Kaplan Survey Indicates Not All B-Schools Ready to Accept GRE

Posted by: Alison Damast on September 2, 2009

After the recent announcements by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the NYU Stern School of Business and other top-tier business schools that they would soon allow students to submit the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in addition to the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the lingering question has been whether other business schools would follow their example. For now at least, it appears that most business schools plan to stick to the GMAT-only admissions requirement. That’s the finding of a Kaplan survey of 260 business schools conducted this July and August by the test-prep giant, including 17 of the most selective business schools. Of those surveyed, nearly a quarter, or 24%, currently allows students to submit the GRE. But of the school surveyed that are GMAT-only (76% of the survey pool), only 4.3% indicated that they are planning to offer the GRE as an option for applicants.

“Schools that have expanded their admissions options to accept the GRE say they are doing so to attract non-traditional students,” says Jason Moss, vice president of graduate programs for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. “However, while several of the most competitive MBA programs have gone this route, the majority of competitive GMAT-only business schools we surveyed have said that at least for the time being, they have no plans to change their admissions policies.”

Some are skeptical of the study’s findings, including David Payne, head of the GRE program for the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the GRE. He says he believes that the trend of more business schools accepting the alternative exam will continue to spiral upwards. He’s been actively meeting with schools in the U.S. and Canada over the summer and says a number of schools have plans underway to allow the exam.

“Had Kaplan posed the same question 18 months ago to Harvard, Wharton, Stern, Tuck, Darden and Yale, I would assume they might have indicated no plans to explore accepting GRE scores too,” Payne says. “What we know is that now more than 250 MBA programs and seven of the top 10 global MBA programs accept the GRE because it makes good business sense. Despite this survey, we expect the trend of business schools accepting GRE to continue and grow…”

It will be interesting to see which schools come forward in the next few months to announce that they plan to allow students to submit the GRE for admissions and, more importantly, whether the findings of the Kaplan survey holds true.

Readers, do you think that more business schools will step forward in the next year to announce that they are GRE-friendly? Should more schools follow the example of the top-tier schools?

Reader Comments


September 3, 2009 3:16 PM

Time will show how effective the GRE is in measuring business school potential.


September 3, 2009 8:35 PM

Preparing for and taking the GMAT means that the applicant is serious about pursuing an MBA and is not just applying as a lark.

(The GMAT is likely a better gauge than the GRE of an applicant's success in the MBA program.)


September 8, 2009 12:41 PM

I believe that the GMAC has stated previously that the GMAT is a gauge at an applican't success in the first year of an MBA program. If the GRE is able to do the same thing, then it should be accepted. (And if other tests can show the same potential, I would be all for it.)

Charles Hall

September 9, 2009 1:20 PM

Has the so what question been answered?The real question is does one test provide accurate information about a potential candidate's success in the MBA program. I would be interested in the study's findings, conclusions,and recommendations. Is the MBA degree program so over populated that we need to monitor, avoid, or resist change? Competition is always good and if the standards are comparable does it really matter which test is submitted for entrance to the MBA program? Are we for or againt monoplies?


September 9, 2009 2:07 PM

I think you can extract the same conclusions from the SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT and ACT. These exams are all cut from the same mold. The only advantage I see to possibly favoring the GMAt is that the math section is more difficult, so for TOP finance and economics programs, earning a 48-51 is more impressive than a 780+ on the GRE quant.

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