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What is GMAT Full form, Registration, Eligibility, Syllabus, Format, Sections, Cost, Prep tips, and Books

The full form of GMAT is Graduate Management Admission Test and it is a 3 hour 7 minutes long computer adaptive test. The GMAT is intended to assess certain analytical, quantitative, verbal, and writing skills. The test takers are judged on these skills and are given a GMAT score between 200 and 800 in 10-point increments. This score is used by business schools admissions committees when the candidates apply to their MBA program. Here are the average GMAT scores of top MBA programs.

In this article, we look at the full form of GMAT, GMAT syllabus, cost, registration, duration, score range and percentiles, eligibility, how can you score high on the GMAT, and much more.

You can also watch this video where we answer some important questions related to the GMAT:

Here are the questions that the article answers:

What is GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admissions Test is a standardized test which you’ll have to take to apply to a business school. It is a Computer Adaptive Test and has multiple-choice questions.

what is GMAT

 

The GMAT is administered and developed by GMAC to provide business schools with standard measures of applicants’ preparedness for graduate-level academic work. Along with your GMAT score, the business school admissions committees look at your academic records, work experience, extra-curricular activities, and other factors to access your readiness for the rigorous MBA program.

However, your test score holds 16% weightage (highest) in your MBA application process. Thus, scoring a 740+ on the test will definitely boost your chances of getting into a top business school.

Learn more about other components of your MBA Application and their weightage.

How does the Computer Adaptive GMAT Test work?

As mentioned above, GMAT is a computer adaptive test. This means that the testing software adapts to your performance as you progress through the test. Thus, your performance on each question will determine the difficulty level of the next few questions in the exam.

Only the Verbal and Quantitative sections are computer-adaptive. IR and AWA are not adaptive in nature.

Therefore, the score is calculated on your ability level, i.e., based on the difficulty level of questions that you solve correctly and not just the number of questions that you get right.

Learn in detail about how does the test work as a computer adaptive test and how you can leverage it.

What are the different GMAT sections?

The test consists of four sections – Analytical writing assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal.

types of sections

Take a look at the below table to get an idea about number and types of questions, and the duration of each section.

Sections, Question Type, and Duration
Types of GMAT Sections No. of Questions Question Types Duration
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) 1 essay Argument analysis and communication in the form of a critique 30 minutes
Integrated Reasoning (IR) 12 multiple choice Two-Part Analysis, Multi-source reasoning, Graphic interpretation, Table analysis 30 minutes
Quantitative 31 multiple choice Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving 62 minutes

 

 

 

Verbal 36 multiple choice Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction 65 minutes

 

 

 

 

Are you planning to take the GMAT? We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Sign up for our FREE Trial today. We are the most reviewed Preparation company on gmatclub with more than 1940 reviews.

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Section

This section of the test helps the business schools analyze your writing skills. It consists of 1 essay type question and is scored by a computer grading system and human graders. The duration to complete the AWA section is 30 minutes.

This section measures your ability to analyze an argument and communicate your ideas or thoughts.

When scoring this section, you need to make sure that you clearly identify and examine parts of the case, develop and organize your ideas logically and thoughtfully, and connect your statements with clear transitions.

Once you submit your essay, it scores you on four categories – Analysis of the issue, support ideas, language control, and organizes coherent thoughts. Here are some tips for writing the AWA section.

Are you facing difficulty in scoring for the AWA section? Here are 50 AWA practice questions

Integrated Reasoning (IR) Section

This section of the test consists of data presented in graphs, tables, passages, or a combination of the three. There are four types of questions presented under this section – Multi-source reasoning, two-part analysis, graphic interpretation, and table analysis.

Check out the IR section topics in detail here.

This section measures your ability to assess information presented in multiple formats. You need to answer 12 multiple-choice questions within 30 minutes.

The IR section tests both verbal and quantitative skills. Thus you must prepare well for the verbal and quant sections of the GMAT first.

Here 10 Tips to score high on GMAT IR.

Quantitative Section

The Quant section is designed to test your analytical knowledge of basic math concepts, including geometry, arithmetic, and geometry.  Check out the quant topics that you can expect.

The Quant section includes 31 multiple choice questions that need to be completed in 62 minutes. It has two types of questions – Data sufficiency and Problem-solving.

