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GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools

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GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 20:42
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Good news for all the GMAT Haters - GRE is becoming an alternative for MBA, but very slowly...
e.g. Stanford is already taking GRE as an alternative for GMAT...

Quote:


GRE Eyes GMAT's Testing Turf
Can an alternative entrance exam break the GMAT monopoly at top business schools? The group behind the GRE is giving it a try

by Jane Porter

Josh Cincinnati is a member of a fairly new breed of business school student—one who has never taken the Graduate Management Admissions Test, better known as the GMAT. Cincinnati, who graduated from the University of Virginia last May, knew he wanted to go to graduate school, but wasn't sure what for. In a few years, he figured, he would apply to business school, but for now he kept his options open and took the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) instead of the GMAT. Much to his surprise, the 23-year-old discovered he could apply to Stanford Graduate School of Business with only his GRE scores, allowing him also to consider programs in politics and economics.

"It was a nice option to be able to apply to multiple programs at the same time," Cincinnati says. The Stanford application was a shot in the dark, but he got in.

While taking the GMAT, which is produced by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), is a time-honored rite of passage for virtually all students seeking admission to top business schools, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the GRE, is taking aim at the lucrative business school market by pitching the GRE, which is used by a wider range of graduate schools, as an alternative to the GMAT. In September, ETS began placing advertisements in publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education with the message that MBA can stand for "More Business School Applicants" should B-schools choose to use the GRE.

ETS points out a handful of benefits to using the GRE: It has more test centers around the world, making the exam more accessible than the GMAT; it's cheaper—$140 vs. the $250 GMAT fee that brought in a total of close to $80 million in revenue last year to GMAC; and its status as the general standardized test for other graduate programs could attract more of the applicants business schools are clamoring for—women, minorities, and candidates with liberal arts backgrounds.
Fishing in the GRE Pond

"Once they realize that they don't have to take another test to apply to business school, they are going to hedge their bets and explore both opportunities," says David Payne, head of the GRE program for ETS.

GMAC, which has positioned the GMAT as the primary standardized MBA admission test since 1954, doesn't see it that way. GMAC President David Wilson acknowledges allowing the GRE for business school admission would likely expand the applicant pool, but a larger pool is not necessarily a better one, he points out. "If time were limitless, then the larger the sample, the better. But if time is a constraint, then you want to be sure you are fishing in a pond where there are fish you can eat," Wilson says. "Are some schools fishing in the GRE pond? Sure. We haven't seen results. We still believe we offer a stronger, better test."

It's not clear how many schools are accepting the GRE or considering it; the ETS says it doesn't track that statistic. Among those already fishing in that GRE pond are some top-tier business programs—namely Stanford and MIT's Sloan School of Management, both of which in 2006 announced they would begin accepting either test with student applications. But GMAC's near monopoly on the market has complicated the process. The council's membership policy states "requiring the GMAT exam as part of its admission process" is part of the minimum criteria for every GMAC member school, including Stanford and MIT.

Testing Policies Unclear

In response, MIT has reluctantly modified the language on its admissions Web site to place less emphasis on the GRE alternative, says Rod Garcia, director of MBA admissions. Along the same lines, Stanford has done little promotion of the change since its launch last year, so applicants will likely only discover the GRE option once they have already started the application process. In its first year in place at Stanford, just 2% of applicants took advantage of the new alternative, according to head of admissions, Derrick Bolton, who says Stanford's membership allegiances to GMAC prevent him from further discussing the matter.

Wilson says neither school is in violation of the policy, which while it "mandates the GMAT" also "allows for degrees of freedom."

Beyond marketing, ETS is working on improving the GRE in ways Payne says will better suit business schools. He plans to hold focus groups with business school deans to discuss the use of the GRE. A handful of modifications to the test are already in the works. The changes include replacing antonyms and analogies sections with more reading comprehension that tests inferential reasoning rather than the use of vocabulary out of context. The quantitative reasoning section will include more data interpretation questions and real-world problems, another way the exam will attempt to better suit business schools. "People applying to business schools are really going to see the relevance there," says Payne.

Perhaps the most drastic change will be the addition in 2009 of a soft skills measure called the Personal Potential Index. The PPI will provide a six-part evaluation completed and submitted by outside references who will assign numerical scores to knowledge and creativity, communication skills, teamwork, resilience, planning and organizing, and ethics and integrity.
Opening Doors

For the past year, the PPI has been piloted at Arizona State University's Project 1000, which helps minority students with admission to graduate programs. Michael Sullivan, who oversees the project for ASU, says the index encourages recommenders to write more introspectively about applicants and forces them to quantify their evaluations. Still, he says, "it's too novel and unusual at this point in the game" to determine its efficacy.

While research on the ability of the GRE to measure success in a graduate business program comes nowhere near the volumes of data collected on the GMAT over the years, admissions officers are not dismissing the test as a viable alternative for the future.

"I'm not certain that there's just one test to measure the ability of a student to be successful in graduate management education," says Rose Martinelli (BusinessWeek.com, 10/16/07), head of admissions at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, which only accepts the GRE in unusual cases, such as when an international applicant doesn't have access to a GMAT testing center. "I think there may be something there to explore," Martinelli adds. "It really can open up doors to students we don't get."

Porter is a reporter with BusinessWeek in New York. Prior to this position, she worked for The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, D.C. Porter has a bachelor's degree in English from Brown University.
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2008, 23:29
interesting read...

"GREClub" just doesn't have the same ring to it however.
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 07:26
I don't like the idea that much. The part about students who may take the GRE for something else and then apply to B-school on a whim is something I especially disagree with. Why would schools want to open themselves up to a torrent of applications from seemingly less than committed individuals?
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 07:42
just wandering, which one is more difficult?
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 08:33
kazakhb wrote:
just wandering, which one is more difficult?


