As of this fall, prospective applicants to the Yale School of Management may submit scores from either the GRE or the GMAT.
The Yale School of Management will allow applicants to submit scores from either the GRE, a generalized graduate school admissions exam, or the GMAT, a traditional exam tailored to business programs, beginning this fall, SOM administrators announced late this summer. SOM Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico said the school hopes that allowing the GRE will expand and diversify the SOM’s applicant pool.
“Yale exists as a multi-sector school with students from various backgrounds that plan to take on a variety of careers,” DelMonico said. “The GRE is more flexible for students that are thinking about different types of programs and is helpful in attracting the strong, diverse candidates we are interested in.”
The move makes the SOM one of several business schools that have decided to accept the GRE for MBA admissions within the past few years. But the GMAT still dominates the business school admissions landscape, a recent survey from Kaplan Test Prep found, with 76 percent of business schools accepting only the GMAT. The remaining 24 percent accept either test.
The SOM used to accept the GRE years ago, but dropped it in the mid-1990s when the SOM shifted its focus to awarding MBA degrees, rather than the master’s in public and private management degree the school had awarded since its founding in 1976. SOM awarded its last MPPMs to members of the class of 2001.
The GRE tests students on verbal reasoning and quantitative and critical thinking skills, as well as on analytical writing abilities. First administered in 1949 by the Educational Testing Service, it is primarily used for admission into graduate school programs in the arts and sciences.
The GMAT tests students on similar concepts, and has long been favored as the primary admissions test for over 1,800 business schools. The Graduate Management Admissions Council oversees the exam, and first administered the test in 1953.
Both tests measure a student’s readiness for graduate-level work, but the GRE costs about $100 less than the GMAT.
“Lower cost doesn’t mean low quality,” ETS Vice President David Payne said. “The GRE is similar to any high-stakes test.”
Hard economic times have also enhanced the appeal of the GRE, Payne said, because potential applicants want a cheaper test that leaves them with broader graduate school options.
“We see students trying to hedge their bets in what careers they want to have — they want to open up their options,” Payne said. “Before, they’d have to take both tests — now they can take one test and apply to both [business and graduate schools].”
But business schools are still most comfortable with the GMAT, GMAC President and CEO David Wilson contended, because of the test’s reputation, built over several decades.
“GMAT is a business school test,” Wilson said. “All in all, business schools are going to stick with a test they trust, and the GMAT has proven its validity, security and quality over several years.”
The future viability of the test for MBA programs depends on how well the GRE predicts business student performance, DelMonico said. DelMonico said he does not know how many of this year’s applicants to SOM will submit GRE scores alone.
“The hope is that it will increase our applications, but I don’t think it will have a dramatic affect on the application process,” DelMonico said.