HBS’s admissions director, Dee Leopold shares a helpful post on how HBS approaches the GMAT versus GRE issue. I’ll preface this with her preface: Please don’t over-crunch!
In short, the HBS view is agnostic. It’s not about which exam or even the overall score, but about the component scores and how they play into the individual applicant’s profile. For example (and this is her example), an engineer with highly quantitative work won’t need to prove her quant score as much as she’ll need to show off her verbal abilities with a high verbal score (either GMAT or GRE). An English major, on the other hand, will need to step up the quant component of his exam (again, either one) to show that he’ll be able to handle the quantitative work he’ll encounter at HBS.
Here’s a little chart from the original post:
While this data may cause some of you quant jocks to jump to the conclusion that HBS really prefers the GMAT, remember the preface: “Don’t over-crunch.” If you only look at the stats in the table, you may conclude that GMAT takers have a slightly higher acceptance rate and that the GMAT is “preferred.” However that increased rate is probably more reflective of the make-up of GMAT-takers versus GRE-takers. People in the business world who are only pursuing an MBA (and not other degrees) are more likely to take the GMAT. It’s possible that applicants with weaker scores may lean toward the GRE or applicants with liberal arts backgrounds (and weaker quant skills) may have already taken the GRE. Hence the lower acceptance rate may not reflect any preference on Harvard’s part, but more a preference in the applicant pool.
Last point: HBS applicants need to choose to submit either the GRE or GMAT – and not both.
For more info, see the original post.