More and more North American business schools are offering the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT entry test, but prospective students are not interested, it seems.

According to a survey from Kaplan Test Prep, which trains students to sit the two tests, 69 per cent of business schools now give applicants the option of submitting scores from the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) rather than the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test), compared to just 24 per cent in 2009. But almost half the business schools surveyed (46 per cent) said that fewer than 10 per cent of applicants submitted a GRE test score.

Students may be right to be wary of the GRE, says Kaplan. Although more than two-thirds of business schools (69 per cent) say they view scores from both tests equally, 29 per cent say that applicants who submit a score from the business-focused GMAT rather than the more general GRE are at an advantage.

“As long as business schools signal the slightest advantage in taking the GMAT, it’s hard to see more applicants going the GRE route,” says Andrew Mitchell, director of pre-business programmes at Kaplan. “Our advice to students: take the GMAT if you plan to apply only to business school, but if you’re unsure whether your path will take you to graduate school or business school, consider taking the GRE.”

Admissions officers from 265 North American business school were polled by telephone between August and September 2012 for the survey.

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