Gatton school, others accept both GRE, GMAT

By Melody Bailiff

Business graduate schools across the nation are now beginning to accept the GRE in addition to the GMAT as an entrance exam.

In October 2009, the UK Graduate Council approved the Graduate Record Exam as well as the Graduate Managment Admission Test for UK’s graduate business program.

Kaplan Test Prep recently reported that a majority of top business schools now accept the GRE as an admissions alternative to the GMAT, according to a news release. Kaplan’s survey, which was conducted in July and August of 2011, reported that 52 percent of top business schools have the GRE option.

UK’s benchmark schools have moved toward accepting both standardized exams, and UK has decided to follow the trend.

Merl Hackbart, interim dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics and a professor, said part of the reason is many applicants of the Master of Business Administration program are students of engineering, social sciences and other majors.

With the change, these students now will not have to take the GMAT for business school in addition to the GRE for other graduate schools.

“This would be the practical reason of accepting both exams,” Hackbart said. “It becomes costly to pay for both and by allowing the student to take the GRE, it encourages students to look at all their options when completing their undergraduate degree.”

The costs of the test range from $200 to $250.

Hackbart said that this will benefit the graduate school’s Project Connect program, where students work in five-member teams for 25 weeks with executive mentors on three projects.

Hackbart also said that the projects will become better rounded with members of different undergraduate degrees rather than five members of the same discipline.

“This is a win-win for both students and the graduate program,” said Harvie Wilkinson, director of MBA programs for the Gatton College of Business. “The student now has more options and with that the business school becomes more diverse; with different backgrounds working together better projects are able to be produced.”

Accounting junior Will Robertson said there is an obvious correlation between the GMAT/GRE and ACT/SAT tests in that the GMAT has a stronger math section and the GRE is stronger in English.

As a student planning to go to business graduate school, Robertson said the GMAT is a better indicator of ability to succeed in business school.

“I think the GMAT is better at calculating how good you are at relationships between numbers, and the math is more difficult so I don’t feel the GRE is a proper gauge at how you are going to do in business,” Robertson said.

He said it is a benefit to be more diverse, but “there is a bare minimum aptitude of math you have to have for business, and this may be a shameless plug to get test scores higher.”