GMAT vs GRE vs TageMage

Hey guys, confused French undergrad here ! (Entering year 3)
My goal is to work in high finance and therefore I need to get into a top business school, either in :

France :

  • MiM ESCP

Europe :

  • MiF LSE / Cambridge / St Gallen / Bocconi etc.

But the problem is I don't know which exam I should take...

TageMage is a French only exam, rather easy, but by taking it I would restrain myself from getting into a top European Master in Finance.

GMAT and GRE are both harder tests (especially for a French person, even though I am fluent in English) which I don't know much about but would allow me, with a top score, to get into both France's and Europe's best programs.

People that know about those exams and masters, could you perhaps give me some guidance ? 


I've read some people saying the GMAT, specifically verbal section, is easier if you are a non-english speaker. I don't know if that is true but the exam made me question if *I* knew English, so I don't think you have to worry about it as a French person...



I scored quite high in the GMAT verbal (around 99th percentile)
It is not a test of English, but rather of logic. If you train with LSAT materials, you can reach an extremely high score. Sentence Correction is also a mix of grammar and logic based. You only need to know the basic English grammar rules, and then the rest is logic dependent. Huge shame that they are removing it - one of the most unique aspects of GMAT imo.
I do not believe there is a significant difference between native and non-native speakers at the same level. It really comes down to how well you can handle logic and work through the problems.


Agree. I think what I was getting at is someone new to the language, or at least who has went thru learning it might be more keenly aware of grammar rules whereas a native speaker just isn't as cognizant of it. 


Go for GMAT with a prep, it is not that difficult. TAGE is quite similar but in French so you can swap and take the test in the end if you feel that your GMAT is going to be bad.

Have to point out that you cannot get into the MiF from Cambridge without pro exp and that HEC is know to have never taken people from French bachelor so don't overstress if you get denied there


Some people told me it wasn't that similar... I don't know if I can take both considering how much I have to do next year.

Also, how relevant is it to apply to top europrean finance masters pre experience ? 

Most Helpful

The MiF at LBS and Cambridge are not for pre-experience, they are post experience so you most likely will not meet the minimum requirements to apply there. I suggest looking into the LBS MFA or MIM for their pre-experience masters. Cambridge does not have a targeted "career focused" pre-experience masters, however you may try the Mphil in Finance or the Mphil in Finance and Economics. Those will be quite academic and perhaps overkill if you are aiming for IBD.

I would focus on taking either the GMAT or the GRE.
I do not believe that there is a big difference between the two - you need elite scores either way to have a fair shot at getting in those schools, so I doubt that the GRE will be "punished.
If you consider the USA for example, MIT posts GRE statistics but not GMAT statistics. So I don't think there will be a tangible difference (unless you can gaurentee yourself a very elite gmat score >=750, in which case GMAT all the way). 

Best of luck!


So you would avoid the TageMage all together ? Meaning only applying to French programs is a bad idea ?

I wish I could have done a Bachelors like in every other countries... Do you think going into a Masters right after my 3rd year a good Idea ?


I have no experience on the TageMage so I cannot comment. French programmes are great - but I don't think it would be smart to limit yourself to only French programmes, since you would be missing out on other programmes.
I can tell you that LBS, HSG, Bocconi, etc only accept GMAT or GRE. So if you decide to take the TageMage, you would in either case have to take the GRE or GMAT if you want to apply to those programmes.

I am in a similar situation as you except I am graduating this summer. I have decided to take a break year and try to land an internship rather than proceed with masters applications, but I am also targetting shorter programmes - like LSE/Oxford (10-11). I think if you land in a longer term programme (such as Bocconi, HSG) you will be fine going directly into the programme. Bocconi is 2 years and offers 2 chances at recruiting. HSG is a year and half offers the same. I think like 95% of the profiles I see on LinkedIn of European IBD is basically the standard 3+2 or 3+1 with some WE. Either way you will be fine, as long as your school is good.

I think if you get into any of those schools you listed, you will be fine - I am not sure how HEC handles French applicants. I believe most of them go through the "Prepa" system, so I believe it would be difficult for you to enter if you are not Prepa (I am not French so take my advice with a grain of salt on this).


I'm also a french student and I have friends that tried the GMAT and TAGE MAGE. One scored a very good score after a very intense 1 month preparation (12 hours a day on the GMAT) and another took TAGE. As they said to me, the TAGE isn't especially easier as french is more difficult than english.

On the other hand, as someone commented above, you would be limited to french masters which would limit your possibilities. If you want to work in France, no big deal, but the GMAT would be a better choice to add a bit of flexibility to your choices. And you said that you are fluent in english, why wouldn't you try GMAT ? 


If you are willing to spend 40k on a Master but putting 1k into prep is too costy then you better be working hard on your academic and internships. Scoring a decent score is fairly not that hard, if you are rigorous you could get a 670+ which should get you in ESSEC/ESCP with good grades and well structured professional project.

Again, hard to comment further without knowing what you are aiming for and your background


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