I've heard GMAT is more difficult, but GRE needs better vocabulary.

http://www.800score.com/gmat-and-gre.html
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 08:46
Err..to make money? Both from ETS and GRE-taking applicants. I think it's a good idea...having a choice between the SAT and ACT for college admissions seems to have worked out rather well, too.

eschn3am wrote:
I don't like the idea that much. The part about students who may take the GRE for something else and then apply to B-school on a whim is something I especially disagree with. Why would schools want to open themselves up to a torrent of applications from seemingly less than committed individuals?
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 12:01
solaris1 wrote:
Err..to make money? Both from ETS and GRE-taking applicants. I think it's a good idea...having a choice between the SAT and ACT for college admissions seems to have worked out rather well, too.

eschn3am wrote:
I don't like the idea that much. The part about students who may take the GRE for something else and then apply to B-school on a whim is something I especially disagree with. Why would schools want to open themselves up to a torrent of applications from seemingly less than committed individuals?


I don't like the idea of a new flood of applications from people taking a (from what I've heard) significantly easier test who may or may not even want to do business school. Obviously it makes tremendous sense for ETS, but I don't know, nor care about them 8-)
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 12:44
If this does happen, I'm sure the bar will be higher for GRE-applicants. Assuming the GRE is indeed "easier" to crack than the GMAT. I like that bit about the GRE being accessible to more test takers than the GMAT is. And it's not 250$ a pop!

eschn3am wrote:
I don't like the idea of a new flood of applications from people taking a (from what I've heard) significantly easier test who may or may not even want to do business school. Obviously it makes tremendous sense for ETS, but I don't know, nor care about them 8-)
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 14:12
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solaris1 wrote:
If this does happen, I'm sure the bar will be higher for GRE-applicants. Assuming the GRE is indeed "easier" to crack than the GMAT. I like that bit about the GRE being accessible to more test takers than the GMAT is. And it's not 250$ a pop!

eschn3am wrote:
I don't like the idea of a new flood of applications from people taking a (from what I've heard) significantly easier test who may or may not even want to do business school. Obviously it makes tremendous sense for ETS, but I don't know, nor care about them 8-)



I can't see much value for students really - savings of $70? more testing centers? I don't think that's very advantageous.
On the other hand, having millions of other applicants who were originally thinking about a PhD in Philosophy and now are applying for an MBA, just for the sake of it, is increased competition for the limited number of seats at B-schools.
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 15:00
c'mon bb, Ph.D's in Philosophy (or Ph.D's in anything for that matter) are a pretty self-selecting pool to begin with.
I doubt they'd decide to apply for an MBA, just for the sake of it, simply because they can now avoid taking the GMAT.

The grad folks who'd apply to b-school using GRE scores are the same folks who would have applied to b-school any way, even if this had never happened. There is not going to be any significant increased competition.

Moreover, once GRE scores start getting accepted, GMAC is going to be forced to make GMAT testing and sending score reports more affordable. And I'm sure 70$ is a fair bit of money to students taking the GMAT abroad.
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 16:55
I just can't believe that GMAC is allowed to have that kind of monopoly, requiring the GMAT. I can't imagine that standing up in court. Just doesn't seem legal.

But at any rate, yeah $70 is a big diff when you add up the costs of preparing for the test, applying, etc. For internationals especially, I'm sure.

I'm not really sure which test would be less painful. GRE has the vocab and geometry (which I hate) and the GMAT has those damned permutations and combinations. I HATE DS especially. Both tests suck, if you ask me.
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2008, 23:37
vocabulary on the GRE alone would add weeks, perhaps months to my studying time. all else being equal I would prefer the GMAT
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 03:17
Interesting discussion / topic. I am a victim of the reverse - i.e. a graduate course not accepting GMAT but accepting ONLY the GRE. My original intention was to do a Masters in Finance (or equivalent), however I realised that the GMAT it would open me up to all b-schools for MBA and some schools for Finance. However i soon realised that all grad finance courses want very high numbers in quant - supposedly much easier to achieve in the GRE than in the GMAT. Some finance course - Chicagos MSFM and NYU's MS come to mind - do NOT accept GMAT altogether.

In fact NYU has introduced this wonderful MBA/MS conjoint which I'd LOVE to do, except to qualify, it seems I'd need to do both, the GMAT and the GRE. This I find totally ridiculous...
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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 03:51
Well well...

The example there in that article hits so close to home.....It is almost vicarious...

If i can share my exp...i started thinking of mastering in Comp Sc after under-grad and gave my GRE before getting into a Top Indian IT company. I got a decent score of 1470 and thought about giving couple of years in the industry and then going for MS. However, the wheels of destiny and my total disillusionment with my work profile messed it up. In May 2007 i gave up on MS and went in for a GMAT. I've ended up applying to my "choice" of schools with a 680 :| :cry: ....

I remember reading a similar article on internet about stanford accepting GRE scores for an MBA. I even posted a new thread on this GRE acceptance for an MBA program.... but couldnt gather any information on schools other than stanford accepting GRE scores...alas...if only i could ever utilise my GRE scores! :|


In any case, i def think GRE is a little easier than GMAT and with more affordable rates..it will open options to a wider audience. But i also think and agree that it will add little to the number of ppl applying to GMAT already.... if you can afford to go for an MBA then 70 bucks wont make that big a difference... and in any case folks would get more competitive scores in GRE....making GMAT the filtering criteria and ultimately the credible choice.


Just my view.

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Re: GRE is becoming an option instead of GMAT at Bschools   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2008, 03:51
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