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The Entrance Exam for MBA in the USA

The Entrance Exam for MBA in the USA

The Entrance Exam for MBA in the USA

When you are planning to continue your further studies like MBA the most important thing to think about is the entrance exam. As the entrance exam score will determine your visa and university acceptance.

The entrance exam for MBA in the USA is GRE or GMT. These exams test your analyzing, critical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning skills with some basic mathematics. These are the main exams.

MT is more popular in the US currently. GRE, however, accepted in most universities in the USA. Besides these tests, you will also need a test for English Proficiency.

The two main exams accepted in the US are IELTS and TOEFL. Both of these exams test your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills in the English Language. TOEFL is more common than IELTS but that doesn’t mean universities will not accept it. 

In this article, you will be provided with the necessary details of the entrance exam for an MBA in the USA. You have two options to choose from as USA universities accept scores of both GRE and GMT. As an international student, you will be asked to sit for an English Proficiency test as well. 

What is MBA?

MBA stands for Masters in Business Administration. It is a recognized degree, which is, known to upgrade your career to the next step. This degree develops a good understanding of essential topics like marketing, finance, leadership, and operations. MBAs in the US provide you with an international business environment, as students are the number of foreign students is high. It is a good opportunity for international networking. 

MBA Entrance Requirements in the US

Education institutes in the USA require one to have a minimum of 16 years of education to be eligible for the application. This means the student has to have a completed graduate degree after school years. 

The general requirements to join an MBA course in the USA are:

A four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution from the US or any other country. 

GMAT score over 600 is very important. Some Universities also accept GRE

Proof of English Proficiency 



2 – 3 years of work experience (Some universities accept students with no work experience)

Letters of professional recommendation 

Visa Requirements

There are different types of visas for foreigners in the US. The visa you get as an MBA student is called an F1 student visa. You can stay in the US for one year after completing your course. To stay in the US any further, one must look for a job so the company provides a visa for the individual. 

List of essentials to carry for the student visa interview:

  • A valid passport and previously issued passports
  • Recent passport size photograph with a white background 
  • DS-160 confirmation page with barcode
  • HDFC visa application fee receipts
  • VFS appointment letter
  • SEVIS receipt and I-120

The Entrance Exam for MBA in the USA

There are two examination scores accepted by MBA courses in the USA. 

GMAT and GRE. However, most institutes accept GMAT. In the earlier times, GREs were better known but times changed and GMAT exams are accepted in more institutes than GRE. GRE is still accepted by many prominent Universities. These two are the main exams that are taken to enter any management study course in the US. 

You must register for the exam at least 3 months before you apply to the University of your choice. 


The Graduate Management Admission Test is a computer adaptive exam which means you will not be able to skip, return to or change your answers. Most universities accept scores of 600 and above out of 800. 

Candidates who want to repeat their test need to take at least 16 days break. They are also limited to only five GMAT exams in a year. The test takes up to 3 hours and a half to complete. You have options for 8-minute breaks in between. There are four sections to the test and you have the flexibility to choose the order. 

The GMAT is a test, which will evaluate candidates:

  • Analytic Writing Assessment  – measures your critical thinking ability and how you communicate your ideas. 
  • Integrated Reasoning – tests your ability to analyze and evaluate information that is presented in different formats 
  • Quantitative Reasoning – computes your ability to come to conclusions using reasoning skills after analyzing data. 
  • Verbal Reasoning – determines your ability to read and understand written material to evaluate arguments. Correct the given written material to the English standards. 

GMAT Exam Structure

  • Analytic Writing Assessment
    • 30 minutes
    • 1 question
  • Integrated Reasoning
    • 30 minutes
    • 12 questions
  • Quantitative Reasoning
    • 62 minutes
    • 31 questions
  • Verbal Reasoning
    • 65 minutes 
    • 36 questions

Average GMAT scores of top Business Institutes in the USA :

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business – 737 GMAT
  • Harvard Business School – 730 GMAT
  • Yale School of Management – 730 GMAT 
  • Chicago Booth – 726 GMAT
  • Northwestern University – 724 GMAT
  • New York University – 721 GMAT
  • Dartmouth Tuck – 717 GMAT
  • MIT Sloan – 716 GMAT
  • Columbia University – 715 GMAT
  • University of Pennsylvania – 710 GMAT

Business Schools with lower GMAT scores in the USA

  • Texas A&M University 
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of South Florida 
  • University of Pittsburgh 
  • George Washington University  

2. GRE

The Graduate Record Examinations is a computer-based test accepted by Universities in Canada and the USA. GRE examination scores are accepted in a lot of business universities like Harvard, Wharton, NYU, etc.

