The Graduate Management Admission Test is a Standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools of business assess the potential of applicants for advanced study in business and management. Nearly 900 management institutes all over the world (almost all of them in the US) require GMAT scores from each applicant. The GMAT tests the fundamental skills - Reasoning and Comprehension included - and does not require any subject-specific theoretical study.
The test is designed in such a way that it would be unlike any other test you would have taken at school or college. First, the test has no question paper or answer sheets, nor does it have the same set of questions for all the examinees. Further, it does not give you the option of not answering a question (unless, of course, you run out of time at the end). All this because the GMAT is now an entirely Computer based test - the keyboard and mouse do the work of a pen or pencil. The test is scored out of 800 (in multiples of 10), and most scores fall in the range of 500-600. However, a score of even 800 is not unheard of!
The GMAT test is only one of several parameters which the graduate schools look at to determine the selection of an applicant. A high score alone does not translate into an admission offer from a great school. But the test can be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process of getting admission into a B-school of your choice.
Who administers GMAT ?
The GMAT test is developed and administered by the US-based Pearson VUE under the direction of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non-profit organization of graduate business schools worldwide. This implies that Pearson VUE conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report. For the conduct of the test, Pearson VUE has appointed testing centers in various countries.
When is GMAT Held ?
All-round-the-year. Unlike other exams, you can choose your own date and time for taking the GMAT! The test is administered in the above cities five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for GMAT, so in case you intend to take the test during this period, you need to register very early (say 90 days in advance) to get a date of your choice. Otherwise, registering at least 15 days in advance is mandatory. The GMAT test lasts roughly four hours, and most centres offer two slots : 9 A.M. and 2 P.M.
Eligiblity and Fees
Anyone and everyone is eligible for taking the GMAT - there are no restrictions based on age or qualifications. The test scores are valid for five years, i.e., most universities accept scores up to five years old. But it is always better if your scores are recent (not older than 2 years).
The fee to take the Graduate Management Admission Test(R) (GMAT) is US$250 worldwide. You will incur taxes when you schedule an exam in certain countries.
What is a Computer-Adaptive GMAT Test?
In a computer-adaptive test, the computer screen displays one question at a time, which is chosen from a very large pool of questions categorized by content and difficulty. The first question is always of a medium difficulty, and each subsequent question is determined by your responses to all the previous questions. In other words, the CAT adjusts itself to your ability level - you'll get few questions that are either too easy or too difficult for you.
Each question in the GMAT CAT has five answer options, and you are required to select one of these five as the correct answer by clicking on it. A subsequent question is displayed on the screen only after you have answered the previous question, so you cannot skip a question. You cannot also go back to a previously answered question to change your answer. Thus, if you guess a correct answer or answer a question incorrectly by mistake, your answers to subsequent questions will lead you back to questions that are at the appropriate level of difficulty for you.
The scoring pattern in GMAT
The GMAT test results comprise four different scores : a total score (which is the combined verbal and quantitative scores), a separate Verbal score, a separate Quantitative score, and an Analytical Writing score. The total score is reported on a scale from 200 to 800. The Verbal and Quantitative Scores are reported on a scale of 0 to 60. For the AWA score, the scale is from 0 to 6. Note that your AWA performance is not reflected in your total GMAT score (on 800). You get to know your total, verbal, and quantitative score immediately after taking the test. Official GMAT score reports, which include the AWA scores, are mailed approximately two weeks after you take the test and take another ten days or so to reach your address.
In addition to these scores, the score report also contains percents (%) below. These "% below" indicate the percentage of examinees who scored below you based on the scores of the entire GMAT testing population for the most recent three-year period. These percentages are important in considering how an applicant for admission to a particular management school compares with everyone in the specified period, with all other applicants to the same school, and with students already enrolled at the school.
Retaking the GMAT
Even though an "I could have done better" feeling is inevitable after any test, taking the GMAT again may not be helpful. Sometimes it is necessary to take the GMAT test more than once, like when a management school asks you for more recent scores than what you have. However, unless your scores seem unusually low compared to your performance in the practice tests, or if you have not been able to perform well because of a sudden illness or similar exceptional circumstances, it's advisable not to succumb to the temptation of repeating the test. This is because, given the nature of the test, it is unlikely that your scores can substantially improve.
If you repeat the test, your scores from the latest test date and the two most recent test administrations in the last five years will be reported to the institutions you designate as recipients. In any case, you cannot take the test more than once in the same calendar month, even if you have taken the test and cancelled your scores.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a Standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools of business assess the potential of applicants for advanced study in business and management.
Nearly 900 management institutes all over the world (almost all of them in the US) require GMAT scores from each applicant for admission to the MBA program.
The GMAT tests the fundamental skills - Reasoning and Comprehension included - and does not require any subject-specific theoretical study.
For more information on GMAT, registration process, preparation resources, GMAT fee and other details, click on the links on the left or below: