GRE for Business School: Average Scores, Strategy, & More

Uncover the essential insights into the GRE for business school, including average scores, effective strategies, and more.

Posted January 23, 2024

Free Event

Applying to Top MBA Programs as a Consultant

Wednesday, April 24

11:00 PM UTC · 60 minutes

undefined's profileundefined's profile

Featuring Geri T. and Andy P.

Table of Contents

The Graduate Record Examination, commonly known as the GRE, is an essential component of the business school application process. Business schools consider GRE scores along with other factors, such as academic transcripts, work experience, and letters of recommendation, to evaluate an applicant's potential for success in their program.

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test required for admission to many graduate and business programs worldwide. It is designed to assess a candidate's verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and consists of three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.

The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates a candidate's ability to understand and analyze written material, as well as their ability to evaluate arguments and draw conclusions. It includes questions on reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, and text completion.

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures a candidate's problem-solving ability and their understanding of basic mathematical concepts. It includes questions on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

The Analytical Writing section assesses a candidate's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. It requires test-takers to analyze an issue and provide a well-reasoned argument or to evaluate an argument and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

What is the Importance of GRE for Business School?

Business schools recognize the GRE as a valuable indicator of a candidate's academic potential and preparedness for rigorous coursework. High scores on the GRE can provide evidence of an individual's ability to analyze and solve complex problems, think critically, and communicate effectively.

Admissions committees use these scores to compare applicants and identify those who will thrive in their programs. The GRE scores, along with other application materials such as undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements, help admissions committees gain a comprehensive understanding of an applicant's abilities and potential for success in a business school setting.

Moreover, the GRE offers a level playing field for applicants from diverse academic backgrounds. It allows business schools to assess candidates with different undergraduate majors and educational experiences on a standardized scale. This helps ensure fairness and consistency in the admissions process.

Furthermore, the GRE is a globally recognized test, accepted by thousands of graduate and business programs worldwide. This makes it a convenient option for international students who wish to pursue a business degree abroad. It allows them to showcase their academic abilities and compete with applicants from various countries on an equal footing.

In addition to its importance in the admissions process, the GRE can also provide personal benefits to test-takers. Preparing for the exam can enhance critical thinking skills, improve problem-solving abilities, and strengthen written communication skills. These skills are valuable not only in a business school setting but also in various professional and academic contexts.

In conclusion, the GRE is a comprehensive and globally recognized test that plays a crucial role in the admissions process for business schools. It assesses a candidate's verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. High scores on the GRE can provide evidence of an individual's academic potential and preparedness for rigorous coursework. Moreover, the GRE offers a level playing field for applicants from diverse academic backgrounds and provides personal benefits to test-takers.

Average GRE Scores for Top Business Schools

Interpreting GRE Scores

GRE scores are reported on a scale of 130 to 170 for Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, and on a scale of 0 to 6 for Analytical Writing. These scores are used by business schools as a way to assess the academic potential and analytical abilities of applicants. The Verbal Reasoning section measures an individual's ability to understand and analyze written material, while the Quantitative Reasoning section evaluates their mathematical skills. The Analytical Writing section, on the other hand, assesses their critical thinking and writing abilities.

When interpreting GRE scores, it's important to keep in mind that these scores are just one aspect of the application and do not guarantee admission. Admissions committees also consider other factors such as undergraduate GPA, work experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. However, a strong GRE score can certainly enhance your application and demonstrate your readiness for the rigorous academic environment of a top business school.

Score Requirements for Different Business Schools

Each business school has its own score requirements, and these requirements can vary depending on the program's competitiveness and the applicant pool. While some schools publish minimum score requirements, it's advisable to aim for scores that are higher than the minimum to increase your chances of admission.

Top business schools, such as Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business, generally have higher average GRE scores for their admitted students. For example, the average Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores for admitted students at Harvard Business School are typically in the range of 160-165, while the average Analytical Writing score is around 4.5-5.0. These scores reflect the high caliber of students that these schools attract and the rigorous academic standards they uphold.

However, it's important to note that not all business schools place equal emphasis on GRE scores. Some schools may prioritize other aspects of the application, such as work experience or leadership potential. Therefore, it's crucial to research and understand the specific requirements and preferences of each business school you are applying to.

In addition to the average GRE scores, business schools may also provide information about the range of scores for their admitted students. This can give you a better understanding of the competitiveness of the applicant pool and help you gauge where your scores stand in comparison. It's always a good idea to aim for scores that are above the average range to maximize your chances of admission.

