GRE GMAT Conversion Chart: Simplifying Test Score Equivalence


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Embarking on higher education often involves taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Achieving a high score on either of these tests is a pivotal element in gaining entry to top-tier graduate programs. However, the GRE is generally accepted for a broad range of programs, while the GMAT is the go-to for business school hopefuls. This sets the stage for a common conundrum—how to translate GRE scores into their GMAT equivalents, and vice versa.

For applicants, the ability to convert between GRE and GMAT scores is vital as it broadens their academic horizons and simplifies the application process. This necessity comes into play, for instance, when students initially prepare for one test and eventually pivot toward a program that requires the other. Moreover, with some business schools open to accepting both scores, it becomes important for candidates to evaluate which score might be more advantageous to submit.

When weighing GRE against GMAT scores, considerations such as differing content, scoring metrics, and valuation in the admissions process emerge. This article delves into each test’s distinct aspects and dissects the conversion process, along with its implications for students and institutions alike.

Understanding the GRE Exam

Structure and Content of the GRE

Administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE comprises three parts: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The Verbal Reasoning segment evaluates comprehension and argumentation skills using various types of questions, including text completion and reading comprehension. Quantitative Reasoning measures one’s mathematical abilities and problem-solving acumen. In the Analytical Writing portion, candidates are judged based on their ability to articulate and support complex ideas.

Scoring System of the GRE

On the GRE, both Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored between 130 to 170 points, in single-point increments. For the Analytical Writing section, scores range from 0 to 6, advancing by half-point increments. What sets the GRE apart is its computer-adaptive test design, altering question difficulty in real-time to match the test-taker’s performance.

The Role of GRE in Graduate Admissions

Within graduate admissions, the GRE serves as a standardized yardstick to compare qualifications and readiness for advanced study. The significance attributed to GRE scores can vary, but typically, they are critical in reviewing an applicant’s skillset for success in graduate-level work.

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Understanding the GMAT Exam

Structure and Content of the GMAT

The GMAT, crafted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), caters to business school admissions. It involves four sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Notably, the Quantitative and Verbal sections are adaptive, targeting analytical and logical capabilities, as well as critical reasoning skills.

Scoring System of the GMAT

Scores on the GMAT span from 200 to 800, amalgamating the Quantitative and Verbal sections, and are reported in 10-point increments. Scores for Integrated Reasoning range from 1 to 8, and the Analytical Writing Assessment from 0 to 6, both recorded separately from the composite GMAT score.

The Role of GMAT in Business School Admissions

In the realm of business school admissions, the GMAT is often a decisive factor. A high score is generally regarded as indicative of a candidate’s potential to excel in challenging business courses and, consequently, in their subsequent professional endeavors.

The Purpose of Score Conversion

Comparing Apples and Oranges: GRE vs. GMAT

Converting scores between the GRE and GMAT presents challenges, as the tests are inherently different in focus, composition, and scoring. The GRE gauges a broad spectrum of analytical skills while the GMAT zeroes in on business school applicability. Nonetheless, a dependable conversion method is indispensable for equating scores from the two tests.

Admissions Perspective on Score Conversion

For admissions teams, score conversion is a tool that enables a fair evaluation of candidates who may have taken different exams. It helps ensure that no applicant is dismissed simply for their choice of test. As schools increasingly accept both GRE and GMAT scores, having a uniform method to evaluate applicants becomes even more crucial.

Strategic Considerations for Test Takers

For students, a clear grasp of the GRE to GMAT conversion process can guide crucial decisions, like which test to prepare for and which results to share with their chosen institutions. This understanding helps them use their exam outcomes to their best advantage.

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Official Conversion Tools

ETS’s GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools

The ETS provides a GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools, aimed at forecasting a GMAT equivalent score from a candidate’s GRE Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores. This tool, embraced by business schools, assists in the comparison of GRE and GMAT scores among applicants.

Limitations of the Official Conversion Tool

Though the ETS’s tool is beneficial, its scope is not without boundaries. The Analytical Writing scores and GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section are not accounted for. Additionally, because it depends on percentile rankings—which can shift—the conversion’s precision is somewhat fluid.

