly before appearing for the exam.

You can take the GMAT up to five times every 12 months. You can’t take the GMAT more than once in a 16-day period, or more than eight times total.

A few business schools don’t require the GMAT. In particular, executive MBA programs—accelerated, advanced programs designed for working professionals or students with extensive relevant work experience—often accept GMAT waivers if you can demonstrate a certain number of years of work experience, success in former leadership roles, and/or a record of high academic achievement.

At top 10 business schools, average GMAT scores of incoming students are above 700. A score of 720 or over will help you stand out among your peers in the admissions process.

At mid-ranking programs, a GMAT score of 600 or over is a fairly safe bet.

To find out more about the average GMAT scores at your prospective business schools, check out the class profiles of the most recent incoming class at each of your chosen MBA programs.

There’s no cutoff GMAT score below which you absolutely can’t get into an MBA program.

Usually, if a student with a lower score is admitted, he or she has an especially impressive work history or some especially exceptional achievement, such as awards or special recognition.

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