MBA Applications

The New Alternative: GRE Scores For MBA Programs

gre scores for mba

If you’re thinking of applying to a top Business school for an MBA, then you probably know that you need to hit the books even before you get into a college. Yes, we are talking about the competitive exams that graduate colleges require, the most common being — GMAT and GRE. In this article, we will dive into what the GRE is, the GRE scoring system, the top business schools that accept the GRE, and GRE scores for MBA

1. How is the GRE structured?

2. How is the GRE exam scored?

3. What are the Top Indian Business Schools Accepting GRE for MBA?

4. What are the Top Business Schools in the world accepting GRE scores?

If you want to take the GMAT exam but your busy schedule doesn’t permit you to attend classes, then you can opt for our GMAT online course. You can check out our article on how you can target a good GMAT score to help you prepare for this exam.

1. How is the GRE structured?

The Graduate Record Examination is a standardized test that measures your quantitative, verbal, and analytical skills.
This test is a requirement for admission to most of the top graduate schools in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

See All you need to know about the new GRE.

Below is the GRE Exam Pattern – the number of questions in each section and the time limit for the same.

GRE Exam Pattern

Here’s the basic test structure of the GRE:

GRE basic test structure

The GRE does not have any specific eligibility criteria. However, if you wish to get an MBA through GRE, then you have to meet the eligibility criteria of the particular program you want to pursue, such as work experience, a GRE score of 320, etc. You can learn more about how the GRE tests your vocabulary.

2. How is the GRE scored?

The GRE reports three scores:

Verbal Reasoning on a 130–170 score scale, with 1-point increments

Quantitative Reasoning also on a 130–170 score scale with 1-point increments

Analytical Writing score on a 0–6 score level, in half-point increments

How is Analytical Writing scored?

Each of the GRE essays, “Analyse an Issue” and “Analyse an Argument,” gets two raw scores. One score is from a specially trained reader who uses a six-point scale to judge the overall quality of the essay. The other score is from the GRE test maker, Educational Testing Service (ETS) that evaluates writing proficiency. While you are at it, why don’t you also take a quick look at how to write the two types of Analytical Essays on the GRE.

The two scores for each essay are averaged into one if they are close. If they aren’t close, then the ETS score is discarded, and a second human reader scores the essay. The average of the two human scores then become the individual essay score.

The final GRE Analytical Writing section score is the average of the two essay scores.

How Are Verbal and Quantitative Sections Scored?

Your score for both the Verbal and Quantitative sections is determined by the number of questions you get right. You do not lose points for wrong answers, so it’s better to take a guess even if you’re not 100% sure of the answer.

For each of these sections, ETS first calculates your raw score – that’s how many questions you answered correctly. Then, your raw score is converted to a scaled score using a conversion formula that takes the difficulty of each question into account (let’s not tire ourselves out, trying to understand THAT method). And finally, this converted score is your section score.

GRE Exam Pattern

The GRE Percentile Rank

You don’t just receive a scaled score. You also receive a percentile rank. This rank rates your performance against a large population of other GRE takers. They don’t call these competitive exams for nothing, right?

What does this percentile rank mean?

In the most simple terms, a percentile rank will tell you how well you did in comparison to others who took the same test. For example – if you scored in the 80th percentile, it means you did better than 80% of those who did the test.

The percentile rank will tell graduate schools what your scaled scores are worth. Let’s say all the applicants to a particular business school get very high scaled scores. The school will then be able to differentiate applicants according to their percentile ranking.

GRE Percentile Score For Verbal Reasoning

GRE Exam Pattern

GRE Percentile Score for Quantitative Reasoning

GRE percentile score for quantitative reasoning

GRE Percentile Score for Analytical Writing

GRE percentile score for analytical writing

What is a good GRE score?

The score range for GRE is 260-340, meaning that even if you, unfortunately, get everything wrong, you would still get 130 in two sections (Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning), giving you a score of 260.

