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GRE to GMAT Score Conversion
3 Methods You Can Use

Last Updated On: June 5, 2021

Most business schools accept both GRE and GMAT, which means they’ll be comparing you with applicants who take either test.

If you want to know how you’ll compare to others in advance, you could try converting your scores. I’ll outline three conversion methods I’ve found after hours upon hours of research.

Can You Predict Your GRE Scores Based on Your GMAT Scores?

Close up image of a test paper getting shaded by a pencil

Yes, you can predict your GRE scores based on your GMAT scores, and vice versa. But don’t expect your predictions to be perfect.

Here’s the thing. GRE and GMAT scores are correlated, but only up to a certain point. Your conversion is bound to be flawed. You’ll get an approximate, rather than an accurate result.

I’ll illustrate what I mean by converting quant scores. Let’s say your GRE Quantitative Reasoning score was 167. If we convert that to a GMAT Quant section score, we’ll get a 49-point score.

That’s not to say that you’d necessarily get 49 points. Think of this as just a rough estimate.

The reason why you can’t perfectly convert your GRE score to a GMAT score (or vice versa) is that the two tests are simply different. Even though a lot of business schools accept both.

Students who take the GRE usually don’t fall into the GMAT pool of test-takers. The Graduate Management Admission Council designed the GMAT specifically for MBA applicants.  GRE test-takers don’t apply to MBA programs as often.

The Differences In Scoring

Another reason why it’s difficult to convert GRE vs GMAT score, or vice versa, is because the two tests have a different structure.

I’ve listed the sections both tests have in the table below. You’ll also see how each section of both tests is scored:

GRE  GMAT 
Quant Scores 130–170 (in 1-point increments) 6-51

(in 1-point increments)

Verbal Scores 130–170 (in 1-point increments) 6-51

(in 1-point increments)

Analytical Writing Scores 0-6
(in 0.5-point increments)
0-6

(in 0.5-point increments)

Integrated Reasoning Scores / 1-8

(in 1-point increments)

Note that a total GMAT score is calculated by adding Verbal and Quant scores, but it is reported on a 200-800 scale, in 10-point increments. On the other hand, a total GRE score is reported on a “normal”, 260-340 scale. It’s also calculated by adding Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores.

3 GRE and GMAT Score Conversion Methods

A notebook, calculator, ballpen and eyeglasses; woman counting to four with her fingers

You can use three methods to convert GRE scores:

  1. Converting GRE scores
  2. Converting GRE percentiles
  3. Going with your gut

I’ll walk you through all three methods below. You just have to know your GRE score and you’re good to go.

1. Converting Raw or Scaled Scores

The ETS developed the GRE comparison tool that lets you convert your GRE score in a matter of minutes.

You just have to enter your GRE Verbal and Quant scores. Based on that, the tool will automatically give you a rough estimate of your:

  • Total score,
  • Verbal score,
  • Quantitative score.

Here’s how the tool works in action [1]:

The tool first gives you your total score and then zooms in on your GMAT quant and verbal scores.

These scores are based on the GMAT score calculation formula:

  1. GMAT Total score = -2080.75 + 6.38*GRE Verbal Reasoning + 10.62*GRE Quant score
  2. GMAT Verbal score = -109.49 + 0.912*GRE Verbal score
  3. GMAT Quantitative score = -158.42 + 1.243*GRE Quantitative score

Based on these calculations, the ETS developed a GMAT conversion chart. Some students use it to manually calculate their scores. But this really isn’t necessary because the comparison tool uses the same chart and will convert your scores automatically.

You can find the GMAT score conversion chart here.

How Accurate Is This Tool At Converting GRE Into GMAT Scores?

Erm… not so much. Converting GRE to GMAT is not an easy task, mostly because the two tests are so painfully different.

Even though both are standardized tests, they measure different content. Maybe not entirely, but still. This fact makes score conversion trickier than it should be.

Here’s how the ETS describes its tool [2]:

“The predicted GMAT scores based on an applicant's GRE scores may not be perfectly equivalent to an applicant's actual performance on the GMAT exam due to the measurement error inherent in both tests. The predicted score range is approximately +/- 50 points for the total GMAT score and +/- 6 points on the Verbal and Quantitative scores.”

 

- ETS

What does this mean, exactly?

Let’s go back to our example where the tool predicted a 43 score on the GMAT Verbal section. Based on what the ETS wrote above, you could score much lower on the actual GMAT -- only 37 points.

2. Converting Percentile Scores

A man stacking small blocks with percentile symbols

Besides comparing raw scores, you can also compare your percentile scores and determine your percentile ranking.

Here’s how to convert:

  1. GMAT Verbal and GRE Verbal Reasoning score into percentiles
  2. GMAT Quant score and GRE Quant score into percentiles
Verbal Percentile Comparison
Percentile GMAT (0-60) GRE (130-170)
99 51-60 169-170
0 0-6 130
Quant Percentile Comparison
Percentile GMAT (0-60) GRE (130-170)
97 51 170
0 6 132

For example, let’s take that your Verbal Reasoning score (GRE) was 170. Then, this means that you’re in the 97th percentile of the GRE test-takers. But it also means you’d probably have the same ranking based on your GMAT subscores.

3. Go With Your Gut

Male student carrying his backpack and books while thinking

The conversion chart GRE test-makers created isn’t perfect. We know this by now. That’s why calculating your own projected score could be more useful.

You do need to consider the conversion chart. But you also need to consider the differences between the two tests and the content they cover.

Your chosen business school will likely do the same when comparing you to applicants who’ve taken the other test.

Maybe they prefer one test over the other. Maybe one exam tests areas they’re particularly interested in, so they give more weight to it. I’ll talk about this more below.

Do Business Schools Prefer One Test Over the Other?

Around 26% of business schools still prefer GMAT over GRE [3]. But most schools nowadays accept both.

Previously, it was difficult to compare GMAT scores to those you’d get on the GRE. That’s why a lot of schools didn’t accept GRE scores. The GMAT was just something they got used to. They didn’t want to be bothered with the whole conversion thing.

But the ETS rolled out its comparison tool, allowing for a quick and easy GRE score conversion that requires little to no human effort.

Thanks to that, your chosen business school now probably accepts both exams. You can choose to take the one you like.

Wrapping Up: GRE to GMAT Conversion

GMAT and GRE are different exams, so you can never convert the scores perfectly. But now you have three, semi-reliable methods. You can convert raw or scaled scores, percentile scores, or go with your gut.

The first thing you should do is use the ETS tool I discussed above. This will give you an idea of what you can expect. But then apply your common sense to determine if the predicted score is accurate.

Do you think converting your scores is useful? Or should you just wait to hear back from the schools? Let me know in the comments.

References:

  1. https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/admissions/interpretation_resources/mba_comparison_tool
  2. https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/admissions/interpretation_resources/mba_comparison_tool
  3. https://www.qdspro.com/blog/business-schools-prefer-gmat-or-gre/

About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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