The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is created by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and is designed to measure your ability to handle graduate-level study in business. Rather than testing on business knowledge, the test is designed to assess the student's ability to perform academically in areas like problem solving, analytical writing, and reasoning.
The GMAT is offered on a rolling basis throughout the year. The exam is offered in various locations around the world based on availability and is usually administered by computer.
The GMAT test is 3 hours and 30 minutes long.
Registration for the GMAT costs $250. Low-income students can request a fee waiver.
The GMAT is offered at testing centers around the world.
To register for a GMAT you will need a GMAC Account. Students can register for a GRE General Test either online or by mail.
What Is On the GMAT
The GMAT measures skills in four categories, including Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing. For the Analytical Writing and Integrated Reasoning sections, you'll have 30 minutes each. For the Quantitative and Verbal sections, you'll have 75 minutes each.
In Analytical Writing, you'll be assigned a single topic in which to showcase your skills in Analysis of Argument. Integrated Reasoning consists of 12 questions that will have you performing such tasks as interpreting tables and graphs. There are 37 questions required in the Quantitative section that focus on problem solving and data sufficiency. Lastly, the Verbal section offers 41 questions that measure reading comprehension, reasoning and sentence structure.
How The GMAT Is Scored
Surprisingly, on the GMAT you're scored only on the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the test. The GMAT is scored on a 200-800 point scale and most participants score between 400 and 600.
Leaving questions unanswered will hurt you when taking the GMAT, so it's in your best interest to work as quickly as possible to finish each section and to make sure to answer all questions. There are no additional penalties for guessing. Unofficial scores are available immediately after taking the test for every area except the Writing Analysis essay which has to be examined independently. This section of the test doesn't count toward your total score, however, so you should have a good idea of how well you did immediately upon completion.
Retaking the GMAT
If you're unhappy with your score the first time around, you have the option of retaking the GMAT once every 16 calendar days but you cannot take the GMAT more than five times in a year. You should consider, however, that the admissions office of the school to which you're applying will be able to see how many times you tried and your score each time.