GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test
What is GMAT?
GMAT or the Graduate Management Admission Test was created by business schools to measure the skills necessary for a graduate student to succeed in MBA programmes. It is a computer-adaptive standardised test in Maths and English to check your aptitude for business studies. Studies show that this test is the best indicator for success in such programs, and as a result about 4000 programmes in 1800 graduate schools around the world use this test for admission decisions. If you want to get into a Graduate Managerial Program, you need to score well in GMAT.
Pursuing an MBA from abroad can give you an edge. But to get yourself enrolled in a renowned US or UK university you will have to clear GMAT. Also TOEFL Test.
Business schools use and trust the GMAT exam to make admissions decisions. The GMAT exam – created by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the global non-profit council of business schools – sets the standard for its ability to predict success in the classroom.
Consider these additional advantages :
– The GMAT exam measures the skills you have and the skills schools need. Showcase the skills that matter most, to schools and businesses , with the GMAT exam’s unique Integrated Reasoning section.
– A proven measure of your success. Decades of research confirm that the GMAT exam is a valid and reliable predictor of your academic performance in today’s graduate management programs.
– The GMAT exam is relied on more by graduate business schools worldwide. The GMAT exam works for you and them and is accepted by more programs and schools than any other individual graduate management school exam.
– The GMAT exam is available when you’re ready to take it. Testing is available around the world in state-of-the-art facilities designed to provide an unparalleled test-taking experience so that you can perform your best.
Format and Timing
On test day, you have three and a half hours to complete the four sections of the GMAT exam – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal
Analytical Writing Assessment
The Analytical Writing section has one essay writing task: the Argument.
The Argument task presents a statement of a position. The candidate is required to analyze the logic of the given position and suggest how and where the reasoning may be faulty or require improvement. The student is given 30 minutes for this essay.
The scoring for the Analytical Writing section is on a scale of 0-6. The essay is scored by a human reader and then by a computer program (which the official GMAT website, mba.com, refers to as an automated essay-scoring engine). If the human and computer scores differ significantly, the score is sent to a second expert reader for final evaluation.
The Integrated Reasoning section has 12 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. The score is reported on a scale of 1-8
The questions involve interpretation of tabular, graphical and written information from a variety of sources. Each question is independent and may have more than one part, but one prompt may be used for more than one question. An on-screen calculator is available.
The Quantitative section has two types of multiple choice questions: data sufficiency and problem solving.
There are 37 questions to be solved in 75 minutes. The level of math knowledge should be within the grasp of an 11th Grade student. However, the level of reasoning required is quite high. No calculators are allowed.
The Verbal Reasoning section contains three types of question: critical reasoning; reading comprehension; sentence correction. All questions are multiple-choice.
There are 41 questions to be completed in 75 minutes.
♦ GMAT Scores ♦
The maximum scaled score for the test is 800: verbal and quantitative sections are each worth 800 points. The final score is an average of these two scores.
The student can get the results at the test center immediately after the GMAT-CAT. This is not an official score as the results of the writing section come later. The writing mark (on 6) is reported along with the score, but is not included in the score for the other sections. The Integrated Reasoning is reported on a scale of 1-8 (intervals of 1). As for the AWA, the score is separate from the quantitative and verbal score.
GMAT scores are valid for five years, although some business schools might insist on a recent score.
What is a good GMAT score?
– The average score for GMAT test takers over the last few years is somewhere in the high 500
– A good score would be over 600
– A very good score is one which crosses the 700 mark
As a rough guide, a score of 600 indicates a percentile ranking of about 70; a score of 700 approximates to the 90 percentile. (The percentile rank indicates the percentage of people taking the test who performed worse than you.) The average (mean and/or median) scores for students admitted to the 50 top ranking MBA programs is apparently 660.
Note that as well as an overall score and a percentile, the test report includes the scores and percentiles for both the verbal and quantitative sections of the test. Sometimes a student composite score looks very good, but shows a great disparity between the verbal and quant sections this is unlikely to go down well with the admissions committees.
One thing is certain: the scores of those admitted to B-schools have been rising in recent years. Some people with lower scores than the average for any given school are admitted because they have other assets that add to the diversity of the school. In effect, this means that for a person with nothing outstanding to offer in terms of academic prowess or work experience, the score he or she needs to stand out from the crowd of applicants at a top ten B-school has to be 720 or more.
♦ GMAT FAQ’s ♦
– What is the registration process for taking the test?
Signing up for the GMAT is the easiest part of your process. Here is a web URL:
Popular testing days fill up in advance, so if your schedule requires you to take the test on a certain day, be on top of it and sign up early. You need to pay the fee with a major credit card.
– Who conducts the Test and when is it held?
The test is conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and it is held all year round (except weekends and public holidays) at specific test centers across the globe. A passport is the mandatory primary form of identification required.
– How many times can one take the Test? What should be ideal number of attempts?
There is technically no limit but we do not recommend taking the test more than three times. Taking the test many times may look bad. Plan on taking the test twice and reporting both scores (unless of course you do very well the first time). The admissions committee will take the best score of all your tests but will take a look at the history of the tests as well.
– Can I cancel my score, or have it not be reported?
You can cancel your score, but you must do so before you see it. Once you see it, it must be reported; you do not have the option of withholding it. We do not recommend canceling a score unless you were tested under adverse circumstances, like illness. If you do poorly and still report your score, it is not the end of the world. An improvement between two test scores may be highly regarded by your school of choice. If you cancel, the cancellation is still reported to the schools.
– Are there any rules regarding how often I can take the GMAT in a certain number of days?
You can take the GMAT five times every year (12-month period). Within that year, you must wait 31 days between tests, regardless of score cancellations.
– What is the GMAT Fee?
The fee GMAC charges for the test is $250; tax applies in some of the countries.
– Can I cancel or reschedule a GMAT appointment?
Yes, and quite a few people do – there is a $50 rescheduling fee if you reschedule more than 7 days out. You will lose the $250 deposit if you decide to reschedule less than 7 days out. You can also apply for a refund as long as your appointment is more than 7 days out. However, you will get only $80 back. In general, if you got cold feet a few days before the test, and feel that you need to reschedule, it may be worth going and taking the test since you won’t get any money back. Of course there are several theories about having a low score on your report, but more about that later.
– How long are the GMAT Scores valid for?
GMAT Scores are valid for 5 years. Some applicants take the test right after the undergrad (while the memory of math is still very fresh) and then apply after several years of work experience.
– How are the scores calculated on the Test?
The GMAT score depends upon the following three factors:
- The number of questions answered
- Difficulty level of the question answered
- Number of questions completed
– What is the check-in procedure?
You will need to show the test administrator valid ID. Please prepare two to three valid IDs such as a passport, driver’s license, or a major credit card with your photo. That way in case one expires or somehow cannot be found at the test center, you are still good to go.
The administrator will also take your photograph, signature, and take your fingerprint digitally. You will be asked to agree to the GMAT Examination Testing Rules & Agreement. When you sign for the paperwork, please slow down and make your signature very legible and correspond to the full name on your ID. Otherwise you may be asked to re-sign your name multiple times which might affect your mood for the test later on. If you refuse to comply with any of these procedures, you may be asked to leave and forfeit your fee.
– How long does the GMAT take? Are we given breaks?
The test takes around 4 hours. You are given two 5-minute breaks at scheduled intervals. It is important to not take more than 5 minutes during these breaks because you will be docked the amount of time you go over.
– What happens after the test?
After the test you will answer some questions about yourself and your plans for graduate school, and whether you would like to take part in various surveys or receive further information. Your answer choices to these questions may reflect information that you previously provided, earlier in the registration process.
– How do I send my scores to schools?
There are a few options for sending your scores. After you take the test, you will have the option of selecting 5 programs to send your scores to at no extra charge. Be careful, because this action cannot be undone and also be sure to select the correct program.
Later, you will have the chance to choose more schools to send your scores to. You will need to order an “Additional Score Report” (ASR). You can pay by credit card or check. Each additional school costs $28 USD.