gmat exam

GMAT Exam : All About GMAT - What is GMAT Exam

Updated on 04 October, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is one of the most well-known examinations for admissions into MBA programs. As per the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020 data (Application Trends Survey 2020), 9 out of 10 applicants to the top100-ranked MBA courses applied with scores obtained in admissions tests. 7 out of 10 such applicants appeared for GMAT, according to the report. 2,00,000 candidates appear for the examination annually worldwide, and 7,000 master's and MBA courses use identical scores for admissions in more than 2,300 business schools worldwide. More than 110 countries accept GMAT score reports, and there are 600 + testing centers globally for the same.

GMAT Exam Brief

GMAT exam is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It is a computer-adaptive examination that assesses four individually timed sections, namely Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning, for admission to postgraduate management courses like MBA and Masters in FinanceThe GMAT exam’s full form is Graduate Management Aptitude Test, and it is a 3.5-hour test, inclusive of breaks and test guidelines. Candidates can flexibly customize the GMAT test and select their preferred section order. Aadhar cards are also being accepted as valid proof of identity from 8th April 2021.

GMAT Exam Importance

The GMAT exam in India and other countries will impact an applicant's entire educational and professional journey. Most leading business schools and universities use GMAT scores for making admission-related decisions. The examination is the most preferred and widely used indicator of academic prowess in professional degree courses. Reports indicate that 90% of admission decisions are usually taken based on the GMAT scores of the students.

The examination helps track the aspirant’s skills about what leading business schools desire. Testing is readily available throughout the world, and even recruiters often include this as a parameter for hiring purposes. Companies look at communication skills, quantitative/technical abilities, and proven performance abilities while hiring candidates. The score itself testifies to the last two attributes.

GMAT Examinations Types

There are online and test center modes of the examination. There are four sections within the GMAT exam itself. GMAT online exam is a computer-adaptive test that can be given as per the comfort and need of the candidate. A candidate can either attempt it at the comfort of his/her home or select a test center or can choose a combination of both. The online exam is available for all the locations worldwide except few countries due to local data privacy rules.

GMAT Exam Eligibility

GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) is the body that conducts the examination, and it doesn't have any set eligibility criteria for the same. Yet, there should be complete adherence to the eligibility guidelines of the college/university where the applicant wishes to get admission post the examination. Here are some essential criteria required to attempt the GMAT test. 

  • Candidates should be at least 18 years of age.
  • People from all nationalities can attempt the GMAT exam
  • Upper age limit is not there for any aspirant.
  • Those between 13 - 17 years of age should get written permission from legal guardians or parents.
  • GMAC has not officially given any statement regarding the qualifications of the candidates.
  • Those who want to enroll in MBA courses should have graduate degrees from any recognized institution.
  • The GMAT exam is conducted in English; hence, a basic command and fluency in the language are essential. 
  • There is no requirement for work experience. The candidate can be a student or a working professional.

GMAT Examination Registration Process

GMAC has stipulated registration for the examination at six months before the test date or at the most by 24 hours before the examination date. Yet, this should note that slots will be unavailable if the candidates book at the eleventh hour. Ideally, they should book slots in advance prior to the planned examination date. Registration methods include postal mail, online, and by phone.

Candidates can take GMAT anytime at their convenience. However, they can only reschedule the next test attempt post 16 days after taking the first one. A maximum of five attempts are allowed in a single year and eight in a lifetime. Here are the registration steps that you need to know:

·  Go to the official GMAT site.

·  Create an account.

·  Provide personal information, including name, address, and more.

·  Provide your work and academic information.

·  Verify your details before submitting.

·  Schedule the examination date. Select a convenient or nearest testing center.

·  Then choose the date and time slot accordingly.

·  Pay the registration fee online via credit or debit cards.

·  Your registration will be completed after making the payment.

The peak season for the GMAT exam starts in November each year. Try and book your chosen slot around 3-4 months before your preferred date and exam center. You can pay via cheque and schedule the examination through postal mail. You can also register by phone or by calling the customer service number for your region. US$10 is the payable surcharge for this facility.

GMAT Exam Fee

The examination fee is $275 (application), which equals INR 20,600 approximately. Extra charges are applicable if the candidate wishes to change the preferred center or reschedule the examination. Those not appearing for the examination will have to bear the total fee. 

Important GMAT Exam Dates

As per reports, there are no official or specified GMAT exam dates for 2022. Candidates may opt for any date based on their preference and overall availability. Retaking the examination is possible after 16 days, as mentioned earlier. The test may be taken a maximum of five times annually as well, but not more than eight times in a lifetime. Candidates should register 2-3 months prior to the actual examination date. Registration via phone or online may help you register 24 hours prior to the date of the examination. However, advance registration is always a safer choice.

GMAT Test Centers

GMAT exam is conducted worldwide at different centers. It is available in more than 110 countries at over 600 centers. As the candidates can take the GMAT exam any time throughout the year, he/she can choose the center closest to their home or per their convenience. The number of aspirants taking the GMAT exam is increasing every year; hence, it is suggested to book the slot in the desired test centers 2-3 months in advance.  

The following steps are taken when checking in the center during the exam:

  • The candidates are required to give proper identification proof.
  • The candidates then need to undergo a palm vein scan, wherever permissible by law.
  • The next step is to provide the digital signature giving the consent for the terms and conditions to take the GMAT test.
  • Then a digital photograph is clicked.
  • The candidate can then begin the GMAT Exam.

An important point to consider before going for a GMAT exam 2022 is to follow COVID protocols. The exam centers are practicing social distancing and offering hand sanitizers to candidates. The aspirants are also expected to adhere to the norms and wear masks while attempting the exam at GMAT test centers

Accommodations for Aspirants With Disabilities

The aspirants are required to submit the necessary documents for disabilities and those who qualify to avail of the special accommodations will be provided with the following:

  • Extra testing time: however, all sections are timed
  • Extra or extended rest breaks
  • A trackball mouse
  • A medical device if essential is permissible
  • A reader to read the questions to the candidate and can record the same for him/her is also allowed at the center.
  • A recorder is also provided to record the responses of the aspirant
  • Enlarged fonts on the monitor of the PC is made available
  • A sign language interpreter, if required

GMAT Examination Sections

The GMAT exam is divided into four sections to check the knowledge and skills of the candidates on different parameters. The GMAT details for sections are as follows:

·  Analytical Writing Assessment-: This section will measure the ability of candidates about communicating their own ideas and thinking critically on problems. 

·  Integrated Reasoning-: This section tracks the abilities of candidates regarding data analysis and evaluation of all information that is given through various formats.

·  Quantitative Reasoning-: This tracks the ability of candidates in analyzing data and coming to logical and valid conclusions with the help of their skills of reasoning.

·  Verbal Reasoning-: This section measures candidates’ abilities in reading and absorbing written information and for argument evaluation. It also tracks their capabilities to read and correct written information for adhering to certain written English standards.

The four sections are all timed separately. The aspirant can take two 8-minute breaks (optional) while attempting the GMAT online examination.

This table gives a better idea and GMAT details of the examination:

Section of ExaminationQuestion Count and TimingType of QuestionsRange of Scores
Analytical Writing Assessment1 question and 30 minutesAnalyzing any passage/argument0-6 (via 0.5 point increments)
Integrated Reasoning12 questions and 30 minutesInterpreting Graphics, Reasoning from multiple sources, Analyzing Tables, Two-part analytical questions1-8 (increments in 1 point each)
Quantitative Reasoning31 questions and 62 minutesSolving Problems and Data Sufficiency6-51 (increments in 1 point each)
Verbal Reasoning36 questions and 65 minutesCritical Reasoning, Comprehension and Reading and Correcting Sentences6-51 (increments in 1 point each)


 

GMAT Exam Syllabus And Pattern:

The GMAT examination pattern is as follows:

·  Analytical Writing

·  Integrated Reasoning

·  Quantitative Reasoning

·  Verbal Reasoning

Aspirants may choose to take two breaks of 8 minutes (optional) throughout their examination. Here’s taking a closer look at the GMAT exam syllabus.

Syllabus of GMAT Exam

GMAT is a 3.5-hour test, and an aspirant can score a maximum of 800 points. It evaluates the candidate's abilities on various parameters. Here are the section-wise syllabus details:

1.  Analytical Writing Assessment

a.   Argument Essay- These deal with the analysis of any argument/reasoning and then the presentation of the candidate’s own argument in this regard.

b.  Issue Essay- Aspirants will have to write essays on issues given to them and the word count is roughly 600. They may provide their own opinions in support of/against the issue provided.

2.  Integrated Reasoning

a.   Table Analysis- This measures the ability of aspirants to analyze and sort tables containing specific data.

b.  Two-Part Analysis- This tracks candidates’ abilities with regard to complex problem-solving. They may be quantitative, verbal or both.

c.   Multi-Source Reasoning- Candidates will be measured on the basis of their ability to analyze data from various tables/sources, text passages, and graphics.

d.  Graphics Interpretation- Candidates will be assessed on information interpretation in graphical images like pie charts or curves and graphs.

3.  Quantitative Reasoning

a.   Data Sufficiency: Candidates have to analyze problems of quantitative nature, identify vital data and determine necessary data for problem solving. Topics contained here include Elementary Algebra, Geometry, Ratio Proportions, Arithmetic, Exponents and Roots, Integers and their Properties, Linear Equations, and Permutation and Combinations.

b.  Problem Solving: Candidates have to deploy analytical reasoning techniques and logic for problem-solving.