A candidate can take a GRE test once every 21 days and is limited to five attempts in a year. GRE is divided into three separately timed sections. 

  • Analytical Writing – Measure your ability to analyze an issue and argument task including your debate skills.
  • Verbal Reasoning – determines your ability to recognize and analyze relationships among parts of sentences, evaluate the data from the written material, and combine it with the obtained information. 
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Tests your basic mathematics skills, your problem-solving skills, and your ability to reason quantitatively.

GRE Exam Structure

The exam has a total score of 340 and universities usually accept scores of 320 or above. As there are 3 sections, each of the sections consists of two tasks. A10 minute’s breaks are given in between each section during the examination. 

  • Analytical Writing 
    • 2 tasks 
    • 30 minutes for each task 
  • Verbal Reasoning 
    • 2 tasks
    • 30 minutes for each task 
    • 20 questions per task
  • Quantitative Reasoning 
    • 2 tasks
    • 35 minutes for each task 
    • 20 questions per section 

Average GRE scores of top Business Institutes in the USA :

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business – 330 GRE
  • Yale School of Management – 329 GRE
  • Harvard Business School – 326 GRE
  • Wharton UPenn – 324 GRE
  • Dartmouth Tuck – 324 GRE
  • MIT Sloan – 324 GRE
  • UC Berkeley Haas – 323GRE
  • New York University – 322 GRE
  • Virginia Darden – 321 GRE
  • Michigan Ross – 319 GRE

Business Schools accepting lower GRE scores in the USA

  • University of Wyoming 
  • San Jose State University
  • Florida International University 
  • University of Arkansas Little Rock

English Proficiency Entrance Exams

There are mainly two English Tests for international students in the US. Most universities prefer TOEFL however they also accept IELTS scores. Both tests cover 4 sections; speaking, writing, reading, and listening.

  • Reading – Read the passage and answer related questions accordingly 
  • Listening – Answer questions about short lectures or discussions
  • Speaking – Talk about a familiar topic and discuss materials you read and listened to.
  • Writing – Read a passage and listen to a recording and write your response. 


Test of English as Foreign Language is accepted not just in the USA but also globally. Each University has different requirements however the minimum score accepted by top USA institutes is usually around 100 and above. This exam tests a student’s understanding and usage of the English Language. 

TOEFL Exam Structure 

There are four sections with one break after the two sections

  • Reading 
    • 54 – 72 minutes 
    • 30 – 40 questions 
  • Listening 
    • 41 – 57 minutes 
    • 30 – 40 questions 
  • Speaking
    • 17 minutes 
    • 4 task
  • Writing 
    • 50 minutes 
    • 2 tasks


The International English Language Testing System is a test for non – native English language speakers. It is also accepted globally. Each University in the USA has a different IELTS score requirement however the top institutes in the USA usually require an IELTS score of 7.0 (Good User). 

IELTS Exam Structure

IELTS has the same sections as TOEFL however the structure and syllabus of the exams are different. 

  • Listening 
    • 40 questions 
    • 30 minutes 
  • Reading 
    • 40 questions 
    • 60 minutes 
  • Writing 
    • 2 tasks 
    • 60 minutes 
  • Speaking 
    • 3 parts 
    • 11 – 14 minutes

In the end, you should contact your University of choice and confirm with them. Each institute has its requirements and criteria. Naturally, universities of higher rank will ask for higher GMT or GRE scores. IELTS OR TOEFL scores also need to be higher for top-notch business institutes. Besides the entrance exam for MBA in the USA, you need to consider other factors like recommendation letters and visa requirements.

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