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Welcome to The GMAT Exam
What is the GMAT exam?
If you’ve never heard of the GMAT exam then you’ve come to the right place! The GMAT is the world’s most widely used test for graduate business degree admissions. Approximately 6,100 graduate business programmes around the world accept or require the GMAT exam as part of their admissions criteria, amongst them the vast majority of the Financial Times Top 100 ranked programmes (Global MBA Ranking 2015).
A test of your critical and analytical reasoning skills, the GMAT is continuously developed with leading business schools and universities and measures the essential skills necessary to thrive in the business world. Furthermore the GMAT exam is proven to be a reliable predictor of your ability to do well on graduate business programmes. You can have a look at real GMAT Questions in our Mini Quiz.
The exam was taken by approximately 250,000 students in 2014 and is accepted by programmes in 110 countries. The test can be taken in around 600 official test centres in major cities worldwide at almost any time of the year at a cost of $250.
Why you should consider taking
the GMAT exam
Access to quality programmes
Many business schools and universities including the most prestigious institutions accept or require the GMAT exam as part of their admission criteria. As the GMAT exam is a globally recognised standardised test, your GMAT score allows you to compete fairly against other candidates with widely varying academic and professional backgrounds.
The GMAT exam is designed to assess your ability to excel on your chosen programme and go on to carve out a thriving business career. Applying to a programme with a strong GMAT score can give you confidence to study alongside other equally talented students who will be part of your professional network for the rest of your career.Stand out from the crowd
A great GMAT score can get you noticed by the top business schools and universities, especially if you opt-into GMASS – the Graduate Management Search Service® (more about GMASS® below). A good GMAT score can also compensate for other parts of your application that are not so strong.
Furthermore a good GMAT score is often part of the qualification criteria for scholarships and bursaries and is even valued by recruiters (particularly strategy consulting and investment banking).Links:
The structure of the exam
The GMAT exam is conducted entirely in English and is administered on a computer at a GMAT approved test centre. The exam is computer adaptive and consists of four compulsory, separately timed sections with two optional timed breaks:
- Analytical Writing Assessment one 30-minutes essay
- Integrated Reasoning 12 questions over 30-minutes
- Quantitative Reasoning 37 multiple-choice questions over 75-minutes
- Verbal Reasoning 41 multiple-choice questions over 75-minutes
You can find more detailed information about the format and timing of the exam on our website.The GMAT score
There is no pass or fail. The total GMAT score is based on the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections and ranges from 200 to 800. Additionally you get a score for the Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrated Reasoning section.
Most programmes do not have explicitly stated minimum score requirements but publish a range of scores achieved by their most recent class as a benchmark. Do not rule out a programme because of your score! Your GMAT score is one part of your application and you might have strengths in other areas. Contact the admissions team of the programme you’re interested in attending and seek guidance before you consider retaking the exam.Links:
How to prepare
Prepare to succeed
The GMAT exam is not rocket science! But you need to prepare and familiarise yourself with the types of questions on the exam beforehand. You may decide to study on your own or with a study group, and perhaps with the help of an independent GMAT preparation course or coach.
The time needed to prepare varies from person to person but according to our research, GMAT test takers who achieve scores of between 600 and 700 report have studied an average of 90 to 100 hours. It’s important to develop a study plan and it is recommended to study consistently in the months/weeks leading up to your exam.Preparation resources
A great way to start your preparation is by downloading the free GMATPrep software, which allows you to simulate the actual GMAT test experience. The software features 90 free original questions and two full-length practice exams with results and performance reports. Further study materials by the makers of the test can be purchased online and to get a quick preview of real GMAT exam questions you can also take the GMAT Mini Quiz.
Other resources on mba.com
Going for a master’s degree and choosing the right programme and university or business school requires a lot of research and can be overwhelming. To support your decision process and to give you an overview of things to consider, you can find various resources to plan for business school.
The Official GMAT Blog covers trending topics around postgraduate education, informs about important changes to the GMAT exam and our video blog features real students reporting about their experiences at business school or how they prepared for the GMAT exam.GMASS Search Service
Another way of finding a programme is letting schools come to you. More than 500 global programmes are looking for candidates through the Graduate Management Search Service® (GMASS®). Whether it is to diversify their classrooms with students from different backgrounds (culture, gender, undergraduate field of study) or simply to find high quality candidates, the schools can address you individually if they think your profile would make a great addition to their classroom. Even before you’ve taken your GMAT exam, you can create an account, complete your profile and your information shows up in the GMASS database!Links:
TweetTweets by @OfficialGMATSee what GMAT are up to on Twitter
Does everyone get the same questions?
No. The GMAT exam is computer adaptive, which means that the difficulty of the test continuously adjusts to the test taker. In general, correct answers lead to harder questions while incorrect answers will probably lead to an easier question.
What if I don’t finish the test?
You are penalised if you do not finish, so practice in advance to ensure you manage your time throughout the exam. You are not allowed to skip any questions.
Do I need to have a business background to take the test?
No. The GMAT exam is a gauge of your academic potential for business study and does not assume any business knowledge. Students with many different backgrounds take the GMAT exam.
Is there a passing score to get into business school?
No. GMAT scores are used in admissions decisions along with undergraduate records, application essays and other information. Schools use the GMAT in different ways and accept students with a wide range of GMAT scores. We recommend that you speak to the admissions staff in your target schools to find out what GMAT score you need to be admitted.
How far in advance do I need to register to take the test?
Most people register between 30 and 60 days in advance. Around weekends and close to large programme deadlines appointments tend to fill up early. Make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare and re-test if necessary. You can only test once within a 16-day period.
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