GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)
The GMAT is a standardised test that measures the ability of candidates to undertake graduate study in business schools. It’s most commonly associated with entry to Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and Masters in Management (MIM).
GMAT tests are delivered in English and involve a combination of numerical, reasoning and writing aptitude tasks. Not all business schools will ask for a GMAT score, although it’s a common part of the application process in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and India.
If you’re thinking about studying a Business-related Masters, it’s always worth checking whether you need to take the GMAT exam. Preparing can take time and you’ll also need to register for a place in a GMAT assessment centre, so make sure you factor this into your plans.
The GMAT is a standardised test that determines the ability of candidates to undertake graduate study in business schools, usually before entry to MBAs and Masters in Management.
How does the GMAT work?
The GMAT is a computer-based test that consists of four sections, taking just over three hours to complete:
- Analytical Writing Assessment (30 minutes / 1 question) – You will write a short essay to analyse and evaluate the rationale behind an example argument.
- Integrated Reasoning (30 minutes / 12 questions) – This section tests your capacity to solve problems using data from multiple sources. The questions come in four different formats: graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning, table analysis and two-part analysis.
- Quantitative Reasoning (62 minutes / 31 questions) – As the most mathematical part of the GMAT, this section requires good general knowledge of arithmetic, algebra and geometry. There are two kinds of question: problem solving and data sufficiency (the latter is a combination of numerical and verbal reasoning).
- Verbal Reasoning (65 minutes / 32 questions) – This section is designed to test your reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction skills.
The GMAT’s Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections are both computer-adaptive. This means that the exam will adapt itself to your ability level, with your answers determining the difficulty of the next question.
So, the first question will be of medium difficulty. If you answer it correctly the next question will be harder, while if you answer it incorrectly the question will be easier. This adaptive process continues until you’ve finished answering all the tasks. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to return to or edit any exercises once you’ve answered them.
Your GMAT score is determined by the number of questions you’ve completed, the number of correct and incorrect answers, and the difficulty level of each question.
What GMAT score do I need?
SAT is known as Scholastic Aptitude Test. SAT is offered seven times per year as a part of the schedule of the College Board.
A GMAT score is just one of several factors at play in an MBA application: your score will be taken into account alongside your essays, interview, qualifications and professional experience. An excellent GMAT score doesn’t guarantee that you’ll accepted onto a competitive MBA programme, while a slightly subpar result doesn’t necessarily doom your application.
The maximum GMAT score is 800, but two-thirds of GMAT candidates achieve between 400 and 600 (the mean score is 561.27). In terms of MBA admissions at the very top business schools, the average GMAT score is between 712 and 730). Universities will usually provide the average GMAT score of their current crop of students, which will give you a good impression of the standard you’ll need to achieve.
GMAT scores are valid for five years (and available to report on for 10 years).
How much does the GMAT cost?
The GMAT has a fee of USD $250, although institutions can apply for fee waivers to help out financially disadvantaged students.