A score of 320, an 80+ percentile rank, will put you in a good position for most programs except the really top ones in the top schools.

A 330+ score is a 90+ percentile rank that will allow you to apply to any of the premier B-schools from around the world (including your dream school)

We’re just giving you an average of scores required.

Each institution has its GRE requirements and varies from country to country and from A grade to B grade schools.

To make it a little easier for you, we’ll go into detail the GRE requirements for the Top B-schools around the world in the next section.

3. What are the Top Indian Business Schools Accepting GRE for MBA?

There are a lot of great colleges in India that accept GRE scores too. Note this is for their executive MBA programs – not the regular two-year PGP for which you need to take the CAT. There currently 3 top schools that accept the GRE.

1. ISB

Let us look at what ISB has to say about GRE scores:

GRE Exam Pattern

And if you look at the class profile they seem to have some information on the average scores too:

ISB class of 2020

2. IIM-Ahmedabad

Again, remember this is for IIM-A’s executive MBA program called PGPX (Post Graduate Program for Executives). Let us see what their website has to say about GRE requirements:

IIM Ahmedabad

3. IIM-Bangalore

Again remember this is for IIM-B’s executive MBA program called ePGP, and let us see what their website has to say about the GRE requirements:

IIM Ahmedabad

The other colleges that accept GRE but do not have a definite cut-off are:

IIM Ahmedabad

Now, let’s take a look at some of the other B-schools that are accessible to GRE test-takers outside of India.

4. What are the Top Business Schools in the world accepting GRE scores?

Let’s take a took at some of the top business schools that accept GRE from USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia and the MBA GRE scores they require.

United States of America:

Harvard Business School – Ah, good ol’ US of A still happens to be every graduate’s dream destination for further education, with most of their co. America’s business schools are considered to be the best thanks to their excellent curriculum and amazing faculty. The Top US Business Schools that accept GRE and the GRE scores they require:

Top US Business Schools that accept GRE scores


Canada is very welcoming to international students, and over the years, an increasing number of Indian students are choosing to study in Canada. This is owing to their easy acceptance of international students when it comes to student visas, work visas, and PR permits. The students, of course, have to fit the eligibility criteria and all other requirements of the universities they wish to pursue their MBA.

The Top Canadian Business Schools that accept GRE and the GRE scores they require:

Canada institutes


While it is common knowledge that Europe is home to some of the greatest architecture, culture, and history, it is also home to some of the world’s finest business schools. All the top B-schools in Europe—with the exclusion of IE Business School in Spain—accept GRE. The Top European Business Schools that accept GRE and the GRE scores they require:

Top European Business Schools that accept GRE scores

Asian universities are known to traditionally accept scores of standardized tests like GMAT and IELTS, among others. Still, a few business schools have begun taking GRE scores, which includes our very own ISB – Indian School of Business. However, only two of the top business schools in the Asia Pacific that do accept GRE -INSEAD and CEIBS are either Europe based or are collaborative institutes with Europe. Both these schools have a one year MBA program.

The Top Asian Business Schools that accept GRE and the GRE scores they require:

Top Asian Business Schools that accept GRE scores


So, we have stated the components of GRE, how each section is scored, percentile ranks, what a good score is, and the top business schools accepting the GRE and GRE score requirements.

Do not be under the impression that a good GRE score is all you need to get into a top business school. A good GRE score is just one of the requirements you need to get into a top business school. You have to fit all the criteria put forth by the university of your choice to get in.

If you’re still uncertain of undertaking the GRE because a lot of the top business schools only require GMAT or if you’re finding it difficult to decide whether to take the GMAT or the GRE then check out our article on GMAT vs GRE which will help you figure out which exam you should take for your admissions.

We hope this article has helped you take your situation into account and choose an exam that will suit your purposes. If you have any questions or need help with your applications, simply reach out to us at We will be happy to help you out.