Graduate programs that don’t require the GRE or GMAT
For students who don’t have the time or financial resources to properly prepare for and take a standardized test before the application deadline, you may be wondering what your options are. Fortunately, tests like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) don’t always have to be part of your to-do list.
There’s a wide range of schools and graduate programs that don’t require the GRE or GMAT, each equally reputable as the competition. Online graduate schools that don’t require the GRE or GMAT are high-quality educational institutions with rigorous programs and well-established reputations, and if you’re stressed over which of these institutions might best accommodate you, there’s a wealth of resources at your fingertips to help provide direction.
What is the GRE used for?
As a standardized exam, the GRE is used for admission to certain graduate programs across a wide variety of fields.
There are three sections for the GRE General Test, and each is scored separately.
The verbal reasoning section is scored from 130 to 170.
The quantitative reasoning section is scored from 130 to 170.
The analytical writing section is scored from 0 to 6.
How much is the GRE?
Depending on how many of the exams you take, the amount you can expect to pay will change. In addition, subject-specific supplemental GRE tests are also required for admission to some programs. Currently in the United States, the GRE General Test costs $205, while subject tests cost $150 each.
Students who are interested in how much the GRE is going to cost overall should also consider other possible expenditures. These may include preparatory training and materials and other services such as specialized scoring reports and reviews. Costs can vary, but GRE administrator Education Testing Service (ETS) offers a host of prep and scoring services that range from free to about $70 per service.
What is the GMAT used for?
The GMAT is a standardized test that is sometimes required for applying to graduate business schools, including some Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Certain MBA programs choose to accept GRE scores instead of the GMAT, so keep that in mind as you explore programs.
The GMAT consists of four sections, each earning a separate score.
The analytical writing section is scored from 0 to 6.
The integrated reasoning section is scored from 1 to 8.
The quantitative reasoning section is scored from 6 to 51.
The verbal reasoning section is scored from 6 to 51.
Of course, the GMAT is not always required. It all depends on the criteria and admissions requirements of the individual university.
How much is the GMAT?
Pricing for the GMAT varies slightly from the GRE. Rather than breaking it down by individual sections, a fee is required to take the exam. So, how much is the GMAT? The baseline cost is currently $275 in the United States.
As with the GRE, GMAT costs for some test takers may involve any number of prep or other services. Fees from GMAT administrator Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) range from $25-$150 for enhanced and additional score reports and various rescheduling or cancellation activities, among other services.
Why doesn’t everyone need test scores?
U.S. News & World Report noted that as of 2021, 112 of the publication’s ranked, online MBA programs did not require GRE or GMAT scores. Additionally, most programs that do require test results are willing to waive them, pending evidence of a particularly high GPA or satisfactory work experience. Most of the qualifying schools also offer non-MBA business programs. You could also skip the tests if you’ve already earned an advanced degree in a related field.
Universities might also bypass these tests in response to the fallout of the 2019 cheating scandal, which revealed how standardized test scores could be exploited and aren’t always the objective predictors of student ability they’re meant to be.
Graduate programs that don’t require the GRE
These are some of the online graduate programs that don’t require GRE scores from applicants, according to U.S. News & World Report:
Georgia Southern University - 81% acceptance rate
West Texas A&M University - 98% acceptance rate
Florida International University - 73% acceptance rate
Colorado State University - 86% acceptance rate
Grad schools that don’t require the GMAT
U.S. News & World Report’s list of online grad schools that don’t require GMAT scores from applicants includes the following:
University of New Hampshire - 70% acceptance rate
Babson College - 88% acceptance rate
Rochester Institute of Technology - 64% acceptance rate
North Carolina State University - 55% acceptance rate
Grad school application tips
When you apply to programs that don’t require test scores, make sure the rest of your application speaks to your ability and strengths. Here are some grad school application tips to help you stand out:
Your work experience. Include an up-to-date resume. Online graduate schools are interested in the professional expertise you bring to the program.
Your educational experience. Include your transcripts, undergraduate GPA, and any other advanced degrees. This information can help admissions departments determine if you have a history that indicates you’d be successful in their online courses.
Your personal statement. Outline your goals while making your commitment to academic success apparent. You can highlight any work history and educational experience that demonstrates your potential for further success.
Your letters of recommendation. Be strategic about who you ask for a recommendation and why. Then, give them plenty of time to write on your behalf and guide them through the process.
Your future, your way
Though certain programs may need the results of standardized tests, it’s not the end of the road if you’d prefer to take a different route to your education. There are many online graduate programs that don’t require GRE or GMAT scores.