4.  Verbal Reasoning

a.   Critical Reasoning: This section tracks abilities to evaluate and create arguments while formulating strategies or action plans.

b.  Reading Comprehension: Candidates have to demonstrate the ability to create inferences, absorb logical connections between vital points, understand statements and words and follow quantitative concepts and how they are developed. Reading skills include application, inference, main idea, logical structure, style, and support for an idea.

c.   Sentence Correction: This section will deal with correcting grammar and sentence structure. Aspects like subject-verb agreement, rhetorical sentence construction, unseen passages, finding errors, countable and uncountable, misplaced modifiers, and parallelism will be important in this section.

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Calculation of GMAT Scores

There is a fixed scale for reporting of GMAT scores in the four sections of the GMAT exam and the total score, i.e., five sections in all. These official scores will be available in the report. The complete score report will include Quantitative and Verbal scores only.

SectionScore Band
Quantitative0-60 (with percentile) 
Verbal0-60 (with percentile)
AWA0-6 (half integers and with percentile)
Integrated Reasoning1-8 (integer)
Total200-800 (with percentile)

 

GMAT Score Range

Here are the minimum and maximum scores/score range for every section along with the mean average:

Examination PortionRange of Scores (Minimum-Maximum)Mean Score Threshold
AWA

0-6

4.5

Verbal

0-60

27

Integrated Reasoning

1-8

4

Quantitative

0-60

38

Total Score

200-800

548

 

Getting GMAT Examination Results

It is not difficult to obtain GMAT exam results. Aspirants will receive their respective links from the GMAC on their registered email addresses. They should adhere to the instructions given in this email and check the official scores.

Preparation Tips For GMAT

Here are some crucial tips that the aspirants should keep in mind:

Getting hold of suitable GMAT resources and study materials is important, along with books.

Building a strategy at the beginning of the GMAT is important. There are several aspects worth remembering, including LORs (letters of recommendation), essays, sending resumes, and a lot more.

Taking practice tests and working on one’s weaknesses is advisable. The candidate should keep assessing their results and build customized plans for studying.

A candidate should enhance the powers of visual understanding, i.e., quickly deciphering charts, symbols, and graphs or tables. GMAT commonly has these types of questions, and a candidate should practice swift interpretation before taking the examination.

Doing calculations mentally while taking practice tests can help improve speed. Reaching on the calculator instantly may not work. It will not be available in the Quantitative portion, and practicing mental mathematics is very important.

Things to Know About GMAT

Here are a few additional GMAT details that the candidates should know: 

  • GMAT score validity is the same as GRE. Wondering how long the GRE score is valid? Both exam scores remain valid for five years in total. Aspirants should carefully analyze the deadlines of several universities for applications and schedule their examinations likewise.
  • The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative exam portions are computer-adaptive tests, i.e., the test difficulty will be customized based on the aspirant’s prowess. The first question will have a medium difficulty level. With candidates answering one question after another, the machine will score the same and use responses to choose the next difficulty level. Answering the first question right means a more challenging question may come next. The procedure continues throughout the entire section.
  • You cannot return to any question or skip any question or even change your answers later.
  • Time is limited in the examination. Practice answering all the sections without getting stuck anywhere.
  • Penalties are there for not completing a section of the examination. Your score may come down with every question that is not answered. Pace yourself suitably, and do not get stuck on any question. A maximum of 2 ½ minutes is recommended for every question. If you simply do not know the answer, taking a calculated guess may be a good move.  

These tips will help you prepare better for the GMAT exam.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is GMAT Exam?

It is a computer-adaptive examination that assesses four individually timed sections, namely Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning for admission to postgraduate management courses like MBAs and Masters in Finance.

Q. How many times GMAT exam is conducted in a year?

There is no timeline or fixed dates to appear for a GMAT exam. A candidate can take the GMAT exam five times in a year but with a gap of 16 days. However, the total number of attempts that a candidate can make is eight times.

Q. What is GMAT exam used for?

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a common entrance exam that is conducted to take admissions for MBA and masters in management related areas. The GMAT score is accepted worldwide for admissions in some postgraduate programs.

Q. What is the full form of GMAT exam?

GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admissions Test. It is a common entrance examination that is conducted to test the ability of the candidates based on writing, reasoning, quantitative aptitude, and verbal skills.

Q. Why GMAT exam is required?

GMAT exam is required to take admission in MBA programs and other master's programs; specifically, Masters in Finance. The GMAT exam is accepted by various colleges and universities worldwide. Over 110 universities across the world accept the GMAT score for admissions in MBA and master's programs.

Q. Who conducts the GMAT exam?

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducts the GMAT exam. The body was first administered in 1954 and is headquartered in the United States of America with offices in India, China, and United Kingdom.

Q. What is the duration of the GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam is divided into four sections. The duration of the exam is 3 hours and 7 minutes excluding two 8-minute breaks. The duration of each section are as follows:

Analytical Writing – 30 minutes

Integrated Reasoning – 30 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning – 62 minutes

Verbal Reasoning – 65 minutes

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