Understanding Conversion Methodologies

Quantitative and Verbal Score Conversions

Conversion between the GRE and GMAT scores hinges on mapping out each test’s Quantitative and Verbal components. Due to different scoring metrics, percentile rankings serve as a proxy to match scores, implying that the same ranking suggests comparable abilities.

Correlation between GRE and GMAT Scores

Investigations into the relationship between GRE and GMAT scores have resulted in conversion charts that equate the two. Although there’s noticeable correlation, it’s essential to treat the conversion as a rough estimate rather than a precise swap.

Interpreting Converted Scores

How Converted Scores are Used by Admissions Committees

Converted scores come in handy for admissions committees when juxtaposing the qualifications of candidates who’ve undertaken different tests. While useful as a reference, the conversion is not foolproof, which is why admissions officers consider them in the wider context of a candidate’s overall application.

Navigating the Margins of Error

In understanding converted scores, grasping the inherent margins of error is crucial. Recognizing that these figures provide more of a ballpark estimate than an exact match can guide more seasoned evaluations of the results.

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Case Studies: GRE to GMAT Conversion Examples

Real-life Scenarios of Score Conversion

An examination of actual examples where GRE scores have been translated to GMAT equivalents illuminates the tangible repercussions of the conversion process. Viewing these cases can offer insights into the decision-making process for candidates contemplating which scores to submit.

Analysis of Conversion Outcomes and Implications

Studying real-life instances of score conversions highlights the potential upsides and downsides of opting to submit one set of scores over another. It reveals patterns and can offer perspective on how converted scores might sway admissions outcomes.

Choosing the Right Exam for You

Evaluating Personal Strengths and Weaknesses

Opting for the GRE or GMAT hinges on a frank assessment of one’s abilities and study patterns. Candidates should ponder which exam aligns with their strengths and could therefore result in a more impressive score.

Considering Program Preferences and Requirements

Prospective students must also recognize program stipulations. Some academic courses have a clear preference or mandate for one exam. Understanding these nuances is essential to informed test selection.

Decision-making Strategies Based on Conversion Insights

Knowledge of the conversion process can inform strategies for deciding on the most suitable test, enhancing an applicant’s prospects of gaining entrance to their desired programs.


Understanding the complexities of GRE and GMAT score conversion is a strategic asset in the competitive world of graduate admissions. It empowers candidates with pivotal insights that assist in strategic planning and enables educational institutions to accurately appraise an applicant’s scholastic aptitude.

In sum, while score conversion knowledge is a valuable compass in the application journey, test-takers should prioritize their preparation and performance. Selecting the right exam is a critical tactical move that matches personal proficiencies to the particular requirements of one’s chosen graduate program. Through diligent preparation and informed decision-making, candidates can best position themselves for achieving their academic and career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions about GRE GMAT Conversion

What is the importance of converting GRE scores to GMAT scores and vice versa?

The conversion of GRE to GMAT scores enables students to apply to various graduate programs regardless of the test they initially prepared for. It also allows admissions committees to fairly evaluate candidates who have taken different exams.

How do the GRE and GMAT differ in terms of structure and scoring?

The GRE comprises Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections, scored from 130-170 and 0-6 respectively. The GMAT includes Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing, with composite scores ranging from 200-800 and separate Integrated Reasoning scores from 1-8. Their scoring also differs in adaptiveness and increments.

Can you explain the official tools available for GRE GMAT conversion?

ETS provides a GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools, which forecasts a GMAT equivalent based on GRE scores. However, it excludes Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning scores and should be viewed as an estimate due to its reliance on percentile rankings.

How should one interpret converted scores from GRE to GMAT?

Converted scores offer a frame of reference for comparing test results and are helpful to admissions committees. Since they are estimated and not exact translations, both test-takers and institutions should use them alongside other evaluative measures.

What factors should inform a student’s decision on whether to take the GRE or GMAT?

Students should consider their academic goals, personal strengths, and the requirements or preferences of their target programs. Understanding the conversion process and their own abilities can guide them in choosing the exam that best represents their potential.

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