GMAT + GRE or Just GRE for MBA/Masters Dual Degree

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I've been trying to find a thread that relates to this, but haven't found a relevant one. I'm planning on pursuing a MBA dual degree with a masters in another field (leaning towards urban planning, but basically something that doesn't require the GMAT). The plus side with urban planning and some other masters programs is that there isn't as much of an emphasis on rankings as business schools, with it mostly being driven by going to school in the market you generally want to be in post grad. Post grad I'm interested in a combination of infrastructure investing/project finance as well as in planning, hence wanting to get a masters in something else.

Given that both programs accept at least the GRE, I figured I'd take just that. However, I don't have a high GPA (below 3.5) and went to a non-target state school. As a result, I'm wondering whether it would be a good idea to take both since the GMAT is perceived as a harder test and would be a better way to present myself to an adcom. I'm also trying to focus on extracurricular activities (recently became involved in a local charity) in the meantime before applying. Obviously I'd like to go to the best school I can get into, but at the same time I have to be realistic about schools I would actually be able to get into.

Monkeys, since I can't go back in time and fix my GPA and can only change things going forward, what extracurriculars do you suggest that I focus on and whether I should take both the GMAT and the GRE?

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Comments (10)

Most Helpful
Dec 28, 2018

I don't think you need to take both the GMAT and the GRE. Virtually all MBA programs are test agnostic. The one exception is INSEAD (which, interestingly, is where a client that Stratus worked with last year who is pursuing infrastructure investing ended up!).

In terms of extracurriculars, get involved in activities related to your interests/passions. Look for opportunities to improve your local community - getting involved in city council or community groups related to urban planning?

Here are a few articles that you might find useful:
Five Things You Need to Know About Taking the GMAT/GRE
Build Your Leadership Profile Through Community Involvement

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All the best!

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Dec 28, 2018

Thank you for the advice!

Dec 28, 2018

gre alone is OK unless your GRE sucks real bad in percentiles
also check your applying school's policies

Dec 28, 2018

Thanks that makes sense.

Dec 28, 2018

which schools do you have in mind for the mba/urban planning degree?

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Dec 28, 2018

Michigan, USC, and UNC are some I've been thinking about. They all have dual degree programs.

Dec 28, 2018

Hello! I think you only have to take GMAT. GMAT is not so hard in my opinion. You can take some courses regarding GMAT.

Another aspect of taking GMAT is to help you prepare for your future studies. Don't worry too much. Are you currently studying in U.S?

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Dec 28, 2018

GMAT is only for business school, it's not used for applications for any other graduate studies. That's what the GRE is for.

Dec 28, 2018

I think you will be fine taking just the GRE. ~1/4 of the first year class at Michigan Ross was accepted with a GRE. The numbers of candidates applying with a GRE are growing each year.

No sense in taking two tests when you could be spending your time engaging in your community, doing school research, connecting with students and working on your applications.