Furthermore, it's worth mentioning that while GRE scores are important, they are not the sole determinant of admission. Admissions committees take a holistic approach in evaluating applications, considering a combination of factors to assess an applicant's potential for success in their program. Therefore, it's essential to focus on all aspects of your application and present a well-rounded profile that showcases your strengths and achievements.

Free trial!

Access a library of videos, templates, and examples curated by Leland's top coaches.

undefined's profileundefined's profileundefined's profile

From 92 top coaches

Example Essays

Example Essays Image

Example Resumes

Example Resumes Image

Application Prep

Application Prep Image

Video Courses

Video Courses Image

How to Prepare for the GRE

Study Tips and Techniques

Preparing for the GRE requires careful planning and effective study strategies. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the test structure and content by using official GRE practice materials. This will give you a clear understanding of what to expect on the test and help you identify areas where you may need to focus your study efforts.

Once you have a grasp of the test format, it's important to create a study schedule that allows you to dedicate regular and focused study time. Consistency is key when it comes to GRE preparation, so try to establish a routine that works for you. Consider setting aside specific blocks of time each day or week to focus solely on your GRE studies.

In addition to studying the content of the test, it's also crucial to practice solving sample questions and take full-length practice tests. This will not only help you become more familiar with the types of questions you'll encounter on the GRE, but it will also enhance your time management skills. The GRE is a timed test, so being able to effectively manage your time is essential for success.

Related articles:

The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make Preparing for the GRE

Top 50+ Free Resources for GMAT & GRE Practice

Resources for GRE Preparation

A variety of resources are available to assist you in your GRE preparation. Test preparation books are a popular choice, as they often provide comprehensive coverage of the different sections of the test. These books typically include practice questions, explanations, and strategies to help you improve your performance.

If you prefer a more interactive approach, online courses and video tutorials can be valuable resources. These resources often offer in-depth lessons, practice quizzes, and even personalized feedback to help you target your areas of weakness. Many online courses also provide the flexibility to study at your own pace, making them a convenient option for busy individuals.

For those who prefer additional guidance and support, joining a study group or hiring a GRE tutor can be beneficial. Study groups allow you to collaborate with other test takers, share study materials, and discuss challenging concepts. A GRE tutor, on the other hand, can provide personalized instruction and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Finally, it's worth noting that ETS, the organization that administers the GRE, provides official GRE practice tests and question banks. These resources are designed to simulate the actual test experience and allow you to assess your progress. By using these official materials, you can get a better sense of your strengths and weaknesses and focus your study efforts accordingly.

For more personalized guidance on studying for the GMAT/GRE, work with an expert Leland coach. Here are a few of our highest-rated coaches for the GRE:

GRE Test-Taking Strategies

Time Management during the Test

Managing your time wisely during the GRE is crucial. Each section has a designated time limit, and it's important to allocate your time efficiently to maximize your score. Develop a pacing strategy so that you can complete all the questions within the allotted time. If you get stuck on a particularly challenging question, consider making an educated guess and moving on to avoid wasting too much time.

Strategies for Different GRE Sections

Each section of the GRE requires different strategies to succeed. In the Verbal Reasoning section, practice active reading techniques to comprehend passages efficiently and answer questions accurately. In the Quantitative Reasoning section, focus on mastering fundamental math concepts and problem-solving techniques. For the Analytical Writing section, practice structuring and articulating your thoughts effectively within time constraints.

What's Next After the GRE?

Sending Scores to Business Schools

After completing the GRE, you have the option to send your scores to the business schools of your choice. Most schools allow you to select the schools to which you want your scores sent for free, while others may charge a nominal fee per recipient. Carefully review the score reporting policies of each school to ensure that your scores reach the respective admissions offices on time.

When and Why Should You Retake the GRE

If you are unsatisfied with your initial GRE performance or believe that you can improve your scores, you may consider retaking the exam. However, before deciding to retake the test, carefully evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks. Analyze your previous performance and identify areas for improvement. Prepare a study plan that addresses your weaknesses and gives you adequate time to prepare effectively.

Overall, the GRE plays a significant role in the business school admissions process. Understanding the exam, preparing thoroughly, and implementing effective test-taking strategies can help you achieve the scores necessary to stand out in the highly competitive application pool. Remember that while high GRE scores can enhance your candidacy, they are just one piece of the puzzle, and it's important to showcase your strengths through other application materials as well.

For personalized, one-on-one GRE coaching, work with a Leland expert. Browse our GRE Coaches to know more.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles