Submitting a GMAT test score rather than a GRE score gives you an advantage in almost a third of the US business schools which accept both tests, according to the latest survey from Kaplan Test Prep, which prepares students to take the tests for business school entry.

The finding will be a fillip for GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council), which administers the GMAT test, the traditional entry test for business school. Over the past couple of years GMAT has come under siege from GRE (Graduate Record Exam), which has been trying to gain a foothold in the business school testing market.

A growing number of schools now accept the GRE as well as the GMAT: 39 per cent of the 288 schools surveyed by Kaplan, as opposed to 24 per cent last year. However, of the business schools that accept the GRE, 69 per cent report that fewer than 1 in 10 applicants actually submit a GRE score instead of a GMAT one.

Of the 61 per cent of US business schools in the survey who do not accept GRE scores, three quarters said they had no plans to start doing so.

Business school entry tests are particularly important as nearly half (48 per cent) of the admissions officers surveyed report that a low GMAT or GRE score is the biggest application killer, according to Kaplan.

In June 2012, GMAT will update its test by introducing an integrated reasoning section, intended to measure applicants’ data analysis and decision-making skills. According to the Kaplan survey, a minority of business schools (21 per cent) think this will make the GMAT harder.

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