Here are some tips on scoring Q50+ in this section.

Verbal Section

The Verbal section tests your command of standard written English, your ability to read critically and analyze arguments. It consists of 36 multiple choice questions that need to be completed within 65 minutes.

GMAT verbal includes three question types – Critical reasoning, reading comprehension, and sentence correction. Check out the Verbal topics in detail here.

Are you struggling in scoring high for GMAT verbal? Here are tips on scoring V40+

What is the order of the sections?

Since July 11, 2017, GMAT takers have the option to select the order of the test from 3 possibilities, given as below. The break is of 8 minutes duration and optional. If you feel you don’t need a break, you can continue with your exam.

order of the test

 

  • Order 1: AWA – IR – Break – Quant – Break – Verbal
  • Order 2: Verbal – Break – Quantitative – Break – IR – AWA
  • Order 3: Quant – Break – Verbal – Break – IR – AWA

How is the GMAT scored?

The GMAT score range varies from 200 to 800, in 10-point increments(for example – 700, 710, 720, and so on). The test assesses certain analytical, writing, quantitative, and verbal skills for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. About 70% of the test takers score between 400 and 600.

Keep in mind that the IR and AWA sections do not get factored into your total score.

GMAT score

Score Range

 

Total Scaled Score 200 – 800 (In 10-point increments)

 

 

 

Verbal Scaled Score 6 – 51
Quantitative Scaled Score 6 – 51
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) 0 – 6 (In 0.5-point increments)

 

 

 

Integrated Reasoning 1 – 8 (In 1-point increment)

 

Read this article to understand the GMAT score and percentile in detail.

What are the eligibility criteria for GMAT 2020?

Here is the list of 8 factors that make you eligible to take the GMAT:

  1. Age
  2. Nationality
  3. Academic Scores
  4. Undergraduate Program
  5. Prior Work Experience
  6. Medium of instruction
  7. Number of attempts
  8. Qualifications

Read here to know the eligibility criteria 2020 in detail.  

What is the At-home GMAT Online Exam?

what is GMAT online exam?

GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council) has launched an online alternative to the Exam called the ‘GMAT Online Exam,’ which will allow you to take the test at home.

The decision to launch this alternative came into the picture because of the GMAT test centers closure due to coronavirus outbreak.  

Check out this article to know in detail about the GMAT Online Exam structure, eligibility, and registration fee.

Are you planning to give the at-home GMAT Online Exam? Here are a few tips for setting up your room for the Exam.

If you are waiting for the Test Center to re-open, here is a list of GMAT Testing centers resuming in India.

Also, check out the Test centers resuming around the world.

What is GMAT Online Whiteboard?

Online Whiteboard is a feature available to candidates while taking the ‘GMAT Online Exam.’ It gives you the option to work through items visually by drawing shapes or entering notes.

We have built the whiteboard experience that (we think) is similar to that on the GMAT Online Exam.  Register for our FREE Trial and get access to 300 questions and 1 Mock test to hone your Whiteboard skills.

You can also use a real whiteboard on the GMAT Online Exam.

How to prepare for the Exam at Home?

Here are three tips for successful GMAT Preparation from home:

  • Find a designated study zone
  • Make sure you do not get distracted
  • Take breaks during preparation

Check out this article to know how to start your preparation at home and how much time you need to reach your targeted score.

Which are the best GMAT Books for Preparation?

Here is the list of best GMAT Books:

  1. GMAT Official Guide 2021
  2. Kaplan GMAT Complete 2020
  3. PowerScore verbal trilogy Bible
  4. Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guide Set
  5. Veritas Prep Complete GMAT Course

Compare the Best GMAT Prep Books here.

What is the difference between GMAT OG 2021 and OG 2020?

Here are the key differences between GMAT OG 2021 and OG 2020:

  • Official Guide 2021 has 265 more questions than OG 2020
  • Introduction of Flashcards for OG 2021
  • OG 2021 is available only in e-book for now

Read the complete review of the Official Guide 2021.

Which are the best Online GMAT Preparation courses?

Here is a list of Top GMAT Online preparation course:

  1. e-GMAT
  2. Manhattan Prep
  3. Economist GMAT Tutor
  4. Magoosh
  5. Veritas Prep

Compare the best online GMAT Preparation courses here.

