Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA program.[rx] It requires knowledge of certain specific grammar and knowledge of certain specific algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. According to the test-owning company, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the GMAT assesses analytical writing and problem-solving abilities, while also addressing data sufficiency, logic, and critical reasoning skills that it believes to be vital to real-world business and management success.[rx]
The GMAT exam is a computer-adaptive test that assesses the candidates’ analytical writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills in standard written English. The cost of giving the GMAT Exam is US $250. This test is taken to get admission into a graduate management program, such as MBA and Masters in Finance related courses in top business schools across the world.
|Type||Computer-based standardized test|
|Developer/administrator||Graduate Management Admission Council|
|Knowledge/skills tested||Quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning, analytical writing.|
|Purpose||Admissions in graduate management programs of business schools.|
|Duration||3 hours and 7 minutes[rx]|
|Score / grade range||Quantitative section: 6-51, in 1 point increments,
Verbal section: 6-51, in 1 point increments,
Integrated reasoning section: 1 to 8, in 1 point increments,
Analytical writing assessment: 0.0 to 6.0, in 0.5 point increments.
Total score (from verbal and quantitative sections only): 200 to 800.
|Score / grade validity||5 Years|
|Offered||Multiple times a year.|
|Countries / regions||650 test centers in 114 countries.[rx]|
|Annual number of test takers||More than 200,000 (2019)[rx]|
|Prerequisites / eligibility criteria||No official prerequisite. Intended for those interested in graduate management education. Fluency in English assumed.|
|Scores / grades used by||More than 7,000 programs at approximately 2,300 graduate business schools around the world accept the GMAT exam.|
Recent updates in GMAT
CORONAVIRUS/Covid-19 ALERT: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GMAC has to suspend test-center based GMAT exam for candidates, as worldwide various countries have put restrictions on the movement of citizens. On April-15th-2020, GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), administrator of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) announced the release of the GMAT Online exam.
Why take the GMAT Exam?
It is the most widely accepted exam for MBA admissions worldwide. No other exam has as wide acceptability as GMAT, as per the GMAC, globally 9 out of 10 MBA enrollments are made through GMAT Score. Further, 2,300 + schools accept GMAT Scores for giving admission. Also, there are 650 testing centers in 114 countries that administer the GMAT Exam.
What is the Eligibility criteria for the GMAT exam?
As such, there is no set eligibility criteria set by GMAC, the body conducting GMAT for appearing for the GMAT exam. However, one should always meet the eligibility criteria set by the university/college one aspires to get into after giving the GMAT.
- The candidate must have completed 18 years of age
- There is no upper age limit of the candidate
- If the candidate is between 13 to 17 years old, they should have permission in writing from their parents or legal guardian
- GMAC has not announced any official statement regarding qualification required to appear for GMAT
- Candidates who wish to enroll for an MBA programme should possess a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university.
Age Limit: There is no upper age limit to appear for this exam. For the minimum age limit, GMAC has defined that the candidates need to be at least 18 years. However, it has been reported that aspirants that fall in the age group of 13 to 17 are also allowed to attempt the exam given that they have a written approval or consent provided by their legal guardians or parents.
Language Requirements: The GMAT exam is designed to be attempted in English; hence basic understanding and fluency in the language is a must for the aspirants. In order to clear the exam, one must have the skills to comprehend the twisted and confusing questions asked in the exam. The exam is tough and complicated; henceforth, its aspirants must have excellent command over the English language.
Other Restrictions: According to the GMAC, any individual irrespective of their gender, age, nationality, religion, academic background, etc. can appear for the exam without any discrimination. This includes differently-abled candidates as well, who are provided with special exam accommodation upon request. For such aspirants, the medical documents that define a candidate’s disability are put confidential, which has been thoroughly described in the privacy statement declared by the GMAC.
GMAT Exam Fee
The application fee for the GMAT exam is $250, which would translate to INR 17,000 approximately. Also, if the applicants want to change the center or reschedule the test then they will be charged $50 extra.
- GMAT Cancellation Fee: If you cancel the exam more than 7 days before the test date then you will be refunded US$80. Also, if you cancel within the 7 days of the test date then you will not get any refund. Moreover, the test appointment cannot be canceled within the 24 hours of the scheduled test and time.
- GMAT Rescheduling Fee: If you reschedule the exam more than 7 days before the test date you have to pay US$60.00 fee. Also, if you reschedule the exam within the 7 days of the test date you have to pay US$250.00 fee. Moreover, the exam cannot be rescheduled within the 24 hours of the scheduled test date and time.
How to Register for GMAT?
According to GMAC, you can register for the GMAT exam 6 months before the Graduate Management Admission Test date or latest by 24 hours before the GMAT exam date, however, the slot is not available at the last moment. Therefore, it is suggested to book your preferred slot well before the planned exam date.
Ways to register for GMAT:
- Postal mail
There are six steps to register for the GMAT Exam and also different steps to schedule the GMAT exam.
GMAT Exam Dates
There are no fixed official GMAT dates, you can choose any date according to your convenience and availability. In case you need to retake the GMAT exam you can do so after 16 days. You can take or retake the GMAT exam after every 16 days. You can appear for the exam a maximum of five times a year. Ideally, candidates are recommended to register themselves two to three months before the exam date. If you register online or by phone, you can get yourself registered as late as 24 hours before the exam date. But it is safer to stick to early registration as you will then have a set schedule to prepare for the exam accordingly. Even the coaching institutes recommend you to register at the earliest available date so that you have a wide window of time to prepare.
Exam Pattern for GMAT
The GMAT Exam comprises of four sections:
- Analytical Writing
- Integrated Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Verbal Reasoning
Also, candidates can avail of two optional eight-minute breaks during the exam. Read more about the GMAT Exam Pattern in detail here.
GMAT 2020 Exam Pattern
|Section||No. of questions||Question Type||Duration|
|Analytical Writing Assessment||1 Topic||Analysis of an Argument||30 minutes|
|Integrated Reasoning||12 questions||Multi-Source Reasoning,
|Quantitative||31 questions||Data Sufficiency,
|Verbal||36 questions||Reading Comprehension,
|Total Exam Duration||3 hours 7 minutes|
A candidate has the option to take two ‘8-minute breaks’ during the exam.
Syllabus of GMAT Exam
GMAT is a three and a half hours test with a maximum score of 800 points. The GMAT test the candidate’s’ abilities on various parameters. Further, the GMAT exam has four sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment—measures candidates ability to think critically and to communicate their ideas
- Integrated Reasoning—measures candidates ability to analyze data and evaluate information presented in multiple formats
- Quantitative Reasoning—measures aspirants ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills
- Verbal Reasoning—measures the ability of the candidates to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material to conform to standard written English
Candidates should understand their GMAT Scores and GMAT Score Report. Candidates should also understand various aspects of the GMAT Scores.
When is GMAT result available?
The candidates receive almost the entire GMAT Score Report just after finishing the GMAT test except for the AWA Score. The candidate will have the option of accepting it or rejecting it. In the case of accepting the result, the candidate and the institutes of choice can view the result; but if the candidate declines the result none of the parties will be able to view the result of GMAT. Once the exam is over, candidates can download the non-official GMAT result. Finally, the candidates receive the complete GMAT Score Report within 20 days of giving the test including the AWA Score.
How is GMAT Score calculated?
Each of your five GMAT Scores i.e. 4 GMAT sections and the total score is reported on a fixed scale. These are your official scores that appear on your GMAT Score Report. Your selected score recipients will receive these scores. Always remember, that the GMAT Total Score Report includes Verbal and Quantitative scores and does not include any other section into account.
The GMAT Score Report comprises of these elements
- Your Quantitative Score (0 – 60), with percentile
- Your Verbal Score (0 – 60), with percentile
- Your Total GMAT Score (200 – 800), with percentile
- AWA Score (half-integers from 0 to 6), with percentile
- Integrated Reasoning score (integer from 1 to 8)
GMAT Score Range
Here are the minimum and maximum score range of each section, along with a mean average:
|Analytical Writing Assessment||0-6||4.5|
How to access GMAT Score Report?
- Candidates receive a link on their registered Email ID from GMAC.
- Follow the instructions in the Email and with the help of that link candidates can check their official GMAT Score Report.
Validity of GMAT Score
Candidates should note that GMAT scores are valid for a period of 5 years. Hence, candidates should check the application deadlines of various universities and schedule their GMAT exam accordingly.
GMAT Preparation Tips
To be able to study on your own effectively, you need a few good GMAT books and resources, along with study material, motivation, and self-discipline. On the other hand, if time is a constraint and you feel the need for professional guidance to ensure the competitive edge in GMAT exam preparation, then joining a coaching center for GMAT in your location is the better option.
GMAT Prep tips for each section
- Analytical Writing Assessment: The Analytical Writing Assessment section analyses the candidates’ ability to analyse an argument.
- Quantities Section: The Quantitative section section
- Verbal Section: The Verbal section measures the aspirants’ ability to read and comprehend written material.
- Integrated Reasoning Section: The Integrated Reasoning section measures the candidates’ ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources.
Strategy for preparing for GMAT
Candidates need an appropriate strategy to score perfect 800 in the GMAT 2020 Exam. Before start preparing also decide what a good GMAT Score according to you is and then prepare accordingly. Candidates can also go through the GMAT Sample Papers which will help them in preparing for the GMAT exam 2020. Also, The Princeton Review, Manhattan Prep, Kaplan books, Khan Academy and Veritas also provide useful prep material. Apart from this, you can also check out our GMAT Preparation Plan for 4 weeks.
GMAT Sample Questions
For beginners’ convenience, we have also provided sample questions for each section of the GMAT Exam. You can check out the sample GMAT questions section-wise here:
|Analytical Writing Section||Integrated Reasoning Section|
|Quantitative Section||Verbal Skills Section|
Colleges Accepting GMAT Score
The GMAT aspirants can apply to more than 7000 programs at roughly 2300 business schools globally. Further, top business schools across the world like Harvard, INSEAD and Stanford accept the GMAT score of above 720. Further, the management schools should grant a degree to students to be eligible to accept GMAT scores. GMAT scores are one of the most important factors in the entire application process for admission to top B-schools across the globe. GMAT is accepted in more than 114 countries of the world. Apart from this, those who are targeting schools which also accept GRE Scores along with the GMAT Scores might also need to know GMAT to GRE Score Conversion to convert their scores.
GMAT Scores for Top 10 Business Schools
Your GMAT Scores allow you to apply to the top business schools across the world. We have provided average GMAT Scores required to get into the top business schools globally:
|Business Schools||Average GMAT Score|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||732|
|Stanford University (CA)||732|
|Yale University (CT)||724|
|Harvard University (MA)||730|
|Columbia University (NY)||732|
|University of California—Berkeley (Haas)||726|
|University of Chicago (Booth)||731|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||732|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||728|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)||722|
Scholarships and grants are generally given by B-schools to pursue a professional program like MBA. Moreover, scholarships can be need-based or merit-based, however, there are no set rules for awarding a scholarship. It depends on each school’s admission process, so, the candidate should always check with the school itself for gaining a scholarship. Also, there are two kinds of scholarships, full and partial. The full scholarship covers the entire cost of the program, whereas a partial one covers only the part of the course fee.
Ques. While taking GMAT, if I suddenly get an easy question, does that mean that I got the previous question wrong?
Ans. Don’t panic. You might have encountered one of the experimental questions. Also, the GMAT’s algorithm does not work in a simple, linear format – it is more complex than we think it is. Therefore, it is technically possible for you encounter an easy question even if you are getting questions right. Finally, remember that ‘easy’ is a relative term – what seems easy to you might not be easy to others. Therefore, don’t waste your test time thinking on these and instead focus on the upcoming questions.
Ques. Are all GMAT questions scored/do all GMAT questions count?
Ans. No. About 20%-30% are experimental questions that do not impact your score and are designed to help GMAC evaluate questions for future tests.
Ques. What is the maximum score on the GMAT?
Ans. The GMAT score range is between 200 and 800. Very few people get 200 or 800, the majority, however falls between 400 and 600. The average score is about 550.
Ques. How do I send my GMAT scores to the Schools?
Ans. Before or after the test, you will have a chance to enter up to 5 schools names that will automatically receive your GMAT score about 20-30 days after you take the test. You can also request for additional score reports to be sent, but it will cost $28. Some applicants prefer not to send any reports to any schools unless they are sure they received a good score, so they will actually order additional reports after they receive the score confirmation.
Ques. What documents should I carry on the test day?
Ans. If you are a Non-US applicant – you must carry a VALID PASSPORT with a recent, recognizable photo (mandatory) and Appointment Confirmation Letter / Email sent by Pearson VUE.
Ques. Is there any penalty for not completing a section in GMAT?
Ans. Yes. GMAT penalizes you if you run out of time and are not able to complete the section. Therefore, it is also important to focus on time-management aspects on the test. This is something that can be perfected only with practice.
Ques. What is tested in GMAT?
Ans. Composing capacity, learning of Basic Math (Arithmetic, Algebra, Word Problems, Geometry) and a tad of transitional Math (Statistics, Probability, Combinations/Permutations), and information of syntax standards, sensible thinking, perusing, and systematic abilities.
Ques. Are all GMAT questions scored/do all GMAT questions check?
Ans. No. Around 20%-30% are trial addresses that don’t affect your score and are intended to enable GMAC to assess questions for future tests.
Ques. How does GMAT scoring work? How is the score calculated?
Ans. There are a few speculations about how the test is scored: some trust the initial 15 questions are basic; others imagine that hard questions must be addressed accurately to get a decent score, and another gathering trusts that all questions must be offered an explanation to get a high score.
Ques. Can I scratch off or reschedule a GMAT schedule?
Ans. Truly, and many individuals do – there is a $50 rescheduling expense on the off chance that you reschedule over 7 days out. You will lose the $250 store on the off chance that you choose to reschedule under 7 days out. You can likewise apply for a discount as long as your schedule is over 7 days out. Be that as it may, you will get just $80 back. When all is said in done, in the event that you suffered from sudden anxiety a couple of days before the test, and feel that you have to reschedule, it might be worth going and taking the test since you won’t recover any cash. Obviously there are a few hypotheses about having a low score on your report, however more about that later.
Ques. How many times can one take GMAT?
Ans. You can take the GMAT® exam once every 16 calendar days and no more than five times in a rolling 12-month period and no more than eight times total (lifetime limit effective December 17, 2016)..
Ques. After I take the GMAT, how soon will I know my score?
Ans. Your informal (preparatory that is) GMAT score will be influenced accessible to you to promptly after you complete the test.
Ques. What would it be a good idea for me to take with me to the testing center?
Ans. You should take individual distinguishing proof, the schedule affirmation letter or email you got when booking your test, and the names of the GMAT projects to which you plan to send your scores.
Ques. Can I use a calculator?
Ans. No, the use of a calculator isn’t permitted while the exam is being conducted.
Ques. Will I be offered anything to write amidst the exam?
Ans. You will be given 5 drywipe note boards to write on toward the beginning of the test, and you can ask for all the more amid the test. These must be offered back to the manager toward the finish of the test. You won’t be permitted to take any of your own written work materials into the testing room.
Ques. I’m not content with my GMAT score – how soon would I be able to retake the test?
Ans. You can just take the test once every 16 date-book days. On the off chance that you endeavor to take the test before that day and age have passed, your new scores won’t be accounted for and you lose your test organization charge.
Ques. If I take the test more than once, will business colleges see every one of my scores?
Ans. Truly they will. Your score report will list the greater part of the scores from each time you have taken the GMAT over the most recent 5 years. Your scores are substantial for a long time.
Ques. What is the normal GMAT score?
Ans. The general GMAT score ranges from 200 to 800. The normal GMAT score among test-takers worldwide is 540. 66% of test takers score in the vicinity of 400 and 600.
Ques. What is a decent GMAT score?
Ans. A “decent” GMAT score is just in respect to the MBA of Masters projects to which you are applying! You should do some exploration on the schools to which you need to send your scores and set yourself practical objectives in light of the normal scores acknowledged by those projects. Top level schools will generally be searching for a score in the 90th percentile or above (eg Wharton has a normal GMAT score of 713; Harvard 708; INSEAD 702; and London Business School 680).
Ques. Do business colleges have a base GMAT score prerequisite?
Ans. Most schools won’t set a base prerequisite for GMAT scores, albeit most will distribute the normal GMAT score of their understudies. This data is generally promptly accessible on schools’ sites, so do your exploration and discover the normal scores for the schools you need to apply to, and after that go for at least that score.
Ques. How can I cancel my test date?
Ans. You can do this by means of the test schedule booking framework. In the event that you drop no less than 7 entire days ahead of time of your schedule you will get a fractional discount of US$80. On the off chance that you scratch off under 7 entire days ahead of time of your schedule you will relinquish your whole enrollment charge.
Ques. I am a handicap/I am dyslexic – would I be able to apply for additional time during GMAT?
Ans. Indeed. Test takers with archived incapacities, including dyslexia, can apply for extraordinary testing housing on the GMAT. Housing can incorporate extra time on the test, extra rest breaks, a communication via gestures mediator, a peruser or record taker, and so forth. For full subtle elements of how to apply for uncommon testing facilities, you should download both the GMAT Information Bulletin and the Supplement for Test Takers for Disabilities from www.mba.com. Kindly note that you should present your applications ahead of schedule, as choices with respect to extraordinary facilities can take 6 to two months.
Ques. How can I prepare for GMAT?
Ans. This is a troublesome inquiry to reply, as everybody ought to get ready in their own specific manner that suits them best. Numerous GMAT test takers plan throughout around three to a half year, utilizing the numerous contrasting ‘GMAT test prep’ organizations accessible. Others buy resigned questions, or GMAC’s legitimate productions and practice however much as could reasonably be expected. You ought to choose which strategy is ideal for you.
Ques. How is my GMAT score calculated?
Ans. The general GMAT score is figured utilizing the Quantitative and Verbal segments, and members are granted a score of in the vicinity of 200 and 800. Higher scores speak to more prominent capacity. Notwithstanding, business colleges additionally get MBA candidates’ Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) scores, extending from 1 to 6, a score for the Integrated Reasoning segment, going from 1 to 8, and in addition breakdowns of the Verbal and Quantitative scores, which both range from 0 to 60.