GRE to GMAT: Reality vs Predicted

Rewinding 69 years back, Educational Testing Service (ETS) created the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) that serves as an admission requirement for majority of the graduate schools in United States. Today, GRE has 1000 examination centers with its effectiveness and validity spread across 160 countries around the globe. GRE, from its very point of creation, has been focusing on measuring the skills that have been achieved through continuous learning over a long period of time. By developing GRE, the aim of ETS was to scale an individual’s skill levels based on various criteria ranging from vocabulary to logical reasoning to analytical thinking process.

On the other hand, Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) developed a computerized adaptive test (CAT) named Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in the year 1953. The aim of introducing GMAT was to help business schools identify potential management students. GMAT, as a measuring platform, does not focus much on the intelligence level, rather tries to measure an individual’s writing skills along with reasoning skills, as these according to GMAC, play a significant role in ensuring success in the field of business and management.

GRE into GMAT: The Conversion tool:

By the year 2009, most of the business schools began accepting GRE scores in lieu of GMAT. Hence, applicants of business schools could submit either their GRE or GMAT scores, both being equally accepted. As an extension to this, ETS introduced a tool named the GRE Converter that helped in converting an individual’s GRE scores to their predicted GMAT scores. As mentioned, the GMAT score thereby given by the tool would be predictive in nature and could or not be their original GMAT score.

The tool, as admitted by ETS, does have predictive and measuring errors. Post conducting a survey on a group of 525 subjects who had taken both GRE and GMAT tests, ETA itself found that the tool has a prediction error of 67.4%, thereby shaking the reliability on the tool to derive GMAT scores from the GRE scores. Therefore, the remaining 17.6% concluded to be the measure of reliability on the tool and its results i.e., there is 17.6% chance that the GRE score of an individual gives a predicted GMAT score that will be exactly the same or 10 points higher or lower than the valid score the applicant would actually get in the GMAT exam.

Bottom Line:

Over a period of 65 years, GMAT has grown into a trademark of GMAC. In light of the invention of the GRE Converter by ETA, GMAC does approve of this comparison tool. Also keeping in mind the differences in the nature of both GRE and GMAT, a converted score that is predictive in nature does not imply the original skill level of the applicant and is unfair to applicants with valid GMAT scores, as this sidelines their true efforts.

Every test deserves a justice to its process. Let the valid scores define the justice done.


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