Which is better – GMAT Books or GMAT Online Preparation courses?

GMAT Books vs online preparation courses

Here are five reasons why GMAT Online courses are better than Books:

  1. Easier to focus
  2. Less Time to Consume
  3. Online content is more up to date
  4. GMAT is an Online Test
  5. GMAT is a computer adaptive test

Learn in detail about the points mentioned above.

How Long is the test?

The total time to take the test is under 3.5 hours, including two optional eight-minutes breaks during the exam.

How much does it cost?

The registration fee for the test is at least $250. However, in a few countries, the registration fee is more than $250. But, the cost will be more than just the registration fee of $250. There are many other costs that are associated.

Read this article to know how much does the GMAT cost?

How to take the test for Free?

GMAC offers you to take the test at a reduced price or waiver off the registration fee. Anyone can apply for a GMAT fee waiver, however, the applicants cannot directly apply. Your business school should request it.

GMAC allows business schools to decide their criteria to define the financial need of their students.

Thus, if you wish to avail fee waiver, you will have to prove your financial shortcoming to your school.

Check out this article to know where you can apply for the Fee Waiver.

What is the Importance of GMAT Score in MBA Application?

importance of GMAT

Business schools trust and use the GMAT score to make admissions decisions. Your score can help you stand out during the admissions process, and it is the most widely used and trusted indicator of academic success in MBA and other graduate business degree programs.

Did you know 9 out of 10 MBA admission decisions are made using a GMAT score?

Schools know that if you take the GMAT, you are serious about earning an MBA, and your score is a proven predictor of your ability to succeed in your chosen program.

Read here to know more about the importance of the test.

What is the average GMAT score for top business school?

The average GMAT score for the top 50 business schools in the US is between 634-734.  On the other hand, the average GMAT score for the top 16 b-schools in Europe range between 638-709.

Similarly, to get into the top 10 business schools in Canada, the average score required is 620, and for Australia, it is 661 (top 5).

What is the scope of GMAT in India?

At the moment, most of the Indian Business schools accept GMAT scores of domestic students for their executive MBA Programs. However, the test is becoming more popular in India, and we can expect more b-schools to start accepting GMAT for MBA admissions.

One of the Indian b-school that except GMAT score is ISB (Indian School of Business).

Except for 4-5 MBA colleges in India, all accept XAT/NMAT/CAT or other tests for admission to their MBA program.

Check out the other business schools in India that accept GMAT score.

Why Take the GMAT test?

Taking the GMAT elevates you from the rest of the pack because:

  • It demonstrates your commitment, ability, and motivation to succeed in business schools
  • It connects you with the best-fit program through personalized program recommendations
  • It increases your earning potential
  • It opens a world of opportunities
  • Business schools trust this test to make an informed admission decision
  • It measures your reasoning and critical thinking skills – the most relevant skills you need to get into top business schools

Why take the test?

Learn about what role does GMAT play beyond getting admission in a business school?

There are a lot of answers as to why take this test, here are the top three reasons why you should take it:

  1. High chance of scholarship
  2. Admit in the Top business school
  3. Better Post-MBA job and salary

Read about the above points in detail here.

What is a good GMAT score?

A good score is the one, which will help you get an admission from your dream B-school. Thus, the answer to this question depends on which business school you are targeting.

Here is a 5 step process that you can use to identify a good GMAT score:

  • Step 1: Self-Assessment
  • Step 2: Identify your target business school
  • Step 3: Research your target business schools
  • Step 4: Refine the list of targeted business schools
  • Step 5: Arrive at a good score for you

Check out the above points in detail here.

Good GMAT Score for Business Schools

Darden School of Business, Duke Fuqua, NUY Stern, London Business School, Yale SoM, Michigan Ross, UC Berkeley Haas, Dartmouth Tuck, INSEAD, MIT Sloan, Indian School of Business (ISB), Chicago Booth, Northwestern Kellogg, Wharton, Columbia, Stanford GSB, and Harvard.       

Are you planning to take the GMAT? We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Sign up for our FREE Trial today. We are the most reviewed Preparation company on gmatclub with more than 1940 reviews.

What is a good GMAT score for MBA Scholarships?

A high score can get you an MBA scholarship. However, scholarship committees do not list a minimum score to guarantee a scholarship. But, a high score can only increase your chances of getting one.

Read here to know all about MBA scholarship 2020 and factors that Adcoms look at while awarding scholarships.

Check out the GMAT success story of students who got MBA Scholarships. All scored above 730 on the test:

How to choose the test dates?

The best strategy to choose a GMAT date for yourself in 2020 is to look backward and connect the dots. Your first step should be to decide which round of MBA application you are targeting.

Here is a 5-step process of choosing a GMAT date:

  1. Know the Application Deadline of the business school you are targeting
  2. Start GMAT preparation at least 8-10 months before the application deadline
  3. Take the test at least six months before your application deadline
  4. For the possibility of retaking the test, keep a month or two
  5. Once you ace the test, prepare your essays and arrange LORs

Check out in detail the steps mentioned above.

Learn how to register for the GMAT in 7 steps and how to reschedule or cancel your Exam.

How hard is the test?

At its core, the GMAT is a test of high-order reasoning skills. This test is taken by 200,000+ people every year, and the average score at the top business schools is 720+. And that not all. Only 6% of the test taker score 720 or above in the test. 

Here are some reasons on What makes this test a tough nut to crack: 

  • Computer Adaptive Nature
  • Content
  • Timing Pressure
  • Format
  • Other Factors

Let us help ace you the GMAT with our high quality content and  superb instructors. Take a free trial and get access to 10+ hours of video lessons and 400+ free questions.

Read here to know how to turn the GMAT test easy for you.

How to score high on the test?

Here are seven steps to score 700+ on the exam:

  • Attend a strategy session and decide your targeted score
  • Set up your baseline
  • Decide on the verbal and quant score
  • Create a sequence of study and allocate hours
  • Track your improvement
  • Take mock tests

Read here to know the stepwise process to score 700+ on the exam

How to overcome a low score?

overcome a low score

 

The following are some of the things you can focus on to improve your application if you have a low score and no time to retake the test:

  • Focus on optional MBA Essay questions
  • Take up some supplemental coursework to demonstrate your quantitative ability
  • Prepare and perform well for the interview
  • Prepare well for Video Essay questions
  • Ask for Waivers
  • Revisit your school selection to identify programs which have a lower average incoming score

Read here to know what Adcoms think about a low GMAT score and is retaking it worth it?

How to prepare for GMAT?

Here are some articles on GMAT Preparation:

  1. Preparation Articles

GMAT Quant Preparation Articles

GMAT Verbal Preparation Articles

Are you planning to take the GMAT? We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Sign up for our FREE Trial today. We are the most reviewed Preparation company on gmatclub with more than 1940 reviews.

FAQs on GMAT

What is the difference between CAT and GMAT?

The CAT and GMAT tests are both entrance tests accepted by top business schools in India. But, the primary difference between them is that while GMAT is a global exam accepted by over 2000+ business schools and 7000 graduate management programs, CAT is a national level entrance exam.
Read this article to know the difference in the structure and format of the CAT and GMAT exam.

What is the difference between GRE and GMAT?

GRE is required for getting into graduate school, whereas the GMAT is the standardized test for getting admissions to a business school. Both tests are valid for five years. One of the significant differences between GMAT and the GRE section is that GRE doesn’t have an IR section.
Learn more differences between GMAT and GRE.

Which is easier – GMAT or GRE?

When it comes to overall difficulty level, both GMAT and GRE are similar. However, the GRE verbal section tests challenging vocabulary than GMAT. Similarly, GMAT Quant is considered to be harder than GRE as it tests your problem-solving skills.

Can I retake the GMAT Exam?

Yes, you can retake the GMAT test. Here is a five-step strategy for retaking the GMAT:
1. Identify gaps per your target GMAT score
2. Analyze your previous attempts
3. Estimate the time you need to prepare
4. Create a study plan
5. Track your improvement
Read in detail the points mentioned above.

Can I reschedule or cancel my GMAT appointment?

Yes. you can reschedule or even cancel your GMAT appointment but with a fee. Check out the reschedule and cancellation fee here.

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