I am applying now to PhD programs in various management related fields (quantitative marketing and finance) and took both the GMAT and GRE back in October.

My score, specifically in the quantitative section, wildly varied between the GRE and GMAT. Basically, this was the breakdown of my scores:


Verbal 159 (81%)

Quant 160 (78%)

Analytical 4.5 (80%)

And on the other side...


Verbal 40 (91%)

Quant 41 (49%)

Total 660 (80%)

Analytical 5.5 (81%)

Integrated Reasoning 8 (92%) [Perfect Score]

None of the schools I'm applying to exclusively accept the GMAT, but many do state that they prefer it. I'm wondering if I should just simply hide my GMAT or if my GRE in combination with my GMAT make the quantitative section there look like a random fluke.

  • Can you point to a reason you didn't do well on the GRE Math? I remember that I ended up being in the top third in the GRE Verbal. Because the proctor confused me about not turning the page, and I discovered too late that there were two pages of questions I should have done. Had she been clearer about her instructions, I would have been in the top 5%. If your performance was due to a one-off incident, you might consider retaking the exam. In terms of content and difficulty, both the GRE Math and the GMAT Math are comparable. I don't think much of either but then, I am an engineer. Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 9:03
  • I'm sure that my GMAT Quant score was a fluke, but I couldn't explain why. Fixing it would require going back and restudying the material, which at this point isn't much of an option because my applications are due in about 15 days. I know they're pretty similar in terms of difficulty, which is partially why I can't explain the 30 percentile point difference.
    – T.J.
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


Since the fields you mentioned (quantitative marketing and finance) are both heavily based on mathematics, I would think that the quantitative score is by far the most important. If you can possibly avoid it, you don't want to be in a position of having to explain away a weakness, especially where the weakness is at a very important criterion.

Thus, I recommend that you submit only the GRE score and make no mention of the GMAT. Although your verbal score in GMAT was quite good, it isn't quite as important for those fields you are applying for, and the mediocre quantitative results would probably outweigh anything positive you might otherwise have.

That said, you could simply call the schools you want to apply to and ask them directly; since each school might have different preferences for GMAT and GRE and their respective scores, one blanket answer might not be suitable for all the schools you are applying to.

Specifically, you could try to talk to the department chair or to the graduate program director (just call the department office and ask to be transferred to the right person). You don't have to identify yourself; just say that you want to anonymously ask a question related to admissions.

I know that that last suggestion might sound wild, but believe it or not, it often works surprisingly well--I recently used that kind of strategy to receive anonymous answers from a research ethics office concerning a grey research ethics question I was faced with, and I quickly got the exact clarity that I needed for my situation. Never underestimate the power of picking up the phone and calling.


I can't speak for PHD programs, but I know that business school really only care about your highest score, so it is not a big deal if you send multiple scores, they will only look at the highest. This might be different for PHD programs and with scores from multiple tests, so you should check like someone else mentioned. But since your verbal score on the GMAT is higher I wouldn't immediately give up on sending that score.

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