GMAT and GRE Exam Information
What are the GMAT and GRE exams?
Most accredited graduate business programs require an entrance exam as a part of the application process. The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and has long been associated with graduate business programs, especially MBA programs. The exam was first offered in 1953 and it is scored from 200 to 800.
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is administered by Educational Testing Service. The test has been offered since 1936 and is scored from 130-170.
The McCoy College of Business has no preference as to which exam applicants submit; each exam is considered equal to the other. The exam cost and length are roughly the same and both are equally accessible with respect to testing centers. About 60% of McCoy graduate program applicants submit GMAT scores and about 40% submit GRE scores.
How important is your exam score?
Letters of recommendation, essays, relevant work experience, undergraduate performance, and extracurricular/community activities are all important factors considered by the admissions committee. Because the committee takes what could be described as a "holistic" approach in evaluating graduate candidates an applicant should not be discouraged if their GMAT or GRE score is average or even slightly below average. That said, it is hard to overstate the importance of a good GMAT or GRE score. Along with your GPA, the GMAT or GRE provides a quantitative metric for the admissions committee to evaluate you as a candidate.
Can the GMAT or GRE requirement be waived?
In some cases, yes. Depending on the program you are applying for you may be eligible for an exam waiver based on one of the following:
- Holding an advanced degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution (available to all program applicants)
- Above-average GMAT or GRE scores which are only slightly (6 months or less) outside the 5-year expiration window (available to all program applicants)
- Undergraduate GPA > 3.5 in last 60 hours (MBA applicants)
- Undergraduate GPA > 3.2 in last 60 hours (MAcy applicants)
- GPA > 3.4 in upper-level accounting courses (MAcy applicants only)
- Faculty recommendations (MAcy applicants only)
Please Note: The GMAT/GRE requirement cannot be waived based on work experience, alumni status, certificates, or any other factors beyond those listed here.
|GRADUATE PROGRAM||ADVANCED DEGREE WAIVER?||GPA WAIVER?||OTHER WAIVER CRITERIA/NOTES|
|MBA||YES||YES||GPA >3.5 in last 60 hours|
|MAcy||YES||YES||GPA >3.2 in last 60 hours; or GPA >3.4 in TXST upper level accounting courses; or faculty recommendations|
What is considered a good score?
The (mean) average GMAT score for an accepted application is approximately 540, and the average GRE score is approximately 151Q/153V. There are other test components (writing, critical reasoning, etc) but the main scores are what our admissions committee focuses on.
Can I still apply with a below-average score?
Yes. The scores above represent the mean average for accepted McCoy graduate students so even if you scored a little below those averages you are encouraged to continue in the application process. Please read our FAQ section for more information.
What is the best way to prepare for the exam?
You will quickly discover there is no shortage of test preparation systems and aids! Options include online courses, in-person classes, coaches, private tutors, apps and self-study books. The McCoy College of Business does not officially endorse any one system or company, however, three very reputable companies in the test prep industry are Princeton Review, Kaplan, and Manhattan Prep. Many successfully admitted McCoy graduate students have utilized one of these companies for GMAT or GRE test prep and we consistently get positive feedback about their products and services. You do not have to spend a lot of money on prep in order to earn a fantastic score. Most of the reputable self-study books can be found for less than $75 and if used properly those books can produce world-class scores.
Nothing impacts your score more than preparation!
You must allow sufficient time to prepare. Keep in mind existing commitments and the balance between work, family, friends and other activities. Decide on how to best schedule your exam prep time and share this commitment with those closest to you. Let them know this prep time is of critical importance as it relates to your application to graduate school.
To learn more about the GMAT visit www.mba.com
To learn more about the GRE visit www.ets.org/gre