GRE for MS / MBA in USA ? GRE General vs Subjective tests? PhD Admission Tests?

One of things that first things that students think about when applying to US grad schools is, what standardized test should I take? ETS GRE exam Subjective vs GeneralThis article is all about GRE, their types, etc.  If you know what GRE is about, you do NOT read it. This is for someone who is does not know about GRE. This article is part of the series Steps to study in USA.

What is GRE ? GRE General test vs Subject Test ?

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. In layman’s terms,  it is a standardized test that is administered by ETS ( Educational Testing Service ).  There are two types of GRE tests. They are

In layman’s terms, GRE General Test is intended to test your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills. It is geared towards testing if you have enough skills for getting into the graduate school and handle the graduate school course work.  It is exactly an entrance examination to get into graduate school for MS or MBA, which is similar whatever you took to get into Bachelors program.

GRE Subjective Test is geared to test your technical or subject skills in your undergraduate or bachelors major or degree focus.  They have subjective tests for Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. They are used for admission and fellowships as supplement or mandatory based on the school.

Is GRE General Test accepted for MS only or MBA too?   Both?

One of the tricky things that you have to decide on when you plan to take standardized test for grad school is to decide if the school you are applying to takes GRE general test for the program you are applying to. For the most part, GRE is accepted for all the MS degrees.  In fact for most of the good schools it is mandatory.  On the same lines, GRE is also accepted by many good business schools for MBA admissions, but not every school accept GRE for MBA admission.  For instance schools like  Harvard Business school, Stanford University, etc accept GRE. But, some good schools like University of Chicago,  Northwestern do NOT accept GRE. For the complete list, check : List of Schools that accept GRE General test for MBA Programs.  It is kind of obvious that if a school accepts GRE for MBA, then they accept GRE for MS programs too.  So, they accept both.  You have to be careful when deciding this because if you have a school in your mind and take GRE for MBA and that school is not in the list, then you will be disappointed. So, always check and confirm.

GRE Subjective or General tests for PhD admission ? Funding?

As you know, you can you do PhD without Masters directly after B.Tech or B.S in USA . The questions comes, what tests should I take for PhD admission ? The answer is it depends. For most of the schools, GRE general test for PhD admission is mandatory. For some schools GRE Subjective test is mandatory too, but for some schools it is optional.  For instance Biochemistry program at Rutgers GRE Subject test is Mandatory.  On the other hand, schools like WPI recommends GRE Subject test for their Computer Science PhD Program. So, it depends.  But, if you are applying for PhD without any research experience and if you take GRE subject test and you do well, you have higher chances of getting admission and funding. Think logically, the prime reason is, your subjective test scores reveal your technical knowledge or subjective understanding of your subject area and makes easier for the admission and funding for PhD.

How much does GRE cost ?

GRE General test cost varies between $160 – $205 depending on the nation. In US, it  costs $160 and most other locations it is $190. Check ETS – GRE General test Fee for full info. For GRE Subject test, it is $140 in US and $160 dollars in all other locations.

For complete information on GRE, you must visit : ETS – GRE

8 comments… add one

  • Raman kumar Nov 21, 2015 Reply

    I completed with 74.73 and can i get scholarship in us for ms in aquaculture and food science &nutrition plz reply me

  • chandan Jul 9, 2015 Reply

    please suggest me which books is good for GRE preparation

  • santosh Apr 15, 2015 Reply

    I completed my bacheloer degre in i want to do my MBA masters in U.S is it possible through Gre..?

  • Varun Mar 26, 2015 Reply

    I have completed my school this year and i wants to go abroad for higher studies
    How can i go plz tell

  • Akansha Mar 8, 2015 Reply


    Can you please suggest top publications / materials for GRE preparation?

    There are few available on But which ones do you suggest?


  • saikiran Feb 3, 2015 Reply

    Im planning MBA through GRE in US,can somebody please tell me that how many years f1 visa will stamped?

  • GOVINDARAJ C Nov 12, 2014 Reply

    gre general or subject test for phd without research work is good?

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