The trend toward accepting GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores is continuing to gather force. Motivated by a desire to expand the applicant pool beyond the traditional MBA feeder professions, Stanford University began accepting GRE scores in June 2006.
As Stanford’s MBA admissions director Derrick Bolton candidly put it in a Marketwire article released last month: "The GRE test takers are more likely to be women, and more likely to be undergraduates or just a year out, while the GMAT is more popular with those who have been out a few years. … If we are able to fish in both of those pools, how can that hurt us? [There are] definitely some people who would not have applied to the MBA program had we put an additional barrier of requiring the GMAT." Other U.S. B-schools have followed suit, including Georgetown’s McDonough School, MIT’s Sloan School, University of Michigan’s Ross School, and Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School.
The days of the GMAT’s hegemony appear to numbered in Europe as well. Helsinki School of Economics, Barcelona School of Economics, and ESADE Business School, among others, are also accepting GRE scores. In February, the GMAT suffered another defection when Madrid’s Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School announced it too will accept GRE scores. David Bach, Empresa’s Associate Dean of MBA Programs, argues that "Accepting the GRE supports our efforts to attract high-quality participants from very diverse backgrounds, including students who may not have previously contemplated an MBA," according to the March 25 Marketwire story.
The trend is not as shocking as it may appear. According to ETS, the developers of both the GMAT and GRE, neither test is a specialized business skills test, both test math ability at an equivalent level, and 70 percent of the data interpretation questions in the GRE’s Quantitative Reasoning section are presented in a "business context."
Source: /www.marketwire.com, March 25, 2008.