Standards are changing in MBA admissions!! This post was written in 2015 and these days, the GRE is being used by more and more bschool applicants. We still stand by the advice in this post -- that the GMAT is the better score in many cases -- but there are also shifts happening in schools around tests and which test to use is a very individual decision that must be evaluated for each candidate.
We got this question submitted through our Ask a Question! Submit an Essay! form right before Round 2 deadlines in January and we didn’t manage to tear ourselves away from the deluge of essays we were reading to deal with it then – not only because we were super busy with (paying) Brave Supplicants, but also because the answer to this person’s query is quite well covered already on this here blahg. It just required a little bit of digging.
In fact, most of your questions are likely covered on the blahg. There’s several ways you can look for those answers. You can type stuff into that little search box on the front page righthand column (you know, where it says “Search this website”) or you can browse through categories of topics using the dropdown menu beneath it (where it says “Select Category”). If you’re a super techie type you could even use good ol’ Google to do the heavy lifting for you.
Anyway, this question is not a bad one, it’s just misunderstanding the way things work.
Here’s what we got:
I just purchased the HBS Strategy Guide and I think its an incredible resource. In fact, I’ve already shredded through 2/3 of it and I literally purchased it about an hour and half ago.
I had a quick question as relates to the GRE vs. GMAT at HBS. The guide advises that a GMAT score should be submitted over a GRE score if you haven’t yet taken a test (pg. 19), but there is no advice provided – and apologies if I am incorrect on this – on what to do if you have both a GMAT and a GRE score, especially if your GRE score is better than your GMAT score.
I have taken both the GMAT and GRE, of which my GRE (especially quant) is light years beyond my GMAT, the 47th %ile on the GMAT vs. the 75th %ile on the GRE, with additional gains in verbal on the GRE to boot.
Additionally, this leads to some ambiguity in the guide as it seems to subtly suggest that the GMAT is preferred over at HBS. Given Dee Leopold’s public revelation that the adcom is agnostic as to which test to submit, it would be wonderful to have a scenario, such as the one above, addressed in the guide. I’m sure there’s others here that would benefit from such insight. If only we could submit both scores this year…
At any rate, kudos on a fantastic school guide series. The HBS guide was so informative I bought 4 others. Keep up the good work!
Here’s the deal, Brave Supplicant: Yes you shredded the GRE. And yes, HBS is agnostic to which test you submit (Dee Leopold said as much in a post on her blog on the subject last Fall and the school was one of the first to even allow GREs at all, and we also touch on it in that HBS essay guide). But just because you can submit a bright and shiny GRE score to Harvard or any other school, does not mean the happy GRE result you received is necessarily equivalent to its GMAT counterpart.
We actually cover this quite a bit here already – which again is why we didn’t feel too terribly awful when we weren’t able to directly respond to this very nice compliment-spewing BSer at the time.
If you perform well on the GRE, great! You should probably submit that instead of a low score from a GMAT test. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that what the GRE reports as an xxth percentile is automatically equivalent to the same xxth percentile on the GMAT side. It’s almost definitely not. It still may be a “good” score to use.
Whether it’s “enough” is a different question entirely…. or simply the wrong question, if we’re talking HBS.